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Robert J Harris

Robert Harris’s Answers

379 total

  • So I got a duii, and I have court tomorrow and the D.A. is offering diversion program, can I represent myself, Portland Oregon

    I have had a duii back in 1993, so long time ago, I have already seen the judge once because I thought I was going to get an attorney but I didn't, so can I represent myself or will I be in trouble, or just accept the diversion program

    Robert’s Answer

    If you qualify for a court appointed attorney I'd urge you to apply. If not, then you can represent yourself and everything will be long as you make no mistakes and understand the process and your options.
    I tell potential clients that it's like anything else. You need to weight the cost versus the benefit. I can change a light bulb. I can change a light switch. But I won't try to run a new wire in my home. The risk of burning it down is too great compared to the cost of hiring a licensed insured and bonded electrician.
    So you should call around, get some pricing from QUALIFIED attorneys, then decide whether it's worth it to you to hire the attorney taking into account your available resources. Or, taking the risk, regardless of how small you may think it is, of having things turn our badly for you. Which could put your job and freedom at risk.

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  • When settling on an amount for child support, is it pretty standard to go based off of the Oregon State guidelines?

    The non-custodial parent and I, the custodial parent are trying to work out an amount for child support. Non-custodial wants no visitation and no overnights. If an agreement can not be made, how is that worked out in court?

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Bodzin and would add that the reason the Courts don't want to deviate from the guidelines is because the support is for the child and the guidelines assure that the child will be financially cared for. Before the guidelines, sometimes the non custodial parent would pressure the custodial parent to take less than necessary for the care of their children. Sometime under the threat of asking for custody themselves.
    If there is any deviation from the guidelines, I would strongly urge you to buy an hour of time from an experienced family law attorney and review your situation. It would be a wise investment when you figure out how many months you may be receiving support.

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  • Can/should I use life insurance policy as collateral for a business loan with multiple (LLC) partners?

    As a part of a group of individuals and investors who will be forming an LLC and seeking two business loans (one for real estate/construction and the other for soft-costs/cash on hand) I am wondering if a life insurance policy will help or matter ...

    Robert’s Answer

    I'd be careful before i did that. And frankly, I don't know that a lender would care unless the life insurance had some cash surrender value.
    But if you have life insurance I assume it's for a purpose. And that purpose is usually taking care of your family if something happens to you. The question is, how safe is this investment and do you want to give up your families security.
    It sounds to me like you should buy an hour of time from a good business attorney. One that will represent only your interests, and not that of the LLC.

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  • What is the legal significance of a registered surveyor's survey marker resulting from a survey done by same?

    survey was done in 2005. Neighbor has been using the land despite my protest (old fence is to east of where the marker is by 100 plus feet) to plant and harvest hay. He removed fencing material I had put there to move the fence. Q 1 is, is the su...

    Robert’s Answer

    So, it appears that this is rural ground, and the neighbor thinks the old fence is the boundary, and your surveyor thinks it's elsewhere. You have a typical adverse possession case here. I've found surveyors to be generally reliable so I suspect his/her stake is the boundary as described by your deed. But, sometime prior, someone put up a fence that may or may not have been what the then property owners thought was the boundary. One of you is going to be filing a lawsuit against the other. You should not build a fence if he's going to tear it down for a couple reasons. First, it may start a physical confrontation. Second, he may tear it down and it could be that the neighbor does own the property by adverse possession, and you've just wasted a lot of money.
    If you can talk to the neighbor you can do so, to settle the matter. It sounds like there is a lot of land in dispute here, so I don't know if you two will be able to agree. If not, you will need to hire a real estate litigation attorney.

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  • I am the only surviving child of my father who recently past. Can I request a copy of his will/trust from stepmother or executor

    I am the only surviving child (54 years old) of my father who recently past in June 2015. Am I entitled to send a letter requesting a copy of my father's will, and/or, trust to my stepmother or executor of his will? If they do not provide me with ...

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Abbott. I would add, if there is no will, then under Oregon law you may be entitled to one half of your fathers estate. And, if there is a trust, your step mother may not ever file a probate, so you won't be able to avail yourself of the disclosure benefits a probate affords. In that case, I agree that you may need to force the issue and file a probate yourself, asking to be appointed the Personal Representative. You will need to speak to an Oregon probate attorney.

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  • Our Dad passed away in January, 2015. His widow is saying that we have to pay the 2014 taxes.

    They kept their accounts separate except they had a JOINT ACCOUNT to pay household bills. She kept all the money in the joint account upon his death. I would think she would have to pay the $1600.00 of taxes. She is saying the taxes came from u...

    Robert’s Answer

    I largely agree with the above answers. But what if his widow doesn't file a probate?
    In that case, there's no one to file the tax return. The IRS can then impose penatlies and interest if there are any unpaid taxes, and someone will have to deal with the problem, or perhaps the IRS tried to go after your fathers assets that went to his heirs. Which sounds like its his widow.
    Also, if he gave the funds to you while he was alive, it sounds like a gift to you. Unless there was an agreement when he gave you money that you'd pay the taxes, I don't know there is a legal basis to require you to pay the taxes. If there was such an agreement, then I suspect the personal representative of his estate can seek reimbursement for the tax expense.
    I think the bottom line here is, it may be difficult for her to force you to pay the taxes unless there was an agreement that you'd do so (maybe that's what taking out "a little more" was for?) AND she'd have to file a probate to obtain the power to enforce the agreement. Filing a probate would be more expensive than paying the taxes herself. But she may have to probate anyway if necessary to file tax returns.

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  • Do I need an attorney and will this misdemeanor appear on my record and affect my chance of getting a job?

    Hello, I wonder if you could help me in situation I got myself in yesterday. I live in The Dalles, Or and I was visiting friends in Eugene this past weekend. Monday afternoon I went shopping to Kohl's in Gateway Mall in Springfield and b...

    Robert’s Answer

    You should definitely get an experienced attorney to assist you. There are options available that may allow you to avoid a conviction on your record. If you can't afford an attorney, as for a court appointed attorney, they are very knowledgeable about your options.
    This is no time to worry about an attorney fee. If you can't pay for a private lawyer, get the public defender. Think about it. Does a few hundred dollars in attorney fees matter when you consider the impact a conviction will have on job options and housing options over the next several years?
    Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

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  • Oregon aggravated murder, post conviction jury poll - can it be done? Who do you complain to about a compromised trial?

    in this Murder trial the residing Judges daughter was murdered in very similar circumstances. The prosecution asked the jury to fill in the blanks and use their imagination to connect the dots.. Fact: they only proved the defendant knew her, had s...

    Robert’s Answer

    The defendant should ask their attorney about appeal rights, and also about post conviction relief (PCR). An appeal normally addresses issues related to the prosecutors or judges conduct and a PCR is a claim that the defense attorney was ineffective to the point that the defendant didn't receive a fair trial.
    There are time limits for filing both an appeal and a post conviction relief and sometimes you need to file the appeal before you can file the PCR.
    In Oregon, the State will provide appellate attorneys to handle appeals and the PCR, and the defendant or his attorney should contact the office of Public Defense to start the process.

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  • I sold my car signed it over and everything. Yet have not been paid. How can I either get my money or my car back?

    My brother in laws girlfriend wanted to buy my car. Not trusting her I signed it over to him. With the agreement it would be in his name. He put both their names on it anyway they are now breaking up and she wants to take the vehicle. I have yet t...

    Robert’s Answer

    Unfortunately unless you are the lien holder on the title of the vehicle, I don't think you're going to get the car back. You have no lien rights to enforce.
    So, that leaves you with bringing a lawsuit, getting a judgement, and hoping someone pays it.
    You could also ask your brother to sign his interest in the vehicle over to you, then she at least couldn't sell the car without you signing off. And I assume you wouldn't sign off without being paid. That doesn't get you paid immediately, but could at least give you some leverage in your discussions with he ex.
    Of course, you could also ask your brother to pay the loan off, and let him work out the financial details with his ex.

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  • My Mom put me on her house title to 'simplify' inheritance. How do we undo this and avoid excess cap gains tax after she passes?

    -House is in Oregon -She did this in 2011 -A Bargain and Sale Deed was used to add me, with no transfer of money. -Only her and I are on the title. -She is currently diagnosed with cancer -No wills are done yet -Would like to minimize capita...

    Robert’s Answer

    People often ask me if they need an attorney to undertake some legal task. I tell them...not if you do it right. In this case, I assume you didn't hire an attorney for advice, or to prepare the deed. (because the language in the deed appears like it doesn't include survivorship, so it didn't even simplify the inheritance issue). So I think it's wise of you to ask for some legal advice now.
    I can see a couple of issues here that could need to be addressed. It's not just capital gains, it's also potential gift tax, elder law planning considerations, and I'd want to know about liens or debts on the property.
    While I think its good that you asked the right initial question and understand that there are legal problems with the initial transaction, and now are seeking some legal advice, I strongly suggest that you and your mother buy an hour of time with an experienced real estate lawyer. I assume this property is worth well into the six figures so a modest investment in legal advice seems like a good business decision.

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