Category Archives: Web News

Face Masks for Courthouses!

Chief Justice Walters has reached out to the Oregon legal community and is asking us to pull together in this time of need to help our court system by either donating masks or making masks that can be used in courthouses around the state. We quite literally need thousands and the Judicial Department has limited ability to obtain extra masks.

Simple disposable or washable masks are great.  You can even make masks for donation!  Chief Justice Walters has assured us homemade masks would be very much welcome and we recommend any homemade masks be placed in individual bags for distribution.

Masks can be delivered to the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) office for distribution at:   147 SE 102nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216.  However, if you would like the OADC to directly collect your member donations, OADC can do that too. Please contact Geoff Horning at the OADC office at [email protected] to coordinate the pick up of your organizations masks.

Anything and everything that you can do would be a help.  Every mask that is made or donated will help ensure a safer courthouse for all of us, and will help us remain open and effective for the citizens of our state.

 

 

Frequently asked questions on Title IV funding of PBIS

When school districts were asked how they planned to use their ESSA Title IV, Part A funds to improve student health and safety, 61% reported they planned to spend them on PBIS.

To assist interested SEAs and LEAs, this document provides background details on the ESSA and answers common questions about its use to fund PBIS.

Key terms: school safety, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), equity, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title IV funding.

Audience: state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), attorneys.

Cite: von Ravensberg, Heidi, Funding PBIS Implementation Through ESSA Title IV, Part A Funds (January 28, 2020). Available at SSRN:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3526527

The link takes you to the FAQ’s abstract page. Once there, you can open/download the full text paper in PDF for free.

Amtrak’s Charge to Accommodate 2 Extra Wheelchairs? $25000

Amtrak apologized in late January after officials told an advocacy group that it would cost $25,000 to accommodate two additional passengers in wheelchairs. The advocacy group for people with disabilities had planned weeks in advance for a two-hour trip outside Chicago, and had worked with Amtrak before.

It usually costs just $16 to buy a one-way ticket on the Amtrak train from Chicago to Bloomington, Ill.  To read more, follow these links:

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/17/797355136/amtrak-asks-two-people-in-wheelchairs-to-pay-25-000-for-a-ride

After NPR first reported on the price, Amtrak issued a statement saying it would accommodate the passengers as “they originally requested.” The rail service agreed to receive seven people with wheelchairs for the trip Wednesday, according to Access Living officials.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/21/US-amtrack-wheelchairs-accessible

Research shows federal disability payments encourage more family caregiving

Findings, published online by the Journal of Health Economics, suggest that disability recipients are using to provide financial compensation to their caregivers.

“These findings provide new evidence that family shares in the burden of disability and that the impact of disability benefits extends beyond the beneficiary to the entire family,” said Stephanie Rennane, the study’s author and an associate economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Receipt of federal disability benefits allows a family to reoptimize how they support one another.”

The conclusions in the article below were promising: “The benefits of federal disability payments are shared in complementary ways within the , enabling a more-holistic network of both formal and informal caregiving,” Rennane said. “The resources from disability insurance allow children to reallocate their time to care for their parents.”

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-12-federal-disability-payments-family-caregiving.html

 

Implicit bias training every two years

Last month California signed in a bill, which should be effective 1/1/2020, that requires “all court staff who interact with the public” to complete implicit bias training “every 2 years.”  What a great law!  Maybe Oregon will follow?

The drafters defined implicit bias as shown below and it included bias based on mental or physical disabilities, medical condition or genetic information.  The requirement for repeat implicit bias training for all court staff dealing with the public was impressive and laudable.

The bill language stated:

(1) Existing law authorizes the Judicial Council to provide by rule of court for racial, ethnic, and gender bias, and sexual harassment training and training for any other bias based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation for judges, commissioners, and referees.
This bill would authorize the Judicial Council to develop training on implicit bias with respect to these characteristics. The bill would require all court staff who interact with the public to complete 2 hours of any training developed by the Judicial Council pursuant to this authorization every 2 years. The bill would authorize the Judicial Council to adopt a rule of court, effective January 1, 2021, to implement these requirements.

 

Read more here:

https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/legislation/2019-legislation-affecting-persons-with-disabilities

AB 242 (Kamlager-Dove) – Courts: Attorneys: Implicit Bias: Training

Authorizes the Judicial Council to develop training on implicit bias with respect to certain characteristics. Requires all court staff who interact with the public to complete 2 hours of any training developed by the Judicial Council pursuant to this authorization every 2 years. (DRC had a support position)

Signed 10/02/2019. Eff. 01/01/2020. Chapter No. 2019-418

 

Upcoming outreach events

Two happy hour events are coming up that section members, potential section members, and other lawyers might be interested in.

The first is the Bar Prowl at Lewis and Clark Law School. This is happening Thursday, September 5th, from 4:30-6 pm in the Lower Student Lounge of the Legal Research Center.

The second is the Oregon New Lawyer Division (“ONLD”) Happy Hour with the Workers Compensation section on September 25th at The Independent Sports Bar & Grill, 225 SW Broadway #100, Portland, OR 97205 from 5:30-7 (204 SE Oak St, Portland 97214).

Please come and mingle and learn about these sections!

For the ONLD Happy Hour, here is a link to the facebook page

ABLE National Resource Center begins month-long campaign to increase awareness about ABLE accounts

The ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC) announced  the launch of its 2019 #ABLEtoSavecampaign. #ABLEtoSave is a month-long grassroots education and informational campaign about Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. The primary goals of #ABLEtoSave are to increase awareness about ABLE accounts and to accelerate the number of eligible individuals with disabilities who are opening and benefiting from ABLE accounts across the country. The ABLE National Resource Center is founded and managed by the  National Disability Institute.

ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts that have the potential to significantly increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities. This includes both individuals with disabilities who receive public benefits and those who do not receive public benefits.  Read more about these important resources  below:

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/able-national-center-launches-2019-161000662.html

Reasonableness in evaluating the standard of disability

A recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, unpublished, Smith v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, No. 18-2225, __F.App’x__, 2019 WL 2539289 (4th Cir. June 20, 2019), noted the importance of considering, in a dispute over long-term disability benefits, whether return to work would increase stress and thereby worsen chronic medical conditions.

The court affirmed the grant of summary judgment to Plaintiff.  Plaintiff had a triple bypass surgery, diabetes, nerve damage, narrowed and hardened arteries, multiple strokes, and multiple stents.  The SSA and all his doctors concluded that he could not work.  The insurer, Reliance, relied on stray and typographical errors in his medical records.  It also over-emphasized minor improvements in Plaintiff’s health picture. The court noted “Doctors, like everyone else, make statements relative to a baseline, and Smith perhaps was better or ‘doing well’ for someone with many serious underlying health problems.” Focusing on one small upswing was found to be unreasonable unless the recovery was sufficiently substantial.

The court concluded Plaintiff could not return to work because the stress of working would risk undoing the progress that he made.  The court stated:  “Reliance came close to asserting that Smith needed to prove that he could not perform sedentary work due to a physical limitation on, for example, sitting, typing, or speaking. This is quite a high standard. Such a rule would erase disability eligibility for all but the bedridden. Some serious diseases are debilitating because of their effect on the mind or because they worsen with stress. This is a place for medical judgment, not per se rules: ‘The rule is one of reason.’” (quoting Harrison v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 773 F.3d 15, 22 (4th Cir. 2014)).