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OEA and AFT-Oregon Victory

BHMK won a significant victory on behalf of OEA and AFT-Oregon in the Oregon Court of Appeals. OEA and AFT-Oregon brought suit against Loren Parks, Parks’ entities, and Bill Sizemore under the Oregon racketeering law. Defendants had filed a special motion to strike pursuant to ORS 31.150, Oregon’s “anti-SLAPP” statute. Defendants argued that OEA and AFT-Oregon’s racketeering claims were baseless and arose out of conduct in furtherance of the exercise of defendants’ constitutionally protected rights. Thus, defendants maintained that the trial court should dismiss all claims. The trial court denied the motion and concluded that OEA and AFT-Oregon had met their evidentiary burden to provide substantial evidence to support a prima facie racketeering claim. Defendants appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court decision, stating that OEA and AFT-Oregon had shown they had a probability of prevailing at trial and therefore defendants’ motion was meritless.

Court of Appeals Rejects Sizemore’s Latest Challenge

November 2012

photo of Greg HartmanIn the latest round of litigation between Bill Sizemore and Oregon’s teacher unions the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling that Sizemore was in contempt of court for violation of the court’s injunction. The court put the injunction in place to prevent further racketeering activities by Sizemore. Nevertheless, Sizemore continued to use money for political purposes in violation of the injunction, leading to the contempt of court violation.

Representing both teachers unions, BHMK attorney Greg Hartman successfully presented the arguments why the court should hold Sizemore in contempt. In a thorough opinion, the Court of Appeals agreed that Sizemore’s challenge to the constitutionality of the injunction must fail and that he acted willfully in violating the court’s injunction.

Sizemore Lawsuit Against Unions Struck Down

October 2012

photo of Greg Hartman Bennett Hartman Morris & Kaplan helped defeat the federal lawsuit brought by Bill Sizemore against Oregon Education Association and American Federation of Teachers – Oregon. Sizemore sued the union as well as several State figures (including John Kroger, Hardy Myers, and Bill Bradbury) for allegedly conspiring to deprive him of his Constitutional rights. Sizemore attempted to argue that numerous State court judgments against him were unlawful and a result of a state-wide conspiracy between State government and the unions.

Attorneys Greg Hartman and Christine Moore, representing the unions, filed a joint motion with the State to dismiss the Complaint in part because Sizemore’s evidence of a conspiracy was implausible and based on pure speculation. The Honorable District Judge Michael W. Mosman granted the parties’ Motion and dismissed the case.

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board Affirms Second Firefighter Cancer Claim

October 2012

photo of Nelson Hall Nearly two years to the day after an Oregon firefighter was diagnosed with testicular cancer the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s finding that the firefighter’s cancer was work–related. Attorney Nelson Hall of Bennett Hartman Morris & Kaplan represented the firefighter.

The firefighter filed a workers’ compensation claim with SAIF in 2010 alleging that his exposure to smoke and chemicals while fighting fires caused his condition. SAIF denied his claim, and the firefighter appealed. On appeal, the issue was whether SAIF had established by clear and convincing medical evidence that the testicular cancer was not caused or contributed to in material part by his work as a firefighter pursuant to ORS 656.802(5). This rule provides that certain identified cancers (including testicular cancer) are presumed to result from qualifying firefighter’s employment. The WCB review panel found that medical experts testifying on behalf of the firefighter persuasively rebutted SAIF’s opinions regarding the relationship between occupational exposures of firefighting and the development of testicular cancer.

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