Construction Webinar: Understanding Insurance Coverage Issues & Minimizing Liability Exposure

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn will be hosting a complimentary webinar for members of the construction industry on Tuesday, May 18 at 9:00 a.m. The webinar, titled “Understanding Insurance Coverage Issues & Minimizing Liability Exposure,” will feature a panel discussion with a group of insurance brokers as they discuss hot topics in insurance coverage for construction projects. Click here to view the invitation and to register for the event.

Revisit a Lease Form with Lessons from the Pandemic in Mind

This was originally published in The Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon.

COVID-19 affected businesses of all kinds, but few more completely than commercial landlords. The early months of the pandemic saw landlords and tenants alike carefully scrutinizing their leases to determine their respective rights in a situation few people imagined was possible. Here are some possible revisions that commercial landlords might contemplate making to their lease forms in order to address impacts of the pandemic.

Read the full article on The Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon website. [SUBSCRIBER CONTENT]

Big News for the Offshore Wind Industry in Oregon

Wind energy is rapidly expanding as a source of renewable energy in the United States and across the world. At present, the main focus of Oregon’s wind energy industry has been inland, primarily on the Columbia River Plateau in north central Oregon. Offshore wind projects are not a focus in Oregon, but that may change in the near future.

On March 16, HB 3375 was introduced to the Oregon House of Representatives. The bill proposes that Oregon set a goal for the development of 3 GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, which according to the bill “would trigger immediate economic benefits to the state.” The bill would also establish a Task Force on Floating Offshore Wind Energy. The Task Force would gather input from local, regional, and federal entities and submit a floating offshore wind development strategic plan to the Legislative Assembly by September 15, 2022.

The Oregon bill comes at a time when offshore wind is taking center stage nationally. This week the Biden administration unveiled a plan that could potentially transform the United States into a leading producer of offshore wind energy. President Biden’s plan promises quicker permitting, billions in financing, and new acreage for offshore wind development. The plan sets the goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, and it aims to create tens of thousands of jobs to support the burgeoning industry.

Needless to say, if HB 3375 is passed, opportunities in offshore wind will explode in Oregon. Miller Nash’s Renewable Energy Industry Team continues to monitor this area of renewable energy law.

Vaccines Open Up in Washington for Construction Workers

The big news from Governor Inslee’s March 18th news conference is that workers in congregate settings (restaurants, manufacturing, and construction) will now be eligible for vaccines. See Governor Inslee’s announcement.

In addition to construction workers (deemed “essential”), the expansion of vaccines appointments will start March 31st for:

  • Anyone with two or more comorbidities
  • Anyone between the ages of 60 and 64
  • Anyone living in congregate settings (correctional facilities, group homes for those with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, etc.)

If you have questions about vaccines in the workplace or impacts to a construction project due to the pandemic, please reach out to Jim Yand to get the information you need.

Amy Robinson, employment lawyer for the construction industry, will also cover this latest update in our upcoming construction webinar on Wednesday, March 31.

Commercial Landlords & Tenants: Amendment Provides Opportunities to Negotiate Deferred Payment Arrangements

Recent legislation has expanded opportunities for commercial landlords and tenants to negotiate deals to defer certain rent payments during the COVID-19 pandemic with less fear of later losing the arrearage payments as preferences if the tenant files for bankruptcy. These changes, enacted in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), provide a safe harbor that can be used as parties negotiate how to weather current economic uncertainties. Continue Reading

Construction Webinar: What’s Ahead? Key Legislative and Employment Updates

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn will be hosting a complimentary webinar for members of the construction industry on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. The webinar, titled “What’s Ahead? Key Legislative and Employment Updates,” will cover legal developments at local, state, and federal levels that affect how construction industry leaders are operating their businesses. Click here to view the invitation and to register for the event.

Amy Robinson Speaks at AGC of Washington Webinar

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn partner Amy Robinson was the guest presenter at AGC of Washington’s Monthly Safety Forum on Thursday, February 4, 2021. Amy spoke on a number of topics surrounding legal issues related to COVID-19, including potential workplace issues related to vaccines. The presentation has been recorded and is available to AGC of Washington members for on-demand viewing. In addition, the team at Miller Nash are happy to work with you on any employment and/or COVID-19 legal issues—contact us today!

Oregon’s Home Solicitation Sales Act: The Perils for Residential Contractors

The Oregon Home Solicitation Sales Act (OHSSA), ORS §§ 83.710-83.750, provides customers with a three-day right to cancel while imposing stringent disclosure requirements on sellers in connection with home solicitation sales, including certain in-person sales commonly made by residential contractors. If these disclosure requirements are not strictly adhered to, the customer may be indefinitely entitled to avoid the transaction in its entirety, leaving the contractor in the unenviable position of providing goods or services without any compensation in return. Given these drastic consequences, Oregon contractors should be aware of the OHSSA’s requirements and ensure their sales documents comply with its provisions. Continue Reading

Oregon’s Third Special Session of 2020 Recap: Landlord Assistance and Residential Eviction Moratorium, School Liability Limitations, and Cocktails To-Go

The Oregon Legislature closed out 2020 with its third special session of the year, passing four bills aimed to provide relief to Oregonians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires. The contents of those bills are summarized below.

HB 4401: Residential Eviction Moratorium and Landlord Assistance

  • Directs Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to provide grants to landlords for 80 percent of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, provided that landlords complete an application detailing all unpaid rent from qualified tenants and an agreement to forgive 20 percent of the outstanding unpaid rent.
  • Directs OHCS to distribute rent assistance to recipients of CARES Act Grants, who will make payments directly to landlords upon tenant’s applications.
  • Prohibits eviction without cause until June 30, 2021. Requires landlord to provide tenant with notice of their right to submit a declaration of financial hardship, which must be made under penalty of perjury. Requires court to dismiss eviction action before end of grace period based solely on nonpayment of rent if tenant declares financial hardship or landlord fails to provide tenant with notice of rights.
  • For tenants declaring financial hardship:
    • Extends emergency period, end of grace period, and prohibits eviction for nonpayment until June 30, 2021.
    • Requires payment of past due rent by July 1, 2021.
    • Prohibits landlords from charging late fees for nonpayment of rent between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
  • For tenants not declaring financial hardship:
    • Extends emergency period to December 31, 2020 and extends grace period to March 31, 2021.
    • Prohibits eviction for nonpayment until March 31, 2021.
    • Requires payment of past due rent by March 31, 2021.
    • Prohibits landlord from charging late fees for nonpayment of rent between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Continue Reading

Will a New Restriction on the Size of Homes Qualify for Measure 49 Relief? The Oregon Court of Appeals Says No.

On December 30, 2020, the Oregon Court of Appeals released its first decision interpreting statutory provisions governing prospective Measure 49 claims. The question in Moore v. City of Eugene, 308 Or App 318  (2020) is whether a residential dwelling size restriction adopted and applied after petitioner purchased her property entitled her to Measure 49 protection. The court held that it did not, because the size restriction did not restrict the residential use of the property. Continue Reading