Marriage = Marriage

The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a lengthy read (over 100 pages), but perhaps the message of the decision can be boiled down to Justice Kennedy’s closing words in the majority opinion: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.  In forming a marital union, two people ...
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Four Easy Starting Points to Finding an Attorney

When a matter arises and you need to consult with an attorney, how are you supposed to find one that meets your needs?  With a few easy steps, you can start to narrow down the field: Do you have work benefits that include discounted legal services? If you don’t know, check with your Human Resources Department.  If you have access to some kind of legal employee assistance pr...
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“Free Range” Parenting in the News

If you want to ignite a passionate debate, simply advocate for one particular parenting philosophy.  The most recent and well-known parenting debate right now seems to be the issue of “free range” parenting. Free range parenting is based on the idea that children can have freedom to do things on their own without parents directly supervising them.  Seen as a response to the ...
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How to Find Low Cost Legal Services

I get asked all the time if I am taking pro bono (aka free) or reduced-fee cases.  With the economy still bouncing back and with people in all economic ranges needed legal assistance, the demand for low-cost legal services is high and there is an urgent need that needs to be filled. While I do take pro bono and reduced-fee cases from time to time, I, like most attorneys, can...
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Iowa Supreme Court affirms right to be drunk on your own front porch.

Home with white picket fence
In June 2013, Patience Paye called police after fighting with her boyfriend at her home.  When the police arrived, her boyfriend told them that Patience was drunk and mad at him for taking her car keys.  Officers questioned Patience on her front steps and she agreed to take a blood-alcohol test, which showed a 0.267 percent concentration.  The police charged her with public int...
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What is Intestate Succession?

If a person dies without a will, their assets pass through “intestate succession.”  Intestate succession is set out by statute and provides an outline for who inherits from a decedent’s estate when there is no will. In Oregon, if someone dies without a will, the State looks at their family tree to determine how to divide their assets.  If certain branches of the family tree ...
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Key Terms in Estate Planning

Legal terms can often be confusing to people who are unfamiliar with “legalese.”  For people tackling estate planning for the first time (or even for the second or third time), it can be difficult to understand which terms are interchangeable and what each term means. A helpful outline of commonly used terms is: Agent Person who is authorized to act for another; ofte...
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Online Threats in the Age of Facebook – Elonis v. United States

The Supreme Court released an opinion on Monday in Elonis v. United States reversing the conviction of a man who had threatened his estranged wife on Facebook. Mr. Elonis, using a rap persona, posted long diatribes on his Facebook page that including statements about "making a name for myself" with a school shooting, slitting an FBI agent's throat, threatening his co-workers...
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5 Things to Consider for a “Successful” Break Up

Everyone has been involved in a break-up.  Maybe it wasn’t even yours – you may have been pulled into the drama of the demise of a family member or friend’s relationship – but everyone can put themselves in the shoes of someone whose relationship is ending.  Chances are you even know people whose break-ups you have admired – they seem to maintain their cool, keep things togethe...
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