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Author: George McCoy

Who Are the Involved Parties in a Divorce Case in Oregon?

Unless you have been divorced before, or you are a divorce attorney yourself, you probably have a lot of questions about how these types of legal cases work. Unsure how many parties could be involved? Don’t know the difference between a petitioner and a respondent? That’s where our experts come in to help. Read on below to find out more information about what is involved in a divorce case in Oregon.

Petitioner

A petitioner is the term used to refer to the individual who files the petition for a divorce in Oregon. This party is also known as the plaintiff. The specific paperwork you will need to fill out can be found online or obtained through a court. There will be different paperwork if you petition or if you are the respondent.

There are some important requirements to note if you are planning to be the petitioner. First of all, the individual who files the petition for divorce must be an Oregon resident. They are required to have lived in the state for at least six months prior to the dissolution of the marriage. Also, the petitioner must make sure that their petition is filed in the county where they and/or the other spouse lives.

If only one of the parties lives in Oregon, the court may still be able to dissolve the marriage. However, this could lead to problems down the line. The court may not be able to require certain things of the party who lives out of state.

As the petitioner, you may have a specific reason for pursuing the divorce. However, Oregon also allows what is known as a “no-fault” divorce. Unlike with other grounds for divorce, no-fault divorce doesn’t require you to submit any proof. The grounds for divorce can just be irreconcilable differences.

Respondent

While one party is the petitioner in a divorce case, the other party is the respondent. The respondent is the defendant to the petitioner’s plaintiff.

After a petitioner files for divorce, the respondent is the one who will then be “served” with a copy of the petition, a summons, and other important paperwork. The petitioner can give this paperwork to their future former spouse themselves. Or the petitioner can also arrange for someone else, such as the sheriff, to serve the respondent.

In order to confirm that they have received the petition, summons, and paperwork, the respondent will sign an “Acceptance of Service.”
If the respondent is unable to be reached and/or found, there are some other ways they can be served. Although that is usually a last resort. This can include a notice published in an Oregon newspaper or something posted at the courthouse.

Once the respondent has been served with the petition, they are given a certain amount of time to file their response to the court. In Oregon, a respondent is given 30 days after they have been served. Once a response has been filed, the court can set a date for a trial, settlement, or mediation.

If the respondent does not file within those 30 days, the petitioner can ask for a default judgment from the court. If they decide to do so, it could mean that the petitioner will get everything they ask for in the petition.

Attorney

The state of Oregon does not necessarily require petitioners or respondents to have an attorney for a divorce case. However, it is still strongly recommended.

One very helpful service that attorneys provide is an initial consultation. Even if your divorce seems super simple and straightforward, this wouldn’t hurt. An experienced attorney may notice something that the average person would miss. That could save you a big headache later on. In some cases, these legal consultations are even free of charge.

Judge

Ultimately, a marriage is officially over when a judge signs a judgment of dissolution of marriage. This judgment will include the division of assets and how court costs and fees will be divided. If there are children involved, this judgment will include custody and child support arrangements as well.

At Warren Allen LLP, you can count on our excellent attorneys and decades of service in Oregon and the broader Pacific Northwest. Whether you are the petitioner or the respondent, turn to us for your Oregon divorce case. You can find more information about Warren Allen LLP on our website. If you’re interested in meeting with one of our attorneys for a consult, you can find our contact information on our website as well.

How Do I Prepare for My Personal Injury Hearing in Portland?

If you’ve suffered a personal injury to the point where you’ve decided to bring a legal case in the hopes of recouping damages, then one of the most important parts of the process is the personal injury hearing. At the hearing, you (or your attorney) will present your case and argue why you are justified in seeking damages. Whether you live around the world or here in Portland, personal injury hearings are a critical part of the process, and you should know how to best prepare for them.

What Is a Personal Injury Hearing?

Typically, the term “personal injury hearing” specifically refers to the session where a personal injury case is argued before the judge, who will then determine fault and damages. However, not all personal injury cases actually make it to trial—in fact, the vast majority do not. Only about 4% to 5% of personal injury cases ever see a day in court, as the overwhelming majority are settled out of court.

Colloquially, however, this phrase may be used to refer to other matters related to personal injury proceedings. Two of the most common alternatives that may be called “personal injury hearings” (typically by non-attorneys or other legal professionals) will be personal injury depositions and personal injury mediations.

What’s the Difference Between Personal Injury Hearings, Depositions, and Mediations?

The three are very different in terms of outcome but also share broad similarities. In all of these, you will be telling your Portland personal injury lawyer—or your lawyer wherever else you live in the world—about why you think you deserve to be compensated for the injuries you’ve suffered. However, the differences between them are notable.

What Is a Personal Injury Deposition?

A deposition can be thought of as a “fact-finding” session. In a deposition, an attorney attempts to piece together exactly what happened and the facts of the matter as they related to the personal injury case.

If you are the person who experienced the personal injury, you may be called by your attorney to give an official deposition as to the facts of the matter. However, even if you are not the victim (or the plaintiff), you may be called in to testify. This can be true even if you are a witness to the events that happened.

You can think of a personal injury deposition as a “trial before a trial.” In other words, even though the attorneys are not pleading a case before a judge, much of the same information will be shared—this is the opportunity for the attorneys to gather the information that they will later use to plead their cases in the trial proper.

Most depositions are not held in a courtroom. Rather, they will usually be held at law offices or in other designated spaces owned by the attorneys involved in the case. However, a deposition is a legal proceeding, and as such, you are considered under oath and must be careful to tell the truth so you don’t risk perjury.

What Is a Personal Injury Mediation?

As previously mentioned, most personal injury cases in Portland and around the country are settled before trial. A personal injury mediation session may be one of the ways two parties come to an agreement, or it may be something mandated by the judge after the hearing proper. Either way, a personal injury mediation is a session in which the plaintiff and defendant (and their legal teams) come together to agree on an appropriate settlement.

Unlike the deposition, which is usually just for fact-finding, a personal injury mediation session is usually legally binding and will attempt to resolve the case for good.

What Is a Personal Injury Hearing?

A personal injury hearing, as previously mentioned, involves the parties in question coming forward to argue their cases in front of a judge. At the conclusion of the personal injury hearing, the judge will decide in favor of the defendant or plaintiff and award monetary damages—or alternatively, they may decide that the case should go to mediation, in which case you should refer to the above section.

Either way, it’s important that you know how to behave in these varying scenarios. So whether you’re around the country or here in Portland, personal injury hearing guidelines include the following:

  • Tell the truth. Not only is this a good maxim to live by, but in a deposition or hearing, you are under oath and therefore are legally obligated to be truthful. If it can be proven that you were lying, not only could the result be appealed, but you could face charges of perjury.
  • Be prepared. No attorney—and no judge—enjoys a defendant who doesn’t know what they’re talking about or who has to waste time trying to remember a facet of the event in question. You’re human, and of course, there’s leeway, but you should be sure to prepare as much as possible in terms of reviewing documents and your memory of the events in question.
  • Be on time. The annals of legal history are full of anecdotes of plaintiffs or defendants who forgot their court dates and as such forfeited their cases (and wasted the court’s time). Don’t be one of them. Ensure you know exactly where and when your court date is scheduled and don’t miss it.
  • Dress appropriately. You don’t need to show up to the court in full formal dress, but wearing clothing with vulgar images or slang on it might give a poor impression to the judge. Dress nicely to ensure you are perceived as credible.
  • Don’t take things personally. Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant—or a witness—people will be challenging your version of the events that transpired. The opposing counsel is legally obligated to do so, in fact. So when the opposing counsel puts forth a sequence of events that are totally at odds with how you describe it, don’t get angry. Remaining calm is the best thing you can do in a court hearing, especially if you’re on the stand.

If you have questions about personal injury hearings in Portland, Oregon, or anywhere else, don’t worry—contact an expert. At Warren Allen, we’re here for a consultation today.

 

Power of Attorney and 5 More Legal Terms Everyone Should Know

You don’t need a law degree to understand some legal terminology, and in fact, there are some basic legal concepts everyone should know. For instance, “power of attorney” is a legal term many people seem to recognize. But what can it be used for and how exactly does it work?

Warren Allen LLP has experience litigating cases in several practice areas, and there are certain legal concepts that are relevant across the board. Here’s an overview of the most relevant and useful legal terms with which you should familiarize yourself.

1. Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants someone else the ability, or power, to act on your behalf. A power of attorney can be executed for a limited purpose, such as one specific matter, or for a limited period of time. It may also be executed so that your representative has broad authority to act on your behalf for a range of legal matters.

For instance, let’s say you’re closing on a home, but you’re currently living in another city and are unable to attend the closing. You may execute a limited POA giving your spouse or attorney the ability to sign the closing documents on your behalf for that particular matter only.

On the other hand, you may want to grant a trusted friend or family member the long-term ability to act on your behalf in all legal matters. In this instance, you would execute what’s known as a durable POA. A durable POA in Oregon remains in effect indefinitely or until the power is revoked by the principal. In fact, an executed POA in Oregon is considered durable unless the POA expressly states something to the contrary.

A healthcare POA can also be executed if you want to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Even if you’re in good health, a healthcare POA is something you should consider in the event you become incapacitated and need someone to act on your behalf. For instance, you may want to communicate your feelings about life support to the person you designate as your healthcare POA and have them respect your wishes should you ever be unable to make your own medical decisions.

2. Retainer

A retainer refers to the fee that you pay to retain an attorney. An attorney may charge an hourly fee or a flat rate, depending on the legal issue at hand. If you are charged an hourly rate, you more than likely will have to pay the retainer before your attorney begins work on your case. Essentially, this is a good faith payment or a deposit of sorts.

The attorney then places that money in a trust account and accesses the funds as needed for expenses and services rendered. Should you have any money left over once the work is complete, your attorney will refund you the difference between the retainer and the amount of accrued expenses. Likewise, if the retainer does not cover the full amount of expenses, you will likely be responsible for paying the difference.

You may also choose to have an attorney on retainer, which is slightly different. If you have an attorney on retainer, you pay the attorney to be available for a specific period of time to answer questions or provide legal advice about specific matters. For instance, if you are a landlord or management company, you may want to have an attorney on retainer to answer questions about fair housing laws, eviction proceedings, or landlord/tenant disputes.

3. Liability

Liability refers to responsibility for a particular action or outcome. In personal injury law, for example, determining who is liable for an accident essentially means determining who was at fault. If a person is found liable, they will likely have to pay damages to the injured party. In some cases, who is liable isn’t entirely clear-cut, and it may be helpful to have a personal injury attorney acting on your behalf.

4. Damages

If you are found to be the liable party in a legal dispute, you will likely be responsible for paying damages—a monetary amount that is either agreed upon by the involved parties or determined by a court of law. Damages can be either punitive or compensatory.

The latter compensates the person for medical expenses, property damage, loss of income, and the pain and suffering they endured as a result of the injury. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are meant to punish the liable party.

For instance, a judge may award punitive damages on top of compensatory damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Punitive damages are meant to have a deterrent effect on the responsible party so they will refrain from any future reckless or negligent behavior that may have led to the incident in question.

5. With/Without Prejudice

Some legal matters may be settled out of court. But in other instances, you may need to file suit against someone to resolve a dispute. If so, a judge will evaluate both sides of the argument and either allow the case to proceed or dismiss it.

If a judge dismisses a case, it will be dismissed with or without prejudice. If the case is dismissed with prejudice, it means the judge has made a definitive decision to not allow the case to proceed further.

If a judge dismisses a case without prejudice, it means that the suit can be refiled with the court in the future. A judge could dismiss a suit without prejudice if certain revisions need to be made to the original filing or if more information is needed before proceeding.

6. Probate

When a person dies, probate is the process in which the person’s will is evaluated and verified before their property or assets are distributed. The probate process ensures the will is legitimate and that it is honored according to the deceased person’s wishes.

If a person dies without a will, a probate court will decide how the assets should be distributed. This can often be a long and drawn-out process, especially if there’s a debate about who should get what. That’s why it’s all the more important to draft a will before you die.

If you want to learn more about estate planning, Warren Allen LLP can help. From obtaining a power of attorney to drafting a last will and testament, we will provide you with sound legal advice and counsel. If you’re dealing with a complex legal matter, make sure you have an experienced team like Warren Allen LLP by your side.

 

What Kind of Evidence Is Used in a Car Accident Case?

If you have been the victim of a car accident, it’s important to immediately gather as much evidence as possible. The more comprehensive your car accident evidence is, the greater chance you have of establishing the validity of your claim and receiving fair compensation. This will require documentation to support your claim. The more you have, the easier it is for your attorney to represent your interests with the insurance company.

If you have been in a car accident and are uncertain of what documentation you should obtain, below details what car accident evidence can best establish your case.

Contact Information of Witnesses

When you have been in an accident, you should collect the names and contact information of any witnesses, including passengers in all vehicles involved. An attorney will need this information to gather official statements from witnesses. This will help determine who is at fault.

It’s also best to call the police. Help may be needed to address any injuries or damage, but even in a minor accident, it’s beneficial to have an official police report. A police report at the time of the accident will further determine which driver is legally at fault.

Details from the Scene of the Accident

Accidents are scary and can be disorienting with the stress and trauma of the incident as well as any physical damage or injuries sustained. Even though it can be difficult to think of everything in the moment, it may be harder to remember important details later. In an effort to keep the facts straight, you should record as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident. This includes taking photos of the accident and taking notes of what you remember and what was witnessed as soon as you can after the accident.

It’s also important to gather necessary information from any other drivers involved, including their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and vehicle plate numbers. If it’s a company vehicle or they are driving for an employer, make sure to document the company name and contact information.

Photo or Video Documentation

Photographic evidence or videos will help with presenting a clear claim. Make sure to document any damage or injuries. Take pictures of the accident and any damage to your car. If you or anyone else in the car has suffered injuries as a result of the accident, make sure to take photos of these injuries. It will also help to keep a written record of these injuries and damages, corroborating the photos.

Records of Damage

A portion of fair compensation will include vehicle damage. In order for your attorney to determine what is fair compensation and to support the validity of your claim, keep all documents concerning vehicle damage. Keep copies of receipts for car repairs and rentals.

If you recently upgraded components of your car prior to the accident, provide copies of receipts detailing the work done and showing the date preceding the accident. This could include work on the engine or recently replacing the vehicle’s tires. This increases the value of your car at the time of the accident and reflects what compensation your attorney will fairly seek on your behalf.

Medical Records and Proof of Payment

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, it’s important to receive timely medical treatment. Not only is it critical to recovery, but it also proves the extent of your injuries and that nothing in the claim is falsified. Keep careful records of all treatment received as well as documents noting the nature and extent of your injuries. Make sure to also include all receipts for payments made. These records will document the medical expenses as well as the extent of your injury.

Once you have finished your treatment, request a complete history of these medical records. It’s important to request copies throughout the process, but once you have received treatment, you can obtain comprehensive records. These may include medical bills, diagnostic images, medications, and other applicable treatments or care.

Written Accounts

Additionally, keep written accounts of your injuries, experiences, and treatments. Who did you see? What was your treatment? What were you required to do post-visit to aid recovery? Were you required to pay anything? What was your experience like? Journaling about the events of the accident, your experiences, and any damage or injuries will help you keep a clear timeline and record of events. It will aid in building your case, as well as prevent you from forgetting important details.

Car accident victims may experience “pain and suffering.” This includes physical injury as well as mental pain and suffering. This is an important component of a personal injury claim and calculates in the claim settlement. Keeping a written journal of things such as loss of sleep or appetite, depression, difficulty in returning to work, or any related pain and suffering will help determine fair compensation and a better resolution.

Proof of Lost Wages

If a car accident has resulted in missing days of work, then you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and income. Gather pay stubs, W-2s, and any other information that shows missed days of work and what compensation you typically receive as part of your car accident evidence.

Proof of Burden

The burden of proof lies with the person seeking damages. If you are the injured party, then you must prove the other driver was at fault. All of the preceding evidence will help prove the validity of your claim.

After experiencing a car accident, an attorney will guide you in filing a claim and ensuring you have all the proper documentation. They will defend your interests with the insurance company, as well as present your case in court if a desirable settlement is not reached.

The experts at Warren Allen LLP offer sound legal advice and representation to help you receive the best resolution possible. Contact our firm today and learn what your options are. We are here to help you receive fair compensation so you can focus on recovery.

 

Do I Need a Divorce Attorney in Portland Oregon?

Going through a divorce can be a difficult experience, one that is often accompanied by financial and emotional strain. But hiring a divorce attorney in Portland, Oregon, to represent your interests and keep you informed throughout the process could make things go more smoothly.

We know because the legal team at Warren Allen LLP has helped countless clients get a favorable outcome in their divorce proceedings. We’ll explain why having someone on your side to fight for your interests during a divorce is the smartest decision you can make.

You Have Options

You may feel like you’re backed into a corner when you’re going through a divorce, but the first thing to know is that you have options. There’s no legal requirement in Oregon to hire an attorney for divorce proceedings. This means you can choose to represent yourself if you’d like.

If you’re considering going this route, keep in mind that family law can be quite complex. Laws vary by state, so you’ll want to make sure you know what particular laws apply to your locality. There are many nuances to family law as well. A misstep could be costly, both financially and personally.

That’s why it’s important to keep in mind what’s at stake. All your assets, including personal property, financial assets, business interests, and even custody of your children if you have them, are up for grabs when you’re going through a divorce. Think about whether you can afford to take the risk of representing yourself. It will help you make the most informed decision about whether to retain legal representation.

If you have an uncontested divorce, few assets, no kids, and a fairly straightforward situation, you may be able to represent yourself. But even so, you will need to do your research. Thoroughly familiarize yourself with all applicable laws and remember that once a final court order is filed in an Oregon divorce proceeding, it can be exceptionally difficult to alter it later. In other words, make sure you know what you’re doing before deciding to represent yourself.

Summary Dissolution

If you have a fairly simple divorce case and do want to represent yourself, you may be able to proceed with a “short form” summary dissolution proceeding. The paperwork for this type of proceeding is fairly simple and can be picked up from the courthouse in the county in which you reside. Some courthouses even have family court facilitators on hand to help you complete the paperwork.

Even if you decide to go this route, though, keep in mind that you should have a divorce attorney review your paperwork before it’s filed. This can help you avoid potential oversights and errors.

What About the Cost?

One thing that may keep someone from hiring a divorce attorney in Portland, Oregon, is the expense of legal representation. We get it. A divorce can be an immense financial strain. You may be looking to save money. But remember, experienced family law attorneys are skilled at negotiating the best possible divorce terms.

Concerned about paying alimony or losing a major asset? Worried about seeing your kids less often? If you want to protect your investments and ensure the best possible relationship with your children, securing legal representation is key. Many divorce attorneys offer payment plans, and hiring an attorney can save you from the risk of an overall much more costly divorce.

Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Attorney

A divorce attorney will look out for both your financial interests and your best interests. Tensions can run high during a divorce, which leads many people to not think clearly when negotiating its terms.

But an attorney has experience and understands options you may not even be aware of. We can get creative with solutions. We also don’t have the same emotional attachments to the situation. Emotions can cloud your judgment and sometimes impede your ability to find the middle ground that’s most advantageous to you. Allow a divorce attorney to take care of that for you. We can negotiate in a fair, equitable way while prioritizing your needs.

If it’s important to our client, it’s important to us. So we will do everything we can to make sure your interests are always front and center at the negotiating table.

What If You Have Children?

If you have kids, you will more than likely establish a shared custody agreement. You may have to make concessions when it comes to sharing custody of your kids during the holidays or on weekends or other special occasions, for instance. An attorney can help you negotiate the most favorable outcome possible, as we have more experience and are more knowledgeable of custody laws.

And if you’re in a situation where your children’s other parent is suing for full custody, you will most definitely want an experienced attorney representing your interests.

What You Need to Know

Hiring a divorce attorney in Portland, Oregon, should be a thought-out, deliberate process. Do your research. Ask for recommendations from close family and friends that you trust. Read reviews. You should also check with the Oregon State Bar to make sure any attorney you’re considering is in good standing. Then check to see if the attorney’s services are within your budget.

Once you have settled on a few potential attorneys, arrange for a consultation. See how well the attorney listens to you and communicates with you and how comfortable you feel with them. Ask questions about the attorney’s past experience and whether they’ve had cases similar to yours.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in Portland, Oregon, and would like to schedule a consultation, contact Warren Allen. We provide legal representation and advice to clients throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Even if your marriage ended badly, your divorce doesn’t have to. Let us be there for you to make sure everything goes smoothly. We can help you close the book on this chapter of your life and begin a whole new story.

How Does the Personal Injury Claim Process Work?

If you have experienced a personal injury due to an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Recovering from an injury takes time and can be costly. These hardships can range from monetary loss to physical and emotional pain and suffering. Medical bills, lost wages from missing work, repairs to damaged property—the costs can be overwhelming. However, you may have a right to recouping these losses.

Filing a personal injury claim gives you the opportunity to receive compensation for injuries sustained in an accident. This can be the help you need to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally as well as recover any financial loss. But how does the claim process work? If you live in Oregon and are filing a Portland personal injury claim but are uncertain of how it works, below is a simple breakdown of the process. Understanding how it works can alleviate added stress so you can have peace of mind knowing you are on the road to full recovery.

Seek Medical Treatment

The first step in the claims process is getting necessary medical treatment. If you don’t receive treatment immediately for any injuries sustained, it suggests these injuries were not that serious, and it will be difficult to prove otherwise to an insurance adjuster or jury. It is also the most important step in regard to your own health and recovery. Do not delay treatment because you are worried about how much it will cost or if you can afford it.

Keep careful documentation of treatment received as well as copies of all bills. These records are important to building your case and receiving fair compensation.

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

Though it’s possible to file a claim without legal representation, it isn’t advisable for more significant injuries or if you’re receiving opposition from the other party involved. An attorney will fairly represent you and your interests while advocating for the compensation you are entitled to. This is especially true if you have lost more than a couple of days of work or have costly medical bills. Insurance companies often attempt to minimize how much you receive, so an attorney can be a powerful ally in making sure you receive the full compensation you qualify for.

If you’re in the Portland area and looking for an experienced attorney for your Portland personal injury, Warren Allen LLP offers legal advice and representation for those who have been affected by these accidents. Whether you have experienced a car crash or other type of accident that has resulted in an injury, we are here to help you every step of the way. Contact our firm today and learn what your best options are. We’ll work to the best resolution possible and help you receive compensation.

Open Claim and Submit Demand Package

A personal injury attorney will then investigate your claim and gather all details pertaining to the accident, injury, and treatment. This includes all medical records and bills related to the accident. Once you have been interviewed and obtained all necessary documentation, a claim is filed with both parties’ respective insurance companies.

Most personal injury cases settle without filing a lawsuit in court. A demand package is a comprehensive collection of all medical bills and documents detailing the accident, injury, treatment, wage loss, and any other financial damage. This package is prepared during the pre-litigation stage and begins negotiations with the insurance company. At this stage, a favorable settlement may be reached.

If the insurance company agrees to fair financial compensation and you accept, a lawsuit will not have to be filed. However, if the insurance company offers a low settlement in hopes you will want to quickly settle, it may require more arbitration. If they are unwilling to offer a fair settlement, the next step is litigation.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If a settlement is not reached, litigation begins when your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit in court. This step should only take place after you have reached “maximum medical improvement.” Your medical treatment should be completed before submitting a demand package or filing a lawsuit because it helps an attorney determine what your case is worth.

After the complaint (the court action that begins the lawsuit) is filed, both you and the defendant will complete an “interrogatory” (a written document comprised of questions that have been answered to gather information regarding the accident) and a “deposition” (verbal questions).

Trial

As mentioned previously, most personal injury cases don’t make it to trial and can be settled out of court. And a very few instances require mandatory arbitration instead of court. This is usually limited to situations involving medical malpractice.

Once both parties of the claim have as much information regarding the claim as possible, an objective arbitrator reviews the evidence and will suggest a resolution, though, it is non-binding. If mediation and negations cannot result in a settlement, then your attorney will represent you and your interests in court and help you receive the compensation you deserve. If at no point in time you or the other parties involved are able to come to a voluntary agreement and reach a settlement, your case will be decided by a jury verdict and judgment.

Another reason your case may have to go to trial is if the statute of limitations on your claim is about to run out. If this is true with your claim, your attorney will have to file a lawsuit in court so they are able to continue your claim. This will, in turn, maintain your right to seek compensation for your injuries and not lose out on such claims because you missed the deadline by which your claim was to be filed within the proper court.

If you have suffered an injury and are seeking compensation, knowing the process of your personal injury claim and having the right team in your corner can help mitigate uncertainty and undue stress so you can focus on what matters most: recovery.

What Cases Do a Real Estate Attorney Handle?

A real estate attorney is knowledgeable in real estate law and is equipped to help in matters pertaining to real estate transactions. They can handle all of the legal aspects of a real estate transaction or litigate real estate cases. Whether you need assistance with the legal process of buying property or have a dispute you need to settle, a real estate attorney specializes in such cases and is a valuable asset.

Not only does a real estate attorney secure the legal transfer of property from seller to buyer, but they can offer needed assistance to ensure the party’s interests are protected. Buying a home or property is a large investment, and you will want an advocate who best represents your interests at closing. If you are buying or selling property, it may be helpful to work with a real estate attorney in Portland, Oregon. If you’re uncertain if you need an attorney, read below to learn what real estate attorneys do and how they can help with your particular needs.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

A real estate attorney has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of real estate law and can offer legal assistance with the purchasing process. This includes the land and any structure on it, for residential or commercial property. They can help prepare and review documents, facilitate the transfer of funds, verify the title is clear, and even attend the closing to ensure your interests are protected.

Their scope of expertise is varied, and they are equipped to facilitate document preparation for land purchases, commercial property purchases, financing, leasing, selling, and new construction property. Additionally, if problems arise during a deal, they can litigate any disputes pertaining to the property and work to resolve the issues while minimizing costs.

Buying a Home

Buying a home or property to build on can be an overwhelming process, especially for a first-time homeowner. There are a lot of steps and legal procedures that must be followed to guarantee a legal transfer of the property. This process includes a number of fees and transferring money, as well as negotiating closing costs and any inspections or repairs that are needed.

A real estate attorney can guide you through all the necessary steps to ensure the transfer is legal while working to protect your interests and help negotiate costs. They will evaluate the seller’s offer and make sure the responsibilities of the seller and buyer are clearly defined. Depending on your state of residence, an attorney may be required by the title insurance company or mortgage lender to ensure a secure transaction.

Not only will a real estate attorney help you understand the purchase contract, but they will also prepare and file necessary documents and ensure there are no liens, covenants, or easements registered against the property. They will also evaluate any adjustments prior to closing, review the papers you’re required to sign at closing, and ensure you have received a valid title with no surprise liabilities. They can also secure title insurance should there be any potential problems in the future.

Selling a Home

A real estate attorney can also be obtained by a seller to help prepare the purchase and sale agreement as well as negotiate the terms. Having an attorney on your side during the process can be a valuable asset. They can fix any issues with the title and securely prepare the paperwork while ensuring a smooth transfer of money and deed. This includes preparing the deed, reviewing documents at closing, and arranging both the security deposit transfer as well as insurance certificates. If you’re a first-time seller, an attorney can be the peace of mind you need to make sure you have legally transferred your home and that your interests are protected.

Boundary Disputes

If you own property, it may become necessary to protect yourself from any violation of your boundary line. An easement may allow someone to use your land for limited purposes, such as crossing your land to access a public road or allowing utility companies to access any pipes or electric lines on your property.

While easements give these parties the right to use your land, sometimes, the issue and property line are more obscured. You may be uncertain about the property boundary between a neighbor. Where does the boundary lie? Or maybe you innocently encroached on the adjoining landowner’s property to make an improvement. A real estate attorney can evaluate the boundary dispute and negotiate a settlement or represent you in court to protect your property interest.

Estate Planning

A subset within real estate law is estate planning. This branch focuses on your assets and what happens to them when you pass away. This includes the transfer of property and the creation of wills and trusts. An attorney will ensure your family is cared for and your assets are passed on to the person or organization of your choice with as minimal taxation as possible.

Landlord-Tenant Law

Renting real property affords both the landlord and tenant certain rights. Sometimes, these rights can be violated, and one of the involved parties will require the protection of their interests. However, it can be tricky to navigate whose rights were violated and how to proceed. Landlord/tenant laws are complex and may require expert representation. These laws apply to both residential and commercial property and cover all aspects of renting real property, such as leases and evictions. A real estate attorney is equipped to handle the diverse and various aspects of this branch, from form reviews to fair housing disputes.

No matter what your legal needs are, our real estate attorneys at Warren Allen LLP in Portland, Oregon, are here to expertly guide you. Whether you’re buying or selling a home or looking for guidance or representation in a current dispute, you can put your trust in us. Our skilled attorneys will focus on helping you achieve your legal goals, regardless of the forum. If you’re in Oregon or Washington, contact us today for exceptional service and sound legal advice.

 

What Training and Certifications Are Required of Attorneys in Portland Oregon?

Whether you’re just graduating from high school and deciding which career path to choose for the first time or have been working in a different profession for years and are ready for a life change, deciding to become a lawyer can be both exciting and daunting. There are many steps to take before you’re permitted to represent another person in a court of law. Figuring out which steps are required and in which order takes some work. Becoming a lawyer requires dedication and commitment through the education and testing process, and it also requires a large financial obligation to pay for the schooling and certifications required by the state.

Many lawyers have decided on this career path because it provides a lot of job satisfaction, as it allows you to use your legal skills to help others and protect those without a voice, such as children, animals, and the environment. Not only is it a meaningful career path, but it also provides financial stability with a large earning potential, and it allows you the flexibility to choose your own law field to specialize in based on which areas of law you’re most interested in. Lawyers can work across multiple fields of law throughout their careers.

Your attorneys in Portland, Oregon, from Warren Allen LLP did the legwork for you, and we’ve listed below the steps to take to start your career journey and become a professional lawyer. If you would like to speak with an attorney in the Portland, Oregon, area, contact Warren Allen LLP for legal advice or representation.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step in becoming a lawyer is earning your bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate school that’s recognized by the US Department of Education. You aren’t required to select a particular major in order to apply to a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), and you can graduate with either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

However, there may be certain classes that can be completed during your undergraduate degree that will be helpful when earning your law degree, as they prepare you for those lessons that will be required during your post-graduate law program. Taking classes such as criminal justice and political science, business and economics courses, and classes in communications can all help prepare you for the classes required during law school.

Pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Once you graduate from an undergraduate program recognized by the US Department of Education, you’re ready to study for your Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is a standardized exam that must be completed before applying to any ABA-accredited law school. The exam includes multiple-choice questions that test your logic, reasoning, and reading comprehension. You will also be required to submit a 30-minute writing sample that doesn’t count toward your LSAT score but is used by law school administrators to evaluate your qualifications for entering their law program.

The Law School Admission Council’s website is a great resource for preparing for the LSAT, and you can also sign up to sit for the exam on their website. You must apply to take the LSAT online, and the test is only available to take during certain times of the year, so it’s important to visit the Law School Admission Council’s website to find out when the exam will be offered in your area. You should receive your LSAT score about three weeks after completing the exam.

LSAT scores will range from 120, which is the lowest possible score, to 180, which is the highest possible score. Each law school program will require a certain score to be considered a candidate for their law program, and that score will vary with each school. The average LSAT score is around 150. The exam will be around 100 questions, and you will need to get about 60 questions correct to pass with a 150.

Graduate From Law School

After graduating with an undergraduate degree and completing the LSAT, you’re now ready to apply to an ABA-accredited law school. Three ABA-accredited law schools in the Portland, Oregon, area are Lewis and Clark Law School, University of Oregon Law School, and Willamette University College of Law. In order to sit for the Oregon State Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a Juris Doctor (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from an ABA-accredited school.

Most law programs will have students complete internships where they get to put into practice what they learned in the classroom. All ABA-accredited law degree programs offer the same foundational law classes that include civil, criminal, and constitutional law; international law; legal research and writing; contracts, ethics, wills, and trusts; and estate and property law.

Pass the Oregon State Bar Exam

You can sign up to sit for the Oregon State Bar Exam within 120 days of your graduation date from an ABA-accredited law program. The Oregon Bar Exam is given twice a year, in February and July, and is given over two days. You must apply to sit for the Bar exam by November 15 for the one offered in February, or by April 15 for the exam offered in July.

The Oregon State Bar Exam application can be found on the Oregon Bar Association website. The application requires providing six character statements and information on your last five employers. It costs $750 to sit for the bar exam. Oregon Bar Exam results are typically mailed six weeks after completing the test.

Maintaining Your License With the Oregon Bar

Once you pass the bar exam, you’re now an attorney in Oregon. Attorneys in Portland, Oregon, are required to participate in the Bar’s New Lawyer Mentoring Program (NLMP) within the first year of becoming a licensed attorney. To maintain your Oregon legal license, you must complete 45 credit hours of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) courses every three years. Course information can be found on the Oregon State Bar website.

5 Most Common Car Accident Injuries and How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how traumatizing of an event it can be. In the best-case scenario, you only need to worry about some damage to your car. It might cost a bit of money to have it repaired, but at least you made it out alright. If you sustain a personal injury, though, things get much more difficult.

After you suffer an injury, your first priority should be healing and recovery. But when it comes about due to a car accident, you may be lacking in both the time and money to do that. There are reports to complete, claims to file, all while you should be focusing on your own well-being. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed in the aftermath of an accident, a personal injury lawyer might be just what you need.
With legal representation, you have an advocate who can take some of the work off your plate while also ensuring you get any and all financial compensation you may be owed. Below you’ll find a few of the most common car accident injuries as well as how a personal injury lawyer can help.

1. Whiplash

A car accident can subject the body to a large and sudden amount of force, leading to injuries that might be less apparent in the first moments after. If some time passes after and you find yourself dealing with neck pain or discomfort, you may have sustained whiplash. It’s a condition resulting from sudden stress or strain put upon the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck.

While whiplash is more often than not temporary, it can take up to a few weeks for it to heal. It’s not a bad idea to have it looked at by a physician. With a personal injury lawyer helping you, you can seek aid to cover any medical bills that might arise from the accident. Should the injury turn out to be more severe, they can also help present this in your claim. That way your claim will stay up-to-date and accurate and you can receive the correct amount of compensation.

2. Back Injuries

Back injuries, like whiplash, may not be noticeable until sometime after a car accident. Unlike whiplash, a back injury can be significantly more serious and end up requiring medical attention. The sudden impact can cause ruptures or herniations along your spine, leading to pain and a loss of mobility.

If you experience persistent back pain after a car accident, it’s wise to visit an orthopedist for a full assessment. Back injuries can worsen if left alone, making an early examination the difference between a few weeks of back pain and a chronic condition. While specialized care can be costly, working with a personal injury lawyer will help you establish what your needs are and secure compensation to cover them.

3. Broken Bones

While not frequently seen in milder accidents, broken bones are a common outcome of many collisions. The bone (or bones) broken, along with the severity of the break, varies depending on the circumstances of a collision. Knee fractures can come about from slamming into the console, arms or legs can break if slammed or pinned against the door, and ribs can even break from the force from your seatbelt holding you in place.

Due to this variance in injury, a person’s needs after an accident will be unique to their situation. They may need a sling, a cast, or even surgery in order to set the bone in its proper place. With this in mind, it’s crucial you have help establishing the full extent of the injury in the moments after it happens. This will help your personal injury lawyer keep the facts straight when filing claims and getting you the assistance you need.

4. Concussions

If you follow any sports—or have played any yourself—you’re probably familiar with concussions. Caused by sudden impacts to the head, concussions are a common injury resulting from car accidents. If in the aftermath of an accident, you find yourself suffering from a headache, brain fog, memory loss, or just feel like your brain isn’t working like it normally does, you’ve most likely suffered a concussion. Luckily, concussions are easily treatable. The most important thing is that you get medical attention quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start working on getting your brain back in order.

5. Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can result from the head sustaining a puncture or high amount of sudden force. Concussions technically fall within the category of TBIs, but while still serious, they are only considered to be mild cases. With a moderate or severe TBI, the consequences can be much more dire. A TBI can alter the way your brain functions, making it hard to properly regulate emotions or think clearly.

While a TBI can be treated, it can also become a lifelong condition or disability.

It’s for this reason that a personal injury lawyer can be massively important should you suffer a TBI in a car accident. A few trips to a specialist along with months of recovery are one thing, but figuring out what kind of care you’ll need for the rest of your life is another. Ongoing medical bills can quickly get expensive, but when you have a personal injury lawyer representing your interests, you can rest easy knowing your needs will be met.

What We Can Do to Help

With any injury incurred from a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can be vitally important to your recovery. From the get-go, they’ll help you get the facts of the accident straight, evaluate the extent and cost of the damages, and stay on your claim to ensure you get the full compensation you are owed. If you’re in need of a personal injury lawyer now or are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Warren Allen. We’re happy to provide any information you may need.

How to Find the Best Car Insurance for You

The moment when you realize you’ve been in a car accident can be one of the scariest and most surreal moments of your life. The last thing you want to think about when in a car accident is how much this will cost you financially. After a car accident, you might be worried about personal injuries, injuries to your loved ones and any others involved in the accident, property damage, damage to your means of transportation, and managing the shock of it all. This moment in time is when it’s apparent why you put in the time and effort to find the best car insurance for you and your loved ones.

Finding the best car insurance can be intimidating, as there are many insurance companies to choose from and lots of different options when choosing your car insurance coverage. Comparing car insurance rates can be both daunting and confusing. Warren Allen has some expert advice on how to go about choosing the best car insurance for you.

Shop Around for the Best Rates

When shopping for the best car insurance for your personal needs, don’t just shop in one place. Consider shopping around and comparing what insurance rates are available from multiple insurance companies in your area. Don’t forget about the smaller insurance companies when comparing rates, as the smaller insurance companies often offer a great customer service experience, with easier and faster claims processing and lower insurance premiums.

When shopping for rates from various insurance companies in your area, not all multi-quote websites report prices for all insurance companies, so it’s a good idea to use a few different multi-quote websites to make sure you cover as many potential insurance companies as you can.

Not only is it a good idea to shop around for the best car insurance price quote, but it’s also a good idea to shop around after a major life event, such as getting married or moving to another state, as each life event will potentially change your insurance premium. It’s also a good idea to shop around for better pricing every few years to make sure you are always getting the best price available.

If you have had any major traffic violations, such as a DUI, traffic tickets, or major accidents, it’s best to wait a few years before shopping around for a better insurance premium, as it can take three to five years for the price increase caused from such things to drop off. If you have questions about your driving record and need legal advice or representation, give Warren Allen a call.

Consider the Customer Service Experience and Not Just Price

When choosing which insurance company to insure your vehicle with, price is often considered the most important factor by many. Though the price is a very important consideration, there are other factors to consider when picking which insurance company to go with. For instance, how responsive is the insurance company, how easy is it to file an insurance claim when it’s needed, and how user-friendly is their website when you need to access your information online.

Many larger insurance companies offer online insurance card access and downloadable mobile apps to easily access all of your insurance information on the go. These accessibility features make it much easier to manage the exchange of insurance information at the scene of an accident, and it adds the ability to file claims at your convenience online or through a mobile app or on a website, instead of having to wait until the insurance company’s business hours.

Look for Discounts

Many car insurance companies offer different discounts toward premiums, and all you need to do is ask for them and qualify based on which ones are available. If you’re an A student, for instance, ask for a good student discount. Do you have a clean driving record? If so, ask if they offer discounts based on a good driving history. If your car has certain features such as anti-theft devices installed or certain safety features like anti-lock brakes, that can qualify you for a discounted rate. All you need to do when shopping around is ask your insurance representative for any available discounts and see which ones they offer that you qualify for.

Another discount that you may not have thought of is a multi-policy discounted rate. If you have one or more family members who reside in your home, if you all purchase insurance through the same insurance company, that can qualify you for a discounted rate on each policy. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance through the same insurance company as your car insurance, that too can qualify you for a discount for having multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company. The best way to find out which discounts may apply to your personal situation is to ask your insurance representative when requesting a price quote.

Know What You Are Paying For

When comparing premiums with different insurance companies, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing fairly, meaning you’re comparing the same level of coverage from Policy A and Policy B. When insurance companies quote a premium, it includes lots of categories that can vary in the dollar amount covered per incident and the type of coverage offered. For example, one insurance company may quote you $50 less a month, but their insurance premium may only include liability insurance and not collision insurance.

Each state has its own minimum requirements for a motorist to be considered properly insured—you can find Oregon’s requirements here—but one insurance company’s price quote may not be a bare-bones policy and may include extras such as rental vehicle coverage or roadside assistance. The out-of-pocket deductible may be more with one policy compared to the other, causing the premiums to be different. Always know what you’re being offered before considering one policy over another.

If you’re in an accident and have questions or need legal representation, reach out to your legal experts at Warren Allen.