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The State of Oregon Law Library (SOLL) is providing statewide access to 2 valuable legal research databases, previously unavailable for remote access to non-attorney Oregonians. (No legal research database is cheap, but pooling resources and making Really Good Value legal research databases available to everyone supports “access to justice” goals: to educate students, voters, and anyone else with an abiding lifelong intellectual curiosity about law, lawmaking, judicial process, legal rights, government, and politics.)

Link to EBSCO and Fastcase, from the SOLL Legal Resources webpage:

“1) EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center
This database contains NOLO Legal information books and a nationwide database of sample legal forms. This database is available to all Oregonians.

2) Oregon Statewide Fastcase Access
The State of Oregon Law Library provides access to the legal research database Fastcase. All Oregonians can create a free account to search Caselaw, Statutes and other legal databases.”

And keep an eye on the SOLL news page and blog for more legal research and legal information updates.

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If you haven’t seen these 2 articles in your news feeds then you’re not doing your consumer law education reading:

New York Times articles, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery, November 2015:

Beware the Fine Print, Part I: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice

Beware the Fine Print, Part 2: In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System

When you read these articles, and their critics and supporters, you would also be hard pressed not to think:

I need better civics lessons or maybe even a law school education to understand and discuss these issues intelligently, let alone be a smart consumer!

Binding arbitration, Shifting burdens of proof, Consumer responsibility, Consumer protection, Judicial fairness, Collusion, Competition & monopoly, Constitutional rights, Jury trials, Swindles and scams, Contract law, Oh-My: All Lead to this Timeless Warning: Buyer Beware

So, get smart:  a few among many consumer education research resources:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

1) Resources for Libraries, Parents, and others

2) “CFPB Study Finds That Arbitration Agreements Limit Relief for Consumers,” March 2015

From SCOTUSblog: an article and links to recent U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) cases on arbitration agreements:
“Opinion analysis: A class action waiver in an arbitration agreement will be strictly enforced under the Federal Arbitration Act,” by David Garcia and Leo Caseria Guest, June 21st, 2013

Be a smart consumer:
1) Oregon: Department of Justice, Oregon Law Help
2) U.S.: Federal Trade Commission

And always, stop and look both ways before signing or buying.

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The Oregon capitol building burned in the spring of 1935, destroying most records. What the fire did not destroy, the water damaged. If anything survived, it went to the Oregon Historical Society and the State Archives.

You can find photos and information from the Oregon State Library’s “The 1935 Fire and its Aftermath” website  and also at the Oregon State Capitol Wikipedia page and at the Salem History webpage.

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On October 16th, Amazon filed a a follow-up to its King County Case No. 15-2-08579-4 SEA (filed April 8, 2015): King County Superior Court, 15-2-25395-6 SEA, for:

Breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other causes of action.

BBC News story: Amazon targets 1,114 ‘fake reviewers’ in Seattle lawsuit

Geekwire has a copy of the complaint in its article:

After undercover sting, Amazon files suit against 1,000 Fiverr users over fake product reviews,” by Jacob Demmitt, October 16, 2015

Find related articles online: amazon lawsuit fake reviews

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As of yesterday, .law domains are available for purchase, but only by licensed attorneys. This new top level domain is an attempt to provide verification to lawyer websites. For the first week the domains will be costly, although the price drops significantly each day. So expect to see big law firms gobble up the prime “real estate” first. Solo practitioners and small firms will likely get in the game as prices go down.

If you’re a lawyer, you can purchase through an authorized registrar. If you’re seeking a lawyer, you’ll see these domains pop up over the following weeks.

Source: “New .Law Domains Go on Sale Today – Here’s How to Buy One” by Robert Ambrogi.

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LoisLaw is dead; long live Fastcase/Loislaw.

Research Tip: Good word searches won’t get you very far if you don’t update your research.

(And all good legal researchers know how to “update the law.”)

SO, if you search for: free or low cost legal research databases … make sure you look for the MOST RECENT search results. Otherwise you’ll end up with yesterday’s search results (and yesterday’s databases), when what you need are today’s results.

(Extra tip: Make sure you do this “updating” step whenever you search for forms, instructions, memos, news, etc. Unless of course you want YESTERDAY’S forms, instructions, etc. And sometimes one does want yesterday’s documents.)

We blog about lot of free and low cost legal research databases, see tags below,

BUT, you still have to update those posts, because Change Happens and the World Moves On Quite Happily Without You. (In fact it appears that it moves on a whole lot better without humans at all, so watch out. If you don’t believe me, Google this, Chernobyl wildlife without humans.)

Low-cost legal databases tag
Free legal research resources tag
Free legal databases tag

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Portland archivists kick off “Oregon Archives Month with a smorgasbord of Portland-area archives. Join us on Saturday, October 3rd from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Portland Archives and Records Center….” [Link to Portland Area Archives website.]

Visit the celebration’s FAQ to find out more about the October 3rd event.

And don’t forget about your own archiving efforts: Read the OLR blog post on Save that Webpage to the Internet Archive!

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This was and still is an interesting report, for those so inclined, from the 2006 Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature:

A Blueprint for a 21st Century Legislature, Public Commission on the Oregon LegislatureNovember 2006

Listen to a Portland City Club presentation on the Report.

Wikipedia entry on the Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature.