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Kevin Elliott Parks

Kevin Parks’s Answers

700 total

  • Being disciplined for an "aggressive" tone of an email?

    I've never had anything negative in all of my proformance appraisals. Ive never had any meetings involving receiving a warning letter if I continue any behavior. With all that said, I sent an email out to several managers reporting abuse. The next...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Generally speaking, there's nothing illegal about disciplining an employee for the substance and/or context of an email, or any communication. As my colleague stated, however, that can somewhat depend upon the content of the email and the specific situation, which can make everything a bit complicated...

    For instance, suppose an employee uses expletives in an email that identifies a manager and/or superior for sexual harassment. While an employee can absolutely be subject to discipline for their use of expletives and/or the tone of their communication, an employee cannot typically be disciplined for blowing the whistle and reporting illegal activity, such as workplace sexual harassment. Thus, if such an employee is disciplined, distinguishing between legal discipline due to the expletives, say, and illegal or retaliatory discipline intended to silence the employee's claims of abuse and/or harassment is an extremely nuanced and fact-specific undertaking.

    All told, if you've only received a warning letter indicating that certain conduct is unacceptable in the workplace and directing you to change this behavior moving forward, then you're likely in the grey area where there's no actual harm to your employment situation (assuming in this situation that your workplace employment policies don't provide for any substantive detriment to the terms and conditions of your employment, or for the termination thereof.) However, if you're fired, or docked pay, or receive a demotion, or some other terms and conditions of your employment are affected by your receiving a warning letter, then you absolutely have the right to assert that your blowing the whistle on the abuse issue, rather than the tone in which you blew the whistle, was the real issue and cause for the adverse employment action, and thus that the employer's pointing to the "aggressive" tone is but merely a pretext.

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  • I was looking to start a small adult entertainment business in Portland Oregon .BAchelor parties, Private dances, massages.

    Wondering if anybody has any good recommendations on a business lawyer that could help me to get started. Price range I might be looking at for receiving legal help ect...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Unfortunately, we can't solicit business or give individualized recommendations through this website -- either for ourselves or for other attorneys/firms. That said, there are a large number of attorneys and firms throughout Portland (and many who are indeed active here on Avvo) who would be well qualified and happy to assist you in starting your new venture.

    Most likely what you'd require is, first, obtaining an initial consultation with an attorney who emphasizes small businesses as part of their practice. This initial process outlines what issues you'll likely be facing, what items you'll need to address, etc., including issues relevant to all small businesses -- i.e., entity formation, employees, etc. Then, moving forward, they'd likely be able to review and advise you on any number of issues and/or transactions as you progress -- contracts, leases, insurance, licensing, etc.

    The prices for individual attorneys throughout Portland vary significantly, with the scale generally tending toward the larger firms being more expensive and the smaller firms and/or solo attorneys being more affordable. Generally speaking, the range in hourly fees can be anywhere from $200 to $500 per hour.

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  • Did he follow the legal steps of giving notice, or does he need to start over? Shouldn't we at least have 60 days?

    my landlord served me a 30 day notice, 2 days before my lease of one year was up. He wanted me to sign the notice, but i wouldn't before i found out my rights. He then posted it to my door, but never sent anything in the mail or anything like tha...

    Kevin’s Answer

    It's not illegal, in and of itself, to give you any notice. The question is what you'd like to do in response to the notice you received, and what your landlord may do.

    If your landlord attempts to file an eviction complaint against you on the basis of the 30 day notice, it's likely that they may have problems concerning the adequacy of the notice itself (30 vs. 60 days), and the service of the notice (not mailing a copy). If the landlord does file an eviction, it's likely that a landlord/tenant attorney would provide you a free consultation, as well as likely represent your defense of the action on a contingency fee basis.

    That said, you may well want some certainty if you're planning to siply stay past the expiration on the notice itself, and thus you'll likely want to hire an attorney now to review the case and provide you specific advice on the various risks associated with different potential courses of action.

    Additionally, there remains some question of what happens at the end of your 1 year lease (whether it terminates and expires, or converts to a month-to-month, etc.) and also whether posting a notice is even allowable in the first place.

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  • Personal Injury attorney is requesting a new contract agreement after court case is done. Required to enter it? Hinder collect?

    I hired a personal injury attorney on a contingent fee agreement contract for a Battery Tort case. The contract said 40% attorney fees for trial. 50% for appeal. My case went to trial and won which included court costs added to the judement. The t...

    Kevin’s Answer

    This dynamic is extremely common, as collecting on a judgment from anyone or anything other than an insured party's covered insurance policy is entirely different (and occasionally significantly more difficult) than merely winning a judgment in the first place.

    What you can do, and what you should do, ultimately depend on the details of your case, including the specifics of your contingency fee agreement with your attorney, whether the judgment included attorneys fees (and thus whether any supplemental judgments may be able to be filed to include additional attorneys fees), the likelihood of collection, the potential costs involved in executing the judgment, and the viability of your alternatives.

    You're certainly not required to enter into a new contract with your attorney. But at the same time, your attorney isn't likely required to continue to spend time and/or out-of-pocket costs in attempting to collect the judgment for you (or for you both).

    Some personal injury attorneys are well-versed in post-judgment collection work, while others might not be. You could likely hire a new lawyer who frequently and/or primarily does collection work to assist you, but then you'd be starting from scratch with a new lawyer, with new costs, and you'd likely still owe your previous lawyer 40% of whatever you might be able to collect.

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  • Can my dad go onto a property owned by him and my mother when she says he cannot and has mailed him a notarized paper saying so?

    My parents got divorced while my dad was in prison and my mom says he cannot go onto the property without her permission. The notarized letter she sent is all she has done other than make a formal complaint to the police. There is no restraining o...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Without knowing what the notarized letter said (and what legal basis it may assert), it's impossible to analyze what your father's legal rights are and simply whether or not he can go onto the property.

    There are a number of ways in which a person can be prevented from going onto a specific property -- the questions are who can prevent them, how they can prevent them, and what could be the recourse should they go onto the property anyway.

    The first issue is criminal liability -- i.e., criminal trespassing (breaking and entering, etc.), or violating a restraining order, or parole, or the like. This doesn't appear to be applicable in this situation, though I'd certainly want to double-check everything before being confident.

    Secondly, then, is civil liability. This is a very nuanced area of law. A property owner can sue someone for trespass, or a tenant can sue a landlord for unauthorized access, or coming onto the property could potentially satisfy another element of some other individual tort, thus creating possible financial liability.

    A thorough review of all of the relevant documentation is likely necessary to fully understand what's going on here, and thus what you father's rights are. These documents include the notarized letter itself, likely along with the divorce decree, a current title report, any lease with the current tenants, the foreclosure pleadings (and judgment, specifically) with the financial lender, and any related writs of enforcement.

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  • When terminated from employment and you have p.t.o, owed to you, is it required the employer pay this out upon termination?

    I had 80 hours of paid time off still owed to me on date I was terminated.

    Kevin’s Answer

    As my colleagues have advised, your company's employee handbook, manual, or policy documents will provide clarification on whether or not such payment is due upon termination.

    Your best bet is to schedule a consult with an employee-side employment lawyer to sit down with you, review the facts of your case (i.e., specifics regarding your termination, payment history, policies, etc.) and determine the best course of action with you. There may well be specific language which precludes you from collecting the unpaid time off, but just as likely there may well be legal arguments available to you which would enable you to collect these wage -- possibly in addition to penalty wages, as well as costs and lawyer fees should you ultimately need to initiate litigation.

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  • How do I fight a 30day no cause when it has to do with a stalker .

    I asked my rental management for assistance removing a friend who unknowingly moved her belongings into my home and refused to leave. My manager informed me she could not help. Myself and r help of my neighbors removed her belongings. And had no...

    Kevin’s Answer

    You certainly have potential claims for damages against the individual trespasser, though it's unclear whether bringing such claims would be viable and/or cost effective.

    Then, in defense of the 30 Day No Cause termination notice, you can continue to try to negotiate to get your landlord to rescind it before the deadline, but it's seemingly unlikely that that will happen. If you opt to disregard the notice and stay beyond the deadline, the landlord will be required to pursue an eviction case against you in court. There, you have the right to defend yourself by explaining the situation and asserting that the landlord's eviction proceeding is illegal. Whether or not your situation presents an adequate legal basis to assert such a defense successfully, however, is a risky proposition both legally, practically, and financially.

    Your best bet at this point is likely to retain a lawyer to communicate with your landlord on your behalf and attempt to curb the landlord's enforcement of the Termination Notice.

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  • What legal advice would be advised regarding PTA membership?

    My wife served as VP all last year. Last fall she was elected President for this year. The retiring president contacted her and said she would prefer if my wife stepped down and let someone else be president. My did not step down. This ...

    Kevin’s Answer

    It sounds like this is an internal power play by the out-going leadership, no different than most intra-company or intra-organizational politicking.

    It's impossible to say whether or not your wife may have viable claims such as defamation (libel, slander) without knowing all of the specific facts. Generally speaking, based on what you've presented, I'd guess is that the likelihood is that such a case would be a significant uphill battle.

    Beyond that the possibility of bringing a tort claim against the PTA and/or outgoing President, then, it's difficult to advise your wife as to what to do without knowing specifically what the entire set of facts are. Certainly, there are some remaining questions that don't have specific answers (i.e., what are the PTA's policies [elections, dues payments, etc] that they're relying on, what is the President's authority to ask for a recall, what are the internal procedures for disputing such a claim, did she actually pay the dues, can you find the endorsed check, who conducted the audit and why, etc.).

    You'd be best advised to gather as much information and documentation as you can about the situation and see an attorney, who will be able to help you fully analyze the situation (practically and legally) and lay out your various options in moving forward, including litigation and/or otherwise. It may well be that a letter to the President and/or leadership of the PTA -- or the membership as a whole -- can right the ship, so to speak.

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  • What should I do if I've been disputing a debt with a company, but they send it to collections?

    I've seen online the idea to send a validation letter to the collection agency, but if the company insists the debt is valid, won't the CA insist the debt is valid? Is it worth the effort to explain to the CA why I don't owe the debt? Ba...

    Kevin’s Answer

    At this point, you can continue to dispute the debt with the alleged originating creditor, you can dispute the debt with the collections agency, and you can potentially dispute the debt with the credit bureaus, if it shows up on your reports and affects your credit score. That said, you're not likely to get very far, or have much success, in attempting to utilize this process alone.

    Substantively, you're likely going to have to make a choice -- either proactively sue them, or you can wait for them to sue you and potentially defend and/or counter-claim against them.

    It's likely than an initial consultation with an attorney would be able to help you analyze the strength and weakness of your defense to their claims, as well as the potential for asserting your own claims and/or counter-claims.

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  • Cars burnt out car was parked next to other car which been burnt out caused by electrical problems..the fire caught my car as well and its also burnt out...neither me nor other guy has insurance and want to know how i can handel it?

    Kevin’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague, Ms. Thorpe.

    The monetary damages that stem from this incident are clear: i.e., the value of your car, replacement, other personal items inside, etc. Your ability to prove legal liability on behalf of the other owner, however, isn't clear at all. A negligence claim is likely your best bet, but it's unclear whether there is a known duty that the other driver breached in relation to maintenance of his vehicle. (Further, it's unclear how a parked vehicle might have caught fire in any event.) You certainly have the right to try to hold the other driver legally accountable, and it's possible that you may be able to prove such liability; however, you're likely looking at a variety of upfront costs in getting there, including not only attorneys fees (if you choose to hire an attorney) but court costs, filing costs, depositions and discovery, and likely expert costs (i.e., fire analysis, etc.). You can potentially get your costs and fees included in a judgment against the other party; however, that doesn't even contemplate your ability to collect on any monetary damage judgment that you may be able to get against the other driver in court (or, likely, arbitration). Without the other car owner having insurance, you're going to have to go after their personal assets, which is always a dicey and difficult proposition.

    All told, this situation is exactly the type of issue that a comprehensive insurance policy is intended to cover. Without such a policy -- or without any policy whatsoever -- you're certainly looking at an uphill battle to be made whole, which may or may not make economic sense.

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