May 14, 2013
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the “ADA”, applies to places of public accommodation. Until recently courts had consistently dismissed claims that commercial websites were places of public accommodation subject to the Act and thus legally required to be “accessible” to the disabled.
Recently, that has begun to change. Courts are no longer invariably dismissing such claims. Large and established businesses such as Target and Netflix have settled ADA claims based on the inaccessibility of … Read more
Mar 20, 2013
Limited liability companies were created as a new, more flexible form of business entity which would enable its members to exercise their freedom of contract to the fullest permissible limits. Because they are contractually malleable, the language of the operating agreement organically defining an LLC must be precise and judicious. In Synectic Ventures I, LLC v. EVI Corp., 353 Or. 62 (2012) the Oregon Supreme Court, reversing an earlier decision by the Court of Appeals, … Read more
Oct 15, 2012
When a contract isn’t clearly written, bad things can happen to the party who wrote it. At least that’s the cautionary lesson of a recent Oregon Court of Appeals decision: Dial Temporary Help Service, Inc. v. DLF International Seeds, Inc., 252 Or App 376 (2012).
In that case the plaintiff, Dial, wrote a contract for providing DLF with temporary workers. The contract stated that the temporary workers Dial provided would not be authorized to … Read more
Jul 12, 2012
A recent Washington Supreme Court case illustrates the extent to which the increasing convolutions of statutes and case law often lead to absurd results. In Peck v. AT&T Mobility, 174 Wn.2d 333 (2012) the Washington Supreme Court grappled with a question of statutory interpretation which only existed because of its own earlier misreading of a statue to mean more than the statute says. Rather than resort to a straightforward and reasonable interpretation of the statute … Read more
Jun 18, 2012
Employees owe a common law duty of loyalty to their employers. During their employment an employee can’t solicit customers or other employees for a competing business without violating that duty and incurring liability to their employer.
The breach of that duty can become particularly significant when one or more employees plan to join or start a business in competition with their present employer. Often employment agreements provide that the employee is obligated to not solicit … Read more
Mar 12, 2012
What happens when a corporation can’t respond to proper discovery requests in civil litigation because its officers or directors refuse to provide the corporation with the information necessary to respond to those requests under a claim of personal privilege unavailable to the corporation? Are the legal consequences to such a corporation softened if the corporation is publicly funded and the assertions of personal privilege on Fifth Amendment grounds by its directors “politically sensitive”?… Read more
Feb 15, 2012
Wittgenstein wrote that “all true statements are ultimately tautological.” In other words, a thing or concept is what it is. A recent Oregon Court of Appeals decision illustrates the point twice in the context of at-will employees. In Cocchiara v. Lithia Motors, Inc., 247 Or App 545 (2011) the court held:… Read more
Jan 20, 2012
Our attorneys are in the news again!
Lawrence B. Hunt and Kevin J. Tillson are mentioned in an article entitled “Four Women Say Bosses Got Out of Line“.
And Kevin J. Tillson is mentioned in an article entitled “A Real Failure to Communicate“.
Check them out!
… Read more
Jan 18, 2012
As businesses increasingly market and sell goods and services through the internet, they should consider the risk that their website activities may subject them to litigation in other states. Individuals who buy and sell through such internet sites as eBay may also face a possible risk of litigation in a foreign court. Litigation of any kind is expensive enough without the additional burdens and costs which defending in a distant court can impose irrespective of … Read more
Jan 11, 2012
Like most children, cities and other local government bodies often forget that they lack innate authority to enact laws; that the only authority they have to enact laws and levy taxes is the authority which their superiors, the state constitution or legislature, grant to them. Also like children, cities and local government bodies often try to evade the limits set by their superiors and, when caught in the act, expend enormous amounts of effort … Read more