Blackstone’s Commentaries Go “Hollywood”: Free Video, with Bogart, Wells, but no Fish

Hat tip to Yale Law Library blog post: “Blackstone Goes Hollywood” – and we’re the studio,” June 5, by Mike Widener

Excerpt from Worlds of Law Blackstone Goes Hollywood post:

I’ve made a new video—about Blackstone’s Commentaries. It’s also about storytelling form in legal history. My sister-in-law once named a fish Blackstone, which I thought was a very nice sign of respect to the great eighteenth-century explicator of the common law, but the fish plays no part in this video. But Humphrey Bogart does. And so does Orson Welles….” [Link to full blog post and video.]

Grandparents and other Third-parties Seeking Custody of Children in Oregon

Please also read previous blog posts on this topic, especially this one: Grandparent Visitation Rights in Oregon

There are lots of free legal forms online and in print, but none of them will be the exact forms you need in your specific case. You can lose a lot of time and money if you file the wrong forms.

Courts are very, very careful when it comes to child custody legal matters. Oregon courts do not have official or fill-in-the-blank child custody legal forms for parents, grandparents, or for any third party seeking child custody. You need to draft your own forms specific to your legal situation.

There is a useful booklet you can read for some background information on this subject. Link to the booklet from this blog post:

Oregon Legal Guide for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children

If you want to represent yourself in your case, you will have to research the laws and the regulations about child custody and third-party rights and then you will have to prepare your case. You will need to do this research in a law library. You can find a list of Oregon county law libraries at the Oregon Council of County Law Libraries (OCCLL) website.

You can also ask a lawyer to serve as a “coach.” Find a lawyer who will review your situation. Explain that you want to proceed as a self-represented litigant and ask if the lawyer would be willing to serve as a “coach” to help you through the legal process. (This is also known as “limited scope legal assistance.” You and your lawyer will sign an agreement that limits the scope of the lawyer-client engagement and legal liability.)

You can also ask a lawyer to represent you in a custody case. The lawyer will give you an analysis of the likelihood of you prevailing in your case and give you an estimate of what it will cost.

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 or visit their website.

Educating Homeless Children: Legal Requirements (ABA Report)

Gallagher Blogs, July 2, 2014, post: Educating Homeless Kids:

“Nearly a quarter of homeless people are children.* Over a million children were homeless at the start of the 2010-2011 school year. And being homeless can make it tough to get an education. To address some of the problems, the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act (1987) set up the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.

The ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty just published “Educating Children Without Housing: A Primer on Legal Requirements and Implementation Strategies for Educators, Advocates and Policymakers” …. [Link to full Gallagher Blogs post.]

That direct link to the book at the ABA Store works now, but if it ceases to work, visit the ABA Store and look for this title: “Educating Children Without Housing: A Primer on Legal Requirements and Implementation Strategies for Educators, Advocates and Policymakers,” 4th Edition, 2014.

Free Copyright-Status Handbook: “Is it in the Public Domain?

From UC Berkeley Law, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic:


Creative Commons: May 27, 2014, by Menesha A. Mannapperuma, Brianna L. Schofield, Andrea K. Yankovsky, Lila Bailey, and Jennifer M. Urban

The Samuelson Clinic is excited to provide a handbook, “Is it in the Public Domain?,” and accompanying visuals. These educational tools help users to evaluate the copyright status of a work created in the United States between January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1977—those works that were created before today’s 1976 Copyright Act. Many important works—from archival materials to family photos and movies—were created during this time, and it can be difficult to tell whether they are still under copyright.” [Link to handbook.]

Hat tip to InfoDocket.

Now that it’s Legal: Same-sex Wedding, Marriage, and Divorce Law in Oregon

A Multnomah County Librarian has posted this practical and lighthearted collection of wedding, marriage, and divorce law links:

“Now that it’s legal: same-sex marriage and the law,” by Emily-Jane D., Jun 04, 2014

And maybe it’s also time to update my Engagement Ring Law blog post!

Veterans Law Library: Statutes, Cases, Post-war Physical and Mental Illness Claim Information, and Much More

Visit the online Veterans Law Library:A Comprehensive Collection of Materials Relating to the Veterans Benefits Adjudication Process.”  It includes primary and secondary sources, case law, Agent Orange Claim, Gulf War Illness, and PTSD Claims information, and much, much more.

Hat tip to Oregon attorney John Gear, his Law for Real People Blog, and collection of Useful consumer law Links.

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.]

Oregon Public Guardian and Conservator Program: 2014 legislative changes

Read about the changes to the Oregon Public Guardian and Conservator program for people with “inadequate resources,” e.g. people without relatives or friends willing or able to serve as guardians or conservators.

2014 SB 1553 (enrolled bill) (as of today is still awaiting the Governor’s signature):
Relating to services for persons with inadequate resources; creating new provisions; amending ORS 125.240, 125.410, 125.700, 125.705, 125.710, 125.715, 125.720, 125.725, 125.730, 441.109, 441.137 and 441.153; and declaring an emergency

Oregon Legal Research Resources for Tenants and Landlords: The Facts of Life

Oregon Landlord-Tenant Law is a lot more complicated than people imagine. Landlords and tenants should seek current and accurate legal information and, in most cases, get professional legal advice from a licensed Oregon attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law.

Everyone should do this BEFORE trouble strikes.

It’s a lot more expensive to fix a legal problem than it is to prevent one -just ask any landlord-tenant attorney – or any landlord or tenant who thought leases, evictions, and escrow accounts were subject to Common Sense Rules or the If it’s Online it Must Be OK “Rule” instead of the You Have to Research the Actual Law Rule. That person is now paying a lawyer lots of money to fix a problem that might have been avoided – or gnashing teeth over the Unjustness of the World. (Yes, life is sometimes unfair in your favor, but seldom when it comes to landlord-tenant law.)

If you choose not to talk to a lawyer (even for a brief consultation) or use a county law library to do the requisite legal research, at least do a little homework (but don’t blame me if you lose in court).

Despite what your neighbor, or even your legislators may say, you cannot “google” a legal problem and expect good results, unless you are an experienced legal researcher or an attorney. (And smart attorneys and law librarians consult attorneys.)

What do I mean by “a little homework?” If you spend less than a couple hours at the law library researching the statutes, the cases, updating your research results, and reviewing the secondary sources, you have not done the bare minimum of your landlord-tenant legal research homework. This of course assumes you want to know if you have a good case, or a good lease, and if you want to prevail in whatever sticky situation you find yourself in – or might find yourself in.

So, here’s your Landlord-Tenant Homework, the Minimalist Menu:

1) Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service: website and phone: 503-684-3763

2) Oregon Law Center, Tenant’s Hotline (more info at the Oregon Law Help website): 503-648-7723

3) Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT), Renter’s Rights Hotline: 503-288-0130

4) Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO), Oregon Law Help website resources for tenants and landlords

5) Fair Housing Council of Oregon resources for tenants and landlords

6) Stevens-Ness Law Publishing: Oregon landlord-tenant handbook and related landlord-tenant forms

7) Previous OLR posts on Oregon landlord-tenant law.

8) Last, but not least: Imagine What Could Go Wrong!