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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
453 Questions Answered

Q. Ex girlfriend is on my title of a 2012 Dodge Avenger. Ex left over a year ago of her own volition, Wont sign or release
A: Unmarried couples can still have a financial relationship that needs to be untangled with the help of the court. Unlike a marriage you are not at risk for being ordered to pay spousal support. You might need to contact a family law lawyer for assistance. You can file what is called a dissolution of a domestic partnership to get this straightened out. It sounds like the girlfriend just likes having some tie to you that annoys you as part of the emotional baggage that remains between you to. Talk to a lawyer, a family law lawyer.
Q. I'm allergic to bees and I got stung while at a friend's house. Can I sue to recover my medical bills?
A: What did your friend do that caused or contributed to you being stung by a bee? For an injury to be actionable you have to show that your friend owed you some type of duty recognized by the law and your friend breached their duty, and as a consequence you were injured or incurred damages. For example, someone driving a car owes a duty of reasonable care to everyone else driving on the same road way and if that driver speeds or doesn't pay attention they have breached their duty of care, and if that breach of duty causes and accident which results in damages, the person injured can sue the driver. (FYI breach of duty of care = negligence) So to summarize a cause of action for negligence has to have the following elements: 1. Defendant owes a duty of care to Plaintiff. (The duty of care is what a reasonable person would do in that situation.) 2. Defendant breaches that duty of care, ie acts negligently. 3. Defendant's breach of duty CAUSES the injury that happens to Plaintiff. 4. Plaintiff is injured or damaged. So given this definition please explain why you might be able to blame your friend for the bee stinging you. Also, there can be a cause of action for intentionally causing harm as opposed to just negligently causing the harm but I am assuming your friend didn't do something like hold the bee close to your skin intending that you would get stung.
Q. My step dad died last year. He left no will and no beneficiary.
A: What is missing here is information as to whether your mother was alive and married to your step father at the time of his death. If she was, she would have been his intestate beneficiary along with your step-siblings, under Oregon's intestate law. You wouldn't have been included because your mother is the only one who takes a share for your side of the family. Now if your mother had already died, technically the marriage ended at her death and you and your side of the family no longer qualify as step children. So under Oregon's intestate law there would be no rights as former step children who are no longer step children. But there are other ways to transfer property upon death. If your step father listed people by name as beneficiaries on his life insurance policy, then they get a share of the insurance because they were named as beneficiaries regardless of their family relationship. Similarly one can name any person as a beneficiary on a retirement account. One can also list people on the title to a house so they inherit when the original owner dies. These are all ways to transfer property other then by a Will. It is also possible that the biological children were the heirs but they then choose to gift property to some of the former step children. So it wasn't transferred due to your step father's death, but rather was done by a gift. The only way to figure this out if that is what you want to do is to make an appointment with a lawyer and discuss the situation in detail and the lawyer can look up the Oregon law and compare the facts as you know them to the law and then tell you what happened and if it was legally correct. The reality may be that your step father, although well intentioned, didn't understand how important it would be to have a Will and by not executing a Will, left his property to pass in ways other then what he truly wanted. This, unfortunately, happens a lot.
Q. Car accident, Portland OR. Insurance says we automatically at fault in our situation. True or can we argue? See detail.
A: Insurance companies will say all sorts of BS to get out of paying a claim and Geico is notorious for playing games. I can't really tell from reading your description what the fault would be but usually a Personal Injury Lawyer would be willing to talk to you at no charge and evaluate the case so you have nothing to lose in seeking a consultation. What I am not clear on is whether you have information that will identify the other car and driver? They are required by law to give you their name, driver's license number and insurance information. Otherwise you can report them to the police. Your insurance may require you to make a police report before they will cover this as a phantom driver case, ie where you don't know the identity of who hit you. (Tip - this person might live close to where the accident happened since they claim they were late for work. You might want to hang out in that area about the same day of the week and the same time of day and see if you spot them or just cruise the surrounding neighborhood.) I am also not clear on what you are trying to get from your insurance. If you want your car repaired and you have full coverage then they have to fix it regardless of who is at fault. That is what full coverage is about. You just have to pay the deductible. If you don't have full coverage you are out of luck because your insurance doesn't cover property damage unless you paid for full coverage. It doesn't matter who is at fault. If you were injured and want to go and see a doctor it also doesn't matter who is at fault. You can use your PIP coverage to pay any related medical bills. Fault has nothing to do with PIP coverage - it applies no matter who cause the accident. (PIP coverage also includes reimbursement of lost wages with some limitations, like you have to miss 14 consecutive days of work before that kicks in.) Now the only thing your insurance will unilaterally cover that is fault dependent is your general personal injury damages which you would normally sue the other driver for. There are ways to put pressure on Geico using Oregon Law which a personal injury attorney can help you with. It has to do with a statute called ORS 742.061. You really will need an Attorney to help you make a claim using this statute because the leverage is that the insurance company ends up paying your Attorney's fees if they don't pay your claim six months after it is properly presented. So they are only going to fear your demand if an Attorney is making it for you and there is a risk of paying Attorney's fees. Bottom line, contact a Personal Injury Attorney and discuss your case. Typically there is no charge for an initial consultation and if they take your case it can be done on a contingency basis where they get a percentage of the recovery plus, in the event of an Attorney Fee award, they get Attorney's fees. FYI, that the other car was speeding absolutely puts some or all of the fault on the other driver. However, there can be comparative fault where some Judge or Jury or Arbitrator decides that both driver's were partly at fault and if your percentage of the comparative fault is more than 51% you collect nothing. If it is 50% or less, your damages are reduced by the percentage of your fault. These types of cases can often be resolved if one hires an accident recreation specialist who will take the statements of the witnesses (you and your passengers) and examine the scene of the accident. This does cost money so an Attorney might ask you to pay this cost and then take your case if there is an expert willing to testify that you were not at fault.
Q. I am uninsured and was hit by an insured driver. It was their fault but they want me to pay their damages what can I do?
A: It is hard to say what the other driver will do and it is very unfortunate that you don't have insurance as the insurance would have defended you. You could go and talk to an attorney now to develop your defense strategy or you could just wait and see what happens. I want to warn you that there will probably be two issues that come up. First will be his property damages. Assuming he has full coverage he will get his car repaired through his insurance company and then someone from the company will start pursuing you for the property damages. Meanwhile the driver and any passengers in the other car might start getting medical treatment under the PIP (Personal Injury Protection) portion of their insurance coverage and that could lead to other future claims for personal injury against you, most likely by a private Attorney hired by the other driver and any passengers. So you need to be very very careful about not paying this person off for his property damages thinking the problem is solved because these other personal injury claims could still be brewing. Also an uninsured accident in Oregon eventually will lead the Oregon DMV to try to suspend your license although I am not sure how this works if you are a Washington driver, but if Washington State has a similar license suspension policy, you might end up with a suspended license. You can also have your license suspended for an unpaid judgment against you for damages related to an automobile accident until the damages are paid or the Judgment expires, which ever comes first. There is one cure-all solution which is to file bankruptcy. Assuming that the accident was not related to drunk driving, you should be able to cut off all liability for damages and prevent your license from being suspended for an unpaid judgment, although a suspension for not having insurance could still happen, but that is usually only one year and you can get a permit to drive for necessary trips like to work and for medical appointments. If you have other debt issues weighing you down, bankruptcy might be a good option to do now. If you don't have other debt issues and potentially can get out of this situation for a small payment, then it might be worthwhile to hire an Attorney to negotiate a payoff with a release that cuts off any further claims against you. Again, you have two options. One is be proactive and engage an Attorney now to help you mitigate this or possibly file a bankruptcy. Second, wait and see, but be very careful about doing any partial settlements only to find out that the problem isn't over.
Q. How may I cite Texas law that allows one spouse responsible for mortgage debt but both spouses on title
A: Your post we sent to Oregon Lawyers. Try reposting as someone in Texas if you want a Texas lawyer to see your post.
Q. if i instigated a fight, and got beat up by the male person ( i am female), would i be in trouble if i turned him in?
A: Hard to say. You might want to talk to a lawyer about the exact details of what happened before you talk to the police. Often fights aren't about who started the fight, by the time the police show up, but rather about which of the parties used enough force to cause an injury to the other. I also question what you hope to gain by contacting the police? Are you trying to get the police involved because this man is dangerous and might hurt others? Is this a boyfriend who you want to get revenge against? If this fight involves someone you are in a relationship with, then you have other problems. You are probably a victim of domestic violence, even if you had a part in starting the fight. The man in you partnership allowed the situation to escalate to where you got "beat up". I would urge you to talk to a domestic violence hotline about your relationship. It is not uncommon for these relationships to be volatile relationships where both parties get involved in the fighting, but the female can end up seriously injured or killed. For a couple to have fight is normal when it doesn't involve physical violence. But it is unacceptable and just downright dangerous for domestic disputes to escalate into physical violence. There is an emotional tie/dependency between women and their abusers that keeps them in these types of relationships and the solution is to deal with that emotional tie, break it, and get out of the relationship. You don't need to talk to the police to get a family abuse restraining order and you can talk to domestic violence victim advocates to get support for making this change.
Q. I was involved in a car accident where the guy backed into my company van.
A: I would coordinate filling out and filing the accident report with your employer. Just make sure it gets done if it is required under Oregon Law. Note: note very accident requires the filing of an accident report with Oregon DMV. Accidents with very little or no damage to the vehicles and no injuries do not require that a report be filed, but it never hurts to file a report if you aren't sure. What is extremely important is to report that accident to the insurance company that insures the vehicle and also report it to your personal auto insurance company. This should be covered by your employer's insurance but you want to make sure that both insurance companies have notice of the accident because failure to timely notify an insurance company can result in a denial of coverage. You don't mention being injured but if you were, and you were driving for your job at the time of the accident, you will need to open a worker's compensation claim. You can still have a private claim for personal injury and hire you own attorney but the medical side of your claim will be a worker's comp claim.
Q. Can I sue a company for lost wages who recruited me and then went bankrupt 3 months later due to hidden money issues?
A: It isn't clear if this company is bankrupt in the sense that they closed their doors or in the sense that they filed for an actual bankruptcy. In the latter case you would want to file a proof of claim and see if you get paid something because claims for wages have a somewhat higher priority. Yes you can sue the company. Anyone can sue anyone. But it might be pointless as you will spend your own money to pay your attorney and you may never recover anything if the company is truly underwater. But you can investigate if it would be worth while, because while the company has a lot of debts, the question still remains whether their net worth is great then their debt such that in a liquidation there would be some money to pay you. It can be the case that a company can have assets like land, buildings, equipment and inventory which when liquidated will generate case to pay debts, but as an operating concern the company is bankrupt because the company doesn't have the cash flow from daily operations to service the debt. I wouldn't get my hopes up, but you could look into this. I would recommend contacting BOLI (Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries) as BOLI can and will pursue case of failure to pay wages, especially the failure to pay minimum wages, at no cost to you. Whether BOLI will seek your full compensation package you were promised, I don't know. But you can certainly call them and find out.
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732 SW 3rd Ave
Suite 304
Portland, OR 97204
Telephone: (503) 222-7401