The Personal Law Firm

I am your personal attorney for private and business needs.  I run a small office so that I am affordable for the people who need me the most. If you need help and don’t want to pay for a large team of lawyers to work on your matter, then call me to see if I can help you. My business is based on the old family doctor model.  I am dedicated to treating the legal needs of the whole person by developing an ongoing, personal client-attorney relationship focused on integrated care.  Most problems I can take care of quickly. For those unique problems that you may have, I may call in a specialist and consult with other lawyers having unique skill sets. I work this way with you, consulting with other lawyers on specialized matters, so that I may deliver a high degree of expertise and advice at an affordable price.

The personal lawyer model has been around for many years but has been typically only available to the very wealthy and large businesses.  The “family lawyer” or “firm lawyer” was placed on retainer to represent a wealthy family in all of their legal issues.  It was common for such a relationship to span multiple generations within a family.

In unique matters, a personal lawyer serves you by consulting with other attorneys who specialize in unique areas of the law. In very complicated cases, a personal lawyer may retain other attorneys to work on a portion of your case and the personal lawyer serves as a legal manager for you to make certain the work is done efficiently and economically.

My desire is to place the concept of a personal lawyer within reach of individuals, families, and businesses.  I represent individuals and the businesses that they work hard to build.

This firm is built upon the ideals of honesty, excellence, and hard work.  We’re committed to performing our best for our clients and for ourselves. We believe in giving back to our community, and this principle is brought to life through the active and enthusiastic support we provide local business, cultural and social service groups. We like what we do and we like who we work with.

Baby Boomers Drive M&A Market

Now that the economy has hit a certain level of stability, it may be time for baby boomers to revisit selling their companies. At the end of 2012 and with a strong surge in 2013, we saw a rush of baby boomers put their companies up for sale. The general sentiment heard from the baby boomers was that they did not want to go through an economic down turn again while at the helm of a company, especially since they were actively contemplating retirement.

Buyers were also beginning to feel confidence in the improving economy and they were willing to loosen the purse strings a little to accommodate those that wanted to sell, but buyers still wanted fire sale deals.

Two years later we look back and see that 2014 was another great year for selling a company and multiples paid for those companies sold have continued to increase. The year 2015 started even stronger than the year previous for mergers and acquisitions.

One factor that makes this an opportune time for buyers is that interest rates remain low. We have had these low rates for unusual number of years and there are plenty of analysts saying that such low rates can’t continue forever. Many buyers are looking to buy their first company or expand their current business operations while the cost of capital remains low.

Another significant factor driving business sales at the lower end of the market is how the job market continues to lag. Rather than jump from company to company to increase one’s earnings, many are looking at starting a business, buying a franchise, or purchasing an existing business.

All these factors make for a rich market of opportunity for sellers and buyers. If you want to buy or sell a company, let us team up and find the best opportunity for you.

Consumer Price Index – Portland: up 2.3 percent 2014 over 2013

From: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiport.htm

Consumer Price Index, Portland – Second Half 2014

Area prices were up 1.2 percent over the past six months, up 2.3 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Portland Area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 1.2 percent in the second half of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the January increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 2.3 percent.   Energy prices increased 0.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the year.

Consumer Price Index – Portland: up 2.6% from 6/2013 to 6/2014

Latest Release: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiport.htm

Area prices up 1.0 percent over the past six months, up 2.6 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Portland area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.0 percent in the first half of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter, electricity, and food. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 2.6 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices advanced 1.4 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of electricity. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.7 percent over the year.

Consumer Price Index – Portland: up 2.1% 1/2012 to 1/2013

From: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiport.htm

Area prices up 0.9 percent over the past six months, up 2.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Portland area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.9 percent in the second half of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted the latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and medical care. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 2.1 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices declined 0.3 percent, mainly due to a decrease in the price of natural gas service. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.5 percent over the year.

Inheriting an IRA Account

IRA accounts are one of the many asset types that one can inherit that are fraught with peril for the unwary.  The inheritance and tax rules for IRA accounts are different for those who are the spouse of the decedent and those that are not.  Spouses can receive special tax status for inherited IRA account funds.

If you are not the spouse you cannot treat the IRA as your own.  The tax rules give several options for how a non-spouse can take distributions from the IRA account.  Despite what one may have read on the internet, you do not have to take the IRA as a lump sum distribution when it is inherited.  The tax rules allow beneficiaries to spread payments over several years.  This is important since IRA funds are not subject to income tax until they are distributed to the beneficiary.

If the person you are inheriting the IRA account from had a basis in that account, that basis will remain with the IRA.  Spouses have some flexibility as to how they treat the inherited IRA, but one must tread carefully.

As with all things related to taxes and IRS, the regulatory landscape is subject to change without notice.

Before accepting any distributions from an inherited IRA, you must talk to an experienced tax professional to insure that you maximize your inheritance and don’t find yourself in an ugly tax situation with the IRS.

Moving Out – A Checklist

Are you  planning to terminate your lease and move out?  There are several things you should do to protect yourself and make your move as stress free as possible.

  1. Make sure you give the proper notice to your landlord.  Review your lease.  Can you terminate early?  Do you need to give a 30 day notice?  A 60 day notice?  If you are renting month-to-month, then you must give a 30 day notice.  Always give your notice in writing.
  2. If you mail the notice, tack on at least 3 days to account for mailing.  ORS 90.150(3).
  3. Clean your apartment and take pictures or video of everything.  Photograph the good as well as the bad.
  4. After the apartment is clean and you have moved everything out, perform a walk-through with your landlord.
  5. Make sure the landlord has your new address.

Once you move out, the landlord has to return your all of your deposit or give you an accounting of your deposit, in writing, within 31 days.

As with all things legal, there are time limits for taking action to enforce your rights.  For most matter related to a rental agreement and the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the time limit is one year.  However, there may be shorter time limits involved in some cases.

FREE LANDLORD-TENANT RESOURCES

Legal Aid Services

Legal Aid Services of Oregon has published a guide book titled Landlord Tenant Law in Oregon.  The electronic copy of this document can be found here.

Print copies are often available at:

Legal Aid Services of Oregon
421 High St., Suite 110
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 655-2518

Please call to confirm that they have copies available.

Oregon State Bar

The Oregon State Bar website has a resource page at:

http://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/tenant.html

Consumer Price Index – Portland: up 3.1% 1/2011 to 1/2012

From: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiport.htm

Area prices up 1.3 percent over the past six months, up 3.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Portland area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.3 percent in the second half of 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted the latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 3.1 percent.  Energy prices jumped 16.9 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent over the year.

FinCEN Assesses Civil Money Penalty Against Maine-Based Money Transmitter

FinCEN has levied a civil money penalty against Sarith Meas for violation of the registration and anti-money laundering requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and associated regulations issued pursuant to the BSA. Meas was fined $12,500 for the violations.

Full Settlement Agreement. Excerpts and summary below:

Meas acted as an independent money transmitter located in Maine operating out of Meas’s residence. Meas executed funds transfers for customers located in the United Stated. In a typical transaction, a customer provided Meas with cash, checks, or money orders, along with instructions to transmit funds to a specified beneficiary, and Meas deposited those funds into her U.S. deposit accounts. Once the funds cleared, Meas instructed U.S. financial institutions to wire transfer funds to designated financial institutions in Cambodia (a jurisdiction classified by the United States Department of State as suffering from money laundering deficiencies), where the funds were retrieved by Meas’ affiliate(s) and made physically available to beneficiaries in the designated currency.

Meas operated as an independent money transmitter by engaging as a business in the transfer of funds. She was required under the BSA to register as an MSB with FinCEN and implement a written anti-money laundering program. FinCEN determined that Meas was an unregistered money transmitter from January 2006 through October 2010, in violation of BSA registration requirements for money transmitters.

After considering the seriousness of the violations and the financial resources available to Meas, FinCEN has determined that the appropriate penalty in this matter is $12,500.

FinCEN Launches new MSB Registration Website

FinCEN has launched a new Money Services Business (MSB) registration website. The website is intended to help improve the availability of MSB registration information. The website will replace the MSB Registration lists that were previously available.
As part of FinCEN’s paperless efforts, FinCEN will no longer send acknowledgement letters to MSBs. MSB registration information will be available approximately two weeks after the MSB electronically files Form 107. If the MSB files the paper form, it will take 60 days before the registration is processed and posted on the MSB Registration Website.