Oregon and Portland-metro Legal Assistance Resources: April 2014 Update

We have updated our Oregon and Portland-metro Legal Assistance Resources guide.

We have expanded its reach beyond the Portland-metro area so new resources may be added – and you are welcome to suggest additions.

Link to the PDF or link to it from our What’s New webpage.

Marijuana Workshop for Oregon (WA & CA) Local Governments: May 1, 2014

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, The League of Oregon Cities is presenting a marijuana workshop for local governments:

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. • DoubleTree by Hilton Portland (Lloyd Center)

• Learn what’s happening in Oregon related to medical marijuana
• Listen to local government officials discuss different approaches to regulation
• Hear from the U.S. Attorney’s Office
• Find out what Washington, Colorado and California have experienced with legalizing marijuana

Scheduled Speakers:
• Scott Kerin, assistant U.S. attorney
• Tom Burns, director of pharmaceutical purchasing at the Oregon Health Authority
• David Ris, Gresham city attorney
• Joshua Marquis, Clatsop County district attorney
• Glenn Klein, Eugene city attorney
• Sherilyn Lombos, Tualatin city manager
• Chief Rock Rakosi, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police
• Sean O’Day, general counsel, League of Oregon Cities
• Rob Bovett, legal counsel, Association of Oregon Counties
• Representatives from the California League of Cities,the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington Liquor Control Board and the Colorado Municipal League

City or County Officials: $95 • Other: $195 (includes lunch and parking)

Link to the LOC Marijuana Workshop PDF or the LOC homepage.

We the People Book Club (Classroom Law Project)

Even if we don’t join all those book clubs dangled so temptingly (ahem) in front of us, we can still add their books to our personal reading lists.

But if you are inclined to join a Lucky Lab CLP book group meet-up and if you’re a bit of a law and governement wonk, here’s a book club for you:

We the People Book Club, which meets at the Lucky Lab, will be reading the following books:

“It can be hard to keep up with all the great books about American government and democracy. Back by popular demand is a a book club where we will explore great books — loosely related to the Units in the WTP text — with great friends over a pretty good dinner. Leading book club discussions is the always insightful Susie Marcus and with her Shelley Larkins, the winning, inquisitive and fun attorney coach from Grant HS’s Con Team.

•Tuesday, Dec. 3 Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
•Tuesday, Feb. 25 Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe
•Tuesday, Apr. 29 Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May
•Tuesday, May 27 Peyote vs. the State: Religious Freedom on Trial by Garrett Epps
•Tuesday, Jun. 17 My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor…” [Read the blog post and visit the CLP homepage.]

Drafting Your Own Will? A Cautionary Tale

Online ABA Journal article: “Estate dispute caused by ‘E-Z Legal Form’ is a ‘cautionary tale,’ says justice,” by Debra Cassens Weiss.

Ann Aldrich used an “E-Z Legal Form” when she made out her will in 2004, a decision that proved to be a good choice for two nieces who cited the document’s lack of a residuary clause.

In a decision issued last week, the Florida Supreme Court ruled for the nieces, though they weren’t mentioned in the will. The court said money acquired by Aldrich after the will was made out should be distributed under the laws of intestacy, which govern distribution of property for those who die without a will. The reason: The E-Z form did not have a residuary clause providing for the disposition of property not listed in the document….” [Link to full article.]

Oregon Innocence Project (and April 9th Benefit and Launch Party)

Oregon Innocence Project:

The Oregon Innocence Project (OIP) is a joint project of the Oregon Justice Resource Center (an independent nonprofit based out of Lewis & Clark Law School) and Metropolitan Public Defender whose mission is to (1) exonerate the innocent, (2) educate and train law students, and (3) promote legal reforms aimed at preventing wrongful convictions….” [Link to the OIP.]

The Oregon Innocence Project Launch and Benefit Party, April 9, 2014

Featured Speaker:
Barry Scheck, Co-founder and Co-Director of the national Innocence Project

Special Guests:
Exoneree and former NFL player Brian Banks
Secretary of State Kate Brown
The Honorable Paul De Muniz
Best selling author Phillip Margolin
Civil rights attorney Elden Rosenthal
Oregon State Rep. Jennifer Williamson


Oregon Justice Resource Center

Oregon Justice Resource Center

The Oregon Justice Resource Center assists with trial and appellate litigation on behalf of indigent, prisoner, and low-income clients in federal and state courts on a range of civil liberties and civil rights matters, including but not limited to the death penalty, immigrant rights, and unfair procedural barriers to the courts. Donate to the OJRC....” [Link to OJRC.]

Happy April’s Fools Day: Lawyers Clients, Fools? One and the Same?

He who is always his own counseller will often have a fool for his client.” [Source: Shapiro, "The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations," citing Port Folio (Philadelphia, Aug. 1809, at 132.]

Not a day goes by when I don’t:

1) Read about someone who made a BIG mistake thinking s/he knew everything about drafting contracts, wills, and other legal documents.

2) Talk to a lawyer who is getting paid BIG bucks to fix the mistakes made by that “someone” in #1.

You can (or may be able to) represent yourself, but you have to do the work if you want to be more than The Fool. See, for example, this blog post about self-representation generally, landlord-tenant law specifically.

Oregon Legislative Sessions: General and Special, Past and Present

If you ever wondered (and I’m sure you have – ahem), if there was a legislative session in any given year, here are some handy-dandy lists, courtesy of the Secretary of State’s Oregon Blue Book:

Oregon Legislature, Chronology of Regular Sessions

Oregon Legislature, Chronology of Special Sessions