Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

January 15, 2021

Clinics in the News

Small Business Legal Clinic

COVID-19 Response The clinic compiled a pandemic resources webpage and an FAQ for various issues including commercial lease renegotiation due to COVID-19, COVID-19 impacts on sick leave, disclaimers for COVID-19 related products, and other contract disputes associated with COVID-19 disruption. SBLC also led webinars with partners across the state to help small business owners understand the changing COVID-19 regulations.

Reaching Rural and Native Entrepreneurs

SBLC’s Rural Outreach Program is designed to direct legal services to rural communities, working with the Warm Springs and Umatilla Reservations and rural businesses. The program will serve 180 Native entrepreneurs over a three-year period.

Center for Animal Law Studies

Lawsuits Against USDA The Animal Law Litigation Clinic filed two lawsuits on behalf of environmental and animal protection organizations against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging its decisions to reduce oversight at pig slaughterhouses and eliminate limits on the slaughter speeds, its failure to follow Congress’s long-standing mandates regarding “downed” or “non-ambulatory” animals, and its recent denial of a petition to ban the slaughter of such animals.

Low Income Tax Payer Clinic

Tax Returns for Those Experiencing Homelessness

This spring, LITC students collaborated with Street Roots, a local nonprofit, to prepare tax returns for homeless individuals so they can receive their stimulus checks.

ITIN Renewals for Immigrant Taxpayers

At a fall workshop held with El Programa Hispano, LITC students helped immigrant taxpayers fill out applications for an ITIN renewal.

Court Wins

LITC prevailed in two court cases in 2019. Clinic students John MacMorris-Adix ’19, Kevin Fann ’20, and John Mayer ’21 were instrumental to the success of LITC arguments in both.

In Hockin v. United States, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Russo issued an order denying the United States’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s innocent spouse refund claim. In the second case, LITC received a full concession from the IRS in a U.S. Tax Court.

Criminal Justice Reform Clinic

Exoneration, Commutations, and Parole Cases

On December 17, 2019, Nick McGuffin was able to walk out of prison as a free man after nine years of being wrongfully incarcerated. Since 2018, CJRC students have worked with the Forensic Justice Project to have McGuffin’s case overturned due to exculpatory DNA testing.

CJRC’s students have represented clients in prison in their clemency and parole cases. Since January 2020, Governor Brown ’85 has granted commutations to a dozen of CJRC’s clemency clients. The clinic has also been successful in three parole cases.

With the coronavirus spreading through Oregon’s prisons, CJRC has partnered with the ACLU of Oregon to file dozens of amicus briefs in support of state habeas corpus petitions seeking relief to medically vulnerable prisoners.