Portland attorney Robert Harris

For business owners and employees: social media

By: Robert Harris
In 2013 the Oregon Legislature passed a “social media protection” law. The law went into effect January 1, 2014. The purpose behind HB 2654 is to preserve the distinction between what information they have on social media is public and what information is private from their employer. Read Full Article

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Portland attorney Cameron Soran

What’s the benefit to being a Benefit Company?

By: Cameron Soran
Starting January 2014, Oregon businesses may elect to take on the corporate form of a benefit company.

This new legal entity is part of the growing movement in the Oregon business community concerned with social and environmental responsibility – in addition to the bottom line. While benefit companies are not for every emerging or existing business, they are an attractive option for business owners and shareholders who wish to include improving social and environmental outcomes as part of their business plan. Read Full Article

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Portland attorney Robert Harris

New Programs for Avoiding a Reckless Driving Conviction in Washington County

By: Robert Harris
Washington County has a new program that could allow you to avoid a criminal Reckless Driving conviction if it was charged as part of a DUII case.

A lot of times, if someone is arrested for DUII, they may have also been charged with reckless driving. Reckless driving is a criminal charge and carries a mandatory 90 day license suspension. And, you can’t have it removed from your record.

This will occur when the driving was so bad, that it endangered people or property. An impaired driver is almost always a danger, and sometimes the circumstances are aggravated. Driving into oncoming traffic. Rear end collision. Blowing though stop signs. These are the types of DUII related driving issues that can cause the District Attorney to add a reckless driving charge to a DUII case. Read Full Article

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Portland Estate Planning Attorney Robert Harris

From Retirement to Entrepreneurship

By: Robert Harris
It used to be that retirement meant golf, hiking, card games and travel. But things have changed. People are healthier and live longer and are choosing to continue working past normal retirement age.

And, we’ve seen a recent trend of older entrepreneurs. People who had a long work career and qualify by age for retirement, but chose to start that business they’ve always dreamed about. Of course, some of these clients also decide to star t their own business because they’ve been unable to find work, or because their retirement proves inadequate for one reason or another.

Regardless of the reasons for starting a business, I find that many retiree/entrepreneurs have the type of characteristics and skills that definitely increase their likelihood of success. Here are some of the most important traits that younger clients just don’t or can’t possess. Read Full Article

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Portland Criminal Attorney Robert Harris

Was Mohamed Mohamud Entrapped? – Portland Oregon Terror Trial

By: Robert Harris
This week Mohamed Mohamud goes on trial for the Pioneer Square bombing plot. He doesn’t deny participation in the actual act of terror. His Defense is entrapment.

With more police agencies running sting operations clients often ask about the entrapment defense. The Mohamed Mohamud trial illustrates how difficult it is to use entrapment as a defense.

Entrapment, if successfully used, is a complete defense to a criminal charge. So the defendant may be found not guilty if successful. The legal theory behind entrapment is that government agents may not originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person's mind the disposition to commit a criminal act, and then induce commission of the crime so that the Government may prosecute. So, there are two elements a defendant must raise and prove. Read Full Article

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Portland DUI and criminal defense attorney Jennifer Robins discussing ignition interlock devices in Oregon.

Oregon Ignition Interlock Device Providers

By: Jennifer Robins
As Portland DUII attorneys, we assist our criminal defense clients not only during the DUII investigation, pre trial and trial phases, we also help them if the court or DMV imposes conditions or sanctions.

Whether someone is convicted of a driving under the influence, or is placed on Diversion for a DUII, Oregon DUII law now often requires an ignition interlock device. Otherwise, Oregon DMV will suspend your license.

One very common question we get is, What will it cost and where do I get an Ignition Interlock Device in Oregon. The cost will depend on the provider. But attached as a PDF document is a list of ignition interlock device providers in the Portland Oregon area. I hope this helps.

If you have a pending Portland DUI charge, please visit our page on Oregon DUII Law for more information, and what the Harris Law Firm can do to mitigate the consequences to you.

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Portland Business Attorney Robert Harris

Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Treatment

By: Robert Harris
People considering a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a strategic default need to consider how the IRS will treat the debt that is forgiven. Because the IRS typically treats debt that is forgiven as "income" A short sale particularly can result in the mortgage company sending the homeowner a 1099 form stating that the homeowner received "income". However, due to mortgage crisis, the federal government has passed legislative relief for most homeowners.

There is a great blog article from Hertsel Shadian, Attorney at Law, LLC, we found that succinctly sets out the tax issues encountered by all the homeowners that are considering a short sale, deed in lieu or strategic defaulting on their home.

If your mortgage debt is partly or entirely forgiven during tax years 2007 through 2012, you may be able to claim special tax relief and exclude the debt forgiven from your income. Here are 10 facts you should know about Mortgage Debt Forgiveness. Read Full Article

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Hit By Bad Driver? What To Do When Other Driver's Insurance Company Calls

By: Paul J. Vames
Let's say, for example, your car has been rear-ended on the freeway or at a stop light. Your rear bumper and trunk are smashed. Your neck and shoulders snap back from the force of the collision and begin to ache. You develop a headache and experience a feeling of disorientation. Your joints are sore.

Your primary concern following an injury accident is to feel better and ensure that your injuries are not serious. Your first instinct should be to seek immediate and appropriate medical care from a physician or hospital emergency department. In Oregon, where PIP coverage is mandatory under State law, you can and should get the immediate medical care you need without delay. You paid premiums for this coverage and are entitled to the best care available. PIP is YOUR coverage under your insurance policy. Cooperate with your own insurer and your medical bills will be paid. Read Full Article

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Portland attorney Robert Harris

Mortgage Relief Scams

By: Robert Harris
For people who are upside down in their homes, and are desperately looking for a way out, rest assured that scammers are more than willing to take your money. A Huffington Post article about mortgage relief scams explains one type of common scam.

Before you ever, ever, ever agree to hand your money over to any mortgage relief, or debt workout, or distressed loan "specialist" (who may actually be nothing more than a boiler room operator somewhere in Florida), talk to a local reputable attorney about your legal options. For a relatively small fee, an experienced attorney can assess your situation and spell out your options. Read Full Article

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