No More Excuses. It's Time to Act
Feb 19, 2015
We can see it from miles away. It didn’t just sneak up on us, yet that’s the impression you get from some conversations around veterinary conferences. Women constitute 78 percent of graduating classes and, currently, 50-55 percent of the profession. This is expected to rise to over 70 percent by 2030.
Between Extremes of States’ Rights and Federal Power
Feb 05, 2015
Defenders of democracy and the ability of voters to make good decisions usually aim for the center: the elusive midpoint between left and right, between hardcore liberals and extreme conservatives. While fringe groups grab headlines and talk show microphones, often with turbo-charged rhetoric, it seems to most of us that the work gets done in the middle.
Human-Animal Bond Moves to Center Stage
Feb 02, 2015
The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) just concluded a highly successful annual conference in Orlando, Florida. Besides providing thousands of hours of high-quality continuing education for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, NAVC serves as the first gathering point each year for the animal health industry. Practicing veterinarians get the chance to mix with veterinary school deans and senior leaders from animal health and nutrition companies. One such meeting of interest was held by the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative, or HABRI for short.
Crowdfunding for Small Oregon Businesses - Proposed New Rules
Jan 15, 2015
Jeff Cronn and Claire Brown co-authored an article, "Crowdfunding for Small Oregon Businesses: Proposed New Rules," published in the winter 2014 issue of The Long View
, the quarterly publication put together by the Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future Section. Jeff and Claire discuss the rise of state crowdfunding. In recent years, and accelerating after the SEC disappointed many crowdfunding enthusiasts with the expensive and restrictive rules proposed in response to the federal JOBS Act, individual states have proposed and adopted "state-level" crowdfunding exemptions.
Veterinary Issues to Watch in 2015 Congress
Jan 13, 2015
Congress is back in session with a new Republican majority in charge of the Senate and a White House chastened from midterm losses. So what should veterinary medicine expect? Well, animal health may not have been the fulcrum of 2014 midterm elections, to be sure, but there will be critical action for veterinarians early on in 2015.
News Attacks on Ethics of Veterinarians Are Cheap Shots
Dec 31, 2014
The veterinary profession has endured two blistering attacks from media in the past week. The Indianapolis Star and Reuters have both accused veterinarians of being overly cozy with pharmaceutical manufacturers and imply that their judgment is impaired as a result. What do we make of this, and how should veterinary medicine respond?
New Online Form 1023-EZ Makes Applying for Recognition of 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status Easier
Dec 18, 2014
Shouka Rezvani, the chair of Tonkon Torp's Nonprofit & Tax Exempt Entities group, had an article published in the Fall 2014 issue of the Oregon State Bar's Nonprofit Organizations Law Section Newsletter
. In her article, Shouka reviews the new Form 1023-EZ, introduced by the Internal Revenue Service on July 1, 2014. The new form is three pages long, as compared with the regular 26-page version.
AVMA Accreditation Hearing Goes According to Form
Dec 15, 2014
The U.S. Department of Education conducted a full morning of hearings on December 11 to determine whether the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE) should continue to serve as the accrediting body for veterinary colleges in the United States. Supporters and critics alike voiced their views, and the department’s accreditation commission affirmed the continued role for the COE. Internal adjustments continue to be required of the COE, which will report back to the Department of Education at six- and 12-month intervals.
Will Fewer Veterinarians Usher in a Rosy Economic Future?
Nov 21, 2014
Two weeks ago I challenged the underlying argument relied upon by critics of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE) to urge the U.S. Department of Education to abolish the COE. They want to fashion a new federally sanctioned agency to oversee veterinary education in America. For change of this magnitude, which would affect all future generations of veterinary students in our country, one would expect a few questions to be asked about their rationale, right? So let’s have a look.
Steven Wilker Reviews U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Wood v. Moss
Nov 18, 2014
Steven Wilker had an article in the November 2014 issue of the Oregon Civil Rights Newsletter
, published by the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section. In his article, "Presidential Security Trumps First Amendment: Wood v. Moss
," Steven reviews the backstory and legal history of the Wood v. Moss
matter, and analyzes the Supreme Court decision.
Election Results Pose Obstacles for Veterinary Prescription Law
Nov 17, 2014
The American veterinary profession ends its fourth year battling legislation in Congress that seeks to drive pet owners to big box retailers for their pet medications. The fight began after the first Fairness to Pet Owners bill emerged on Capitol Hill in the summer and fall of 2010. With some credit due to nationwide veterinary and industry outreach, the House version lacked enough support and interest to warrant a committee hearing.
Scott Seidman Reviews U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Prayer at Local Government Meetings
Nov 14, 2014
Scott Seidman had an article in the November 2014 issue of the Oregon Civil Rights Newsletter
, published by the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section. In his article, "Prayer at Local Government Meetings After Town of Greece
," Scott reviews the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway
and discusses its possible repercussions.
Fox River Superfund Litigation, Seventh Circuit Opinions
Nov 05, 2014
In an article published by E-Outlook
for the Oregon State Bar Environmental & Natural Resources Section, David Rabbino studies the September 25, 2014 Seventh Circuit decision on the Fox River Superfund litigation in NCR Corp. v. George A. Whiting Paper Co. et al.
(No. 13‐2447) and U.S. v. P.H. Glatfelter and NCR Corp.
(No. 13‐2436). The Fox River is one of the largest and potentially most expensive Superfund sites in the country.
Critics’ Attack on COE is a Solution in Search of a Problem
Nov 03, 2014
Since 1981 the AVMA’s Council on Education (COE) has approved a total of three new veterinary colleges in the United States. That’s right: three new veterinary schools in 33 years, for an average of one new school every 11 years. Only 27 of America’s 50 states have a veterinary college, barely more than half. This is hardly a flood of new schools, yet that’s not the impression one gathers from the small band of critics challenging the COE and calling on the U.S. Department of Education to create a new agency to oversee veterinary education in the United States.
What ‘Elitism’ Really Means for Veterinary School Accreditation
Oct 29, 2014
If you want to understand how elitist the viewpoint is of academic critics of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA’s) Council on Education (COE), read the September 9, 2014, words of former University of Pennsylvania veterinary school dean Robert Marshak, DVM, from an ACVIM list-serve email.
Federal Regulation of Veterinary School Accreditation Brings Elitists out of the Woodwork
Oct 24, 2014
Few veterinarians are aware of a hearing soon to happen (Dec. 11) in Washington, D.C., that may change the shape of veterinary medicine in the United States for years to come. What’s particularly interesting is how a handful of armchair advocates are working feverishly to steer this process. This blog will be the first in a series examining this phenomenon and, more importantly, to consider what’s at stake.
Why It’s a Great Decision to Be a Veterinarian
Sep 17, 2014
It’s been a busy summer for the perennial debating society about whether the United States has too many veterinarians. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s convention in Denver saw a panel debate the alleged oversupply of veterinarians with your blogger taking the side that the future is bright against three commentators lamenting the current state of affairs—some arguing that a concerted effort should be undertaken to persuade undergraduates to look elsewhere than veterinary schools for future opportunities.
Cross-Examination: Torching the Calendar
Aug 28, 2014
Tonkon Torp trial attorney Dan Skerritt had an article, "Cross-Examination: Torching the Calendar," published in the new anthology book The Art of Cross-Examination, Essays from the Bench and Bar
. The book was published by the American Bar Association Litigation Section and draws from forty years of trial wisdom from Litigation Magazine
Pet Medications Issue Stirring in Senate, FTC
Aug 08, 2014
Rumors abound that Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are poised to file a Senate version of Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah)’s H.R. 4023, the latest Fairness to Pet Owners bill. Unlike many political rumors, these appear to be true and we anticipate the legislation to be filed shortly. We also expect the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff, after 22 months, to submit a draft report of the October 2012 Pet Medications Workshop proceedings to FTC leadership for review and consideration.
Corporate Social Responsibility - Making it Meaningful
Aug 05, 2014
The Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) movement is a growing trend within the business community to self-monitor and report the impact of business practices on consumers, employees, communities and the environment. For their article in the Summer 2014 issue of the Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future Section Newsletter, Jeff Cronn and Marco Materazzi survey the CSR movement, outlining the benefits of CSR reporting and identifying the best CSR reporting practices for companies to follow.
Sourcing of Dogs Revisited; The Clock is Ticking
Jul 07, 2014
Many of my dvm360 blogs this past year touched on a looming issue for veterinarians, animal welfare groups and the pet industry: namely, where is the source for humanely-bred dogs to meet the needs of American society during the next 50 years as our human population grows from 310 million to more than 400 million?
Idaho Joins Battle Over Shelter Veterinary Clinics
Jun 25, 2014
This blog has raised the issue before about growing concern over the scale and scope of shelter veterinary clinics, with Alabama and South Carolina being two states considering restrictions. Add Idaho to the list as the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA) seeks to restrict Idaho shelters and humane societies from serving commercial clients other than low-income pet owners.
The Calm Before the Calm on the High Seas of Animal Policy
Jun 17, 2014
This blogger has been quiet for the past month or so. Not for lack of work or interests, but to wait and see if state legislatures across the country or Congress signaled any appetite to challenge veterinarians or blaze new trails in animal welfare in 2014.
Pro Bono Opportunity Change Lives: Helping Juvenile Sex Offenders with Registration Relief
Jun 06, 2014
published the below article, in their June 2014 issue. The article is about the CLiF project and their efforts to recruit more attorney volunteers. Tonkon Torp attorneys Gwen Griffith and Vicki Ballou banded together in 2011 to create the CLiF Project, which stands for Changing Lives Forever. The article highlights the experience of Tonkon Torp environmental lawyer David Rabbino, who recently began working with CLiF and has already handled two cases.
Mark Cushing Discusses Fairness to Pet Owners Act on DVM360
Jun 02, 2014
Tonkon Torp Animal Policy group attorney Mark Cushing was recently interviewed for the "DVM360 5" about the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, which has recently stalled in the U.S. Congress.
Why Portland's Tonkon Torp Expects to 'Benefit' from New Law Practice Group
Apr 30, 2014
Tonkon Torp's new Benefit Company Law practice group was featured in this morning's edition of the Portland Business Journal
. The article highlights Tonkon Torp's long term commitment to sustainable principles and features an interview with Benefit Company practice chair Jeff Cronn.
Trial Practice Professor Rick Martson Prepares Students for Court
Apr 29, 2014
Tonkon Torp litigator Rick Martson, a Visiting Professor at Willamette University College of Law, was recently profiled in the Spring 2014 issue of the law school's Willamette Lawyer
magazine. The article highlights Martson's teaching methods and beliefs, drawn from his own experience trying more than 200 cases and more than 75 injunctive proceedings to conclusion.
Much Ado About the Legal Status of Pets
Apr 28, 2014
Readers of this blog are aware of my fondness for the Wall Street Journal, so it will come as no surprise that today’s blog is triggered by a Wall Street Journal
guest article by author David Grimm: “Should Pets Have the Same Legal Rights as People?” The issue has been around for decades, but the buzz is picking up as to whether modern society needs to reconsider how political systems and courts treat animals.
Are Storm Clouds Rising in Shelter-Veterinarian Relationships?
Apr 14, 2014
Most animal shelters and local humane societies enjoy strong working relationships with private veterinarians. Area doctors often volunteer at shelters, veterinary colleges provide externs for learning and shelter assistance, often at intake, and veterinary clinics routinely advise the community that great pets may be found at local shelters.
U.S. Demographics Should Put a Smile on the Face of Every Veterinarian
Apr 03, 2014
Last week this blog examined the question of where Americans will find healthy dogs to meet our needs as the human population grows from 310 million people to 420 million people in less than 50 years.
So Where Do Things Stand With Dog Populations in the U.S.?
Mar 28, 2014
It’s been six months since the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented rules to bring Internet breeders within the scope of its animal welfare standards governing dog breeders. This is the latest initiative by federal and state governments to clamp down on puppy mills. We have also seen more cities join the growing roster of jurisdictions banning the retail sale of dogs.
Analysis Paralysis Shouldn't Hinder Charity
Mar 25, 2014
In his March 21 article for the Portland Business Journal's annual "Estate & Charitable Planning Section," Jackson Lewis discusses strategies for charitable donors making substantial gifts. Sometimes donors can feel frustrated because the act of giving is put on hold to perform "due diligence" on unfamiliar charities. One solution to this "analysis paralysis" is for the donor to make a contribution to a donor advised fund at an existing public charity.
Egg Production, Pet Owner 'Fairness' and State Freedoms
Mar 13, 2014
At about the same time that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and United Egg Producers (UEP) announced the end of their ill-fated partnership, U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) introduced H.R. 4023 in Congress to little fanfare. This bill is the 2014 version of the self-styled Fairness to Pet Owners Act—H.R. 1406 in the last legislative session. So what do we make of this?
An Important Opportunity to Improve Pet Food Safety
Feb 25, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested public comment on a proposed regulation called the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA, for short), intended to strengthen the safety of pet food and animal feed sold in the United States. If it’s done right, this regulation has the potential to significantly improve the safety of pet food, prevent recalls and assure the public that it can depend on the safety of the food fed to family pets.
Consumer Research Demonstrates Need for Pet Food Label Reform
Feb 18, 2014
Attention, veterinarians: Do your clients read the labels on the food they feed their pets—the list of ingredients, the feeding guide or the “guaranteed analysis”? Do these labels influence how and what they feed? Do they make sense and are they easy to understand? According to recent research conducted by a major U.S. pet food manufacturer, most pet owners would answer “no” to all of the above questions.
Policy Future Looks Bright with New Generation of Veterinary Students
Feb 12, 2014
More than 65 U.S. veterinary students took two days off from classes this week for a good cause. These representatives of accredited U.S. schools met in Washington, D.C., with AVMA leadership and its Governmental Relations Division to learn how to be effective in advancing the policy agenda of America’s veterinarians. Banfield Pet Hospitals served as event sponsor to defray travel costs for the students.
Looking Past the 'Big Law' Business Model
Feb 03, 2014
In his article for the January 31 issue of the Portland Business Journal
, Jeff Cronn encourages law firms to look past "big law" business models. He uses Tonkon Torp as a prime example of a firm adopting an intentionally fluid infrastructure, rather than the more traditional pyramid-shaped big law model. With a more fluid business model, Tonkon has been able to anticipate and effectively respond to changing opportunities to provide legal services.
Alabama's at it Again with Bills Regulating Veterinary Shelters
Jan 28, 2014
State legislatures are political laboratories in a manner that Congress can never replicate. It’s the genius of our dual system of government, providing for legislative powers in 50 separate states along with the federal government. We’re fascinated (or repelled) by the machinations of Congress and the president, but we ignore the doings of state legislatures at our peril.
Congress Starts Fast Out of the Gate in 2014
Jan 16, 2014
Veterinarians launched 2014 with a political win, but there’s more to do. The U.S. Senate passed S. 1171, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which allows veterinarians in mobile practices to transport and use controlled substances. This addresses a critical need for large animal veterinarians covering a wide territory, in applications ranging from anesthesia to pain management to euthanasia. Of course, this bill also will protect mobile companion animal health services.
Steve Olson & Paul Conable Quoted Regarding the City of Lake Oswego Access Dismissal
Jan 13, 2014
Congratulations to Steve Olson and Paul Conable on their recent victory regarding Oswego Lake! Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Henry Breithaupt’s opinion granted summary judgment to our client, the City of Lake Oswego, as well as to the other defendants, Lake Oswego Corporation and the State of Oregon, upholding the status quo with regard to access to the lake from the City’s public park.
Oregon’s Failure to Submit an Approvable Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program
Jan 13, 2014
On December 20, 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of intent (NOI) to find that Oregon has failed to submit an approvable Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program (Coastal Program) under Section 6217(a) of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA).
Hands Off, California! You'll Only Make Things Worse
Jan 07, 2014
A recent dvm360 article highlights a major success on the part of both the animal health industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with clear benefits for American food consumers. Years of hard work, negotiations, research and stakeholder outreach led to the creation of these FDA guidelines governing antibiotics in our animal feed.
Two Lawyers Work to Give Ex-offenders a New Start
Jan 07, 2014
The Oregon State Bar Bulletin published the below article, authored by Cliff Collins, in their January 2014 issue. The article is about the CLiF project and its two founding lawyers, Tonkon Torp attorneys Gwen Griffith and Vicki Ballou. Griffith and Ballou banded together in 2011 to create the CLiF Project, which stands for Changing Lives Forever.
Justin Denton Quoted in the Medford Mail Tribune
Jan 06, 2014
Tonkon Torp client, Rogue Creamery became Oregon's first-recognized Benefit Company last week. Justin Denton did the legal work to maneuver Rogue Creamery into this "first place" slot, and was quoted in a January 3, 2014 article in the Medford Mail Tribune
Steven Wilker Quoted in the Corvallis Gazette-Times
Dec 31, 2013
Steven Wilker was interviewed as a media law expert for a December 29, 2013 article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. The article was additionally picked up and reported by Oregon Live. The story concerned an Oregon State University student media adviser's request for public records from the university. The university asserted that she was not entitled to seek records under the Public Records Law as an employee of OSU. Wilker was quoted, offering his opinion that the university's interpretation was "an exceptionally narrow reading of the Oregon Public Records Law."
Human-Animal Bond Goes Mainstream in the Wall Street Journal
Dec 20, 2013
This morning’s Wall Street Journal
contained a fascinating article on page four: “How dogs might protect kids against asthma: gut bacteria.” According to the article, researchers have determined that children in households with dogs exposed to the outdoors may develop a gastrointestinal tract with a more mature immune response to allergens. The consortium of researchers came from the University of Michigan, Henry Ford Health System and Georgia Regents University. It was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Be Alert When Buying a ‘Troubled’ Company
Dec 18, 2013
In his "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Tim Conway advises buyers on how best to handle the purchase of "troubled" companies and companies that have filed for bankruptcy. Regardless of whether the sale is private or transacted through a bankruptcy court, buyers need to be thorough in their due diligence.
Why Doesn't a Growing Bond Lead to Better Pet Healthcare?
Dec 09, 2013
Perhaps you’ve heard this ancient Chinese curse: “May you live an interesting life.” If this proverb has any merit, then veterinarians in the United States must feel especially “cursed” right now. So what’s so interesting about veterinary medicine these days? This: While Americans are spending more money than ever on pets, fewer than half the pets in America receive regular veterinary care, according to reliable estimates.
Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina 'Get' the Human-Animal Bond
Dec 06, 2013
There’s a wave sweeping across the country that spells good news for animals and people of all stripes, including pet owners and veterinarians. Legislatures, universities and small nonprofits are recognizing the power of the human-animal bond, and research is backing up their discoveries. This could lead to a surge in demand for pets throughout the United States as the positive value of animals and their effects on people are better understood.
Survey of Young Pet Owners Calls Shelter Marketing Into Question
Nov 20, 2013
A recent survey, described here in The Columbian of Clark County, Wash., sheds an important and fascinating light on pet owner attitudes toward sources of pet dogs. The study was conducted by Best Friends Animal Society and focused on people 18 to 34 years of age. The results? Nearly half—46 percent—of these young people found shelter animals less desirable than animals purchased from breeders or pet stores.
How to Obtain and Preserve Value When Selling a Business
Nov 19, 2013
In his "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Jeff Cronn offers advice to business owners on how to obtain the best possible deal when selling their business.
One Size Does Not Fit All: FMLA Leave and Same-Sex Couples
Nov 13, 2013
In their "General Counsel" article for the November issue of Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
, Krista Hardwick and Bob Carey discuss the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and how it applies to same-sex couples.
U.S. Does Not Have a Veterinarian Glut
Nov 11, 2013
In a guest column published in the Oregonian
, Mark Cushing argues against opinions that the U.S. has an excess of veterinarians. Over 98 percent of veterinarians are fully employed, meaning there is less than a 2 percent unemployment rate.
Breed Ban Balloon is Starting to Deflate
Nov 08, 2013
Mark Cushing has a new post at his blog for DVM News Magazine
: On Aug. 1, 1989, the Denver City Council banned pit bulls. Many people predicted that a wave would sweep the country outlawing so-called “dangerous” breeds. It’s 24 years later, and while other municipalities have followed Denver’s course, the wave is now receding.
The Uncertain Status of Communications with Law Firm In-House Counsel
Nov 06, 2013
In her article for the Fall 2013 issue of Litigation Journal
, Robyn Aoyagi discusses when and to what extent lawyers may obtain confidential legal advice related to a current client. This issue is presently pending before the Oregon Supreme Court in a mandamus proceeding in Crimson Trace Corp. v. DWT
In this Poll, Ohio is Definitely No. 1
Nov 03, 2013
The latest entry in Mark Cushing's weekly blog for DVM News Magazine
: On Oct. 1, the Ohio Department of Agriculture rules took effect implementing the high-volume breeders bill passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. John Kasich last December. Senate Bill 130 represents a comprehensive and pragmatic regulatory approach to large-scale breeders (those that produce at least nine litters and sell 60 or more dogs per year), pet retailers, and rescue operations in Ohio.
Kimberlee Stafford Edits Environmental Law Reference Book
Oct 29, 2013
Tonkon Torp’s Kimberlee Stafford is co-editor of a new reference book on Environmental Law regulation and permitting. Stafford is a member of the firm’s Environmental & Natural Resources practice group, as well as the Energy and Real Estate practice groups.
Maryland Passes Pet Food Fee (Some Call it a Tax)
Oct 25, 2013
Mark Cushing has a weekly blog for DVM News Magazine
on policy issues affecting both pet and food production animals, and veterinarians. Here is the latest post: An interesting development in 2013 state legislation was Maryland’s passage of SB 820, which imposes a fee on pet food to fund a statewide spay-neuter program aimed at low-income communities. Despite opposition from the pet food industry, the amended bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the Maryland legislature. Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the bill in to law this summer, effective October 1.
Before Selling a Business, Consider a Buyer’s Perspective
Oct 24, 2013
In her "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Sherrill Corbett advises business owners on best practices to follow when preparing to sell a company. An owner will want to review the business from a buyer’s perspective and conduct due diligence in key areas to optimize the business' value.
Large-Scale Food Animal Production Under Microscope
Oct 18, 2013
Mark Cushing has started a weekly blog for DVM News Magazine
on policy issues affecting both pet and food production animals, and veterinarians. An excerpt of his first blog post follows: It looks like 2014 is shaping up to be a hot year in the legislative kitchen. Animal welfare and rights organizations are involved in both companion and food animal issues. But it is food animals drawing splashy attention this month.
The CLiF Project Needs You!
Oct 14, 2013
In their article for the Autumn 2013 issue of Youth, Rights & Justice's Juvenile Law Reader
, Gwen Griffith and Vicki Ballou discuss the CLiF (Changing Lives Forever) project and encourage attorneys to get involved. Griffith and Ballou co-founded CLiF in 2011.
Affordable Care Act Retaliation
Sep 27, 2013
For their "General Counsel" article for the October issue of Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
, Colin Love-Geiger and Bob Carey advise employers on how to recognize and appropriately document employee complaints to avoid claims for Affordable Care Act retaliation.
Catch Up On Recent Changes in Employee Leave Laws
Sep 20, 2013
In her "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Corbett Gordon reviews recent changes in Oregon employee leave laws. These changes include new requirements for sick leave for Portland workers, as well as changes to leave laws for bereavement, victims of domestic violence, and veterans.
Stay Engaged in the Bankruptcy Process
Sep 09, 2013
Ava Schoen advises bankruptcy creditors on how to best manage their role in the bankruptcy process for an article published in the September-October issue of NACM Oregon's Business Credit Journal
Protecting Confidential Business Information
Sep 06, 2013
In their September 2013 "General Counsel" article for the Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
, Blerina Kotori and Bob Carey provide an overview of the tools available to an employer to protect valuable confidential information.
Entrepreneurs Forge Ahead with ‘Crowdfunding’ Alternatives
Aug 20, 2013
Tom Palmer and Andrea Schmidt discuss crowdfunding alternatives for their recent "Risky Business" article, published by the Daily Journal of Commerce
. While entrepreneurs wait for JOBS Act crowdfunding rules to be adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a crowdfunding industry has emerged that may provide viable crowdfunding-like alternatives for some entrepreneurs.
Steven Wilker and ACLU Argue for Records in Oregon Court of Appeals
Aug 15, 2013
Tonkon Torp litigation attorney Steven Wilker was repeatedly quoted in a recent Associated Press article published in the Register Guard. The article, "Oregon ACLU Seeks Records in Eugene Stun Gun Case," features Steven in his capacity as an attorney for the ACLU of Oregon. Steven argued before the Oregon Court of Appeals that internal records used by a civilian review board to judge the actions of a Eugene police officer should be made public.
Legislative Update: OFLA to Provide Leave to Deal with Death of a Family Member
Aug 08, 2013
Colin Love-Geiger and Bob Carey discuss the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) for their August 2013 "General Counsel" article, published by the Portland Human Resource Management Association in News & Views
. During Oregon's 2013 legislative session, the legislature further expanded OFLA to provide bereavement leave to employees who experience the loss of a family member.
Just Passing More Laws Won't Solve Oregon's Industrial Lands Problem
Aug 01, 2013
In a recent editorial, David Petersen discusses efforts by the Oregon legislature to stimulate industrial development in Oregon. David argues that Oregon already has sufficient laws to promote development. What is needed is to better promote these laws, making businesses more aware of them, while also educating local land use officials about the current laws and programs.
State Legislation On Energy Siting Should Uniformly Allow Local Input
Jul 24, 2013
In a recent editorial, David Petersen surveys two bills recently passed by the Oregon House. The bills are part of a multi-year effort to harmonize agricultural and energy uses of rural lands. However, one of the bills fails to bring crucial local input into the siting process.
Oregon Weighs Potential Conflicts Between Energy Development and Arable Lands
Jul 22, 2013
In a new article, David Petersen discusses the friction between state policy and local attitudes about energy development issues in light of two recent bills adopted by the Oregon Legislature. David's article, reviewing House Bills concerning solar facility and transmission line sitting, was published in the July 2013 issue of the Energy Infrastructure and Siting Committee Newsletter
After Becoming a Bankruptcy Creditor, Stay Engaged in the Process
Jul 14, 2013
In her July 11 "Risk Business " article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Ava Schoen advises bankruptcy creditors on how to best manage their role in the bankruptcy process.
The PAGA Problem - The Unsettled State of PAGA Law Isn't Good for Anyone
Jul 10, 2013
Robyn Ridler Aoyagi and Christopher Pallanch study California's Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA) for their July 2013 article in Bender's California Labor & Employment Bulletin
Politics in the Workplace
Jul 08, 2013
Kristin Bremer Moore, Blerina Kotori, and Bob Carey discuss several laws that regulate political speech in the workplace for their July 2013 "General Counsel" articlepublished by the Portland Human Resource Management Association in News & Views
Oregon Changes Siting Rules for Commercial Solar
Jul 01, 2013
In his article for Solar Oregon
, David Petersen discusses House Bill 2820, recently signed by Governor Kitzhaber. The bill makes important changes to how solar PV facilities are sited in Oregon.
In Pursuit of a Triple Bottom Line
Jun 21, 2013
In his June 13 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Duncan Delano discusses the triple bottom line of the "benefit corporation" or "B Corp": profit, environmentalism, and social equity.
Benefit Companies: They're (Almost) Here
Jun 11, 2013
Duncan Delano discusses House Bill 2296, which creates a new form of business entity called the "benefit company" in the June 10th edition of Sustainable Business Oregon
, published by the Portland Business Journal
The Pitfall of the Unpaid Intern
Jun 07, 2013
For their June 2013 "General Counsel" article for the Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
, Blerina Kotori and Bob Carey outline the legal framework with respect to interns and provide guidance on hiring and paying interns.
REITs, Master Limited Partnerships Could Make Playing Field More Level for Renewables
Jun 06, 2013
Duncan Delano and Kimberlee Stafford discuss two new approaches to encourage investment in renewable energy – master limited partnerships (MLPs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) – for their June 5 article for the Portland Business Journal's Sustainable Business Oregon
Compliance Corner - HIPAA Omnibus Rule, A Compliance To-Do List
Jun 04, 2013
Tatiana Perry discusses the omnibus rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) in her June 4 article for Medical Office Northwest
Litigation 101 - When Solid Business Plans Go Awry
May 21, 2013
In his May 16 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Steven Olson offers advice on best practices to follow when being sued or when pursuing legal action against another party.
Evaluating the Independent Contractor Designation for Purpose of Wage Claims
May 08, 2013
In their "General Counsel" article for the May issue of Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
, Colin Love-Geiger and Bob Carey review the independent contractor designation. The article offers employers a reminder regarding the tests and factors that courts examine when determining whether someone is an employee or a true independent contractor for purposes of wage claims.
Chapter 11 Filings Are Down, but Not, Unfortunately, Out
Apr 30, 2013
Tim Conway discusses Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in his April 26 article for the Portland Business Journal
. Today's business climate, still in transition, presents challenging choices for companies seeking new and restructured debt.
Decker v. NEDC
Apr 15, 2013
In an article published by E-Outlook for the Oregon State Bar Environmental & Natural Resources Section, Max Miller studies the March 20, 2013 Supreme Court Opinion in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center
Class-Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements After Concepcion
Apr 15, 2013
For the 2011 opinion AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion
, the U.S. Supreme Court held that class-action waivers in mandatory consumer arbitration agreements are enforceable. In their article for the Spring 2013 edition of Litigation Journal
, Robyn Ridler Aoyagi and Molly Honoré study the subsequent application of Concepcion
in lower courts.
Play or Pay: Crunching the Numbers on Affordable Care Act Penalties
Apr 08, 2013
For their April 2013 "General Counsel" article for the Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
, Colin Love-Geiger and Bob Carey study the Affordable Care Act and guide employers through the cost-benefit analysis of the decision whether to offer health care coverage that complies with the Act
Farm Bill Inaction Threatens Rural Solar Program
Mar 29, 2013
In his March 2013 article for Solar Industry
magazine David Petersen discusses the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a lesser-known federal renewable energy initiative which helps finance solar installations.
Sick Times in Portland: What You Should Know about Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance
Mar 08, 2013
In their March 2013 "General Counsel" article for the Portland Human Resource Management Association's News & Views
newsletter, Blerina Kotori and Bob Carey discuss a proposed city ordinance that would require Portland employers to provide sick leave to their employees.
Look Before You Leap Into Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures
Feb 22, 2013
In his February 15 article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Marco Materazzi offers businesses a list of best practices to consider when setting up a strategic alliance or joint venture. Strategic alliances and joint ventures offer potential opportunities to businesses of all sizes, but with the potential benefits come a myriad of risks that should be carefully considered prior to formation.
Tax Credit May Give Wind Energy a Gust
Feb 08, 2013
In his January 28 article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Max Miller discusses the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and the new language it incorporates concerning wind energy tax credits. The new language change provides a longer period of financial certainty for wind developers and should be a good test case for whether developers can succeed in starting more projects in 2013.
Protecting Your Company's Competitive Advantage Through Employment Agreements
Feb 08, 2013
In a "General Counsel" article for the February issue of the Portland Human Resource Management Association's News and Views
, Bob Carey advises Oregon employers on how to prevent employees from competing against the company or otherwise disrupting the business after their employment ends.
Protecting the Crown Jewels of the Business
Jan 09, 2013
In his January 8 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, David Aman advises businesses on how best to protect access to customer lists, product details, and other proprietary data when an employee leaves. Ultimately, the best way to protect trade secrets is to establish their secrecy from the start, with the first employee hired on the first day and with every employee added thereafter.
Creative Deal Structure Brings Solar to Tigard's Rolling Hills Community Church
Jan 03, 2013
In a recent news article for Solar Oregon
, David Petersen outlines the deal structure that allowed Tigard's Rolling Hills Community Church to install a solar energy system on its rooftop. In collaboration with Lake Oswego's NW Photon Energy, the church took advantage of Oregon's successful volumetric incentive rate pilot program.
Butter Creek Development Still in Litigation
Dec 20, 2012
In her December 19 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Jeanne Chamberlain details the continuing legal saga of Ralls Corp.'s Butter Creek wind farm development in Morrow County, Oregon. As David Petersen discussed in a previous "Plugged In" article, President Obama recently invoked his authority under the Defense Production Act to require Ralls Corp., owned by two Chinese nationals, to divest its ownership in the wind project due to its proximity to land used by the US Navy.
Warranties and Indemnifications
Dec 13, 2012
In his December 11 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce
, Steven Wilker discusses warranties and indemnifications and advises business to do their homework before buying or selling a product or service.
What Will Drive the Water Conservation of the Future?
Nov 28, 2012
Jan Neuman had an editorial, "What Will Drive the Water Conservation of the Future?", published in the Fall 2012 issue of freshwater magazine. In the article, Neuman discusses current wasteful water doctrines, the use of inefficient irrigation systems, and the efforts being made to improve water conservation. These current efforts need to be expanded and old subsidies that incentivize waste need to be replaced.
Whose Idea Was It?
Nov 19, 2012
In his November 13 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Jon Stride advises companies on how to deal with idea submissions from sources outside the payroll. Company leaders who aren’t careful about how they accept ideas from such sources may be accused of stealing and using someone’s idea and find themselves defending a lawsuit claiming that they should pay for that idea.
Obama Blocks Chinese Wind Farms in Oregon
Nov 16, 2012
In his November 14 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Petersen discusses President Obama's recent invocation of the Defense Production Act to require a Chinese corporation to divest itself of wind farms purchased in Morrow County, Oregon. This is the first presidential use of DPA authority since 1990 and binds up issues of presidential politics, international posturing, economic protectionism, and trade manipulation.
When Two Worlds Collide: Hybrid Fossil Fuel/Renewable Power Plants
Oct 18, 2012
In her October 17 "Plugged In" article for the "Daily Journal of Commerce," Jeanette Schuster studies the emerging trend of hybrid fossil fuel/renewable power plants. Hybrid energy systems are likely to make renewable power facilities competitive enough with fossil fuel power plants to incentivize and accelerate the construction of more energy projects incorporating renewable energy components.
Copyright Ownership: Buyer Beware
Oct 09, 2012
In her October 9 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Vicki Ballou discusses copyright and the importance of establishing ownership interest and rights up front, in writing.
Protocols for Data Breaches Can Reduce Litigation Exposure
Sep 25, 2012
Tatiana Perry and Ari Okano Lee co-authored an article on data breaches for the September 21 edition of the Portland Business Journal. Any business that maintains, stores or processes a consumer's personally identifiable information must take measures to protect against the loss or unauthorized access to sensitive information it possesses. Both Tatiana and Ari are members of Tonkon Torp's Information Privacy and Security Practice Group.
Encouraging Energy Efficiency Improvements in Multnomah County
Sep 24, 2012
In his September 19 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Forman discusses efforts by Multnomah County leaders to encourage energy efficiency upgrades to homes and commercial buildings. One key proposal involves the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. PACE could provide a mechanism by which the county can support healthy economic activity and the reduction of carbon emissions without jeopardizing county revenues and deserves a close look.
Manage Insurance Coverage Like Risks
Sep 17, 2012
In his September 11 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Frank Weiss discusses the importance of insurance policy management. By observing a few simple guidelines, owners can help ensure that their companies receive the full benefit of coverage they have paid for.
Corn Ethanol in the Hot Seat
Aug 27, 2012
In his August 15th "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Duncan Delano argues against recent efforts by members of Congress to waive the ethanol production requirement in the Renewable Fuel Standard. Waiving the production requirement will have little affect on current corn prices and will only hurt the growing ethanol industry.
Independent Contractors Bring Benefits When Properly Classified
Aug 10, 2012
In her August 7 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Kristin Bremer discusses the benefits and risks of hiring independent contractors. Independent contractors can provide flexibility and the potential for greater productivity without an increase in overhead for companies. However, improperly classifying an independent contractor can carry significant legal risk.
Clean Diesel Outlook Optimistic Despite WHO Classification of Diesel Exhaust
Jul 24, 2012
In her July 18 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Andrea Schmidt discusses the future of diesel in light of the World Health Organization classifying it as carcinogenic. The ubiquity and economic value of diesel means it will stick around, but the new classification should spur the need for more stringent diesel emission standards and further development of clean diesel technology.
E-security Issues Drive Growing Legal Practice Specialty
Jul 20, 2012
Ari Okano Lee and Tatiana Perry were featured in a July 19 article published in the Daily Journal of Commerce's BrieflyLegalpdx. The article discusses the growing importance of e-security and highlights Tonkon Torp's new Information Privacy & Security practice group.
Don't Be Careless With a Brand
Jul 16, 2012
In his July 10 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Chris Erickson advises companies on how to choose and protect their trademark.
Not Quite a FIT: Inside Oregon's VIR Program
Jul 11, 2012
In an article for the July issue of Solar Industry Magazine, David Petersen discusses the challenge of balancing supply and demand facing the solar incentive program in Oregon.
Portland Attorney's Pro Bono Service Helps Balance Social, Economic Inequities
Jun 25, 2012
Tonkon Torp litigator Ned Perry was profiled in a June 14 article in the Daily Journal of Commerce's "BrieflyLegalPDX." The article highlights Perry's pro bono service for organizations such as Albina Head Start, Portland YouthBuilders, and Human Solutions Inc.
Spring Wind and Rain: Too Much of a Good Thing?
Jun 21, 2012
In his June 20 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Jeff Cronn discusses the problem of excess energy supply facing Bonneville Power Administration. As a result of a wet winter and heavy spring runoff sent through Snake and Columbia River Dams, more power was produced on the transmission grid than customers could use. So far this year, BPA has required wind farm operators to power down four times in response.
Protecting the Board of Directors
Jun 14, 2012
In his June 12 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Jeff Cronn discusses the importance of understanding directors’ obligations, and of having the right tools in place to protect them. When a company becomes ready to raise outside capital, it is often time to expand the board of directors. But service as a director brings risk of personal liability. A company owner will want to limit this risk.
Sustainability: What Law Firms Have at Stake
Jun 07, 2012
Max Miller, chair of Tonkon Torp's Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group, is quoted in an article on sustainability in the May issue of Of Counsel. Miller discusses Tonkon Torp's own efforts towards sustainability in the article, which highlights the advantages to embracing sustainability in law.
Tonkon Torp Litigation Attorneys Write Material for OSB Guide to Pleading and Practice
May 31, 2012
Attorneys from Tonkon Torp's Litigation practice group contributed to the Oregon State Bar's newly published Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice, 6th edition.
Financing Renewable Energy Projects is Tricky, but Not Impossible
May 30, 2012
In his May 16 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Petersen reviews the current financing possibilities and difficulties facing the renewable energy industry. As a result of the slow-growing economy and low natural gas prices, financing renewables can be a challenge. Yet as demand increases, installed costs fall and fossil fuels become more expensive, renewables will see another upswing.
Issuing Equity to Employees
May 11, 2012
In their May 8 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Darcy Norville and Michael Millender discuss the merits and drawbacks of issuing equity to employees. Offering an ownership stake in the company can be an appealing way for companies to attract and retain key employees, but it’s not a move that should be taken lightly. Employee ownership can create management problems and produce unintended tax and liquidity consequences for both the company and its employees.
Unleash the Power of Thor: Why Aren't More People Talking About Thorium?
Apr 19, 2012
In his April 18 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Duncan Delano details the energy potential of the element thorium. An untapped source of nuclear energy, thorium reactors can be safer, greener, and more energy-efficient than uranium reactors.
Raising Capital for Early-Stage Companies
Apr 11, 2012
Jeffrey Woodcox discusses the capital raising options available to early-stage companies in his April 10 "Risky Business" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce. While this is an exciting stage of development for fledgling businesses, it also can be tricky. When taking other people’s money to grow a company, it is important to be aware of the choices available and the legal obligations involved.
Does ORCP 82 Really Require Security for Every Preliminary Injunction?
Mar 23, 2012
In his Spring 2012 Litigation Journal article, Steven Wilker studies the 1985 Oregon Supreme Court decision that a preliminary injunction issued without requiring security is void. As a result, the injunction order could be disobeyed without consequence. The Supreme Court made an error, however, because neither the parties nor the court apparently considered the rest of ORCP 82A.
Oregon Can't Afford Not to Invest in Renewables
Mar 15, 2012
In her "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Kimberlee Stafford discusses recent efforts by Oregon and Washington legislators to water down their respective state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). While Oregon's HB 4073 withered on the vine, Oregonians should continue to resist efforts to undermine the state's RPS as it is good for economic growth, jobs, and clean energy.
Carefully Structure LLCs to Avoid Unintended Consequences
Mar 15, 2012
In an article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Justin Denton warns business owners to look closely at default rules when structuring LLCs. These default rules are almost never what owners would choose if they had been aware of them. The best defense is for owners to work with their legal advisers to craft LLC documents that clearly define how the new entity will operate today and down the road when it faces inevitable “life cycle” events.
Defense Department Leads the Way for Solar on Federal Lands
Feb 29, 2012
In his February 15 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Petersen discusses the results of a new Department of Defense study on the potential for solar energy development on federal lands. The report evaluates the solar energy potential of nine military bases in California and Nevada. Smart development of even the small percentage of military land suitable for solar can produce tremendous results for both energy security and national security.
Supervisors Must Recognize Requests for Accommodations
Feb 07, 2012
In a February 3 article for the Portland Business Journal, Clay Creps discusses front-line supervisors' obligation to recognize what constitutes a reasonable request for accommodation by an employee. Properly training supervisors to recognize these requests can minimize the likelihood of costly legal fees resulting from mishandling them.
A Portland Partnership Shines, with Growth During Recession, A Collegial Culture, and an Ability to Win Major Matters
Feb 06, 2012
Tonkon Torp Managing Partner Michael M. Morgan was recently interviewed in the January Of Counsel article, "A Portland Partnership Shines, with Growth During Recession, a Collegial Culture, and an Ability to Win Major Matters."
Leveraged Buyout Borrowers Face a Refinancing 'Cliff'
Jan 31, 2012
Tonkon Torp business attorney Michael Fletcher is quoted at length in a January 27th article in the Portland Business Journal. The article discusses the impending refinancing 'cliff' tied to billions of dollars in loans and bonds from the leveraged buyout boom in the mid-2000s.
Generational Business Transition is a Process, Not an Event
Jan 30, 2012
In her January 27 article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Vicki Ballou offers tips and techniques in handling the process of generational business transition in the professional services industry. She highlights the importance of mentoring, exposure, flexibility, compensation, and innovation in properly training and retaining the next generation of business professionals.
California Cap and Trade Program Likely to Face Legal Challenges
Jan 26, 2012
In his January 18, 2012 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Paul Conable discusses challenges California's recently adopted "cap and trade program" is likely to face, and what that may mean for other states if they attempt to impose a similar program.
Law Firm Centers its Energy on the Portland Market
Dec 08, 2011
The Portland Business Journal awarded Tonkon Torp 5th place in the Professional Services Category at the December 7th, "Oregon's Most Admired Companies" Luncheon. The Portland Business Journal also published a profile of the firm in the December 9 "Most Admired" issue.
Preserving Bull Run: Looking Deeper into Portland's Water Variance
Dec 06, 2011
In an editorial for the Oregonian, Tonkon Water Law expert Janet Neuman celebrates Portland's recent victory in obtaining a variance from the Environmental Protection Agency's treatment standards for Bull Run water. Neuman stresses that the underlying significance of this victory is the clear success of Portland's ecosystem-services approach to supplying drinking water.
Binding Arbitration - Oregon Dealers Cannot Require Binding Arbitration of Warranty Claims
Nov 30, 2011
Steven Wilker discusses recent Court decisions on binding arbitration for the November 2011 edition of the Oregon Automobile Dealers Association Newsletter
Don't Tinker With Washington's Renewable Portfolio Standard
Nov 17, 2011
In his November 16, 2011 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Petersen advocates for the preservation of Washington's initiative I-937, which requires large utilities in the state to acquire 15 percent of their electricity from new renewable resources by 2020.
Surviving Winter - The Ninth Circuit Reaffirms the "Serious Questions" Test for Injunctive Relief
Oct 28, 2011
In an article published in the Fall 2011 issue of Litigation Journal, Paul Conable and Frank Weiss discuss the recent opinion authored by Judge William A. Fletcher - Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell. In the opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that one aspect of its "sliding scale" test for preliminary injunctive relief, the "serious questions" approach, remains good law.
Are Electric Vehicles Green or Brown?
Oct 26, 2011
In his October 19, 2011 "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David White discusses the green merits of electric vehicles (EVs). While many are concerned that EVs may use energy derived from coal plants, recent studies show that they can also be a great aid to renewable energies.
Encouraging Lawyers To Adopt Sustainability Goals
Oct 20, 2011
In an editorial for Sustainability: The Journal of Record, Max Miller, Jr. encourages lawyers to be advocates for sustainability.
Weak Job Market Kills Stricter Ozone Standards
Sep 29, 2011
In a "Plugged In Column" for the DJC, Jeanette Schuster discusses the impact of the economic recession on environmental regulations.
Detrimental Reliance Not Required To Get Actual Damages Under FCBA
Sep 16, 2011
Tonkon Torp attorney Anna Sortun achieved a victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that a credit card holder does not have to prove detrimental reliance to recover actual damages from a credit card company for violations of the notification and collection requirements of the Fair Credit Billing Act.
Wind Energy Facilities: Real or Personal Property?
Aug 23, 2011
In a "Plugged In Column" for the DJC, Kimberlee Stafford discusses evaluating new title insurance endorsements available in Oregon that are specific to wind energy projects.
Renewable Portfolio Standards Face Constitutional Challenges
Jul 21, 2011
In a "Plugged In" column for the Daily Journal of Commerce, Jeanne Chamberlain discusses how renewable energy has become mainstream, with more than half of this nation's states now possessing mandatory renewable energy portfolio standards. As pressures increase for states to meet these standards, we are more likely to see constitutional challenges to provisions that give any preference to in-state resources.
New UK Bribery Act Raises the Standard for Anti-Corruption Compliance for US Companies
Jul 01, 2011
The UK Bribery Act becomes effective on July 1, 2011. It applies to all companies doing business in the UK and it applies to bribes paid in any country in the world. American companies doing business overseas need to adopt and maintain robust anti-corruption policies and procedures in order to avoid strict liability under the UK Bribery Act.
Lawsuits Likely from BPA Wind Power Shut Down
Jun 17, 2011
The Bonneville Power Administration’s recent response to a short-term oversupply of energy – requiring wind farms to power down without compensation for lost revenue – reflects the agency’s failure to adapt to the evolving Northwest power marketplace. Significant changes to how the BPA manages the Northwest power grid are long overdue. Hopefully this latest crisis will provide the necessary impetus.
Paying Extra to Plug In
Jun 05, 2011
In his "Plugged In" article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Forman studies the proposed per mile fee for drivers of electric-vehicles. Oregon wants to charge electric-vehicle owners a fee for driving on state roads. The current proposal is $0.143 per mile, to be imposed beginning with 2014 models. The theory: If more people start driving electric cars, then the state will lose gas tax revenue, which ostensibly pays for road infrastructure.
Oregon watches California's RPS saga with great interest
May 04, 2011
On April 12, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a renewable energy bill – SBX1 2 – that requires public and private utilities in the state to obtain at least 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal and small hydro, by 2020.
An Underused Defense Tool? Special Motions to Strike
Apr 19, 2011
In an article for the Litigation Journal, Anna Sortun discusses the "special motion to strike" or anti-SLAPP motion. The article describes the basic anti-SLAPP framework in Oregon, the expansion of anti-SLAPP litigation in California, and the possible underuse of the statute in Oregon.
Despite new law, don't delay
Mar 21, 2011
It took its time, but Congress finally has spoken on the issue of gift and estate taxes in the form of the 2010 Tax Relief Act, which President Obama signed into law on Dec. 27, 2010.
Encouraging Renewable Energy: Smart Policy
Mar 17, 2011
In a "Plugged In" column for the Daily Journal of Commerce, David Petersen analyzes the energy return on investment ("EROI") of fossil fuels versus the EROI of renewable energy. By considering the future rise and fall of the EROI for each type of energy, the long term value and merits of renewable energy become clear.
Tonkon Tax Attorney Recommends Reforms to City/County Tax
Feb 11, 2011
In a recent Opinion piece in the Portland Business Journal, Mark LeRoux outlines problems with the current City/County Tax system. He makes the argument that the Multnomah County business income tax and the Portland business license law (the city/county tax) is poorly conceived, poorly enforced and poorly understood.
Firms busy with mergers, acquisitions
Feb 11, 2011
After a dormant two years, Portland law firms are again bustling with renewed merger and acquisition work. Among Portland’s eight largest firms that advise companies on mergers and acquisitions, six report that business is up significantly - in some cases, triple what it was a year ago.
Sage grouse: the next spotted owl?
Jan 20, 2011
Developers should take into account that birds can influence fates of wind and solar energy proposals.
Miller Honored With Sustainable Leadership Award
Jan 04, 2011
Tonkon Torp’s Max M. Miller, Jr., has been honored by the Oregon State Bar with one of two new awards for sustainable leadership. Miller earned the award in recognition of his volunteer leadership in moving the legal profession to embrace sustainability. The Sustainable Future Section congratulates Miller on this well deserved acknowledgment of his commitment to sustainability.
Influencing public policy to support Oregon's life sciences business cluster
Dec 21, 2010
The health of Oregon's biotech industry depends in part on the ability of companies to efficiently bring new products and drugs to market.
Scaled-back BETC is fading into the sunset
Dec 16, 2010
In 2010, Oregon policymakers’ renewable energy dreams yielded to fiscal and political realities as the Legislature pared down and set a termination date for the Business Energy Tax Credit. Now that the Oregon Department of Energy has adopted final BETC regulations, lawmakers must turn to the more difficult task of deciding whether the tax credit should survive in any form.
Take steps now for managing estate taxes
Dec 07, 2010
Guest article written by Shouka Rezvani and Jackson Lewis, published in the Portland Business Journal on October 1, 2010.
Renewable energy raises questions
Nov 30, 2010
Difficult decisions remain to be made because of issues concerning reliability and cost, in particular.
The DJC honors Caroline Harris Crowne as an Up and Coming Lawyer
Nov 19, 2010
The Daily Journal of Commerce features Caroline Harris Crowne as one of their 2010 Up and Coming Lawyers honorees.
Future can include wind and coal
Nov 18, 2010
A look at how coal-fired power plants can work in conjunction with alternative energy sources.
Bankruptcy Lawyers Cash In
Sep 30, 2010
While the struggling economy has led to hiring freezes and dwindling client bases for many firms, those specializing in bankruptcy and finance report robust practices and overflowing workloads.
New solar energy pilot program offers alternative to tax credit incentives
Jun 21, 2010
Attorneys with clients interested in building projects that generate solar energy will want to pay close attention to a new pilot program that takes effect July 1. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) recently issued final rules for the program that offers a promising alternative to more-traditional financing of solar projects.
Are Mandatory Mediation Clauses Enforceable?
May 25, 2010
Caroline Harris Crowne discusses the enforceability of mandatory mediation clauses in her article for the Spring 2010 issue of the Oregon State Bar's Litigation Journal
. In recent years, courts across the nation have become increasingly willing to enforce agreements to mediate, and the effect is sometimes outcome-determinative.
Offers of Judgment in Oregon State Court
Mar 15, 2010
In his article for the Winter 2010 issue of the Oregon State Bar's Litigation Journal, Steven Wilker discusses the use and effectiveness of Offers of Judgment in Oregon, in ligth of several siginificant rulings made by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Oregon Legislature Hears Proposals To Modify The Business Energy Tax Credit
Feb 04, 2010
The 2010 special session of the Oregon Legislature began this week, and the House Revenue Committee wasted no time in holding a hearing on proposed revisions to the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) that is available to projects in the conservation and recycling, renewable energy generation, and renewable energy manufacturing sectors.
Nonprofit Governance in Challenging Times: Making Wise Decisions
May 12, 2009
In today's unpredictable economy, nonprofit boards must learn to adjust to meet the changing needs of their organizations and communities. Nonprofit governance provides the linkage between nonprofit leaders and organizational change.
Tonkon Torp Lawyer the Busiest He's Ever Been
Mar 27, 2009
To call him a bankruptcy attorney misses the point. Al Kennedy, a 25-year partner at Tonkon Torp LLP, does a whole lot more.
The Business Energy Tax Credit Delivers for Oregon
Jan 15, 2009
Last Sunday's Oregonian included an article questioning the state's Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program in light of the current economic climate. Some might put the tax credit on their list to cut, but that would be a mistake.
Arbitration and Federalism - Conflicts in Federal and State Substantive and Procedural Law
Dec 01, 2008
Caroline Harris Crowne discusses "Arbitration and Federalism: Conflicts in Federal and State Substantive and Procedural Law" for her contribution to the Oregon State Bar book, Arbitration and Mediation
Sep 28, 2008
In a time as bleak as a moonscape in March, there is still Ruth Zagorodny. As it's become inescapable that we've blown the last six years on bad decisions and worse behavior, that we're leaving the next generations a legacy of trillions in debt, a mountain of receipts for the party and vague advice to make something of themselves, Zagorodny sits in Willamette Park, her eyes full of a 15-year-old's intoxication with possibility.
Federal Arbitration Act Preempts Oregon Legislature's 2007 Amendment to Oregon Arbitration Act
Aug 11, 2008
Caroline Harris Crowne co-authored an article on the Federal Arbiitration Act for the Summer 2008 issue of the Oregon State Bar's Litigation Journal
Second Oregon Home Achieves Platinum LEED Certification
Jul 30, 2008
Our client, Teeny Development, LLC, has achieved Platinum LEED certification on its first of 18 townhomes under construction in Lincoln City.
Jeff Cronn Named to Forty Under 40
Apr 23, 2008
Tonkon Torp partner Jeff Cronn was a 2008 recipient of the Portland Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Award.
Some Biz Lawyers Worry Over Sustainability Effort
Apr 18, 2008
As Oregon's economic climate grows ever greener, some say certain strategies designed to cater to sustainability-minded businesses could actually repel companies from incorporating here.
Key Word Advertising Using Trademarked Terms - Fair or Foul?
Apr 15, 2008
Steven Wilker discusses the use of trademarked terms as key word triggers in internet advertising for the Spring 2008 edition of the Oregon Intellectual Property Newsletter
Risks From Global Warming -- Should Investors Know?
Jan 18, 2008
Partner Jeffrey Cronn is interviewed by the Portland Business Journal.
Partner Terry Baker Featured on OregonLive.com
Dec 12, 2007
Tonkon Torp partner Terry Baker was featured on OregonLive.com December 2, 2007.
Electronic Devices Strain Firms' Security Measures
Oct 26, 2007
Intellectual Property Group Chair Paula Holm Jensen is quoted in an article that appeared in the Portland Business Journal Friday, October 26, 2007.
Tonkon Torp Hosts Meet and Greets With Political Leaders
Oct 10, 2007
On October 8, 2007, the firm's Government Relations and Public Policy Group hosted the fourth event in its series of Meet and Greets with Oregon political leaders. Congresswoman Darlene Hooley and Clackamas County Chair Martha Schrader joined 30 firm guests for a breakfast discussion of federal, state and local issues.
Current Commentary: Keeping High Standards
Aug 27, 2007
This article appeared on August 27, 2007 in the online issue of nwcurrent (http://www.nwcurrent.com/policy/10036611.html).
Think Twice Before Accepting an Assignment of Insurance Rights - Anti-Assignment Provisions may be Enforced in Oregon
Apr 16, 2007
The Oregon Supreme Court recently found in Holloway v. Republic Indemnity Company of America that a standard anti-assignment provision in a liability insurance policy barred an insured from assigning policy rights after a loss. This decision is a departure from the law in many other states, and may have a significant impact on the way that insured claims are settled in Oregon.
Nonprofit Executive Compensation
Aug 22, 2006
Nonprofit executive compensation has made headlines in Oregon and nationwide. Am I correct in believing that this has become a hot button issue with regulators? (Reprinted with permission from the Oregon Society of CPAs.)
NIKE, Inc. Selects Tonkon Torp as a Go-To Law Firm
Aug 04, 2006
NIKE, Inc. has chosen Tonkon Torp as one of their top law firms in the recent ALM Directory of Go-To Law Firms.
U.S. Supreme Court Broadens Employer Liability for Retaliation
Jun 23, 2006
The Supreme Court has now spoken on what kind of conduct an employer must engage in and how harmful that conduct must be for the employer to be liable for retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Medical Marijuana Victory in Oregon Supreme Court
May 24, 2006
Let's say you are an employer with an employee whose sleep is disturbed each night by leg spasms. The employee smokes medical marijuana every night before he goes to bed.
H-1B Numbers Dwindle
May 23, 2006
H-1B numbers will soon be depleted according to figures recently released by the government. Once depleted, H-1B numbers will not become available until October 1, 2007.
When Should a Board Appoint a Special Committee?
Apr 01, 2006
The proper use and operation of a special committee can protect decisions of public and private companies from challenge and insulate individual directors from personal liability.
Reefer Madness at the Court of Appeals
Dec 09, 2005
Among the challenging issues for Oregon courts in the last decade is the question of whether, and to what extent, employers must accommodate employees who are legally using marijuana for disabling medical conditions.
U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Pay Issues Regarding Special Safety Gear
Nov 09, 2005
A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has clarified the definition of a compensable work day for employees required to wear special safety gear.
Marion County Court Invalidates Measure 37
Nov 08, 2005
Oregon's Measure 37 has been at the center of controversy since being passed by voters in 2004. Recently, Measure 37 was ruled unconstitutional by the Marion County Circuit Court. This article provides a brief update regarding these developments.
Annual Report Review and Tune-Up
Nov 03, 2005
Since the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the SEC has paid particular attention to the MD&A section of each public company's Annual Report. This article discusses the SEC guidelines for tuning up your MD&A section.
Chinese Premerger Notification Requirements
Oct 03, 2005
While the People's Republic of China continues its halting steps toward robust merger control legislation, many foreign investors and companies are not aware that current PRC premerger notification regulations may require notification of and approval for offshore transactions not involving Chinese parties.
Protecting and Leveraging Your Intellectual Property
Sep 15, 2005
Building a solid intellectual property foundation is just as important as generating capital or seeking investors. This article outlines simple steps that can help you establish and maintain a sound intellectual property foundation for your business.
Collision of Medical Marijuana and Oregon Disability Laws Leaves Employers in Limbo
Sep 08, 2005
Among the challenging human resource issues for Oregon employers in the last decade is the question of how to handle employees who are legally using marijuana. Must employers accommodate medical marijuana use?
Buyer and Lender Beware: Financing Measure 37 Property
Sep 08, 2005
Eight months after taking effect, Measure 37 still triggers more questions than answers. One of the most significant unresolved question is whether waivers of land use regulations are transferable. This article explores the issue of waiver trasferability and the implications for real estate financing.
Are Your Employees Putting You At Risk When They Drive While Gabbing?
Aug 18, 2005
Potential liability continues to grow for employers. Some have recently been found liable for car accidents caused, at least in part, by an employee's use of a cell phone to conduct business.
H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2006
Aug 12, 2005
On August 12, 2005, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the annual quota of H-1B numbers available for Fiscal Year 2006 has been reached.
Supreme Court Opens Door to More Age Discrimination Lawsuits
Aug 02, 2005
The Court's opinion in Smith v. City Of Jackson is almost certain to increase the volume of age discrimination claims.
H-1B Numbers Dwindle
Aug 02, 2005
H-1B numbers will soon be depleted according to figures recently released by the government. Once depleted, H-1B numbers will not become available until October 1, 2006.
Pro Bono Takes Center Stage at Prominent Local Firm Retreat
Jul 22, 2005
Tonkon Torp's legacy of pro bono was a cornerstone of the firm's annual retreat this year. This Multnomah Lawyer article highlights the firm's commitment to pro bono, a core value of the firm since its inception that continues to this day.
U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Government's Ability to Condemn Private Property For Economic Redevelopment
Jun 28, 2005
On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London upheld the condemnation of private property in furtherance of an economic redevelopment plan.
New Treasury Regulations Governing Tax Advice
Jun 28, 2005
Effective June 21, 2005, the Treasury Department issued final regulations to add standards of practice for tax advisors and to prescribe new requirements for written tax advice.
Biometric Exit Pilot in Seattle; ICE Arrests 9 Working on Visa Waiver
May 18, 2005
The Department of Homeland Security begins a Biometric Exit Pilot program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Also, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested nine people working illegally on the visa waiver program.
20,000 New H-1B Visas
May 06, 2005
The USCIS has issued guidance regarding the 20,000 additional FY 2005 H-1B numbers. Tonkon Torp urges immediate review of employee eligibility with legal counsel. There is a good possibility that the numbers will be exhausted soon after they become available.
Passports to be Required for Canada/Mexico Travel
Apr 20, 2005
Citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda will be required to carry passports for travel between neighboring countries and the Caribbean under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative announced by The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security.
H-1B Temporary Worker Shortage Looms
Apr 08, 2005
As of April 1, employers became eligible to file H-1B Petitions for foreign nationals not already employed pursuant to H-1B status, for the USCIS 2006 fiscal year with a start date of October 1, 2005. There is a chance the numbers will be exhausted soon.
Corporate Governance Concerns Spill into Nonprofit World
Apr 01, 2005
Later this year, Congress is expected to consider legislation spelling out heightened corporate governance requirements for nonprofit organizations. With the potential additional regulation looming, many nonprofit boards are already taking steps to ensure better oversight of their operations and transparency with respect to their activities.
Additional H-1B Numbers Not Limited to Master's Degree Holders
Mar 08, 2005
USCIS announces 20,000 additional H-1B numbers that are authorized as of March 8, 2005 will NOT be limited to individuals holding a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution. If you have any employees with a need for an H-1B visa, please review eligibility with legal counsel immediately.
Annual Report of American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section
Jan 01, 2005
David co-authored the annual report in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 while serving on the Trade Secrets and Interference With Contracts Subcommittee.
H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2005
Oct 04, 2004
This morning we received news from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the annual quota (cap) of H-1B numbers available for Fiscal Year 2005 (FY2005) has been reached.
How to Record Departure from the United States After the Fact
Mar 16, 2004
It is very important for nonimmigrant travelers to turn in their I-94 cards at the airport UPON DEPARTING the United States (some exceptions apply to contiguous territories where the trip will be less than 30 days).
Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998 - Implementing a New Paradigm of Justice
Jan 01, 2004
Caroline Harris Crowne contributes to the New York Law Review
in her 2001 article "The Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998: Implementing a New Paradigm of Justice."
Personal Jurisdiction In A Foreign Forum: Where Will Your Website Take You?
Jan 01, 2001
Co-Author of "Personal Jurisdiction In A Foreign Forum: Where Will Your Website Take You?" Litigation Journal, 2001.
Antitrust Law, State Antitrust Practices and Statutes
Jan 01, 1999
Co-Author of Oregon Chapter in ABA Section of Antitrust Law, State Antitrust Practices and Statutes, 2d ed, 1999.
Who Gets the Last Word? The Evolving Role of Judge and Jury in Punitive Damages Cases
Jan 01, 1998
"Who Gets the Last Word? The Evolving Role of Judge and Jury in Punitive Damages Cases," Litigation Journal, 1998.