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Since Portland has also seen the peak of its cherry blossoms, we’re sharing the Law Library of Congress’s seasonal post “Stumpy’s Legacy: Laws on Plant Patents and Propagation.”

“The Yoshino Cherry (Prunus xyedoensis) is the prominent flowering cherry of Washington, D.C., gifted to the United States by Japan. This is also the genus to which Stumpy belongs. While the “Akebono” (Japanese for “dawn”) is not patented, other variations of the cherry blossoms are. Plant patents were created by the Plant Patent Act of 1930 (46 Stat. 376) and codified with amendments. …”

While it’s unclear which species are in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, a Yoshino Cherry tree can be found outside the Portland Fire & Rescue Station 1 along the waterfront, and more can be seen at the Portland Japanese Garden.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 6:30 pm.

Steven Leskin from Leskin Law’s One Day Divorce Mediation will join the Washington County Law Library via Zoom to discuss topics in divorce mediation.

For details, the zoom link, or past programs, see the Washington County Law Library’s Now What?! series.

 

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Orientation to Legal Research Webinar: Tracing Federal Regulations

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2024, 10:00 a.m. PDT – 11:00 a.m. PDT

This entry in the series provides an overview of U.S. federal regulations, including information about the notice and comment rulemaking process, the publication and citation of regulations, and the tracing of regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations, to the proposed rule in the Federal Register, to the regulation’s docket.

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From the HeinOnline Blog: Hawk’s Nest: The Deadliest Industrial Disaster You’ve Never Heard Of

“Between 1930 and 1931, near the town of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, 3,000 men worked in ten-hour shifts drilling a three-mile tunnel through the side of a mountain. Within five years, more than 750 of those men would die of a deadly and preventable disease. Keep reading as we use HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library and U.S. Congressional Documents collection to learn more about the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel Disaster, the single deadliest industrial incident in American history, and its influence on the struggles for worker’s rights and safety regulations in the United States. …”

HeinOnline may be available through your local law library.

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Passing the bar exam is a requirement to become a practicing attorney. But why is that the case? The Law Library of Congress explored the history of the bar exam in the U.S. in a couple recent blog posts.

The first discusses how the bar exam came about: The History of the U.S. Bar Exam, Part I – The Law’s Gatekeeper.

The second highlights the first person of color and the first woman to be admitted: The History of the U.S. Bar Exam, Part II – The Gate Openers.

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The purpose of this blog is to explore Oregon law. However, the navigable waters off the Oregon coast are governed by federal maritime law, or outside the U.S. borders, international law. Federal law incorporates the international laws of piracy and has provisions for U.S. citizens who engage, or assist, in piracy on the “high seas.”

The blog post “Modern Piracy and the United States Code” from the Law Library of Congress, by Aaron Lombard, explores this topic. It is a fun introduction to federal laws and legal resources.

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Cite checking goes by many names, including Shepardizing, KeyCite, and authority checking, among others. At a basic level it is checking a case one plans to use to make sure it’s still okay. Rulings from cases can become invalid over time if a more recent case from the same or a higher court changes the rule, or if the legislature passed a statute that impacted the case. In order to find such events, legal publishers have created tools (called citators) to track such changes.

One of the original tools was Shepard’s (now a LexisNexis product). The online LexisNexis version allows a user to find documents that cite the case they are looking at. It also allows a user to see if any of those have overturned the case of interest, or otherwise challenged part of its ruling. In Shepard’s there are visual indicators to suggest a case is still good (green), called into question (yellow), or part of it has been overturned (red). Westlaw has a similar tool called KeyCite, and Fastcase uses Authority Check.

It is important to note that any of these tools can only indicate that there might be something. The user will have to read the newer case that may affect the original case to see what that impact actually is, and how it relates to the user’s situation.

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OJD iForms is an easy way for self-represented litigants to produce court documents in a variety of case types including Family Law, Landlord/Tenant, and Small Claims. According to the OJD brochure, iForms “generates a correctly completed form that you can either eFile, deliver by hand, or mail to the court.”

The process is a simple one, called Guide and File. With Guide and File, the user logs in to the site, chooses the form they want to file and answers a series of interview questions, after which iForms generates a form.

There are some interviews within Guide and File that have Spanish translations. The OJD website cautions that court documents must be filed in English, or the court may reject your filing.

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How did it get to be December so quickly? In the spirit of the holiday season, here are some of the most bizarre holiday laws!

Misdemeanor for throwing snowballs

In Provo, Utah, there is a city ordinance that restricts residents from using a snowball or any object that could be labeled as a “missile,” to inflict damage to other’s property. The ordinance states “Every person who shall willfully or carelessly within the limits of this city throw any stone, stick, snowball or other missiles whereby any person shall hit, or any window broken or other property injured or destroyed or in such a manner as to render travel upon the public streets and places of the city dangerous, or in such a manner as to frighten or annoy any traveler, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

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