Portland Legal Services - Joanne Reisman, Attorney at Law
Automobile Accidents and Personal Injury:

What you need to know if you are in an automobile accident by Joanne Reisman:

Published by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation

  1. Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
  2. Driving With a Suspended License
  3. Must I Take a Chemical Breath Test?
  4. Should I Fight My Traffic Ticket?
  5. What To Do In Case of an Automobile Accident
  6. Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers


If you have debt problems or are considering Bankruptcy, please read all of the following (from the Oregon State Bar web page)::

  1. Understanding Bankruptcy
  2. How do I file for Bankruptcy?
  3. Can Bankruptcy Help me?
  4. Debtor's Rights
  5. Chapter 13 another type of Bankruptcy
  6. Foreclosure on Real Property

NOTE: Our office does not provide Criminal Case Services but this procedure can usually be done without the assistance of an Attorney.Clearing up one's criminal records and increase employment opportunities. 

Probate, Wills and Trusts

Prospective estate planning clients please read 1 - 6 below (from Oregon State Bar):
and the Simple Will article:

  1. Your will
  2. What is probate
  3. What is a trust (revocable living trusts and special needs trusts explained)
  4. What is a living will (advanced directive)
  5. Powers of Attorney and other decision making tools
  6. Revocable Living Trusts

What is a simple Will? by Joanne Reisman

Simple Will Article.pdf (PDF — 300 KB)

Family Law,  Divorce, Child Custody, Parenting Time

Recommended reading for prospective divorce clients with no minor children, read 1,2,5 ,6 below
For divorces cases involving minor children read 1 - 6 below.

  1. Marriage In Oregon
  2. Divorce in Oregon
  3. Custody and Parenting Time
  4. Child and Spousal Support in Dissolution of Marriage Cases or Between Unmarried Parents
  5. Mediation of Family Law Cases
  6. What to do if Child Support or Spousal Support is Not Being Paid

For cases involving unmarried couples read 10 below
For cases involving unmarried couples with children, read 3-6 above
and 7 and 10 below:

     7. Paternity

Other Family Law Topics:
     10. The rights of unmarried couples (by Joanne Reisman)

     13. Adoption
     14. Name Change

Family Law Forms
Published by the Oregon Judicial Department
It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer before filing any of these forms even if you plan to represent yourself!

  1. Forms for Dissolution (Divorce) and Dissolution of Registered Domestic Partnership
  2. Forms for Legal Separation
  3. Forms for Unmarried Parents
  4. Forms for Modification (Custody, Parenting Time and/or Child Support)
  5. Forms for Enforcement
  6. Forms for Temporary Orders
  7. Forms for Protective Orders
  8. Forms for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem
  9. Form Packets for Name and Sex Change
  10. Informal Domestic Relations Trial Resources & Forms
  11. Miscellaneous Forms

Paternity and Child Support
Free Help from
The Oregon Department of Justice

Parenting Plan Guides
Safety Focused Guides Translated Parenting Plan Guides Other Resources

Guardianships / Conservatorships

Business Matters

  1. How to Start a Business In Oregon
  2. Should I Incorporate
  3. Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

Professional Articles

Bankruptcy Law for Family Law Practitioners
by Joanne Reisman Esq, Oregon State Bar Family Law Newsletter 2009

Family_Law_April_09.pdf (PDF — 332 KB)

Representing the Immigrant Client in Bankruptcy
by Joanne Reisman Esq Oregon State Bar Debtor Creditor Section Newsletter 2002

Appeals by Joanne Reisman Esq.

Suit against business owner for damage to boat engine when defendant business owner breached their contract to provide dry indoor storage.  Established that claimants could sue using ORS 20.080 where the breach of a contract causes  property damage.  ORS 20.080 is a special statute that allows a claimant with a small claim to also get attorney fees if his demand for damages is not settled before he is forced to file a lawsuit.  (Subsequent legislative amendment created a separate law, ORS 20.082 allowing for attorney fees in small breach of contract matters.)

Personal injury from auto accident was arbitrated with decision favorable to Plaintiff Mulligan and no defense offered by Defendant.  Defendant represented by lawyers from Farmer's insurance appealed and case went through a 2 day jury trial where Farmers relied on expensive medical expert testimony.   Plaintiff won slightly less then at arbitration due to the more vigorous defense.  Trial court awarded to Plaintiff Mulligan about $3,000 in extra fees finding that Defendant caused unnecessary protracted litigation.  Farmer's appealed the very small amount awarded for extra fees.  Three years later and many dollars worth of legal time, the Court of Appeals decided for Plaintiff affirming the trial court's original award.  Farmer's asked for a review by the Oregon Supreme Court but review was denied.

Plaintiff Cardenas had Farmers Insurance when she was injured by a hit and run driver.  She called Farmers for help since she needed medial care and her husband hurt in the same accident could not work and support the family. She did not speak English, had never had car insurance before, and didn't know what her rights were under her policy. Farmer's rushed her to sign off on her claim for $800 without explaining to her in her native language, Spanish, that she had the right to wait to settle and the PIP portion of her insurance would cover her medical bills while she got treatment as well as give her husband his lost wages so the family could pay bills and get food.  Suit was brought and the release Ms. Cardenas was pressured into signing was set aside and she got full damages.   Farmers refused to acknowledge that Ms. Cardenas was also entitled to her attorney fees under an Oregon Insurance Law Provision  ORS 742.061 because they did not settle promptly with Ms Cardenas for the full value of her claim and instead fought with her asserting  that the release she had signed barred her from a full recovery.  The trial court awarded the attorney fees to the Plaintiff.  Farmer's appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's award over Farmer's objections.

Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint