What's New - NEWS ARCHIVE
[ 2008 ]
[ posted 12/08/08 ]
Recently Ray Thomas talked with Oregon Public Broadcasting about pedestrian safety. To hear the audio, push the play button below.
[ posted 11/25/08 ]
Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton Social Security attorney Kimberly Tucker argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Portland last week. Her client suffers severe fibromyalgia, a disease characterized by pain and excessive fatigue, but as Ms. Tucker argued, the Social Security Administration erroneously failed to consider the extent of her client's pain and fatigue in finding the client not disabled.
[ posted 11/19/08 ]
New and revised statewide civil jury instructions will be available January 1, 2009. Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton personal injury attorney, Cynthia F. Newton, serves on the state's Uniform Civil Jury Instruction Committee that drafted and approved the instructions.
The Committee's drafted and revised instructions include those defining the burden of proof in civil cases, including "preponderance of evidence" and "clear and convincing evidence" (UCJI Nos. 14.01, 14.02 and 14.03), as well as instructions concerning punitive damages. STCN attorney James Coon served on the Punitive Damages Subcommittee, tangling with defense attorneys over the precise wording of the language incorporated.
Other new instructions concern liability for domestic animals (e.g. those used in dog bite cases) and an introductory instruction designed to assist jurors in understanding the jury trial process and how a jury verdict is reached in a civil case.
Ms. Newton's term on the State Bar UCJI Committee continues until 2010.
[ posted 08/05/08 ]
Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton Social Security attorney Kimberly Tucker was quoted in a front-page article in the August 4, 2008 Oregonian. The article is the second in a two-part series on the delays in the Social Security Portland hearings office and problems navigating the Social Security system; the two articles feature three Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton clients. Read the article, watch the videos and play an interactive game here.
[ posted 06/24/08 ]
STCN Partner Jim Coon has joined the Board of Directors of the Community Cycling Center. Known for providing bikes to kids from low-income families with its Holiday Bike Drive, for its highly successful Bike Shop, selling donated, rehabilitated bikes at 1700 NE Alberta, and for its bike camps and community events, including the Worst Day of the Year and Hottest Day of the Year rides, the Center works to bring bikes and their personal and community benefits to more folks in Portland. Check them out at www.communitycyclingcenter.org.
[ posted 06/10/08 ]
Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton Of Counsel Alan Graf has produced three short videos on how to apply for Social Security disability. The videos are available on YouTube and are also linked here on the STCN website.
[ posted 3/10/08 ]
Ray Thomas, was the subject of a recent profile article in the Lewis & Clark Chronicle Magazine (Spring, 2008). To view, click here.
[ posted 01/02/08 ]
Jim Coon and his wife Cheryl (also a lawyer) are coaching the Classroom Law Project Mock Trial Team from the Catlin Gabel School for the 2008 Spring competition.
[ 2007 ]
[ posted 12/10/07 ]
Ray Thomas, founding partner of STCN and author of Pedal Power, A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists, was the subject of a recent story on Jonathan Maus' BikePortland blog on December 3rd which noted that Ray had completed a legal guide for Oregon's pedestrians called Oregon Pedestrian Rights. For more information, visit the blog or oregonpedestrianrights.com.
[ posted 11/26/07 ]
Ray Thomas spoke at the "We are Traffic" press conference at Portland City Hall on Fri. November 16th, calling for enforcement and protection of the rights of Oregon's vulnerable users:
“We are the vulnerable users and we need to be protected, our rights respected and enforced and we’re calling upon our leaders to show us that they want to share the vision that we’re all participating in…”
[ posted 11/19/07 ]
On October 26, 2007, Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton partner Jim Coon gave a presentation to the Oregon State Bar Product Liability Section on new developments in Oregon and federal law concerning product liability
[ posted 11/19/07 ]
On November 13, 2007, Jim Coon presented to the Gus Solomon Inns of Court on the topic of punitive damages in the Oregon and United States Supreme Courts. Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton represent the family of Jesse Williams, a retired Portland public school custodian who died of lung cancer caused by cigarettes. The jury's award in the case of Williams v. Philip Morris, which Mr. Coon argued to the Oregon Supreme Court September 11, 2007, is the largest punitive damages award ever handed down in an Oregon product liability case.
[ posted 11/19/07 ]
On November 16, 2007, Jim Coon served as a presiding judge in the Lewis & Clark Law School Mock Trial Competition.
[ posted 11/06/07 ]
From 10/26/07 through 11/4/07 Ray Thomas participated in the Wilderness Medical Institute's training program to become a certified Wilderness First Responder. The eighty hour class and practical skills course was held at the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center at Jawbone Flats, a former mining town next to Oregon's Opal Creek Wilderness. The eighty hour program teaches first aid, CPR and skills necessary for treating and transporting persons hurt in remote areas.
[ posted 10/12/07 ]
Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton commutes by bike! In the Bicycle Transportation Alliance 2007 Bike Commute Challenge, STCN had the highest percentage of bicycle trips to work of any law firm in its class. The BTA sponsors the Challenge every year in September to see which Oregon companies can make the most use of their bikes to get to work. Among companies with between five and 24 employees (STCN has 19), the firm had 33% of all commuting trips during the month of September, 2007. Thanks to our Challenge Coordinator, Charley Gee and to all the workers who ride to work all year round.
[ posted 10/03/07 ]
On September 30, 2007 eight members of Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton participated in the Portland LiveStrong Challenge, a fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Attorneys Jim Coon, Margaret Weddell and Kimberly Tucker joined five other staff members in cycling or walking various distances to fight cancer and support cancer survivors. All told, more than three thousand participants from all across the country braved cool, wet weather to remember or honor loved ones who have or had cancer. With support from the firm and their co-workers, the STCN team was able to raise more than $1400 to support the work of the LAF.
[ posted 06/27/07 ]
Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton Social Security attorney Kimberly Tucker and Of Counsel Alan Graf will present a seminar for Portland and metro area healthcare providers at STCN on September 26th. Ms. Tucker and Mr. Graf will discuss the criteria for Social Security disability as well as practical issues and tips for healthcare providers whose patients are going through the Social Security disability process. The seminar is free but registration is required. A continential breakfast will be provided.
[ posted 5/10/07 ]
STCN is pleased to acknowledge SB 404 currently before the Oregon Senate, as a great step forward on behalf of injured workers. Currently under Oregon workers' compensation law, even if a worker is successful in overturning the insurer or self-insured employer's denial of his or her workers' compensation claim, the worker is responsible for his or her own costs incurred to contest the denial. If approved, SB 404 would allow the worker to recover reasonable costs and expenses up to $1500 from the insurer or self-insured employer in the event the worker prevails against the denial.
[ posted 1/25/07 ]
STCN attorney Margaret Weddell has been elected to Chair of the Board of Directors of Portland's Community Cycling Center. The Community Cycling Center is a non-profit organization that provides bikes and bike-related activities to youth and adults. The CCC's programs include Create a Commuter, Get Linked, Bicycle Safety Clubs and Summer Bike Rides.
The CCC uses bikes to help people live happier, healthier lives. STCN supports the CCC and encourages their employees to volunteer to organizations that build strong community.
[ posted 1/11/07 ]
Over the holidays, the employees of Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton held a change drive to benefit the Portland Rescue Mission. Friendly competition among teams of employees produced more than $700 for the Mission; STCN matched that amount, bringing our total donation to the Mission to more than $1,400.00. Thank you to Social Security legal assistant Rachel Landtroop for coming up with this wonderful idea!
[ 2006 ]
[ posted 11/30/06 ]
Kimberly K. Tucker was recently appointed to the Pro Bono Committee of the Oregon State Bar. Her three-year term runs through December 31, 2009. Kim specializes in Social Security Law.
[ posted 11/28/06 ]
Jim Coon got a decision in the Oregon Supreme Court November 24 reinstating the case of a worker whose claim for asbestos disease had been barred under the statute of limitations. The court held a jury, not a trial judge, ought to decide whether a worker reasonably waited to file his case until his doctor told him he had asbestos disease.
[ posted 11/16/06 ]
Ray Thomas and Jim Coon recently traveled to Washington, DC, for the oral arguments October 31at the United States Supreme Court in Williams v. Philip Morris. We tried this case in 1999 on behalf of the family of Jesse Williams, who died in 1997 of lung cancer. The Oregon jury awarded $80 million in damages against Philp Morris for fraud in misrepresenting the dangers of cigarettes, to keep nicotine-addicted smokers smoking. Philip Morris has now changed its name to "Altria", but it still sells Marlboro, and Marlboros still kill a hundred thousand Americans every year. After the trial in this case, Philip Morris finally admitted that cigarettes are addictive and that they cause cancer. It takes a big verdict to get their attention.
[ posted 10/20/06 ]
The BTA is meeting to determine how best to respond to lack of action by law enforcement against drivers who seriously injure or kill bicycle riders. Ray Thomas from our office is on the BTA's Legislative Committee which is considering legislation for the 2007 Oregon Legislature.
Personal Injury actions for money damages are only successful when drivers have adequate insurance. We need accountability to make the roads safe for bike riders!
Articles by Ray Thomas, Portland Bike Lawyer:
" Do Bicyclists Lose Their Right To The Road When Off The Bicycle? " - click here to read.
" Car-doored Again? The Law Is On Your Side! " - click here to read.
" Self-Defense For Bicyclists " - click here to read.
" Reform Oregon Law to Legalize Safe Riding Practices " - click here to read.
" ODOT Proposes Prohibition of Bicycles on Metro Area Freeways " - click here to read.
" Refusal To Identify Oneself While Riding A Bicycle " - click here to read.
" 2006 Oregon Law On Crosswalks " - click here to read.
" The New Law Of Passing From A Bicyclist's Perspective " - click here to read.