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?