Protecting the Right to Talk to Your Doctor

April 20, 2017

The law recognizes several categories of people with whom you can speak without fear that you, or the person you speak with, can be questioned about the conversation in court. The most common categories are your spouse, your lawyer, a member of the clergy, and your doctor and other health care providers. This privilege to have private conversations lasts as long as you do not disclose the contents of the conversation (unless the disclosure is itself privileged). A recent case from Oregon, Barrier v. Beaman, 361 Or 223 (2017), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S063974.pdf> addresses when a conversation is disclosed and waives the privilege. Read the rest of this entry »


Service Dogs in Schools

March 18, 2017

Many people with disabilities have service dogs. Children with service dogs may bring them to school to assist them. Sometimes schools resist. A recent Supreme Court case, Fry. v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497 (U.S., Feb. 22, 2017), <https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-497_p8k0.pdf>, helps clarify when objections should be made through administrative proceeding and when students can file a lawsuit Read the rest of this entry »


More on Relevance of Evidence

March 3, 2017

In my last article, I wrote about how evidence is determined to be relevant to an issue in a case. <https://danielreitman.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/explaining-relevance-of-evidence/>. Another recent case, Gaylord v. DMV, 283 Or App 811 (2017), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A155084.pdf>, shows how relevance can be considered beyond the basic pleadings. Read the rest of this entry »


Explaining Relevance of Evidence

February 24, 2017

One feature any evidence must have to be considered by a court or jury is relevance to an issue in the case. The idea is that judges and jurors shouldn’t let prejudicial information sway their thinking. If a defendant, for example, has several convictions for other charges, the jury won’t be told that unless the prosecution can come up with a legitimate reason to bring it up, and simple propensity isn’t enough. A recent case from Oregon, Bergstrom v. Assoc. for Women’s Health of So. Ore., 283 Or App 601 (2017), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A158700.pdf>, shows the principle of relevance in action. Read the rest of this entry »


The Perils of not Checking on Your Case

February 9, 2017

The courts like to see cases handled with some reasonable dispatch. Compared to most states, Oregon has a fast scheduling system. Most of the time, the goal is to get civil cases to trial in a year. Because of this, if you neglect your case, you may be out of luck if something happens when you aren’t paying attention. A recent case, Union Lumber Co. v. Miller, 360 Or 767 (2017), <www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S062459.pdf>, illustrates what can happen. Read the rest of this entry »


Being a Good Neighbor to State Farm

January 14, 2017

In both Oregon and Washington, as in many states, auto insurance policies include a provision for personal injury protection (PIP), which covers medical expenses resulting from an accident regardless of fault, up to a moderate limit. In most cases, PIP claims are not controversial. A recent case from Oregon, McBride v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 282 Or App 675 (2016), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A159232.pdf>, however, illustrates the importance of cooperation by the insured in resolving disputes. Read the rest of this entry »


Driving Wheelchairs Under the Influence

January 12, 2017

Most driving under the influence laws include bicycles and a broad range of motorized wheeled vehicles in their scope. Oregon is no exception to this. But what’s the rule for motorized wheelchairs? A recent case, State v. Greene, 282 Or App 120 (2016), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A154816.pdf>, rules that in most cases, they are not subject to driving under the influence law. Read the rest of this entry »