Month: March 2020

Oregon shuts many retail businesses, limits office work

This morning, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-12.  It has eight main parts; the parts in quotation marks are word-for-word from her order:

1.  “Non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home of place of residence (e.g., parties, celebrations, or other similar gatherings and events) are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained.”

2.  People who need to leave their homes “should” (not “shall”) maintain at least a six-foot distance from anyone who is not part of their household “to the greatest extent possible.”

3.  People can go outside for recreation, but only if it is possible to stay at least six feet away from all others.

4.  Certain classes of businesses are closed altogether, where “close personal contact is difficult or impossible to avoid,” including “barber shops, bowling alleys, dance studios, furniture stores, gyms, indoor and outdoor malls, indoor party places, medical spas, museums, nail salons, staking rinks, social clubs, theaters, yoga studios, and youth clubs.”  Restaurants, bars, and coffee shops can stay open for take-out and delivery service only.  Grocers, health care providers, pharmacies, and pet stores in shopping malls can remain open.

5.  Offices, including non-profits, must facilitate working at home as much as possible.  “Work in offices is prohibited whenever telework and work-at-home options are available, in light of position duties, availability of teleworking equipment, and network adequacy.”  Businesses without telework and work-from-home options must appoint an employee or officer “to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.”  Non-complying businesses will be closed.

6.  All state executive branch buildings will close to the public to the maximum extent possible, except that members of the public may meet state workers by appointment.

7.  Childcare facilities are closed until April 28 unless the childcare is done in stable groups of 10 or fewer children, meaning that “the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day” and in a classroom that other children cannot enter.

8.  All campgrounds except RV parks are closed.  All pools, stake parks, outdoor sport courts, and playground equipment areas are closed.

Alterman Law Group is implementing policies to comply with the Governor’s order and has technology in place to enable us to serve our clients remotely through this challenging time.

Alterman Law Group and COVID-19

Alterman Law Group is following the social distancing guidelines of the United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We are open for business.  We strongly encourage our clients to conference with us by phone, e-mail, or video.  While social distancing measures are in force, all in-office meetings will be by prior appointment only.  We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

H.O. Lock opines on litigation

I often tell clients, “litigation is a blunt instrument,” and encourage efforts to come to a fair settlement before the expenses of a lawsuit mount up.  In 1946 Henry Osmond Lock (1879-1962), a Dorsetshire solicitor (his father represented the author Thomas Hardy), published a short volume entitled “Advice to a Young Solicitor,” distilling 40 years of experience at the bar into sound recommendations for the young lawyer.  Here is his more elegant paragraph on the topic:

Empty courtroom
Image from Shutterstock. Used under license.

“You may take it that in almost all cases of civil proceedings, the commencement of litigation is preceded by a course of negotiation.  Then is the time that it may be well to ‘agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him.’ A fair and reasonable settlement is often more satisfactory than an action fought out to the bitter end, even though the outcome be a verdict in your client’s favour.  A successful litigant has many expenses to shoulder himself, and many an apparent triumph secured in the Courts of Law has in the end proved to be but a Pyrrhic Victory.”