The negatives of unsupervised fun

“See those big barrels over at the top of the hill?” my friend asked me. He was referring to large wood reels used to hold cable wiring. We were 12 at the time and attending a birthday party with about 10 other 12-year-olds. I should have ignored the question and walked away. Instead I found myself at the top of … Read More

Navigating the bar

The “Graveyard of the Pacific” is what you get when a river spanning 1,243 miles empties into an ocean which covers an area of 60-70 million square miles. These tumultuous waters, located where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, are known as the Columbia River Bar. Since 1792 approximately 2,000 ships have met their demise in the “Graveyard of … Read More

Avoiding hiring entanglements

“Binders full of women.” Governor Mitt Romney’s gaffe during the second 2012 presidential debate has become an internet sensation. While attempting to send the message that he was supportive of women in the workplace, Governor Romney’s choice of words may have sent the opposite message. President Obama has also made gaffes. When responding to a question about his bowling prowess, … Read More

Signing your freedom away

“Just sign here,” my 9-year-old daughter said to her two younger siblings. Her younger brother and sister did not think twice before signing. My 9 year-old was quite pleased with the deal she struck. She now had exclusive access to the optimally located desk while her younger brother and sister were relegated to sharing the older table in the corner … Read More

Using a business lawyer without gagging

Barf. My eight your old daughter hates everything about it. The smell, the sound, and the consistency cause her great discomfort. Just the thought of it causes her to tremble and brings tears to her eyes. Many feel the same way about lawyers as my daughter feels about barf. While I have never had anyone dry heave at the mere … Read More

A handshake away from litigation

There is something noble and virtuous about the handshake. Despite all its righteous might and morality, the handshake is a business person’s worst nightmare. Handshake deals are a litigator’s dream. Too many sound business professionals live by the practice of consummating deals with nothing more than a handshake. While many contracts do not have to be in writing to be … Read More

Mediation – Not always the right answer

When they are not in the backyard competing in potato sack races a la the Brady Bunch, my three kids fight with each other. When a dispute arises there are various methods by which the disputes get worked out. Kid 1 tends to get her way more than Kid 2 and Kid 3. Notwithstanding, Kid 1 would swear an oath … Read More

Personal Representatives, Family Feuds

“It’s time to play the Feud!” If that phrase does not conjure up some type of emotional reaction out of you, then you probably have not turned a TV on in many years (or you’re dead inside). The game show Family Feud has been gracing the television air waves since 1976. It is mildly surprising that a show which pits … Read More

Are fireworks immune to the legal system?

As far as family traditions go, I imagine “crowd avoidance” is not at the top of most people’s list. In my family “crowd avoidance” is about as American as apple pie. Growing up, almost every Fourth of July was spent camping at Lake Jubilee in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. With only 52 total campsites, our objective of “crowd avoidance” … Read More

Lie or lose or lie and lose?

Jonny Marray was trying to become the first British man to win a Wimbledon doubles title since 1936. He and his partner were unseeded and the most they had previously won at a competition was $800. Yet, there they were in the 2012 Wimbledon men’s doubles finals. They were tied at one set apiece and in a tiebreaker for the … Read More