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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

California Right to Die Law Passed

On October 5th Governor Jerry Brown of California signed the  End of Life Option Act  into law. Assembly Bill No. 15 would permit Californians in certain circumstances to deliberately end their life with the assistance of a physician.

The governor issued a  signing statement explaining his support for the new law. "I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain," he writes. "I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others."

The law is  closely modeled on Oregon's own assisted suicide law. In their decision, California lawmakers pointed to the 2014 decision of Brittany Maynard, a California resident with terminal brain cancer, to move to Oregon where she would have the option to take life-ending drugs. 

The law will take effect 91 days after the conclusion of the current legislative session , sometime in 2016. The law is set to expire in 10 years unless renewed. 

Oregon's law is titled the "Death with Dignity Act" and is administered by the Public Health Authority. You can get more information about the act on their website.

If you are interested in more information about assisted suicide, PBS ran a Frontline program titled "The Suicide Plan" that is available to watch for free through their website. They also have a excellent section where 6 experts wrote responses to the program.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Finding Oregon Statutes and Administrative Rules

Oregon Revised Statutes

Citations to the Oregon Revised Statutes look like this:

ORS § 123.456
Or. Rev. Stat § 123.456

Here 123 would be the chapter and 456 would be the section in the revised statutes.

You can find the current edition of the Oregon Revised Statutes on the Oregon Legislature's website here:

The statutes are organized by subject. This means if you are looking for laws dealing with a particular subject, looking at the table of contents of the whole ORS or a particular chapter is very useful.

Oregon Administrative Rules

Citations to the Oregon Administrative rules look like this:
OAR § 123.456.789
 Or. Admin. R. 123.456.789 (2015)
Here 123 is the chapter 456 is the division and 789 is the section. Each chapter represents rules filed by a single agency. The division designates various topics covered by the agency.

You can view the most current administrative rules on the Secretary of State's website here:  


You can search either the Oregon Revised Statutes or Oregon Administrative Rules using a free Fastcase account provided by the SOLL. Read about how to get a Fastcase account here:


If you need help finding or using any of these resources please contact our reference desk:
Phone: 503-986-5640

Free Fastcase access for all Oregonians

              The State of Oregon Law Library has now made access to Fastcase is available to all Oregonians without charge. Fastcase is a legal research tool that will let you search sources of law from Oregon, the U.S. Government and many other western states.  Fastcase provides advanced search tools that will help you find exactly the case or statute you are looking for. It also features the Bad Law Bot, an automated service that attempts to identify when other courts have cited a case negatively.
              If this sounds helpful and you are a resident of Oregon you can register for your free account today! Just click on the link below

Once you get to the Oregon login page just click on the “New User” link to set up your own free account.

You can learn more about using this new service using:

Once you are registered and ready to go use the State of Oregon Law Library’s Fastcase database to find the following:

·         Case law
o   Federal
§  U.S. Supreme Court
§  Federal 9th Circuit
o   State
§  Oregon
§  Alaska
§  California
§  Montana
§  Arizona
§  Idaho
§  Nevada
§  Washington

·         Statutes and Session Laws
o   United States Code (2006 – 2014 HTML)
o   Oregon
§  Revised Statutes (1861 -1945 PDF) (2007 – 2013 HTML)
§  Session Laws (1941 – 2013 PDF)
o   Alaska
§  Statutes (1900 – 1933 PDF) (2007 – 2013 HTML)
§  Session Laws (1913 – 2013 PDF)
o   Arizona
§  Revised Statutes (1864 – 1936 PDF) (2008 – 2013 HTML)
§  Session Laws (2008 – 2014 PDF)
o   California
§  California Code (1853 – 1947 PDF) (2007 – 2014 HTML)
§  Session Laws (1850 – 2013 PDF)
o   Idaho
§  Statutes (1875 – 1940 PDF) (2011 - 2013 HTML)
§  Session Laws (1863 – 2013 PDF)
o   Montana
§  Montana Code (1872 – 1989 PDF) (2007 – 2013 HTML)
§  Session Laws (1864 – 2013 PDF)
o   Nevada
§  Nevada Revised Statutes (1861 – 1945 PDF) (2007 – 2013 PDF)
§  Session Laws (1861 – 2013 PDF)
o   Washington
§  Revised Code of Washington (1881 – 2010 PDF) (2008 – 2014 HTML)
§  Session Laws (1854 – 2013 PDF)

·         Court Rules
o   Federal 9th Circuit
o   Oregon
§  Oregon Rules of Appellate Procedure (2009 – 2015)
§  Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure (2009 – 2013)
§  Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules (2010 – 2014)

·         Regulations
o   Code of Federal Regulations (2011 – 2015)
o   Oregon (2009 – 2015)
o   Alaska (2013 – 2015)
o   Arizona (2013 – 2014)
o   California (2009 – 2014)
o   Idaho (2014 – 2015)
o   Montana  (2013 – 2015)
o   Nevada (2013 – 2015)
o   Washington (1888 – 2015)

·         Attorney General Opinions
o   Oregon (1901 – 2014)
o   Alaska (1897 – 2014)
o   Arizona (1915 -2015)
o   California (1854 – 2015)
o   Idaho (1891 – 2014)
o   Montana  (1891 – 2014)
o   Nevada (1875 – 2015)
o   Washington (1888 – 2015)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Banned Books Week: September 27-October 3, 2015

Every year at the end of September, libraries, bookstores and other reading aficionados celebrate our freedom to read during Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association, a challenge to a book is “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.”

In Oregon, the Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse collects data on challenges and bannings in the state. For 2014-2015, there were 14 challenges to books, magazines, sound recordings and videos in public and school libraries, only one of which resulted in material being removed from shelves. Some of the more frequently challenged books since the OIF started collecting data in 1988 include Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Check out the full list here.

Want to learn more about the legal background of banned books? Check out the ALA’s list of notable First Amendment court cases, or stop by SOLL to peruse our resources on censorship and freedom of speech.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Oregon Appellate Courts Style Manual 2015 Update

If you are writing for the Oregon Court of Appeals or the Oregon Supreme Court you are confronted with a multiplicity of formatting and style decisions. Everything from line spacing to citations must be precisely and correctly drafted. Rule 5.20(4) of the Oregon Rules of Appellate procedure directs attorneys and judges to look to the Oregon Appellate Courts Style Manual for guidance.
Today is your lucky day! The Oregon Appellate Courts Style Manual 2015 update went into effect in August. This is the first major update since 2002 and incorporates suggestions and improvements in technology since 2002. It clarifies more topics with expanded examples and gives guidance regarding citations to electronic sources.
The 2015 Oregon Appellate Courts Style Manual is available for download on the OJD Publications Website
·         Appellate Courts Style Manual – MOBI for reading devices coming soon
The Manual is brought to you through the hard work of Mary Bauman, Lisa Norris-Lampe, Julie Smith, Mary Yunker , Pat Zolllner and Barkley the library guard dog.