Sale of the Freeman Water Tank Property Delayed

Renaissance homes agrees to postpone the Freeman Water Tank sale.

We’ve won a temporary victory, in that the sale is no longer set in stone for the end of the month.  My clients still get their day in court, and with time to look at the merits more thoroughly, hopefully the judge will see our arguments as persuasive. 

Cranking out a 16 page memo, 80 pages of exhibits, and 4 declarations in 18 hours overnight was not pleasant (with almost one hour’s sleep—something I’m starting to get too old for), but it was enough to change “We are prepared to close, and will close” into let’s wait two weeks. 

Happy for my clients, but it’s still a long, uphill fight.

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I am Not Anti-Piscine

Contrary to Commissioner Fish’s aspersion, I am not now, nor have I ever been part of an anti-Nick Fish conspiracy

It’s unfortunate that he has to clean up others’ messes, but that’s a sign of how poorly Portland has been governed in the past.



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“Viewed Differently”

Exactly how were “child abuse [and] rape” viewed “differently” by the Chicago Archdiocese years ago?

SNAP: Chicago Archdiocese leaders should be prosecuted following release of priest sex abuse documents

Were they not considered grave, mortal sins?  Were they not to be punished to the full extent of the law?  Were they not heinous crimes against those the Christ himself said should come to no harm, lest the offender wish he had never been born?

Seriously, exactly how did Cardinals George, Bernardin and Cody view child rape?  As an occupational hazard perhaps.  Or maybe a risk management issue. 

However they viewed these vile transgressions against the dignity and innocence of little children, it was obviously not the correct way, or the behavior would have swiftly ceased after a few high visibility punishments.  Instead, these men silenced victims, condoned rape, and shuffled perverts around the Chicago Archdiocese and the nation.  Perhaps finding some jail time for them would be helpful, you know, pour encourager les autres.

Congratulations, SNAP, for shedding light on the dark practices of the Chicago Archdiocese. 

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Robinson v. Harley-Davidson Motor Co. — Oregon Supreme Court changes its personal jurisdiction test

It’s a law geek’s dream: a personal jurisdiction case that overturns an older “mechanistic” standard with a functional, fact-dependent test.  The final result: who knows where the personal jurisdiction boundary lies!

In Robinson v. Harley-Davidson Motor Co. (S060226) the court  held that operating an interactive website that directs customers to an out of state motorcycle shop did not provide sufficient minimum contacts with Oregon to sue the motorcycle shop in this state.  Interestingly, the opinion of the court of appeals was reversed but the result was affirmed.  Because of intervening US Supreme Court caselaw, and the reliance on the “outer limits of due process” as the basis for personal jurisdiction, the Oregon Supreme Court abandoned the earlier standard of “substantive relevance”:

We too are persuaded that the substantive relevance test is mechanical and rigid. By requiring that at least one of a defendant’s contacts with the forum be relevant to the merits of a plaintiff’s claim, the substantive relevance test focuses exclusively on the “arise out of” aspect of the Supreme Court’s test requiring that an action either “arise out of” or “relate to” the defendant’s contacts with the state. The substantive relevance test creates a bright- line rule for what the Supreme Court has announced as a fact-specific inquiry into the reasonableness of state court jurisdiction.
Oregon also rejected a “but-for” test as “overinclusive” and a “substantial connection” test as unpredictable.  Instead, the Oregon court adopted a “but-for test and an assessment of the foreseeability of litigation to determine the relatedness requirement.”  (Right here, I’ve lost every non-lawyer and most of the lawyers who might chance upon the blog).  In practice it seems to mean that for the Oregon courts to assert personal jurisdiction, a party has to do something in Oregon that results in damage to another, and that activity has to make it foreseeable that you can be sued here.  
In Robinson, the court evaluated the facts and concluded that an interactive website, even if it was the reason that the plaintiff stopped at the otherwise-unconnected Idaho dealership for repairs, did not provide for a foreseeable source of litigation against the dealership in Oregon.  This makes intuitive sense, even if the articulation of the test is so incredibly convoluted, but it doesn’t give out-of-state businesses much guidance on how to stay out of court in Oregon.  At least we know that an interactive website alone isn’t enough.
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Freeman Water Tank – KSR In the News

Sent a letter to the City of Portland, telling them why they shouldn’t be selling a piece of property in SW Portland.  The City sold this property on Craigslist of all places.  No realtors, no newspaper ads, nothing but a single anonymous ad on Craigslist.  That simply cannot be considered a good faith sale “on the open market for the best terms and conditions available.” 

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Happy New Year, same old government antics

It seems to me like a major restructuring of taxation is a “policy” that can be referred to the voters.  But for Metro, the will of the people won’t stand in the way of a prized development goal:

The Multnomah County commissioners on Dec. 19 approved the funding mechanism for paying down about $60 million in bonds issued to help pay for the hotel. Those revenue bonds would be issued by the Metro regional government and paid off using a tax on Portland hotel stays, which is collected and distributed by the county.

This concerted, determined lack of government accountability in bonding has to end (amazingly, Metro has a write-up that links to the opposition)

According to the opponents of the tax plan, “Taxpayer subsidy for OCC Hotel jumps $100 Million in closed-door sessions $8M to $130M with zero public input.”

I have to learn a bit about the proposed tax changes, but the fact that Metro would challenge the ability to put it on the ballot tells you all you need to know about the perceived public support (or lack thereof) for the hotel.

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Cesium 137 coming to the West Coast?

A lot of what’s on Zerohedge is alarmist, or hyped (and the comments are a morass of paranoia and cranks), but if even half of this is accurate, the West Coast is heading for a major surge of radiation from Fukushima

The graphic shown below from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute compares Chernobyl, nuke testing, and Fukushima. Fukushima’s radiation–coming to a coast near us–is going to pack a wallop.

Here’s one sobering passage:

Above-ground nuclear tests – which caused numerous cancers to the “downwinders” – were covered up by the American, French and other governments for decades. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

But the amount of radiation pumped out by Fukushima dwarfs the amount released by the nuclear tests.

As nuclear engineer and former nuclear executive Arnie Gundersen notes, the wave of radioactive cesium from Fukushima which is going to hit the West Coast of North America will be 10 times greater than from the nuclear tests (starting at 55:00).

This graphic from Woods Hole in Massachusetts – one of the world’s top ocean science institutions – shows how much more cesium was dumped into the sea off Japan from Fukushima as compared to nuclear testing and Chernobyl:

Wave of Radiation from Fukushima Will Be 10 Times Bigger than All of the Radiation from Nuclear…
Putting Fukushima In Perspective
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