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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.

We offer a free case evaluation where you can communicate confidentially with Joanne Reisman, Attorney at Law, by email and find out if we can help you with your legal problem before you make an appointment for a paid consultation. If there is a free or low cost solution that we can think of we will gladly share this with you.

Please use the following link to the Portland Legal Services website for instructions on how to email us for a free case 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. If your problem has a solution that doesn't require the assistance of an Attorney I will share this with you as part of my case evaluation. Please use the following link to to my web page for instructions on how to email me for a free case evaluation:
  • Contingent Fees
    Contingent Fee arrangements are offered for Car Accident cases and Personal Injury cases.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Please use the following link to to my web page for instructions on how to email me for a free case evaluation:
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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9th Circuit
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  • 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
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University of California - Los Angeles
B.S. | Business/Economics
Honors: Cum Laude
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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
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Oregon State Bar # 833832
- Current
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Washington County Bar Association
- Current
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Multnomah Bar Association
- Current
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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
Suing public bodies as defendants in Automobile Accident Cases, the importance of Tort Claims Notices
Recreational Marijuana use by a parent and related considerations in child custody disputes.
Property Division and Unmarried Couples, a Cautionary Tale!
Tax refunds and Bankruptcy
Changes in Oregon Insurance Law in 2016 now allow you to get the full benefit of your UM/UIM insurance coverage.
Getting a Creditor to Report That You Paid or Satisfied a Judgment Against You!
Modifying Child Support
Legal Answers
627 Questions Answered

Q. We bought a house 3 mo ago its in both our names loan in his. Does length of marriage matter in judge decision on what
A: Before you get all worked up over how the house will be treated in a divorce I suggest you check on what the current value is and compare it to the balance left on the mortgage. Unless you made a very large down payment there is probably little or no equity to fight over and you are very lucky that you aren't on the mortgage debt so you don't have to worry about it. A court in a divorce will treat ALL PROPERTY ACQUIRED DURING THE MARRIAGE AS MARITAL PROPERTY SUBJECT TO DIVISION. So when you bought the house, whose name is on the house, whose name is on the loan and how long you have been married are not typically relevant. It's still marital property subject to division if you divorce. What could be an issue is if your husband had money prior to the marriage and he used his pre-marital money to make a down payment on the house. Given the short length of the marriage the court may try to give him back the amount of his down payment to sort of put you both back to where you were before the marriage. But any equity that accrued above that down payment would probably have to be split. No one can give you an exact answer without examining all the facts of your case. In my experience it takes at least 10 years of making mortgage payments before the debt drops enough that the property can be sold at a profit. So again, crunch the numbers as there may be nothing to fight about.
Q. We bought a house 3 months ago loan is in his name house in both Jan will be 3 yrs married . How is this handled
A: How is what handled? You haven't asked a question about something specific.
Q. Mother passed away in California but I live un Oregon, do Oregon probate laws apply and if so what is the process?
A: You just need to contact an Attorney in California who handles probate. However every state has short cuts that may apply to this type of situation so you may not actually need to probate this estate to deal with a single bank account. But a California probate Attorney should also be able to tell you about any short cuts. Do your home work. You don't want to get sucked into paying for an expensive probate if it isn't necessary. (For example Oregon Law allows for an heir to file an affidavit with a bank and take possession of a bank account if the balance is below a certain amount. Oregon also have a procedure called a small estate affidavit that allows you to do a simplified probate of sort. Be sure to research whether California also has these types of less expensive procedures before you commit to a probate.) Incidentally Ms. Whitehurst's statement that: "Probate takes place in the jurisdiction where the person was domiciled (which is usually the same as their permanent residence) when he or she died." is not exactly correct. It's true that probate often does take place where someone was domiciled but it is equally true that probate can be filed in the State where property of the decedent is located. This is particularly true when someone owns real estate in a state other then where they were living at the time of their death. Only the State where real estate is located and adjudicate rights related to the real estate so the probate would instead be file where the real estate is located.
Q. Will my wife still get half the house?
A: The law will first presume that the house is marital property that gets split equally but because you have been separated and your wife has not contributed to the marriage for years (I presume), it sounds like you have grounds to argue that Oregon's presumption of equal contribution should not be applied. You will have the burden of proof so you really should get an Attorney to help you.
Q. Elderly manipulation
A: The best thing you can do is cut this off now by alerting authorities. I agree with Mr. Bernabei as to his excellent suggestions concerning alerting authorities and notifying this man's bank. Someone in this man's family needs to be alerted so they can take steps to open a conservatorship. These scams usually involve someone in a foreign country using fake phone numbers that look like US numbers so that once the money is gone it is very hard to secure a prosecution much less get any money back. But sometimes the scams are run from the US and people can be apprehended and prosecuted.
Q. Divorcing in Oregon after 10 year marriage. My wife purchased home 5 years before we married. Am I entitled to equity?
A: Generally speaking the marital portion of the equity would be the increase in value from the date of the marriage to the date of the divorce. That portion would be divisible under Oregon's presumption of equal contribution. The equity from the date that your wife bought the house until the date of the marriage would be her separate property. To figure the numbers out you need proof of the fair market value of the house at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce. The purchase prices is the fair market value when she bought the house. If you can't agree on the numbers you can hire a professional appraiser. But if you and your wife can discuss this calmly, you should be able to come up with a number that you can both live with. The next problem is figuring out how to extract the portion of equity that you might be entitled to. If your wife wants to keep the house she will need to see if she qualifies to refinance the house and take your name off the mortgage right now. She also needs to see if she can pull money out of the refinance to pay you off. She can explore giving you another asset in the marriage to offset what she owes you but be careful that the values are calculated correctly. For example if she want to give you some of her IRA the dollars are before tax amounts so you need to adjust the amount to what it is worth after tax so you are comparing apples to apples. Also sometimes right after a divorce a person can't refinance but they may be able to refinance in a few years. If you want to be nice about it, which can save you money in Attorney's Fees, you can agree to postpone getting your payoff for a few years, like five years, and instead take a Judgment for your share of the equity which will become a lien against the house with interest at 9% (the default rate of interest on Judgments in Oregon) and the stipulated divorce judgment could specify that your ex has 5 years to refinance and pay you off, otherwise the house needs to be listed for sale and your judgment paid in full, or something to that effect. You will want an Attorney to help you write up the Judgment. Any way these are just ideas based on what I have seen in other divorces I have handled. It really pays to make an appointment and talk to an Attorney about your own unique situation. I find that once a client comes in to my office and we go over the facts of their situation and what they want the outcome to be, I will usually see that there is one clear solution over the other options that I can recommend.
Q. Is probate required in Oregon to take ownership of my deceased mother's house before it is foreclosed on?
A: Once a mortgage is delinquent all sorts of additional charges get added on including Attorney's Fees and usually the only way to save the property is to pay all the past due amounts in one sum. If you don't have money to hire an attorney you probably don't have money to catch up the mortgage. You could try to sell the house and salvage the equity and pay off the mortgage. There is a way to do this without a probate but not all Attorneys are familiar with how to do a non-probate sale of real estate, but it can be done.
Q. Does my wife’s family owe lot rent
A: The estate of the deceased father, not the heirs, are responsible for the debt. To the extent that the estate includes property of the deceased father, the property is liable for the debt. This would be all property of the deceased father's, not just the mobile home itself. In Oregon there is a statute which dictates the order of priority for paying the debts of the decedent out of the decedent's property. Read ORS 115.125. Now the debt against a fixed mobile home on a rented space may have other characteristics. It may be the the space rental contract gives the property owner a lien on the mobile home fo rents due. You would have to read the rental agreement. But if there is a lien accruing against the home itself, then the landlord may just need to foreclose on the rental home. Usually the best thing to do is talk to the landlord and figure out a mutually agreeable solution such as selling the mobile home to someone who will take over the space lease. Mobile homes don't hold their value very well so I would hurry and figure out a solution and be done with it. Talk to an Attorney if you need more advice.
Q. I hold papers for land I sold in Oregon and the buyer stopped making regular payments. What recourse do I have?
A: You are going to need to run this by a lawyer and show them the paperwork you have for this sale. There are different procedures depending on whether you structured the sale as a land sales contract, a trust deed, or a traditional mortgage. Whether the buyer can cut you off by making late payments is debateably. This depends on the terms of the sales document. You definitely want to talk to a lawyer before you accept any late payments.
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Contact & Map
Portland Legal Services
8835 SW Canyon Lane Suite
Suite 301
Portland, OR 97225
Telephone: (503) 222-7401