Michael Godfrey

Oregon Supreme Court (5 summaries)

Zimmerman v. Allstate Property and Casualty Ins.

Determining if notice of “proof-of-loss” of a UIM claim is sufficient is a pragmatic and functional inquiry that must be satisfied by the record. Additionally, a letter accepting coverage and offering arbitration is sufficient to trigger the "safe harbor" of ORS 742.061(3).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

Hagler v. Coastal Farm Holdings, Inc.

Under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, when a plaintiff does not supply evidence showing the injury was more likely than not caused by negligence on the part of the defendant, summary judgment in favor of the defendant is appropriate.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tort Law

Brandrup v. ReconTrust Co.

Under the Oregon Trust Deed Act, (1) MERS cannot act as the “beneficiary” under the OTDA unless it is a lender’s successor in interest; (2) a “beneficiary” under OTDA is lender owed the obligation secured by the trust deed; (3) OTDA does not require that assignments resulting from the transfer of a promissory note be recorded before a non-judicial foreclosure; and (4) MERS cannot hold or transfer legal title to a trust deed because it holds neither a beneficial interest nor the legal interest of the trustee.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Consumer Credit

State v. Hemenway

The Supreme Court disavowed the minimum factual nexus test in "State v. Hall" because of the test's uneven interpretation throughout the state and established a new test. Once the defendant established there was an illegal stop and challenged his consent to search, the state shall demonstrate: 1) the consent was voluntary and; 2) that the consent was not due to the illegal stop.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Dept. of Human Services v. G. D. W.

Under EOC 801(4)(b)(A), an individual's out-of-court statement cannot be used as a statement of a party opponent unless there is evidence that the individual declared an adverse position to a party in the hearing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Oregon Court of Appeals (17 summaries)

State v. Lobo

In a criminal case, when a error that was not exclusionary of any new evidence occurs and would not affect the verdict, it is a harmless error and is not reversible. Additionally, OEC 803(18a)(b) does not requires the trial court to hold a pretrial conference to determine the availability of a witness where the hearsay declarant testifies and is subject to cross-examination.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

State v. Coverstone

When a trial court imposes court-appointed attorney fees upon a defendant despite no indication on the record of the defendant's ability to pay those fees, it is a "plain error" pursuant to ORAP 5.45(1).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Brown v. MacDonald and Associates, LLC

Proving a person is financially incapable under ORS 125.400 requires evidence that the risk of exploitation or bad financial management was caused by a person's lack of capacity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Trusts and Estates

Burgdorf v. Weston

If, in a civil dispute, upon viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the plaintiff a fact finder could reasonably determine evidence provides grounds for enforcing plaintiff's claims, then granting a defendant's motion for summary judgment on those claims is an error by the trial court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

State v. Parsons

The proper timing for a defendant’s challenge to venue is before trial through a pretrial objection because it (1) protects defendants from potential undue hardship and unfairness of standing trial in a distant venue and (2) precludes defendants from waiting until trial to raise the issue of venue, thus creating a need for a new trial or implicating double jeopardy.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

LaVoie v. Power Auto, Inc.

To survive a Motion for Summary Judgment, a responding attorney's affidavit that uses future expert testimony to satisfy a prima facie claim must state genuine issues of material fact that address any affirmative defenses raised by the opposition.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

State v. Williams

Under OEC 404(3), in sexual abuse cases a defendant's history of sexual wrongs, crimes, or acts is inadmissible character evidence unless the evidence is logically relevant to the defendant's specific intent of the alleged wrongdoing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Kemp v. MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc

(1) A common law wrongful discharge claim should not be dismissed for adequacy of other statutory remedies if the common law claim preexisted any statutory remedy; (2) attorneys fees are not improper if they are connected to a claim of unlawful discrimination; and (3) if an evidentiary matter was improperly decided, but was not central to the case, it is a harmless error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

Stewart and Stewart

A parent's incarceration does not require that visitation rights be denied. Each case must be decided on the merits, not on a general policy disallowing children to visit parents while incarcerated.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Family Law

Dept. of Human Services v. M. H.

Under ORS 109.741(3), personal jurisdiction over a child is not required for a court to have jurisdiction over a matter concerning the custody of the child, including dependency jurisdiction. Under ORS 419B.100, the totality of evidence can be used to grant subject matter jurisdiction, even if every element is not met.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Family Law

Friends of Yamhill County v. Yamhill County

A farm-use-related commercial activity is a conditional use, determined by the county on a case-by-case basis, instead of a permitted use under ORS 215.283(1)(n).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Land Use

Papworth v. DLCD

Under Section 6(6)(f) of Measure 49, a landowner is not allowed to build more home sites on her property if, at the owner's acquisition date, the zoning ordinance did not allow for the establishment of more dwellings even if a "sunset provision" was present in the zoning ordinance.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Land Use

State v. Canfield

Consent to search, given before a suspect was told he was free to leave by the officer who stopped him, is an illegal search unless there is a warrant or reasonable suspicion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

State v. Pickle

Opening the trunk of a vehicle for a police officer and holding it open is a manifestation of consent to search the vehicle.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Hall v. ODOT

Planning to regulate property does not amount to a taking even if the planning might reduce the property's value unless the property owner loses all "economically feasible private uses."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Property Law

Dept. of Human Services v. H.P.

When entering judgments regarding a child's permanency plan, the trial court must attach a fact finding report from the Department of Human Services; otherwise the judgment does not satisfy statutory requirements.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Juvenile Law

SAIF Corp. v. Banderas

When a preponderance of medical evidence establishes the attending physician's findings are more accurate and have not been rebutted by a medical arbiter panel, a review board may favor the physician's findings rather than the medical arbiter panel.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Workers Compensation