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March 7, 2005

MAR. 11: Oregon Supreme Court Visits

Oregon Supreme Court hears

three cases at law school
Murder interrogation videotape, beach easement fight, and physician confidentiality on the docket
The Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments in a Waldport beach easement claim, an expedited appeal in a Sutherlin murder case, and a medical negligence case that challenges the confidentiality of physician communications to the Board of Medical examiners on Friday, March 11. 
Arguments take place at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. in Room 175 of the William W. Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate Street in Eugene. 
Each spring, the Court brings its courtroom to the classroom as part of the legal research and writing curriculum at the University of Oregon School of Law. Sessions are open to Lane County high school and college students and the public.

All of the justices will be present: Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson, Jr., Associate Justices Thomas A. Balmer, Paul J. DeMuniz, Robert D. Durham, W. Michael Gillette, Rives Kistler and R. William Riggs.

The Cases:

9:00-10:00 a.m.    Bloomfield v. Weakland (Case #1)
The owner of an oceanfront lot in Waldport stopped allowing the use of his ten-foot-wide beach walkway to other Sea Woods Park subdivision residents even though they had been using it since the mid-1950s. The plaintiffs believe the private walkway referred to in each of their deeds was clearly for common use. The defendant disagreed, arguing that it belonged to the owners of three adjacent lots alone. The case has been wending its way through the courts since 1991 and the defendant argues that it was settled in a related suit years ago.

George Kelly (Eugene) for petitioner on review
Thomas L. Gallagher, Jr. (Corvallis) for respondents on review.

10:30-11:30 a.m.    State v. James Louis Jones (Case #2)
In December 2003, a Douglas County man was accused of shooting and killing his estranged wife’s boyfriend, Stephen Phillip Floyd, and of attempting to kill her at her Sutherlin mobile home. He surrendered to police after several hours of negotiations and part of his interrogation was videotaped without his knowledge. 

He successfully moved to suppress the portion of the interview taped before he was notified that he was being recorded. The state appealed the decision, which has been filed directly with the Supreme Court.

Erika L. Hadlock, Oregon assistant attorney general, for appellant

Anne Fujita Munsey, deputy public defender, for respondent.
(Munsey is a 1996 graduate of the law school.) 

1:30-2:30 p.m.  Hager v. Read (Case #3)
General and bariatric surgeon Robert A. Read was sued by patient (Ms.) Sunhee Hager for professional negligence in October 2003 in Corvallis, Ore.  She asked to be shown certain documents he had sent to the board of medical examiners.  He objected, saying the documents were  confidential, because they were compulsory correspondence submitted to the examiners as an “appearance” in a licensing investigation. While live meetings with the examiners are confidential, the issue is whether written communications are privileged as well.

John E. Pollino (Salem), for relator.
Edward L. Daniels (Albany) for adverse party
(Daniels is a 1973 graduate of the law school.)
CASE INFO: http://www.ojd.state.or.us/scdocket

 – E.S.

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