Articles Tagged with Self-help

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There is a new Multnomah County Circuit Court, Family Court FAQ guide on “How to Serve (Deliver) Legal Papers in Oregon.” (We thank Judge McKnight and her family law team* for this guide! They say “[i]t was developed for family law cases but we included Plaintiff/Defendant terms so that usage could be general.“)

Link from Multnomah County Circuit Court, Family Court website, if that direct PDF link is not working. Today the FAQ number is 23, but that could change as new tips and answers to questions are added.

You will need to refer to the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure, which are referenced in this guide. You can find the ORCP at the OJD Court Rules website or link directly to them at the Legislature’s ORCP website. (For the most recent proposed and adopted ORCP rules, visit the Council on Court Procedures website.)

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The IRS does still distribute some paper tax forms. It does this through their Tax Forms Outlet Program.

“The Tax Forms Outlet Program offers tax products to the American public primarily through participating post offices and libraries.

For Free Tax Help in Oregon: Libraries, Post Offices, Senior and Community Centers, etc.

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Open Law Lab is a wonderful website, curious, provocative, funny, wise, and more. It stands on its own (enjoy!) but it is also an excellent companion to Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog.

One of my (several) favorite Open Law Lab “images of law” is the blog post titled: Law for Normal People. It includes a graphic with this text that pretty much sums up everything that makes legal self-help center and public law library program management so confounding:

“People don’t want to talk to lawyers, but they really want legal advice. (See its original posting at the Stanford d. school blog, Whiteboard.) And read more about the lawyer / artist: Margaret Hagan.

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Legal self-help is a bit of a crap-shoot unless you have official (i.e. court sanctioned and current) legal forms or the guiding hand of an attorney, but sometimes one has to plug along the best one can.

Public law librarians not infrequently get requests for legal separation forms. Oregon has, rather had, legal separation forms, and still, sort of, does have them. But, well, read on:

Disclaimer! Warning!

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Visit the Justice Index beta site for preliminary findings.

Note: access to justice is different from access to courts – and then there is access to affordable legal assistance.

1) You’ve just been charged with DUII.

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Do you need help with housing, children, crime, social security, benefits, debt, a small business, and other Real People legal matters?

Sometimes you just need to start with one organization, or one website. From there, you’ll find another layer of legal resources and legal assistance referrals, and from there even more – and so on, and so on.

Where to start?

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October 2011 ABA Journal article, by Stephanie Francis Ward: “Mr. Small Claims’ Makes a Career on Volume”

(Note: Small claims court $$ limits vary from state to state. In Oregon, it is $10,000.)

Excerpt: ‘Small claims court cases are like any other legal disputes, but minus a zero, says Jordan Farkas, a Canadian lawyer who’s built a practice advising people who have $25,000 or less at stake. “Most lawyers look down at it,” says Farkas, 31. He started small claims work as a law firm associate to pick up litigation experience, and he can be found online as “Mr. Small Claims Court.”….’ (Link to full article.]

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Law in the News alerts us to this article at Plagiarism Today:

“Update on the Potential Copyright Small Claims Court,” February 28, 2013, by Jonathan Bailey

The author has done an excellent job summarizing the problem and proposed solutions and linking to other sources of information.

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If you are a public law librarian, a public law library trustee, or interested in pursuing a career in public law librarianship, here’s a great book and a book review:

Public Law Librarianship: Objectives, Challenges, and Solutions,” by Laurie Selwyn and Virginia Eldridge. IGI Global, 2012, 281 pages.

We have a copy in our Law Library and your law library may have one, too.

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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.