Ear to the Ground
Ear to the Ground
Our attorney contributors share relevant and timely insight into real estate, energy law, water law, and environmental issues.
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A Terrible Time to Be Without Water
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Oregon Foreclosure Moratorium Extended Until December 31, 2020
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Court Decision Favors Businesses Claiming Insurance Coverage for COVID-Related Losses

Companies across the state, and around the country, have suffered significant loss of income due to interruptions to their business caused by the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing government-ordered closures. These companies have been disappointed…
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Real Estate Adapts to the New COVID Normal

Like most other industries, the real estate business was turned upside-down in March when the COVID-19 outbreak got real. Now that five months have passed and life with COVID-19 appears to be the new normal, some real estate trends are starting to…
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Oregon Adopts Temporary E-Notarization Law

In a prior blog post , we identified the recent trend to adoption of e-notarization in several states in response to the COVID crisis. As of that time, Oregon had not authorized e-notarization on either a permanent or temporary basis.
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Portland's Residential Real Estate Market Responds Surprisingly to COVID-19

The COVID-19 health crisis has indelibly affected society, impacting our behaviors, habits, and priorities. Unlike previous recessions, our relationship to spending and saving may be markedly different in our current circumstance. One clear example…
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New Law Prohibits Foreclosures in Oregon Until September 30, 2020

During the special session held between June 24 and June 26, the Oregon legislature passed, and Governor Brown signed into law, HB 4204, which prohibits foreclosures in Oregon from March 8, 2020 until September 30, 2020. It applies to both…
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Oregon Legislature Extends Eviction Moratorium to September 30

On June 26, state lawmakers approved House Bill 4213 extending Governor Brown’s executive order temporarily prohibiting evictions of both residential and commercial tenants for non-payment of rent or other charges under a lease. Under the Governor’s…
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Force Majeure Clause Hitz the Spot for Restaurant Tenant

In previous updates Tonkon Torp attorneys have addressed the applicability of force majeure clauses in commercial contracts. As expected, commercial renters are taking a beating, and many have been forced to close as a result of the pandemic.
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COVID-19 Creates Short-Term Liquidity Problems in Commercial Real Estate

It is the first day of May, and in normal times the rent would be due again. But these are far from normal times, and in many cases the likelihood that rent will actually be paid (or paid in full) is quite low. As tenants search their couches for…
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COVID-19 Relief for 1031 Exchanges: Deadlines Moved to July 15, 2020

On April 9th, the IRS released Notice 2020-23. The Notice pertains to Section 1031 like-kind exchanges to defer capital gains tax on the sale of real property. Under the Notice, the 45-day identification deadlines and 180-day exchange deadlines that…
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Coronavirus and Commercial Evictions: Oregon’s New Moratorium

On April 1, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-13, expanding certain coronavirus-related eviction protections to include commercial tenants. This order follows a series of emergency moratoria issued by Governor Brown, the City…
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COVID-19 Crisis Renews Interest in e-Notarization

Remote online notarization of documents, often called e-notarization, permits the execution of notarized documents via an audio-visual link between the signer and the notary. This eliminates the need for the signer and notary to be physically present…
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Commercial Real Estate and the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

On Wednesday evening the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package. What follows are some of the highlights of the bill that are most pertinent to commercial real estate.
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Will Financial Impacts from COVID-19 Pandemic Suffice to Breach a Contract Under a Force Majeure Clause?

Force majeure clauses in contracts are intended to allow performing parties to avoid liability if certain natural or unavoidable events or catastrophes interrupt the expected course of events and impact the parties’ ability to perform.
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In this Time of Coronavirus, What about our Water?

Happy belated World Water Day. It was Sunday, March 22, but you could be forgiven for missing it, since we're all paying attention to the COVID-19 pandemic instead. But what about water and the coronavirus?
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Evictions in the Age of COVID-19

On March 22, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order temporarily prohibiting law enforcement officers from acting on evictions as a result of nonpayment of rent. This followed the City of Portland and Multnomah County (which includes…
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Contractual Obligations and the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Absence of a Force Majeure Clause

In this age of non-stop news coverage, we continue to be bombarded with news of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our world. Most of us would likely agree that the pandemic was unforeseeable and that it was out of anyone’s control.
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Building in the Time of COVID-19

While I was social distancing at home, I was talking with an electrician friend and he said that builders are not slowing down on projects at all. If anything they are accelerating.
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Mortgage Rates Drop as the Coronavirus Epidemic Grows

As cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, surpass 5,000 in the United States as of March 17 and global stock markets tumble amidst concerns over economic uncertainty, the Federal Reserve has taken measures to address economic turmoil. Most…
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