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Portland Environmental and Real Estate Law Blog

Adrian Peterson: Employment dispute leads to federal appeal

The federal court system is often a forum for a variety of issues that can affect a large number of people. While it might not affect a large number of people, a recent case heard by U.S. District Judge David Doty might interest some of our Oregon readers who are National Football League fans.

If our readers recall, Adrian Peterson has been suspended by the NFL after the outcome of a domestic violence case having to do with child abuse. His suspension was based on new guidelines governing the league's personal conduct policy. The incident for which Peterson was suspended occurred prior to the implementation of that enhanced penalty clause.

Basic points of Oregon's Measure 91

In our blog post last week, we discussed the current controversy surrounding Measure 91. If you remember, we discussed how lawmakers are trying to alter some points of the measure, which has some supporters upset and threatening to take legal action. Some of our Oregon readers might not be all that familiar with the measure, so we are going to take this opportunity to discuss some of the main points.

Measure 91 is the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act. It takes away the penalties for people who are 21 years old and older who want to use, grow, and possess marijuana in limited amounts. It gives the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the right to regulate, establish and license businesses involved in the marijuana business.

Oregon's Measure 91 might be changing through Senate Bill 542

News of legalizing marijuana is prevalent across the country. Some people think that states should follow Colorado's lead and make recreational marijuana legal. Other people think that isn't the right way to go. Oregon is one of the states that has opted to follow Colorado's lead when it comes to recreational marijuana.

In Oregon, recreational marijuana will become legal in July. At some point in 2016, the first retail shops are expected to open their doors. This comes after Oregon voters passed Measure 91, a bill that ended the ban on recreational marijuana for adults who are 21 years old or older.

Environmental law concept: Clean Water Act points to consider

In our post last week, we talked about how dealing with issues involving the Clean Water Act can prove complicated. Our Oregon readers might like to know more about the Clean Water Act. This act is meant to protect the water supply. It is a federal act, so it is universal across the country.

The CWA regulates pollutants that are discharged into the environment. This includes pollutants that are indirectly discharged and those that are directly discharged. Some examples include fecal coliform, grease, oil, biochemical oxygen demand and pH. While those are considered the conventional pollutants, the CWA also includes non-conventional pollutants.

Environmental law and the Clean Water Act

We have discussed a variety of cases on this blog. Some of those have had to do with environmental law. The Clean Water Act is one of those laws that has a very important purpose in our world. We understand the act and know its purpose. We also know that businesses need to be able to function in order to help the people who benefit from them. No matter what side of the battle you are on, we have the knowledge of the law to help you learn about your rights and the options you have.

We have experience with how the act is handled in Oregon, California and Washington. While the act is a federal law and remains the same no matter which state the battle is in, the law is enforced and the water is assessed in different manners. This can make it difficult for some people to learn about the specifics for their state.

Ways in which car accident liability is established

Oregon drivers may be interested how liability is ascertained after a car accident. Without this important information, it may be difficult to prove that a driver was negligent and caused the accident. There are several ways to establish liability, and being aware of what to do may help. When an accident happens, it is necessary to document how it occurred. In some municipalities, police are no longer required to appear at an accident site if no one was injured. If authorities are on site, obtaining a copy of what is reported may assist in proving fault. An insurance company may use this in its assessment of the accident.

The police report includes the officer's conclusions based on an evaluation of the accident. Speeding prior to a crash often results in skid marks of varying lengths. Witness accounts and traffic tickets may be noted in the report. If the report appears to be in error, it may be possible to amend it. The difficulty here may reflect the type of error that was made. In addition, the procedure to amend the report might differ from one jurisdiction to another.

Are there limitations on noncompetition agreements?

Employees in Oregon might benefit from understanding more about noncompetition agreements as described by the state legislature. Noncompetition agreements may be described as a contract between an employee and employer in which the employee agrees not to compete with the employer's products, services or processes for a specific duration of time or within a specific geographic location after termination. These types of agreements are often a condition of employment or finalizing a business contract.

According to state law, noncompetition agreements may only extend two years from the date of termination. These agreements must comply with a number of conditions in order to be enforceable by the courts. Noncompetition agreements may be a condition of advancement or employment. As a condition of employment, the employee must be provided with written notice of the agreement no less than two weeks before the first day of work.

Protecting firms by safeguarding their assets

Modern companies all rely on intellectual property of some form, but their rights to their ideas and methodologies aren't guaranteed. Other corporations, ex-employees and other parties may decide to take these trade secrets for themselves and profit. Although firms generally retain the ability to pursue action against those who violate the sanctity of their IP, they must follow the proper avenues to take full advantage of their lawful options. The lawyers at Oregon-based Chenoweth Law Group PC understand how important it is to safeguard the trade secrets your business revolves around, so we work hard to help you build and enforce legal protections.

Trade secret litigation isn't just for pursuing competitors who steal patents, violate trademarks or otherwise damage your brand. We also help employers create viable non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements that make it easier to manage workforces and engage in deals with other parties. We have ample experience representing firms in pursuit restitution following embezzlement, employee theft and breaches of duty by managers, executives and other high-level decision makers. Regardless what the nature of your dispute is, we're ready to strengthen your case.

Summary judgment in civil lawsuits

People in Oregon who are involved in a lawsuit may wonder what is meant by the term summary judgment. When a suit is initially filed, the plaintiff is filing a civil complaint, and through an attorney, he or she will assert various legal grounds and theories upon which his or her claims are based.

An individual may file a summary judgment motion when both parties agree on most facts and there are no significant elements legally in dispute. Typically, there are three parts to a summary judgment motion. In the first part, the plaintiff, for instance, will present his or her version of the events, which could be accompanied with evidence that supports the claim. Evidence could include witness statements, police reports, photographs and other pertinent information. In the second section, the plaintiff's attorney will write a memorandum discussing the laws that apply to the case. During this part, the lawyer will also present convincing arguments as to why a plaintiff should win the case.

Understanding the federal court system

Residents of Oregon who have become engaged in complex legislation or have been indicted on federal charges may benefit from an understanding of the structure of the court. There are 94 judicial districts in the United States federal court system, and they are organized within 12 regional circuits.

Each district has a district court that handles various tasks like federal trials. There are also bankruptcy courts in each district. Although the district may be contiguous with the state border in less populous states such as Oregon, states with larger populations are divided into multiple districts. Along with California and Washington, Oregon is part of the 9th regional circuit.

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