Non-Lawyer Legal Assistance: Limited License Legal Technicians in Oregon

Visit Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites for a news update on limited license legal technicians, including a link to the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors report:

“Three Notable Updates on Non-Lawyers Providing Legal Assistance,” by Robert Ambrogi, 3/2/15.

Link directly to the Oregon State Bar Task Force report on limited license legal technicians:

LEGAL TECHNICIANS TASK FORCE, FINAL REPORT TO THE [Oregon State Bar] BOARD OF GOVERNORS, February 13, 2015

For lawyer assistance in Oregon, here’s our OREGON LEGAL ASSISTANCE RESOURCE GUIDE, which we plan to update this Spring.

When to Talk to a Lawyer? BEFORE You Respond to that Summons or Demand Letter!

Please do not be penny wise, pound foolish. Please! Public law librarians see these 2 things every day, day after day, week after week, month after ….:

1) Unrepresented litigants who have an expensive legal mess to clean up (IF it can be cleaned up) because they thought legal self-representation, without ever consulting a lawyer at all, was a good idea.

2) Lawyers who are, at great expense, representing people who thought the law was “all online” or DIY. It’s not, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.

Don’t risk losing you money, your credit rating, your home, your inheritance, or anything else you value.

Read this from a lawyer’s point of view:

“The ONLY advice I give away: If you get served with a demand from a lawyer or a summons from a court, CALL A REAL LAWYER”

The Oregon State Bar Information and Referral Service has a toll free number to call to get names of attorneys in your area; call their referral service at 503-684-3763 or 1-800-452-7636. More information about their services is available at their website.

Why Do Solos and Small Law Firms Bear the Burden of Access to Justice?

Read this interesting blog post and discussion (in the Comments).

Future Fridays: Hey, ABA – Why Do Solos and Smalls Bear the Burden of Access to Justice? By Carolyn Elefant, at MyShingle, November 7, 2014.

And this one:

“Lawyer Can’t Work on The Cheap Even If He Wants To,” by Carolyn Elefant, February 13, 2015.

Oregon Sheriff’s Association Civil Process Manual, $350

Oregon State Sheriffs’ 2014 Civil Process Manual:

You can sometimes find this in your county law library.

Any attorney seeking to expand his or her knowledge working on matters involving civil process will benefit from this informative seventeen chapter civil process manual.

The Oregon State Sheriffs’ 2014 Civil Process Manual features topics of interest, including service and enforcement of various types of process, whether it be notice or enforcement process, effective service of orders, enforcement of pre-judgment and post-judgment remedies

  • Execution: The manual discusses the most current methods of executing on personal and real property based on a monetary judgment or a judgment of foreclosure.
  • Garnishment: Garnishment of financial institutions, individual companies, multiple debtors, and other issues
  • Process: Issuance of process, including writs of execution and writs of garnishment in justice courts or municipal courts – Registering judgments entered in lower courts
  • County Clerk Lien Record: The role of the Clerk County Lien Record on the enforcement of judgments and support orders
  • Writs/Orders of Assistance: Enforcement of writs of assistance and orders of assistance for the recovery of children
  • Enforcement of abuse restraining orders and stalking orders
  • Landlord/Tenant Actions
  • Concealed Handgun License chapter

No Death Goals (Volvo) and Access to Justice?

“Could Volvo’s No Death Goal Show The Way for Access to Justice Innovation,” February 1, 2015 by Richard Zorza

I recently discovered that Volvo Cars has set a zero death goal for its new cars by 2020.

Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020,” the chief of governmental affairs is reported to have sad. Whether or not they actually achieve the specifics of that goal is less important than the fact that by setting such a goal, and doing so publicly, they change their whole system from thinking day to day, or year to year, to where they really want to be. (More on the vision here.) Interestingly, it turns out that a bit less than 20 years ago Sweden set as a goal that “Nobody should be killed or seriously injured within the road transport system” so this is also an example of corporate culture following governmental policy.

So the obvious question is this: What similar realistic, but challenging goals could we set for access to justice — goals that would require long term strategic thinking, and that recognize that system problems require systemic solutions. Different organizations should set such component goals for themselves….’ [Link to full blog post.]

Related, and equally interesting, blog post from Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites, January 19, 2015:

“Debating The Pros and Cons of Non-lawyers Practicing Law,”

Learn about Tax Provisions of the Health Care Law (aka Affordable Care Act)

Visit the IRS Affordable Care Act website for  publications and other information about the Affordable Care Act tax provisions.

IRS Publication 5187 provides information for taxpayers who:

a. Had health insurance coverage for the entire year
b. Did not have health coverage for each month of the year
c. Purchased health insurance from the Marketplace
d. Might be eligible for an exemption from the coverage requirement
e. Had advance payments of the premium tax credit sent to their insurance provider
f. Is claiming the premium tax credit on their tax return.

Multnomah County Circuit Court 2014 Report on the Multnomah Law Library

You can read the Multnomah Law Library Report at the PSU CPS website:

This report reviews the current operations of the Multnomah Law Library and makes recommendations, based on best practices, for ways to restructure the Multnomah Law Library into a self-help center to better serve pro se litigants.”

The report’s full title: “Building the 21st Century Legal Resource Center and Law Library: A Report on the Current Status of the Multnomah County’s Law Library and Recommendations for Addressing the Needs of Current Patrons”

I will comment on this report in 2015 OLR blog posts.

U.S. 19th out of 99 in Latest Access to Justice Ranking

Too many shut out of justice, ABA president says:

Wlliam C. Hubbard, president of the American Bar Association, calls it “the justice gap.”

Deep down, all Americans believe they have a right to their day in court. They probably don’t envision that might mean a day in court with no lawyer on hand to guide them through it. But that’s the reality for an increasing number of people, perhaps one reason the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index ranks the United States only 19th out of 99 countries on access to justice ….” [Link to full article.]

More about A2J at the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives and links to State Access to Justice Commissions.

Public Law Librarian Blog: “Legal Research is Easy”

Legal Research is Easy is still one of my favorite blogs. (And I can only dream about working as a law librarian in a state with so many official court forms, practice materials, and self-help resources. Sigh.)

The blog author has fun writing the blog, is smart, funny, profane and profound, doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and is brutally honest about what self-representation is all about and what public law librarians can do – and can’t do. And he cares. When a big heart meets a tough cookie, good things can happen. (And he doesn’t even hint at the amount of dedication and work (and money management) that is required to keep his legal research skills fresh or to create and maintain a law library with the breadth and quality of legal research materials needed to provide this level of service. Easy indeed! Not!)

Try it out: Legal Research is Easy.  You will learn from it, whether you’re a librarian or a self-represented litigant – or if you think you know what public law librarians and public law libraries do, but in fact have barely a clue.