Articles Tagged with legal forms

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You can find Multnomah County Family Law Forms at their Circuit Court website. These include Sex Change forms for an adult, Sex and Name Change forms for an adult, and Sex Change forms for minor children.

Residents of other Oregon counties should check with their own County Circuit Courts. There is a Court Finder locator at the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) website.

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Jim Calloway (Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program) poses (and channels) the question:

“What if the clients decided to provide the templates for their legal work?”

Link to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) for more, e.g.:

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The Legal Forms Problem bedevils most states, even those with active statewide Access to Justice Commissions (Oregon does not have one). Some states are tackling the legal forms problem head on with gusto and with Statewide Legal Forms Committees (see also the legal forms program presentations at the ABA Equal Justice website – there was an excellent one a couple weeks ago on the Washington State Legal Forms initiative).

See the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives and the Access to Justice blog for information and news about these A2J commissions and initiatives.

From 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, 4/22/14, post: “LegalZoom Gets Nod from South Carolina Supreme Court”

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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.]

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Court worker is fired after providing sample motion, which inmate uses to win DNA test and release,” Jul 29, 2013, by Martha Neil, ABA Journal.

Excerpt:  “A court worker who provided a copy of a winning motion for seeking post-conviction DNA testing helped Robert Nelson win the reversal of a 1984 rape conviction for which he had been sentenced to more than 50 years in prison.

But doing so also cost Sharon Snyder her job after court officials in Jackson County, Mo., determined that she had crossed a line by providing advice about a case, among other claimed violations of court rules, the Associated Press reports….” [Link to full ABA Journal story.]

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We get quite a few patrons looking for small estate affidavit forms to use in the Washington County Circuit Court.  Patrons often remark that other circuit courts have small estate forms available online, thinking our court will also offer the forms.  However, our probate department does not offer small estate forms, but does have great instructions on their website for filing a small estate. Plus, the court will honor any statutorily compliant form.  The law changes frequently, and it takes time and money to keep legal forms up to date.  So individual circuit courts decide which supplemental forms they will offer, outside of the standard Oregon Judicial Department forms.  If you are looking for small estate resources,  here are a few places you can find small-estate affidavit forms and information:

1) Check with the applicable circuit court’s website for forms and/or information on filing a small-estate affidavit. Our circuit court does provides information on filing an Affidavit of Claiming Successor, including the related statutes.  The following circuit courts offer the small estate forms online: MarionDeschutes, Jackson, Linn, and Clackamas.

2) A common referral for frequently-used forms is the Stevens-Ness Law Publishing Company. They sell Oregon-specific small-estate affidavit forms for both testate and intestate estates (in paper and electronic formats).

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Before paying for legal forms online (or from a book), check to make sure they are forms the court will accept and to find out if your county or state already makes the correct forms available free of charge.

It’s not unusual to find “cheap,” “low-cost,” and “free, if …” legal forms online that judges and public law librarians know are available totally free AND are up-to-date, AND are official (that is, they will be accepted by the court where they need to be filed).

It’s also not unusual to hear about legal papers drawn up and filing fees paid, only to have the case dismissed or delayed because the wrong forms were filed or local court instructions weren’t followed.

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On June 15, 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court adopted a new rule:

APR 28, entitled “Limited Practice Rule for Limited License Technicians”

You can link to the text of the new rule and the final order from:

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I came across a couple of good articles with tips for people who use fill-in-the-blank estate planning form.

One is from a Consumer Reports story, “Write Your Own Will?”

The other was from the Oregonian’s Brent Hunsberger March 12, 2012, article: “Fill-in-the-blank wills can be a little skimpy.”   He used some web-based legal services and then solicited comments and feedback from Oregon attorneys.

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While most government documents are in the public domain, not all of them are.  Here’s a story about some copyrighted state legal forms and the state (Montana) that sued a company that violated that copyright.  The defendants were charging someone lots of money for the forms – when state residents could have used the forms for no charge at all in their own court cases.
 
This happens in Oregon, too.  Before buying legal forms online, find out if there are any free, official Oregon legal forms available.  You can ask at the Oregon State Bar, at an Oregon county law library, or you can post the question to L-net.
 
State Law Library of Montana Wins Legal Forms Case,” by Judy Meadows, State Law Library of Montana