Articles Posted in State Government & Legal Resources

Published on:


The Oregonian has posted the Oregon  Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability report to the Oregon Supreme Court on Marion County Circuit Court Judge Vance Day.

You can find the report’s link at their 1/25/16 article:

“Judge Vance Day should be ousted from job, in part for refusing to marry gays, commission says,” by Aimee Green, Oregonian, January 25, 2016.

Published on:


The 2015 ORS are now online

View the online, almost official (i.e. prima facie evidence of the law), 2015 Oregon Revised Statutes at the Oregon Legislature’s website.

Note that any new laws passed in the 2016 and 2017 Oregon legislative sessions WILL NOT appear in codified format until the 2017 Oregon Revised Statutes are published in late 2017 or early 2018.

Published on:


The short session Oregon Legislative 2016 bills are now online.

As of this moment, however, the 2015 Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) are still NOT online, but if you’re very lucky you may click on that link one day, even one moment from now, and find yourself reading the 2015 ORS, which we hope to see shortly. (Call your legislator to ask where they (the ORS) are!)

Published on:


Many new Oregon laws affecting sick leave, birth control, recreational marijuana, vaping, grandparents, bestiality, early termination fees when you die, and much more are effective January 1, 2016.

How do you find out what these new laws are?

Search online. Here are some keywords to search: new laws oregon 2015 2016 (limiting your results to the past year will get rid of a lot of the old stuff)

An Oregonian article, “Birth control, sick leave and pumping your own gas: Oregon’s new laws in 2016,” by Denis C. Theriault, posted December 31, 2015, includes a good list (and links to the bills).

Call your state legislator: Yes, they might be getting ready for the February 2016 short session, but they and their staff members probably have this information at their fingertips, if not already posted to their websites.

(The Find Your Legislator link is at the Oregon Legislature’s homepage.)

Note: As of now, the 2015 ORS is still not online, but it will, we hope, show up before the start of the 2016 short session. The print, official, ORS may already be in your local libraries.

Published on:


The online 2015 ORS will appear shortly, at least we hope before the official start of the 2016 Legislative Session.

The official PRINT ORS is available at law and public libraries around Oregon. (But call first to make sure your library has it in print. Not all libraries get the official print version.)

Note that any legislation passed in the 2016 and 2017 Oregon legislative sessions WILL NOT appear in codified format until the 2017 Oregon Revised Statutes are published in late 2017 or early 2018.

Published on:


You can read a hundred articles about wolves and their prey, including the ODFW Wolf webpages, but not a single one will explain exactly WHY wolves are, or were, on endangered species lists.

If you look hard enough you really can find hundreds of articles on the WHY, but here is an interesting one that sums up the complexity of the issue:

Scientific American: “Can Wolves Bring Back Wilderness? [Excerpt]: People may find it hard to adapt to an ecology of predation and fear,” by Jason Mark on October 9, 2015:

Here are a few excerpts from the larger Scientific American excerpt:

“… Our conflicting emotions about the wolf, it appears to me, have more to do with our species’ similarities than with any differences. We’re more like wolves—with their big appetites and their guile—than we are like the naïf-ish deer. Read a bit of canis lupus biology, and after a while the wolf tales begin to sound Shakespearean—a tumult of rapaciousness, generosity, fratricide, outcasts and loners, loyalty and affection….

Later, after years of studying how ecosystems work, Leopold would recognize what a mistake it had been. Without wolves, the deer population exploded, the deer began to eat too much, and the woodlands started to suffer. In his short essay, “Thinking Like a Mountain,” Leopold wrote that a landscape without wolves “looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. . . . I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer….

Contrary to all the myths and legends he had grown up with, Leopold concluded that predators also have a place in nature’s design. Yet he knew that such a truth would be hard for many to hear: “Only a mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.”

Apex predators influence the behavior of their prey, and that new prey behavior in turn affects the species on a lower trophic level. The mere presence of a top carnivore ripples through the landscape.

Imagine: a wolf appears on the scene. Suddenly, the elk can no longer loaf around the valley bottoms. They actually have to start paying attention to their surroundings and looking for threats. As the elk become more cautious, they begin to browse differently. Trees and shrubs are offered a reprieve. Aspens, once chewed to the ground, reappear along the riverbanks. The more robust greenery offers new space for other critters. Beavers come back. Mesocarnivores like coyotes begin to behave more cautiously. Cause-and-affect spills from one level of the food web to another, like a waterfall. The mark of the wolf ’s tooth, biologist Cristina Eisenberg says, is powerful enough to shape the course of a river….[Link to Scientific American article: “Excerpted from Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man, by Jason Mark. Island Press. Copyright © 2015″

Hat tip to Long Form’s list of Science articles.

Wikipedia / Gray Wolf

Published on:


“State lawyer group mulls controversial changes to make pending disciplinary records off-limits to public,Portland Tribune, 05 January 2016, by Nick Budnick:

Excerpt: “The state agency that oversees the investigation of ethics complaints against 15,000 Oregon lawyers is considering changes that would hide from public view most pending complaints and destroy all public records of dismissed complaints after three years, a radical increase in secrecy for a system that’s received national praise for its transparency….” [Link to full Portland Tribune article.]

The article links to OSB disciplinary process reports, also currently linked to from the OSB homepage.

Clients can file complaints about Oregon lawyers at the OSB Client Assistance website.

Published on:


When Oregon Laws are codified*, they can be scattered all over their corresponding legislative subject compilation, the Oregon Revised Statutes, so, unless you are a researcher with too much time on your hands, I recommend you start with one of the following resources until you become very familiar with all the new cannabis laws, statutes AND regulations – and there will be new cannabis laws until you die or until the world’s lights go out, whichever comes first:

1) Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS): the 2015 ORS, which has not yet been posted online, will be the first ORS with codified recreational cannabis statutes. Toss the word “cannabis” into the ORS search box. You might want to toss in the word “marijuana” just to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

2) Laws & Regs from OHA: Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), which links to their OMMP Administrative Rules, Statutes and Legal Information webpage.

3) Laws & Regs from OLCC: Oregon Recreational Marijuana, which links to, among other legal treasures, their Recreational Marijuana Laws and Rules webpage.

4) I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that just about each and every city and county in Oregon can also make laws about cannabis sales. See, e.g.Portland Policy Program or Tualatin or Gresham. To find your city’s or county’s laws or if these links break, search your city’s name and the words Oregon cannabis marijuana.

5) There are also federal laws, statutes and regulations, which the states ignore as they please, or not when they don’t please. Federal statutes and administrative laws about marijuana and other controlled substances, and related tax, banking, and insurance laws need to researched at federal government websites, e.g. this one and this one. You can research the U.S. Code and the CFR (including Executive Orders) from this GPO website, FDSYS. (You will need a full-text, searchable case law database to search for cases from the U.S. courts.)

More legal research tidbits for those who care:

Legislative and Measure Histories:

1) 2014 Measure 91 was a citizen initiative, so its original documents will be with the Secretary of State.

2) 2015 HB 3400 was a Legislative measure, so you will find most of its written and audio legislative history at the Legislature’s OLIS website.

3) Caselaw, courtesy of the Judiciary: Don’t forget there will also be a fast growing body of case law interpreting cannabis statutes and regulations, which will lead to more legislation and regulations, which will lead to more case law …. You will need a full-text legal database for this research, e.g. Fastcase, which all Oregonians have free access to via the State Law Library. (Direct link to the State of Oregon Law Library resources webpage.)

4) Last, mostly, don’t forget to research the regulations, compiled in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR), also at the Secretary of State’s website. You will need to learn how the OAR is updated if you want to track new Rules.

*Codification is, in a knobby nutshell, the process of turning the session law, which is compiled chronologically and published in Oregon Laws, into the subject-compilation known as the Oregon Revised Statutes. (I have blogged a lot about codification and session law vs. codes.)

Published on:


Whether you donate money or in-kind to a charity or nonprofit directly (through their website, in cash, or by check), through “fraudsters” (the FTC  word), or through donation clearinghouses like Willamette Week’s Give Guide or the Oregonian’s Season of Sharing ….

Make Sure Your Donation is Doing What You Want it to Do – and learn a little about the nonprofit and fundraising world while you’re at it:

The Oregon Department of Justice Charitable Activities website is a good place to begin your research. Find these topics and more:

Search Charities Database
Tips and Guides
Filing a Complaint
For Charities and Fundraisers
Other Contacts
Wise-Giving Practices

See also the ODoJ Charitable Activities Section webpage if you are a charity and nonprofit – and for another link to the Disqualified Charities list and the excellent Tips for Charitable Giving.

Visit the ODoJ homepage for updated links.

Published on:


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.