Oregon 2014 Legislative Session Preview

From Oregon Legislative Administration Committee Services:

“To encourage transparency, public participation, and efficiency in government, the Oregon Legislative Assembly is making available the 2014 Senate and House Legislative Measures prior to the official start of the legislative session.

Access the 2014 Legislative Bills

A list of committee (only) legislative concepts with the corresponding measure numbers is available by clicking here.

Library Management in the Age of MOOCS

Expertise needed by 21st Century Library Managers: Money, Privacy, Copyright, Licensing, and Education Law … that is, the same skills professional librarians needed in the 20th and 19th centuries!

But user, funder, and governing body assumptions and expectations of what libraries can be and knowledge of how libraries are managed have changed:

“Libraries in the Time of MOOCs,” by Curtis Kendrick and Irene Gashurov, in Educause, Monday, November 4, 2013

“....  Soon, librarians might be asked to provide access to copyrighted, licensed electronic resources for MOOC students around the world. Will we be equipped with the technology to accommodate unprecedented numbers of students inside and outside the university? We will also have to deal with legal issues related to MOOCs, such as intellectual property rights, privacy issues, and state regulations. After exhausting the many ways of saying no to difficult change, perhaps we can find a way to work with all the stakeholders and help shape the rapidly changing MOOC model in concert with our own needs while we still can….”

Wikipedia MOOC article.

Hat tip to Library Link of the Day (11/6/13)

Is there an Official Online Version of “Oregon Tax Reports”?

There is a rumor that 18 Oregon Tax Reports (2013) may be the last official print edition of the official Oregon Tax Reports.

Oregon Tax Court decisions, from 1999 to the present, can be found online at the OJD website, however, the site includes the following disclaimer: “None of the documents found in this website are the official publications. Official publications of the Oregon Tax Court can be found in the ‘Oregon Tax Reports.

Note: The OJD Appellate Courts Style Manual doesn’t state specifically if one can cite to the Tax Court’s online edition of its opinions.

The 2013 State Legislature passed the Uniform Electronic Legal Information Act (UELMA), which leads one to believe that there might (one day) be an official, authenticated, permanently archived, and publicly accessible electronic version of the Oregon Tax Court decisions. HOWEVER, the Oregon UELMA bill that became law did not require official, authenticated, or preservation of court documents (only administrative rules and statutes).

Oregon UELMA: Chapter 221, (2013 Laws): Effective date May 23, 2013

Who Regulates Automobile/Car Rental Companies in Oregon?

Depending on your specific question, you will need to look at different parts of the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) or contact state regulatory or consumer agencies. Here are a few places to start your research (in no particular order):

1) Do a quick search for Oregon consumer law and car rentals. For example, Laura Gunderson at the Oregonian “Complaint Desk” and Brent Hunsberger at the Oregonian’s “It’s Only Money” column cover a lot of useful Oregon consumer-protection ground; they are worth reading. They are also the first to say whoops if they make a mistake or overlook something, so don’t stop there with your research. (These columns move around the Oregonian website, so you may need to use a search engine to find them.)

2) Oregon Department of Justice (ODOJ) Consumer Hotline

3) Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services

4) Search for car or automobile rental statutes in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS)

5) Consider Oregon Small Claims Court (but you should investigate other options first). (There is now a book on Oregon Small Claims Court – yay!)

6) You may want to speak to an attorney: the Oregon State Bar Information and Referral Service has a toll free number to call to get names of attorneys in your area:  503-684-3763 or 1-800-452-7636

Oregon Landlord-Tenant Law: When a Tenant Dies …. A Short Checklist

Landlords, and others subject to the Oregon Landlord-Tenant Act, should consult or retain an Oregon attorney for advice on abandoned property, probate, guardianship or conservatorship, and other legal issues that may arise when a tenant dies.

Short Checklist:

1) Read the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) sections on abandoned tenant property, notification of authorities and family, etc. (E.g. Sample index terms: “Landlord and Tenant”, “Dead Bodies”, and “Death”). (Make sure you also check for laws enacted since the last ORS compilation.)

2) The Oregon Rental Housing Association and the Rental Housing Association of Greater Portland have abandoned property-tenant death forms or checklists that can be reviewed and purchased.

3) Check the county circuit court’s website (in the county where the property is located) for procedural information and forms on transferring property following death.

4) Check links from the Oregon State Bar Landlord-Tenant resource list and at the Oregon Legal Aid and Oregon Law Center website.

5) NOLO has a book called “Every Landlord’s Legal Guide,” which has a section entitled “When a Tenant Dies”. This book is available at many public libraries in Oregon and for purchase at the Nolo website.

6) eHow has a page on Landlord Rights in the Event of a Tenant’s Death that summarizes some of the key issues. The eHow post is not Oregon-specific, nor is it legal advice.

7) Previous OLR blogposts on Oregon landlord-tenant laws.

8) 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.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we endorse any person, product, or company.

Disclaimer: It is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160, 9.166 and 9.21). They may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.

Oregon Lawyers and Clients with Hearing Impairment: What is the Law?

A recent Oregon Law Practice Management (OLPM) blog post on this subject is one place to begin reading about this subject, including brief discussions of the duties of public defenders and other government attorneys and private attorneys and liability issues.

(The other is a 2012 OSB CLE called “Lawyers and the Deaf Community.”)

From the OLPM blog: Are Private Lawyers Required to Bear the Cost of Communication Access?

“Accommodating actual or potential clients with hearing impairments is a misunderstood requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act….” [Link to full post.]

Oregon UELMA (Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act): 2013 HB 2944 and Authenticity

May 7, 2013, UELMA (Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act) update:

The Judiciary Committee is holding UELMA (HB 2944, Intro) over until Thursday, May 9th, to get some more of their questions answered. (There was a brief hearing on HB 2944 on May 6, 2013.)

UELMA Primer: Authenticating the Law

Authenticity is not just for Zen masters: Buddha rising in Rose City (25 April 2013, by Peter Korn)
“…. I think young people are looking for authenticity,” Green says. “People are getting constantly marketed to, and young people have very well-honed BS detectors. …” (Link to full Portland Tribune article.)

1) UELMA in Oregon requires the official publisher of selected online state legal materials to provide a method for users to know that the online publication is “authentic,” i.e.  is unaltered from the official publication.

Example: When you read a section of the Oregon Revised Statutes online, you would be able to determine that it is a true copy of the actual statute – or that it is an official online-only version (for born-digital laws).

2) You can find and read HB 2944 from the Legislature’s homepage (click on “Measure Search”).

3) Read an American Bar Association article in support of UELMA: “ABA Supports Uniform Law for Online Publication of Court Decisions and Laws

4) Other states: California and Colorado enacted UELMA in 2012. So far this year (May 2013), Minnesota, Hawaii, and North Dakota have enacted UELMA.  UELMA is moving through eight other states’ legislatures, including Oregon.

5) Hawaii is the first state to include judicial documents in their UELMA law. (Oregon’s 2013 HB 2944 does not include judicial documents, e.g. court opinions.)

6) Read more about UELMAAALL UELMA website.

7) Read about the Uniform Law Commission.

Elisor, Desuetude, Misprision: huh?

As is the case for any vocation or avocation, the law is filled with Words that make us go huh! in the night (but not with this huh and surely not to be confused with d’oh, unless you use the Word incorrectly while speaking to a judge in a crowded courtroom).

We’re not talking about those legal Latin words and phrases that can make even (especially) legal writing gurus, who usually favor plain speaking and writing, roll their eyes.

There are many law dictionaries in the wide world of the web and there is a new edition of Black’s Law Dictionary on the horizon (the 9th, to be precise, though I sincerely doubt it will have the impact of Beethoven’s 9th symphony).

Lately, I’ve found the online dictionary at Law dot com to be very useful:


But don’t forget, not unlike crossword puzzle judges, law judges too specify which dictionary rules: see my previous OLR blog post on Dictionaries.