Thursday, October 24, 2013


Not us!

Portlanders, head down to the Mission Theater tommorow night to see the R in RG compete for the title of funniest lawyer in Oregon.

Buy your tickets here.  And help support a great cause!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


This is my client Kim (relax people…he has given me his blessing to post this). 

In the late nineties Kim became addicted to methamphetamine and began committing a variety of crimes to support his habit.

To call him the tri-county gangster would be an understatement. Kim was charged with and convicted of numerous property crimes and other serious felonies in counties throughout Oregon and Washington. Despite spending considerable time in custody, he couldn’t get clean.

Until he and his then girlfriend decided a decade ago that their only hope was to buy one way tickets to Alaska and start over.

And they did.

They both got clean and have been clean ever since. 
In the past decade Kim went to college, obtained a good job, started a family, joined a church, became part of a community and married that girlfriend. 

Kim left behind a path of destruction via outstanding arrest warrants in just about every county you can think of.  

Three years ago, he decided that it was time to deal with his past.

This morning Kim flew into town and made his LAST court appearance; pleading guilty to two misdemeanors in exchange for the dismissal of 7 pending felony charges

As he agreed to do, he also paid a shitload of restitution (but at least he’ll get miles) and was taken into custody until Friday.

When Kim gets released on Friday, he will be completely done with the criminal justice system. 

I swear, I think even the sheriff deputy in the courtroom got a little teary eyed. Okay not really but he should have. 

Special thanks to Deputy District Attorney Chris Owen for being a decent guy and seeing the gray.  I hope this doesn’t screw up your street cred as a hard-ass prosecutor.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why We Hate Arbitrary Caps On Damages

Saw this article today about the very sad story of a little boy who suffered (and continues to suffer) due to the admitted negligence of his treating doctors and facility at which he was treated.  As a trial attorneys who represents those injured because of others' negligence, we see and hear about these cases all the time - maybe not on such a traumatic level but people are damaged by others' negligence on regular basis and, I believe, we as a society have decided that those who are injured deserve to be compensated for their damages.

Listen, I understand the plight of the insurers and treating doctors but there has to be some other way to solve this problem.  It is clear that statistics dispel the notion that "frivolous lawsuits are ruining the system" as the propaganda that it is - asserted by business and insurance company interests who seek to maximize profits over justice for individuals legitimately harmed by someone else's mistakes.

And, even if I'm completely wrong about the above, i.e., frivolous lawsuits are ruining something/anything - does limiting the caps on damages for those that really, honestly deserve and need it justify the stated goal?  I think of it more like this:  the American criminal justice system stands (or at least is supposed to stand) for the proposition that it is better to have 100 criminals go free than to convict one innocent person.  (Boy, as a criminal defense attorney, I sure wish it really worked that way; but, I digress....hey, if you need a criminal defense or personal injury attorney, come see us here!)

Extrapolating that to this scenario, this is how I see it - better that we have to deal with 100 frivolous lawsuits and their associated headaches than to have THIS happen to even one family.  Before I'm willing to hear ANYONE's allegedly legitimate economical arguments in favor of caps on damages for medical malpractice (or anything for that matter), I want ONE FRIGGIN' PERSON to honestly tell me that if they found themselves in the position that this family found themselves in which, for those who don't want to click on the link to the story, let me explain:

a jury, presumably fairly chosen by attorneys representing both sides; attorneys hired by the parties presumably because those parties felt these attorneys were qualified for the task at hand; these attorneys presented this case to this jury.  The jury, for whatever reason (again, I think only fair to assume that it was for the right reason), determined that $12 million dollars was fair compensation for what happened. 

Regardless, because some pinhead, paper-pushing legislator who had nothing to do with any of this (or more likely the lobbyist(s) who had those legislators in their hip pocket(s)) arbitrarily decided $3 million dollars was the most a person can get NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, then this family gets $3 million and not a penny more.  Of course, that is the case, as I said, no matter what happens including in this case where this family has already paid $2.5 million in medical bills and still owes much more, not to mention the ongoing and future care this kid will can we, as human beings, support this result?!?  DOES THIS MAKE ANY EFFING SENSE!?

Hit me with your thoughts, support, critiques, criticisms, what have you...but, trust me, no matter what anyone says, if this was them, their child, their relative, their friend, they'd be screaming bloody murder when they learned that they can only have 1/4 of what a jury awarded them because of some arbitrary number picked by a legislator years before having nothing to do with their case...OY!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


This weekend, I will be loading the family into our wood-paneled station wagon (okay fine, our ubiquitous silver Honda Civic)  and driving to Newport, Oregon for the weekend to attend the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association annual Sex Crimes conference.  

What the heck is a Sex Crimes conference, you ask?  Exactly what it sounds like. Criminal defense attorneys like us hear from a variety of state and national experts on topics related to defending individuals charged with sex crimes.  One session is called:  "Dealing with the Yuck Factor." And yes, there is some yuck to this particular area of the law. 

I am particularly interested in a Saturday presentation by Portland attorney Lisa Maxfield: "Witness Competency After Lawson: Laying the Foundation." Lawson was a man convicted of murder based on faulty eye witness identification.  His case was overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court primarily because of the suggestive and manipulative way law enforcement obtained the "eye witness identification."  

It is a fascinating topic and I will report back what I learn.  In the meantime, if anyone suggestions on how to maintain a bonfire and make s'mores in the pouring rain, I'd love to hear them. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


We at RG Enterprises try to keep up with current events.  While this post has really nothing to do with being Portland lawyers, we are fascinated by the Anthony Weiner story. 

So here’s my question for all of you: do you care? If you were voting in this election would it make a difference to you? To me my feeling is this: he’s clearly an idiot and therefore I would not want him as my public representative. I really don’t care what he does privately (for all Iknow he and his wife have an arrangement) but his stupidity coupled with hisarrogance…well that’s just too much for this girl to ignore.

What about you?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


That is usually the case.  But not today as today the United States Senate confirmed The Honorable Michael McShane to the Federal BenchJudge McShane stated his carreer as a Portland Public Defender. 

He is a good man with a good heart and will be a great addition to the District of Oregon. 

Us lowely criminal defense attorneys (me and my daytime husband, Douglas Green) would like to say:  MAZEL TOV

PS: Did you notice my hillarious play on the word "judge" by using a picture of the Voice judges?  I couldn't resist - I'm addicted to The Voice! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Boogard's Family Sues NHL

I've been watching the hockey playoffs lately, and I was interested to hear that the family of Derek Boogard is suing the NHL for wrongful death.

In the lawsuit, the family alleges the league is responsible for the brain damage that Boogaard suffered during six seasons as an enforcer, as well as his addiction to prescription painkillers.

As a civil trial lawyer, I wonder what the jury will do with this....  What would you do if you were on the jury?  Can we blame the NHL for Boogard's drug addiction?  I will be interested in hearing the attorney's theories on this one.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Will The Oregon Legislature Actually Do Something That Makes Sense?!?!

I was turned onto an excellent article (see, here) recently by my fabulous law partner that discussed an old, favorite topic of mine - sentencing reform.  It seems that someone introduced a bill recently (HB 3194 - see it here) that addressed the skyrocketing costs of incarceration and the enormous prison budget in Oregon.

As I have mentioned previously, statistics clearly show that the crime rate has not changed drastically in a very long time.  In the US, it steadily rose after World War II and peaked between the 1970's and 1990's.  It has been in a pretty steady decline ever since.  In other words, any recent hype and talk about crime waves, epidemics and the like are just that - talk.  The overall statistics do not support the need for bigger enforcement budgets, tougher sentencing laws, and all of our politicians, legislatures, and cops do not need to "get tough on crime" because no matter what we have done over the last 15 years or so hasn't made a shred of difference!

What has changed though, is our prison population which, both here in Oregon and nationwide, continues to spiral out of control.  What does that mean?  It means we are constantly having to build and fund bigger prisons for the people we stuff inside them though doing so doesn't seem to have any affect on the crime rates.  Does this make sense to anyone?

For decades now, Oregon has been no stranger to this trend especially since the passage of the draconian Measure 11 long ago.  AND, Oregon is no stranger to the overall trend that we have and continue to stuff so many people into our prisons, we can no longer sustain the cost of that.  So, someone commissioned a study and found that this is as insane as it sounds.  And by insane, I mean the old Albert Einstein definition of insane.

As a criminal defense attorney, I saw first-hand how the prosecutors can use and abuse this statute to force people who committed essentially lower-level crimes into pleas by just threatening or charging them as Measure 11 crimes adding a hefty mandatory minimum sentence to any conviction.  And, for some ridiculous reason, people sentenced under this statute get no good time credit and no access to any prison programs.    Working as an attorney in both the criminal and civil worlds obviously gives me a unique perspective on this issue and, maybe, I'm too close to the issue to see big picture though I'm brash enough to say, "I doubt it!"

Regardless, we hope, someone and something is going to be done about this if this billed gets passed.  Alas, the law and order types (and politicians who prosper on fear mongering to these people) will fight this bill hard telling everyone that we are all in grave danger if we reform some of our sentencing laws and empty some people from our prison population - or, allow them access to some program that might actually better themselves and make their time in custody of some benefit to them, and indirectly, society in general.  That position is perfectly espoused in this editorial which is the counter-point to the article that inspired this post.  What do you think?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Let's talk about sex, baby

Well sort of.  My good friend and attorney mentor, Ryan Scott, gives us the break down on a fascinating case being decided by the Oregon Supreme Court tomorrow.  

In a nutshell, this case exemplifies why our justice system is at times, INSANE!  Or as my people like to say:  Mishuganah!

Friday, March 29, 2013


As criminal defense attorneys who have handled countless sex abuse cases, we found this story particularly compelling and the timing interesting considering that March Madness Mania is in full effect.

Last week a jury acquitted a former Washington state high school basketball coach of communicating with a minor for immoral sexual purposes, a misdemeanor.  The jury reached its verdict within five minutes of the conclusion of the trial: almost unheard of in a criminal defense case.

As both the mother of a young child, and a criminal defense lawyer, I am often conflicted about issues concerning allegations of child sex abuse to be.

Admittedly, I would never hire a male babysitter.  As irrational as that sounds, the reality is that I’m entitled to be irrational when it comes to my kid. 

On the other hand, I know that for a variety of reasons, innocent individuals are routinely accused of sex crimes against children.  Despite the presumption of innocence our laws mandate, once someone is accused of this type of conduct, regardless of the outcome in a criminal case, game over. Their reputation is ruined.  
My guess is that Mr. Johnson will never again be able to work with children and will probably have a tough time finding any type of employment.  

And he’s one of the lucky ones. The jury did the right thing.  He wasn’t convicted. He won’t spend decades in prison for a crime he didn’tcommit.

Yes the safety of our children should be our number priority.  

But let’s make sure we get it right every time.   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bojack Attacks Art Tax

Our esteemed colleague, fellow attorney, and friend, Jack Bogdanski has filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland over the recently enacted art tax.  The lawsuit, filed in Oregon Tax Court, claims that the tax violates Oregon's Constitutional (see, Article IX) ban against a head or poll tax.  Read more about the lawsuit here, or here, or here.  Read Mr. Bogdanski's fantastic blog here.

While the Mayor's office has remained mum on the lawsuit thus far, they apparently have been working to amend the tax to address some of the same issues raised by the lawsuit.  While another esteemed colleague, fellow lawyer, and excellent Judge, The Honorable John Wittmayer, already ruled on a similar argument last summer, we here at RG, LLP have little doubt that Bojack knows what he's talking about.  (Though we also must admit that Judge Wittmayer's smart as whip, too.)  All I can say is if it wasn't for Jack, I never would have passed the tax portion of the bar exam.  By the way, thanks for that Jack, not sure I ever got the opportunity to properly thank you for that one. 

As criminal defense, personal injury, and employment trial lawyers, we try to stay away from the tax stuff, but good luck!  If it violates the Oregon Constitution, it should be fixed.  Let's hope that between the mayor's office, the tax court, and whomever else is supposed to be in charge, we can get this right.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Suspect Drops Jailhouse ID While Fleeing from Bank Heist

I heard this story over and over on the news this morning.  This is one of those times, as a criminal defense attorney, that you wished your clients were a little smarter.  In all honesty, this guy probably has a serious addiction or mental health problem and expecting people similarly afflicted to have cogent, rational thoughts is even more ridiculous than his actual behavior.  Or, is he just that stupid?

What do you think?