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Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman
  • Estate Planning, Probate, Personal Injury...
  • Oregon
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Portland Legal Services specializes in Personalized Advocacy. This is a full service civil law firm. We cross specialize in several related areas of the law which means that we can offer you comprehensive solutions to difficult issues that require knowledge in several legal sub-specialties. We can help you with issues in the areas of: Family Law (Divorce, Custody, Support), Paternity, Bankruptcy (Chapter 7), Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Elder Law (Special Needs Trusts), Probate, Conservatorships, Guardianships, , Personal Injury, Auto Accidents, Small Business, Real Estate, and Civil Litigation. If you don't see your problem area listed here, please contact us to see if it is something we also cover. Please use the case evaluation link on our web page to get a free initial evaluation.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Personal Injury
  • Divorce
  • Bankruptcy
  • Elder Law
  • Family Law
  • Business Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • Car Accidents
  • General Civil
  • Free Consultation
    I do a free screening of a potential case. It is not technically a consultation but it can help you make the decision as to whether or not to proceed with a paid consultation. To get a free case evaluation clients must first go to my website and fill out the following form:
  • Contingent Fees
    Contingent Fee arrangements are offered for Personal Injury cases.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Please use the case evaluation link on our web page to get a free initial evaluation.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
9th Circuit
  • Spanish: Spoken
Professional Experience
Sole Practicioner
Joanne Reisman
- Current
Associate Lawyer
Shannon and Johnson
Associate Lawyer
Case and Dusterhoff
Associate Lawyer
Harrington Anderson and DeBlasio
Law Clerk
Darrel Lee Law Office
Lewis & Clark Law School
J.D. | Law
Honors: Am Jur Award Remedies
University of California - Los Angeles
B.S. | Business/Economics
Honors: Cum Laude
Am Jur Award for Remedies
Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College
This award was for receiving the highest overall score in the class on remedies.
Professional Associations
Oregon Trial Lawyers Association
- Current
Oregon State Bar # 833832
- Current
Washington County Bar Association
- Current
Multnomah Bar Association
- Current
Articles & Publications
The Family Law Section of the Oregon State Bar
Representing the Immigrant Client in Bankruptcy
Debtor-Creditor Section of the Oregon State Bar
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
510 Questions Answered

Q. My aunt passed away and I need to obtain guardianship of my cousin who is 13. No will. No biological father.
A: You don't need to be appointed Guardian to contact social security and be appointed as the designated payee for the minor's social security benefits. SS will just require you to file a report once a year as to how you used the funds. You mention that the minor also receives state benefits so I am not sure what type of benefits you are talking about. Federal SS, SSD, and SSI payments are administered through the State of Oregon for Oregon residents. It sounds like all the surviving adult relatives agree that you should act as Guardian so you should certainly consult with an Attorney and get assistance setting up the Guardianship. If the minor also stands to inherit any property you may need to also set up a conservatorship. An Attorney can help you figure this out.
Q. How can I legally live in a tiny home on raw land clatstop county, Oregon?
A: This is more of a land use and zoning issue. I have changed the category for you. This is not my area of expertise but I can tell you that you need to investigate all laws that would apply. Oregon's Land use Laws, Oregon Building Codes, Building Codes, zoning and land use laws for Clatsop County and rules/laws/codes for any city that has jurisdiction over your land. You probably would want to talk to an Attorney who knows the land use laws and codes for Clatsop County. I suspect that the size of the house won't be an issue as long as it meets all the code requirements and you get the required permits.
Q. Can I move out without my mother’s consent at 17?
A: Technically you are a minor with no legal rights until you turn 18. If your uncle facilitates your moving without the consent of your custodial parent he can be charged with the crime of custodial interference. If you leave on your own accords, and stay out of trouble, it is unlikely that the police will drag you home. But as stated before, neither your Uncle nor any other adult can legally help you. Frankly if you are just now graduating from high school you need to focus on getting some type of additional education. You better look into your options for going to college. If there is a college that requires you to move away from home your parents would most likely be supportive of that. You can't simply petition to be emancipated and it happens. It is an uphill batter to convince a Judge that you are already acting like an adult and supporting yourself. It is also you jumping into adulthood with all the negatives that come with the freedom. So by the time you get through the court system with this plan you will probably be 18 anyway. Just chill and get your plan for your adult life in order. Focus on school or some type of job training. You will have the rest of your life to be an adult - it's just one more year. Recognizing the wisdom of staying put is part of being an adult. It would be a mature adult decision.
Q. What should I do if mother had a stroke recently?
A: If you were ordered to pay support while the child lived with the mother then you definitely want to modify the support so you don't continue to be liable for payments while your daughter lives with you. That would involve also recalculating the support so yes, the mother may end up having to pay support but that would be based on the new income circumstances for the mother. If mother had a stroke and can't work, she may have little or no income. If mother ends up collecting social security disability or SSI, because she is disabled long term, your daughter may be entitled to SS or SSI benefits as well. If mother is likely to be disabled long term, the sooner she applies for disability the better. It can take years to get approved and once approved you get an award retroactive to the date you applied. She should apply even if it is still too early to tell if she will recover and return to work or not. She can always drop the application if it doesn't look like she will need it. She may also get disability for the short term she was disabled. So talk to the mother about applying for disability and see what you need to do to include your daughter as a recipient of benefits. Most Attorneys who work in this area agree to take a flat fee from the benefits that are ultimately awarded so it isn't expensive to hire an Attorney to help with this.
Q. will the judge go back and undo what's already been done
A: You need to discuss this with your bankruptcy lawyer. That is the only person with enough knowledge of your personal situation and legal training to advise you. It may turn out that you still need the Chapter 13 for your personal liabilities but you need to revise your filings to accurately reflect what your personal holdings and liabilities are and the business entity may need to file a Chapter 11 however Chapter 11s are very complicated and expensive I am told by my colleagues who do them. I don't deal with either Chapter 11 or Chapter 13. Please deal directly with your bankruptcy lawyer as this is far too complex for a quick question on the internet.
Q. G-parents died in 1976 with no wills, no probate was done. OR has unclaimed money (life ins policy). How can I claim?
A: You are going to need to talk to an Attorney. Usually if life insurance premiums don't get paid the life insurance gets canceled. If there is still a viable policy to collect the beneficiary would be determined as the date of your grandparent's death so people that were alive then may have the claim or if they have since died the claim accrues to their estate. Long story short, there is a lot to figure out and possibilities that the money doesn't end up going to you must be considered.
Q. Can I sue my neighbors for property damage due to their storm water running directly into my yard - lack of gutters
A: I don't know about Eugene but here in Portland the city gives homeowners a break if they disconnect their rain gutters from the storm drains and allow the water to instead percolate into the soil. This of course assumes that the rainwater has a way to soak into the soil. You can contact the city and see if the set up your neighbor's have violates some type of code. The city also has codes for proper drainage so that water doe not cause landslides involving adjacent property owners. Otherwise contact an Attorney in your area that knows something about these type of water drainage issues. But my first choice would be to contact the city as they may address the situation before you have to hire an Attorney. In the meantime, you might want to try to install something that would temporary divert the water. Sandbags could help.
Q. Can doctrine of practical location be used to set boundary between lots owned by same person until 2 yrs ago?
A: Your mother in law was sold the property described in the deed. She should hire her own surveyor to survey the property and interpret the legal description of her deed. Then she should consult with her own Attorney and try to figure out what Oregon real estate laws would help her resolve the situation. A practical solution maybe to just want to pay the granddaughter to do a lot line adjustment if the county will allow it. There is bound to be some type of solution but I have never heard of the"doctrine of practical location". These rules or doctrines evolved from old English common law cases and tended to be adopted in different forms in each of the 50 states. Assuming the property is located in Oregon it would be better to hire an Oregon Attorney to research the law as it exists in Oregon once you have independent verification of the boundaries.
Q. My son was in a accident not his fault. My insurance was lasped. Oregon
A: This isn't phrased as a question so I can't tell what input you are looking for. Is your son trying to get damages for his injuries? If so, all he needs to do is contact a personal injury Attorney in your area. A personal injury Attorney might take the case on a contingency basis and can also tell you how the liability issue looks. Is your son trying to avoid paying for the other party's damages? Since your insurance lapsed you won't have the benefit of your insurance company hiring an Attorney to defend you. Unfortunately you will have to pay for an Attorney to defend the case if it gets filed in court. Also be aware that you could be sued as well as head of household if there are facts that justify a head of household pleading. Head of household comes into play when the driver and the car owner live in the same household and the owner of the car is a member of the household and the driver is driving the car at the time of the accident for a purpose which benefits the household, like going grocery shopping for the household. Be aware that a Judgement in a personal injury case against you or your son can result in a driver's license suspension until it is paid or otherwise discharged. A bankruptcy can discharge this liability.
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732 SW 3rd Ave
Suite 304
Portland, OR 97204
Telephone: (503) 222-7401