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Portland Environmental and Real Estate Law Blog

Does the Supreme Court have to take your case?

You know that you have a right to a fair trial in any case, as all citizens of Oregon do. You also know that you have a right to appeal, and the appellate court then has to go over the decision to see if it was made in error. However, what if things go past that point? What if you want to appeal the appellate court's decision and take things all the way to the Supreme Court?

It's good to know that the Supreme Court is the last stop for a case. They get the final say as the most important court in the country. Whatever they say stands, and they can overturn appellate courts and trial courts.

An appeal searches for errors

If you're thinking of starting an appeal after a decision has been handed down by a trial court, you may think that you need to bring in some new evidence that will change the case. However, more often than not, this is not actually going to happen. Rather than operating like a trial, an appeal is typically about searching for errors in the first decision and the way that the law was applied in order to have the aforementioned decision overturned.

You're going to need to prepare what is known as a brief. This simply lays out your point of view and your argument, telling the court why you think that the lower court got the verdict wrong. This generally means that you believe that court made a mistake, and this is your chance to tell the appellate court what that error was.

Contesting a will is difficult, but sometimes necessary

When a loved one passes away, family members who are left behind might end up looking for a will or an estate plan. While that is one way that people can leave instructions for their estate after they are gone, not all family members will always agree with the will. When family members don't agree with the will, they might decide to contest it.

Contesting a will is something that can lead to serious strife in the family. When anyone contests a will, the case has to go through the probate court, which can mean a lengthy court battle that involves a considerable financial expense. Even with those points in mind, there are still some circumstances that might mean you need to contest the will in order to ensure that your loved one's assets are properly distributed.

What are common terms used in a civil appeal?

In the civil court system, there is a system that allows either the complainant or defendant to file an appeal if they don't agree with the outcome of the case. When either party files an appeal, it is vital for them to understand some basic terms that are associated with civil appeals.

What are the terms used to differentiate the parties?

Antitrust laws cover a variety of business transactions

In last week's post, we discussed how San Jose has filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court regarding Major League Baseball and antitrust laws. The antitrust laws in this country are meant to help stop illegal mergers and business practices. There are three core antitrust laws on the federal level: the Sherman Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act.

The Sherman Act prohibits monopolization and several aspects of potential monopolization. It also prohibits contracts, combinations or conspiracies that lead to trade restraint. This act has very severe penalties for entities that violate the law. Criminal penalties of up to $1 million for individuals or $100 million for corporations are possible. Those amounts might be increased in some cases. Along with those penalties, up to 10 years in prison is possible.

Appeal over antitrust exemption headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

In January of this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the antitrust case that pitted San Jose against Major League Baseball. That dismissal came after a federal trial judge dismissed the case in 2013. That case is now heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Both dismissals that have been handed down were based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was handed down in 1922 and subsequently confirmed by rulings in 1953 and 1972. Because of those, the federal judge and the appeals court said they were bound by those rulings. Since only Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court can change the precedent, the city is now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Contracts are at the heart of a solid business

Almost anyone who is managing a business or owns a business knows that contracts are one of the main components of the business. These documents offer a lot of benefits for the owner of the business, as well as the other party. In some cases, the contract sets up penalties if the contract isn't honored.

There are several different types of contracts that companies might find useful. Franchise and partnership agreements lay out the terms the business, such as which party is responsible for which aspects of the business. Employment contracts include those for independent contractors, confidentiality agreements, and non-compete contracts. Sales contracts, such as purchase orders and warranty agreements are helpful for many businesses. Contracts for real estate leases or equipment leases are vital if the company doesn't purchase these items outright.

Points to consider about the federal appeal process

In past blog posts, we have discussed a variety of federal appeal cases. These cases have had a variety of topics, but in each case, the appellant was seeking a different outcome of a case than what was handed down by the previous court. It is important for anyone who needs to file an appeal to the federal court of appeals to understand a bit about the process.

In civil cases, either party can appeal the verdict of case. This varies from criminal cases because in a criminal case only the defendant can file an appeal. When a person files an appeal, he or she must show that there was a legal error made by an administrative agency or trial court that impacted the outcome of the case.

What are the differences between criminal and civil cases?

When discussing court cases, people will often hear the terms "civil case" and "criminal case." The distinction between the two is very important because the outcomes of each type are different from each other. There are other differences, as well.

What is a criminal case?

Oregon's Clean Fuels law faces opposition from fuel companies

Oregon recently passed a Clean Fuels law, though it has not yet gone into effect. In order to make sure that it doesn't, a group of truckers and others in the fuel manufacturing industry has started a lawsuit to block the new regulations. These companies and individuals are not from Oregon, but from out of state.

According to the group, the new law is a violation of U.S. Constitution, breaking the commerce clause. They say that the companies that make biofuels in Oregon will get an advantage in the state that is unfair to others in the industry. Groups involved in the lawsuit include the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the Consumer Trade Association and the American Trucking Association Inc.

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