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Robert M Lorey

Robert Lorey’s Answers

297 total


  • I was served Notice that my ex is asking for Attorney's fees. I have no lawyer representing me. Can I respond? How?

    My ex is claiming I filed a frivolous suit re: wanting to take the kids out of state. He's actually the one who chose an expensive law firm and brought a case to court. I was attempting to converse with him when he sought legal counsel. How do I r...

    Robert’s Answer

    As noted, you do have the right to respond to a request for lawyer's fees. The Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure set out the process by which attorney's fees are requested, opposed and awarded. Without actually seeing the notice which you were served, it is not possilbe to definitively determine which Rule (or statute) the opposing side will use to claim their fees. The typical fee-shifting provisions are found in ORCP 68. There are also provisions for sanctions in ORCP 17(C), which might be alleged by the opposing side if they are attacking your actions as "frivolous," something of a stretch perhaps, but it is done from time to time.

    The entire ORCP can be found onlne at the following URL:

    http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/orcpors.htm

    Again, I concur with the prior poster -- you really cannot afford to handle this matter on your own. For a magor life change, with children involved, with the issuance of an Order backed by the contempt power of the Court, this is not something you can handle by yourself. I suggest that you at least try to get an initial consultation with an attorney. Many attorneys offer free or low-cost initial consultations and even such an intial consultation might give you a better idea of how to proceed.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • Can I send in amended answers to the plaintiff's requests for admission and request for production of documents?

    I am being sued by a debt buyer. Upon receiving their answers to my discovery requests, and their filing for a motion for summary judgment, it was suggested to me by someone that I amend my original answers to their discovery. Is that allowed? ...

    Robert’s Answer

    You can always ask for permission to change your answers or responses to discovery requests. However, it does not sound like the opposing side will agree to any changes, so the Court will decide, on the sound exercise of its discretion, whether to allow an amendment. Note that asking the Court for leave to amend becuase the answers are bad for your case is not likely to get you very far. If you told the truth in your prior answers and those answers demonstrate that you have no defense, then the Court would almost certainly refuse to allow any amendment. The point of discovery is to narrow the issues and determine what facts are genuinely contested and which are not -- which it sounds like has been done in this case.

    The Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure spell out the procedure, ORCP 45 being the most topical, subsection D in particular of that Rule provides:

    D Effect of admission. Any matter admitted pursuant to this rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. The court may permit withdrawal or amendment when the presentation of the merits of the case will be subserved thereby and the party who obtained the admission fails to satisfy the court that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice such party in maintaining such party's case or such party's defense on the merits. Any admission made by a party pursuant to this rule is for the purpose of the pending action only, and neither constitutes an admission by such party for any other purpose nor may be used against such party in any other action.

    From the tenor of your question, it certainly sounds like you are attempting to represent yourself in this matter. I strongly suggest that you reconsider this plan and at least consult with an attorney. You have the right to represent yourself, just like you have the right to perform brain surgery on yourself, but neither plan is a good one.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • Income Reporting

    I work for a small financial institution (2 employees). They don't have health insurance benefits, but they do give me a check for $400.00 monthly to pay toward an individual health insurance policy. I am not required use this money towards health...

    Robert’s Answer

    This is really a federal income tax question, and I will attempt to modify the category accordingly. In answer to your query, this is definitely income -- but it is not clear whether this is taxable income.

    The value of health care coverage provided by your employer is now generally reported in Box 12 of the W-2 form with Code DD to identify the amount. The amount reported in the box should include both the portion paid by your employer and any amount paid in by you. Under the Affordable Care Act – you may also refer to it as Obamacare or the health care act – most employers must now report the cost of your health care plan (a few small businesses are still exempt from reporting under the transitional relief offered by IRS). If this money does not appear on your W-2 then it would seem that a two-person firm is exempt from the reporting requirement for now. Money paid by your employer for the provision of health insurance is not taxable to the employee. Yet...

    If you want the technical details (and a quite effective sleep-inducing hobby to boot), I highly recommend the IRS informational publication Notice 2010-69, titled "Interim Relief with Respect to Form W-2 Reporting of the Cost of Coverage of Group Health Insurance Under § 6051(a)(14)." This publication sets out the transitional rules for small businesses with respect to the reporting requirements.

    It might be a good idea to consult with the firm's tax professional to make sure that the current arrangement does actually comply with the IRS regulations on providing health insurance coverage without tax implications for the employees. Otherwise, the employees might be left holding (most of) the bag for back taxes and improper withholding. You _really_ want to avoid that!

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • VA attorneys...can an attorney outside of VA practice law in VA?

    I could not find this answer on the CA bar site other than relating to foreign attorneys practicing while serving in the military in VA. Are there reciprocation laws?

    Robert’s Answer

    I am not sure what the precise nature of your question is. The prior posters have covered the process of a JAG officer litigating for the military in a federal court located inside the Commonwealth. However, there are several other potential ways this question could be answered.

    First, if the military lawyer is _not_ litigating for the military, but wants to litigate his/her own case or a friend's case, that is possible. The procedure is admission pro hac vice (admission for a single case) and is spelled out in Rule 1A:4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. If the Judge allows it, a foreign attorney can practice in a Court of the Commonwealth for a single matter (or series of related matters, since Virginia does not have an effective class action form of action).

    Second, a military lawyer who wants to litigate for his or her own private clients in the Courts of the Commonwealth, then a bar admission would be required. The procedures for a reciprocal admission are spelled out in Rule 1A:1, called "Foreign Attorneys - When Admitted to Practice in This State Without Examination."

    Third, a military lawyer who wants to litigate as a private practitioner (_not_ for the federal government) in the federal courts located in Virginia would have to pursue some form of admission to practice. The procedures to litigate a single matter is to be admitted pro hac vice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ("EDVA") is spelled out in Local Civil Rule 83.1(D). If you want to be admitted full-time to the EDVA as a private lawyer, you must first secure admission to the Virginia Bar and then you are good to go upon the completion of a form and payment of a fee. The Rules are very similar for the Western District, but I am not familiar with them.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • Protecting Assets After Collision

    I was involved in an accident in Washington State, in which the other's driver was injured and their car damaged. (I was at fault). I have a $50,000 bodily injury limit per person on my policy. I have just been advised by my insurance company that...

    Robert’s Answer

    "How likely am I to be sued in practice?"

    You should absolutely plan on being sued -- if for no other reasons than; 1) for the victim to determine if you have other available insurance policies (i.e: resident relative, umbrella, homeowners, professional, boat, etc.) which might afford you additional coverage for the accident and 2) to see if you have any easily attachable assets. You might even not be aware of all the coverage which might be available to you.

    Your insurance carrier is obligated to 1) defend you from the suit and 2) pay on your behalf any judgment or settlement up to the limits of your policy. If the victim's medical bills are about the same as your policy limits, you will not have sufficient coverage in the event of a suit. You are facing a potentially serious personal exposure situation. Under these circumstances, your interests may not be fully protected by the insurance company, potentially with respect to a defense and absolutely with respect to the limits of your policy -- all they are essentially ever obligated to pay out is the policy limits.

    You really need to consult with a local attorney who is well-versed in insurance defense to determine what your personal exposure might be. Many attorneys offer a free or low-cost initial consultation, and even an initial consultation might give you sufficient information to decide how to proceed.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • Is there a "standard of proof" necessary to obtain a signed Ex Parte Court Order to Show Cause?

    I made an Ex Parte Motio. for a Show Cause Hearing, I was granted the Motion and received a signed Court Order that I served on my X, however, at the hearing the Commissioner ordered that I pay for my x's attorney fees because I had "no basis" to ...

    Robert’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You seem to suffering under a common mistake -- what you are trying to do is actually a two-step process.

    First, getting an Order to Show Cause in an ex parte proceeding is simply a command from the Court for a person to appear and defend themselves from whatever you alleged in the Motion. In an ex parte proceeding, you are the only person presenting evidence (or a request) to the Court, so there is very little in the way of determining the final merits of the case. Since you are the only one before the Court, the burden on you is extremely low. This standard is generally speaking a plausible case that the facts you presented would enable you to prevail at a hearing if all that you present is actually proved at the hearing.

    Simply because you obtained an ex parte Order does not insulate you in any way from a determination that you had no reasonable basis for seeking the Order.

    Second, the hearing on the Show Cause is where the opponent shows up, is heard, presents evidence and arguments on his/her behalf. This is a full adversarial proceeding and the standard of proof is almost always a preponderance of evidence. Under this standard, you need just a bit more than 50% in order to prevail.

    Clearly, the Judge conducting the hearing did not believe that you had a legitimate basis to seek a Show Cause. This was likely due, at least in part, to the fact that you were facing an attorney while litigating on your own. Thus, you may have had information which you thought was conclusive, but you never even got to put that information into evidence. If you have a case and really intend to actually win that case, don't fight a professional advocate on your own.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • If day 10 falls on a Saturday to file a Motion for Reconsideration, do I have until Monday to file my Motion?

    I'm only requesting Reconsideration on the award of the opposing Party attorney fees, as I don't have the means to pay 3,000.00, I am not requesting the Commissioner to Reconsider her Ruling on the Show Cause issue, I accept that I lost, I just ha...

    Robert’s Answer

    I concur with Mr. Williams and Mr. McLafferty on the process for counting dates.

    However, since you stated, "... I could be subject to sanctions should I file any further Motions." You should really consider whether filing a Motion for Reconsideration is such a good idea. Since you already told the Commissioner that you didn't have the money, and she was not persuaded to alter her award of attorney's fees, what new information do you have to offer in Reconsideration? How persuasive is that evidence and is it compelling enough to avoid the imposition of sanctions and quite possibly additional legal fees?

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • If i can't make the payment for a court order GAL before the deadline what should i do

    A court oder was set out for a GAL, the judge asked me for my source of income , i stated that i make 9,19 hr but only work 20 hr a week, what i faled to say was , that was a job thru DSHS subsidized work for the children, now that the children ar...

    Robert’s Answer

    I would strongly suggest contacting the Guardian Ad Litem and the Court as soon as possible to let them both know of your financial situation. In cases like these, the best thing to do is to ask permission (i.e.: payment plan or something) rather than forgiveness (after missing a Court-ordered payment deadline). The GAL would probably be willing to work with you and if you have the GAL on board with a financial arrangement, the Court would be far more willing to change the Order.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • My father life insurance cancelled because they said we did not pay $85.00 the fact us we did not see that bill

    All we saw a bill for $555.00 they said sent a ill for different amount which 85.00 we dud not pay them and cancelle it

    Robert’s Answer

    The terms and conditions of the policy itself should spell out the insurance company's duty before canceling a policy for any reason, including non-payment. If you don't have a complete certified copy of the insurance policy, that is your first step.

    Generally speaking, the insurance company cannot simply cancel a policy for non-payment without further notice to the policy owner. They said they sent a bill, which you did not receive. They should also have sent the owner at least one notice of the fact that payment was not received. You also did not receive that notice? How is it that you are now aware that the policy has been cancelled?

    If you learned that the policy has been cancelled after making a claim, you will need a lawyer to assist you. The entire purpose of an insurance company is to collect as much money as possible in premium payments and pay out as little as possible in claims. They are very good at what they do, so you will need professional help on this front.

    If you have found the policy has been cancelled without making a claim, it may be possible to either reinstate the policy or to get a new policy (likely with some exclusionary riders attached). If the insurance company refuses to reissue the policy you may again need to retain an attorney to help you.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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  • How do i petition a court to appoint an appraisal umpire?

    this is for an insurance appraisal clause matter.

    Robert’s Answer

    This depends on the procedural posture of the case. If you are already in litigation, it is a simple matter to provide the Court with the relevant policy language and petition for the appointment of an umpire. If the matter is not yet in litigation, the policy language itself should control the process. Typically the policy will spell out exactly how the umpire is to be selected and by whom.

    If you do not already have a complete, certified copy of the policy, that is your first step. Carefully examine the umpire provisions and see how the procedure is supposed to work. Follow the instructions of the policy as closely as possible.

    www.integrityoregon.com

    Good luck!

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