Information

Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country?


Originally, everyone in the area claimed the Oregon Country: the British, Americans, Spanish, and Russians. Why did Russia give up its claim to the region? What did they get in return?


The Russo-American Treaty of 1824 established a clear border between American and Russian lands on the West Coast as well as trade. It gave Russian claims south of parallel 54°40' north to the US.

Russia was inclined to give away this territory, which was in dispute between them, Britain, America and Spain, to insure their undisputed and ongoing ownership over Alaska. They were in no position to enforce their claims militarily and the trade value of territories other than Alaska was limited. They decided to get the best agreement that they could to avoid conflict.

A few years later, even Alaska became difficult for them to manage, and, once again fearing losing the land without compensation to either the US or Britain, they negotiated the Alaska purchase.


Russia (and Spain) had the weaker claims to "Oregon." Russia claimed only a piece of the territory between 54 and 51 degrees parallel (not the whole), basically as an extension of Alaska, into what is now British Columbia. Even this claim had to be backed up by forces coming all the way from European Russia through Siberia. Likewise, Spain claimed basically the modern Oregon, not the whole country, as an extension of California. But when Mexico (which then included California, Texas, and almost everything in between) won its independence, Spain's claims to the Oregon country disappeared.

That left only Britain (via Canada) and the U.S. (via the "Louisiana" Purchase territories), to claim the whole territory that the British called Columbia, and the Americans called Oregon. Since their claims in the region were small and tenuous anyway, Russia made separate treaties with Britain and the United States to relinquish her "Oregon" claims in exchange for their recognizing her ownership of nearby Alaska. Britain and the United States then settled their claims by dividing it along the 49th parallel, with Britain's share taking the name British Columbia, and America's share being divided into Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.


Oregon was way too remote to be supplied from St.Petersburg and it did not bring much back to the country: it is hard to believe today but North American possessions were drain on Russia's resources at the time.


Oregon Country

The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from the Columbia River frequented by ships from all nations engaged in the maritime fur trade, most of these from the 1790s through 1810s being Boston-based. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 ended disputed joint occupancy pursuant to the Treaty of 1818 and established the British-American boundary at the 49th parallel.

Oregon was a distinctly American term for the region. The British used the term Columbia District instead. [ 1 ] The Oregon Country consisted of the land north of 42°N latitude, south of 54°40′N latitude, and west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The area now forms part of the present day Canadian province of British Columbia, all of the US states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming. The British presence in the region was generally administered by the Hudson's Bay Company, whose Columbia Department comprised most of the Oregon Country and extended considerably north into New Caledonia and beyond 54°40′N, with operations reaching tributaries of the Yukon River. [ 2 ]


Marvel admits to 'mistake' in controversial Captain America comic

It looks like Marvel Comics’ Captain America is throwing his mighty shield at the Tea Party Movement. Warner Todd Huston wrote on his Publius forum blog that the super-powered soldier who fought the Nazis in WWII observes with disdain Americans who are seemingly compared to Tea Party Movement protesters of today:

In issue number 602 of Captain America, a new story line has begun called “Two Americas.” In it the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.

In preparation for the infiltration, Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest. The scene shows crowds of people in city streets carrying signs that say, “stop the socialists,” “tea bag libs before they tea bag you,” and “no to new taxes.” Naturally, the people in these crowds are depicted as being filled with nothing but white folks.

Marvel Comics has responded to the controversy that has reached not just the conservative blogosphere but the comic book message boards as well. On the Cup O’ Joe column at Comic Book Resources , Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada defends the Captain America story line in issue number 602, but he apologizes for a panel in the comic book that seems to identify the Tea Party movement with the fictional group portrayed in the comic. (btw, for Marvel fans, there are spoilers in here):

Joe Quesada: Hold on. Before digging into this, you’re starting from a false premise. There was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration. Ed [Brubaker] simply wrote in an anti-tax protest into his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.

And yes, what Ed said is absolutely true, he does shy away from labeling things and did exactly that in this instance. In Ed’s story, there was no connection to the Tea Party movement, that’s a screw up that happened after the fact and exactly what some people are getting upset about.

Joe Quesada: There is one legit criticism in there, and a lot of not so valid stuff, but let’s dive into this. By the way, for those that haven’t read “Captain America” #602, here’s your spoiler warning: read no further lest you want to know what’s going on.

In the story, our new Captain America – who is Steve Rogers’ old sidekick Bucky Barnes – and Sam Wilson the Falcon – another ex-sidekick of Steve Rogers – are in search of an armored super-militia group called the Watchdogs who attacked a sheriff and his squad and have set up roots in the hills outside of Boise, Idaho where they are building a weapon and planning an act of terrorism against the people in that town. Keep in mind that the Watchdogs have been villains in the Marvel Universe since 1987. Bucky and Sam hatch a plan to infiltrate this group and defeat it from within so they travel to Idaho. The idea behind this was to expose them both – in particular Sam (who has been portrayed most often as a leftist leaning character) – to other parts of America. While in Idaho in search of the Watchdogs, they come upon an anti-tax, anti-big government rally, which is something that Sam, in particular, hasn’t been personally exposed to, and it hits him the wrong way. Here, at this moment in the story, Sam is the fish out of water. This, however, is where Mr. Houston misreads what’s happening in the story. He assumes that the people protesting in the streets are the Watchdogs, when in fact they are not, so this is an element that is taken out of context. These protestors as written by Ed are no different than protesting crowds he wrote into issues of “Cap” last year. Only those protestors were angry about oil prices skyrocketing and the housing market problems. So in short, the Watchdogs, and the protestors aren’t connected, they just happen to be in the same story.

Where Mr. Houston is correct is in our accidently identifying in one of the held up signs, the group as being a part of the Tea Party instead of a generic protest group. That’s something that we need to apologize for and own up to, because it’s just one of those stupid mistakes that happened through a series of stupid incidents.

According to to Mr. Quesada, the book was ready to go to printer, but the panel in question had a group of protesters handling signs with no words on them, so the editor asked the letterer to “fudge in” some quick believable slogans at the last minute. The letterer referred to this sign as a sample to work from. Marvel has said newer editions of the comic book will not include the controversial art work. Unfortunately, the reach of the Tea Party smear job from broadcast media affected a story line at Marvel Comics, regardless of error. While, comic book companies want to give fantasy characters a sense of current day realism, wading into areas of politics is guaranteed kryptonite for at least half of their readership.


Illinois River

The Illinois River is another golden river flowing through Southern Oregon in Josephine County. It starts in the Klamath Mountains of northern California and drains into the Rogue River near the small town of Kerby.

Some of Oregon’s largest gold nuggets have come from the Illinois River and its tributaries. One special creek worth mentioning is Althouse Creek, which has the distinction of producing the states single largest gold nugget reportedly weighing in at 17-pounds!

Many of the rivers in southern Oregon have produced gold nuggets. Some of the largest ever found have weighed several pounds!


AP SAT Central

§ Settlers swarmed into disputed Oregon Country aggravated British.

§ Clamor to annex Texas to Union = bitter relations w/ Mexico.

§ Land-hungry pioneers looked to land of California and soon war broke b/w America and Mexico.

· Victory would once again bring about question of slavery.

The Accession of “Tyler Too”

- 1841 President Harrison newly elected and almost hounded to death by Whig spoilsmen (he was a Whig, and now they are asking for positions)

§ HV real leaders of Whig party regarded “Old Tippecanoe” as only a figurehead

· Daniel Webster was secretary of state and Henry Clay was uncrowned king of Whigs and their ablest spokesman in the Senate.

· President had to remind them that it was him who was the president

§ HV Harrison soon contracted pneumonia and died 4 weeks later.

· Shortest administration followed by the longest inaugural address in the White House.

§ Had converted to a Whig because he could not stand Jacksonian tactics. AR accused of being a Democrat in Whig clothing.

· HV Tyler was part of minority wing which embraced a # of Jeffersonian states’ righters.

- Had been put on the ticket to attract this small group, many of whom were influential southern gentry

· Tyler never consented to run on Whig ticket b/c he was not pro-bank, pro-protective tariff and pro-internal improvements.

John Tyler: A President Without a Party

- After victory Whigs reveal their plans (from a not-so-secret platform anyways) for a strong nationalistic program.

§ Financial reform first > Whig Congress hastened to pass a law ending independent treasurey system.

· President Tyler amazingly agreed with it and signed it.

§ Clay then drove through Congress a bill for a “Fiscal Bank” to establish a new BUS.

· HV Tyler was hostile to centralized bank and Clay “the Great Compromiser” could not conciliate him as he was repeatedly robbed of presidency by other men.

· AR vetoed the bill on practical and constitutional grounds.

§ TF Whigs attempted to pass a “Fiscal Corporation”

· HV president nevertheless vetoed the offensive substitute.

§ AR Tyler condemned as “His Accidency”

· Many threatening letters, and a wave of influenza called “Tyler grippe”

· Tyler expelled from Whig party, one attempt to impeach him in House of Reps, and entire cabinet resigned (except for Secretary of State Webster who was in England negotiating)

- MW while tariff did bring additional revenue, Democratic Tyler thought that it provided distribution among the states of revenue from the sale of public lands in the West

§ He could see no point in squandering federal money when the Federal Treasurey was not overflowing

§ TF Clayites redrafted tariff bill

· Removed offensive dollar-distribution scheme

· Pushed tariff rates to moderately protective level of 1832, roughly 32% on dutiable goods.

§ While Tyler did not like protective tariff, he recognized need for additional revenue, AR signed law of 1842.

· Pressure for higher customs duties would eventually decrease as country went away from depression.

A War of Words with Britain

§ At bottom lay memories of two Anglo-American wars (Revolutionary and War of 1812)

§ Pro-British Federalists had died out and resulted in Jacksonian democrats.

· This invited British condemning American tobacco spitting, slave auctioneering, lynching and other unsavory features.

§ MW British magazines angered even more when they attacked Yankee shortcomings.

· AR American journals struck back

· Charles Dickens would enter this word war in gall-dipped pens, for they were being denied rich royalties due to no American copyright law (Not until 1891 would Congress extend copyright privileges to foreign authors)

§ MW America w/ building its canals, was a borrowing money nation. Bloated British were a lending nation.

· Phrase “bloated British bond-holder” famous.

· HV when panic of 1837 came, several states defaulted/repudiated bonds openly and honest Englishmen condemned Yankiee trickery.

§ Furthermore, 1837 an unsuccessful insurrection in Canada supported by minority of Canadians.

· HV hundreds of angry Americans (hoping to strike a blow against the British) fought back.

o President of 1837 unable to (like Texas) uphold weak neutrality regulations as it was against popular opposition.

· Furthermore, the Caroline was attacked by British force, an attack exaggerated by illustrators.

· HV this counterviolation of neutrality had Washington officials launch vigorous but ineffective protests.

§ 1840 Canadian McLeod after boasting of his part in the Caroline raid, arrested and indicted for murder.

· London made clear armed force was sanctioned and to execute him would mean war.

§ Conflict would renew once again w/ 1841 when British officials in Bahamas offered protection to 130 Virginia slaves who rebelled and captured American ship Creole

Manipulating the Maine Maps

- Explosive controversy in early 1840s over Main boundary dispute.

§ British determined to strengthen defenses to build road in the disputed area.

§ MW proposed route ran through what Maine claimed under misleading treaty of 1783.

§ AR a small-scale clash threatened to widen into war.

- When crisis deepened in 1842, London Foreign Office sent nonprofessional diplomat Lord Ashburton (who married a wealthy American woman) to speedily est. relations w/ Secretary Webster (who recently had been lionized during Britain visit)

§ Agreed on Maine Boundary Settlement 1842

· Americans were to gain 7000 of 12,000 square miles of wilderness in dispute.

· British got less land but won desired Halifax-Quebec route.

· Also an overlooked bonus in same treaty where British surrendered 6,500 square miles, later to be found containing priceless Mesabi iron ore of Minnesota.

§ AR tensions from Caroline affair eased.

The Lone Star of Texas Shines Alone

- During uncertain 8 years since 1836, Texas lead a precarious existence.

§ Mexico saw Texas as revolting province, and threatened war if America attempted to annex it.

§ MW Texans forced to maintain costly military establishment.

· Could not tell when they would strike again.

· Mexicans had two unsuccessful but nevertheless fear-instilling raids.

§ AR Texas driven to negotiations w/ Britain and France to have shield of protectorate

· 1839, 1840 Texans also concluded treaties w/ France, Holland and Belgium.

o MW British and France interested in independent Texas

§ Republic under their control would check southern surge of Americans

· The American expansion posed threat to British New World.

§ Texas could turn upon Yankees and create diversion, where foreign powers could then move into Americas and challenge insolent Monroe Doctrine.

§ Conquer and divide would hopefully result in fragmentation and militarization of America.

§ MW British abolitionists want to free slaves in Texas, which would inflame nearby slaves of South.

· Also British merchants saw Texas as potentially free-trade area, to sneak past US tariff-protection.

· British manufacturers also perceived that Texas plains had one of greatest cotton-producing areas of future.

o Would relieve Britain dependence on American fiber (a supply that might be cut off by embargo or war)

The Belated Texas Nuptials

- Due to fears from British, Texas was leading issue in presidential campaign of 1844.

§ Foes of expansion opposed annexation while southern hotheads: “Texas or Disunion”

§ Pro-expansion Democrats under James K. Polk triumphed over Whigs under Henry Clay.

· TF Tyler saw this Democratic victory as “mandate” to acquire Texas.

§ TF Tyler deserves much credit for shepherding Texas into US.

· HV due to the worries of “conscious Whigs” fearing that Texas would add to slavery of states, Tyler arranged for annexation by requiring only a simple majority in both houses of Congress

o As opposed to needed 2/3 of vote.

· Resolution passed 1845 and Texas formally invited to become 28 th state.

- AR Mexicans claim Americans despoiling them of Texas

§ Partly true in 1836 but hardly true in 1845 for area was no longer Mexico’s to be despoiled of.

· Mexicans could not reconquer the province.

§ Previously by 1845 Lone Star Republic threatened to involve US in series of ruinous wars in America and Europe.

· MW Americans were in a “lick all creation” mood when they sang “Uncle Sam’s Song to Miss Texas”.

o Song consisted of threatening whoever of getting Texas the gal

· AR this was avoided, and US cannot be accused of haste in achieving annexation as 9 years was waited.

Oregon Fever Populates Oregon.

- Area from west of Rockies to Pacific Ocean and north of Carolina to the line of 54 40’.

§ Parts or all claimed at some point by Spain, Russia, Britain and US.

· Spanish first to get there, but went away as Florida Treaty of 1819

· Russia retreated to line of 54 40 by treaties of 1824 and 1825 w/ America and Britain.

§ TF Britain and America claims Oregon.

· Britain claims it based on prior discovery and exploration, treayt rights, and actual occupation.

o Most important colonizing agency was Hudson’s Bay Company, trading profitably w/ Indians of Pacific NW w/ furs.

· Americans claimed in exploration and occupation.

o Captain Robert Gray 1792 stumbled upon Columbia River

o Lewis and Clark expedition 1804 – 1806 ranged overland through Oregon Country to the Pacific.

§ AR of American occupation that missionaries and settlers settled in Willamette River Valley south of Columbia in 1830

· Worked to save souls of Indians and instrumental in saving soil for the US

· Stimulated interest in faraway domains.

· MW scattered American and British pioneers in Oregon lived peacefully side by side.

o Treaty of 1818 sought to divide the vast domain at the 49 th parallel.

§ HV British would have lost Columbia River, the St. Lawrence of the West.

o AR peaceful “joint occupation” between two.

§ HV Americans in early 1840s sudden “Oregon fever” had hundreds go over Oregon Trail

· By 1846 5000 Americans settled south of Columbia River.

· MW British only had 700 subjects north of Columbia.

o TF were losing the population race and saw wisdom of arriving at peaceful settlement.

- Only a small part of Oregon Country in actual controversy by 1845.

§ Consisted of quadrangle b/w Columbia River on the south and east. 49 th parallel on the north and Pacific Ocean on the west.

· British repeatedly offered line of Columbia river, America repeatedly offered the 49 th parallel.

o AR largely part of 1844 election issue, overshadowed BY the question of annexing Texas.

A Mandate (?) for Manifest Destiny

- Henry Clay easily most popular candidate in country, chosen for Whigs.

- Democrats, the expansionists, dominated by pro-Texas southerners, nominated James K. Polk of Tennessee, America’s first “dark-horse” or “surprise” presidential candidate.

§ Polk was Speaker of the House for four years, governor of TN for two terms.

§ Sponsored by Andrew Jackson, a “Young Hickory”

- Election of 1844 part of expression of mighty emotional upsurge known as Manifest Destiny.

§ 1840s and 1850s countless citizens felt sense of mission.

· Believed that Almighty God has “manifestly” destined American people for a hemispheric career.

· They would be “irresistibly” spreading their democratic institutions over entire continent, possible over South America as well.

· AR land greed and ideals incl. “empire” and “liberty” conjoined.

§ Democrats strongly swayed by Manifest Destiny.

· “Reannexation of Texas” (US had given up claims to Texas in so-called Florida Purchase Treaty with Spain 1819) and the “Reoccupation of Oregon” all the way to 54 40.

o 1846 “Fifty-four forty or fight”

· Also condemned Clay as “corrupt bargainer”

§ Whigs returned w/ “Polk, Slavery and Texas or Clay, Union and Liberty”

§ AR some medium mudslinging (involving lies from Whigs)

§ MW on issue of Texas

· The “Great Compromiser” wrote series of confusing letters which implied that he personally favored annexing slaveholding Texas (appealing to South) but also favored postponement (appealing to the North).

· May have lost more ground if he stuck to one side, but alienated ardent anti-slaveryites

- In a stretch drive , “Dark Horse” Polk won 170 – 105 electoral votes, though very narrowly by popular vote.

§ Clay would have won, but lost NY by 5000 votes where an antislavery Liberty Party absorbed 16,000 votes.

§ Ironically anti-Texas annexation Liberty party spoiled Clay’s chances and helped ensure election of pro-Texas Polk.

- MW land-hungry Democrats believed they had received mandate from voters to take Texas.

§ HV only special election would make that mandate – esp. w/ narrow results of 1844, TF no clear-cut answer to problems of Oregon, Texas, the tariff, slavery, the bank, and internal improvements.

§ HV regarded as clear mandate BY TYLER (also a Democrat) and signed joint resolution 3 days before leaving White House.

- Polk unimpressive and unwilling to delegate authority, “he went for what he fetched”

- Developed a 4 point program and with remarkable success achieved it in less than 4 years

· Secretary of Treasurey Robert Walker reduced Tariff of 1842 from 32 to 25%.

o With strong support from southerners and complaints from Clayites (and esp in New England and middle states that American manufacturing would be ruined)

o HV Walker Tariff of 1846 would be very effective as it produced excellent revenue largely b/c it was followed boom times and heavy imports.

§ 2 restoration of the independent treasurey.

· Pro-bank Whigs in Congress opposed but victory rewarded the president’s efforts in 1846

o Previously development dropped by Whigs in 1841.

§ 3 + 4 = acquisition of California and settlement of Oregon.

· “Reoccupation” of the “whole” of Oregon had been promised to northerners.

· Southern Democrats, once they had annexed Texas, rapidly cooled off and Polk, a southerner, did not insist on 54 40 when pledging on his platform.

· HV feeling bound by 3 offers of his predecessors to London, he proposed the compromise line of 49

- MW British ministry affected by British anti-expansionists (“Little Englanders”) were persuaded that Columbia River was after all not the St. Lawrence of the West

§ Furthermore American influx might one day seize Oregon treaty and why fight to protect the unpopular Hudson’s Bay Company.

- AR Early 1846 Britain proposed line of 49

§ Polk gave decision to Senate and Senate agreed.

· America previously month deep into war w/ Mexico and feared that if they did not compromise, might lose both.

o AR northwestern states, hotbed of “Manifest Destiny” and “fifty-four fortyism” joined anti-slavery forces condemning what they thought as a base betrayal of the South

o Why did South support all of Texas but not all of Oregon?

§ Expansionist Senator Benton: because “Great Britain is powerful and Mexico is weak”

§ AR Polk with his “fifty-four forty or fight” did not get neither, but got a good compromise better for the long run.

Misunderstanding with Mexico

- California seen as prize, future gateway to Pacific, another issue in Manifest Destiny.

- 1845 population of CA mixed.

§ 13000 Spanish Mexicans, 75000 Indians and fewer than 1000 “foreigners”, mostly Americans.

§ Polk eager to buy California from Mexico, but strained relations due to war (and recalled Mexican minister after annexation) and diplomatic relations severed.

- MW US has claims against Mexicans for some $3 million in damages to American citizens and their property.

§ Mexican government formally agreed to assume debt, but had been forced to default on payments.

- Deadlock over Texan questions further tightened by boundary debate.

§ Previously south-western boundary of Texas had been the Nueces River.

§ HV expansive Texans on far-fetched grounds claimed more southerly Rio Grande instead.

- MW Mexicans less concerned about this as they believed all of Texas beloned to them.

§ HV Polk careful to keep American troops out of virtually all of no man’s land between Nueces and Rio Grande River as long as possibility of peaceful settlement

- Issue of California also strained as rumors of Britain attempting to buy or seize California, a grab Americans could not tolerate under the Monroe Doctrine.

§ At last desperate attempt Polk dispatched John Slidell to Mexico City as minister late in 1845

§ Instructed to offer max of $25 million to buy California and territory to east.

§ HV proud Mexicans would not even permit Slidell to present his “insulting” proposition.

American Blood on American (?) Soil

- 1846 Polk ordered 4000 men under General Zachary Taylor to march from Nueces River to Rio Grand, provocatively near Mexican forces.

§ When clash did not occur, he proposed to sak Congress to declare war on basis of 1) unpaid claims and 2) Slidell’s rejection)

§ Were a weak basis with minor cabinet opposition, would have “felt better” if Mexican troops fired first.

- HV 1846 May Mexican troops crossed Rio Grande and attacked Taylor’s command.

§ Now Polk asked Congress that “despite all efforts” of America’s to avoid a clash, hostilities were forced upon America due to the shedding of “American blood upon American soil”

· Patriotic Congress voted for war

· “Ho for the Halls of the Montezumas!”

o Even antislavery Whigs joined with the rest of the nation, though they later condemned “Jimmy Polk’s war”

- Polk was making history, not writing it.

§ If he was writing it, would have explained that American blood had been shed on soil that Mexicans had good reason to regard as their own.

· Whig congressman Abraham Lincoln introduced certain resolutions that requested as to the precise “spot” on American soil where American blood had been shed”

o Pushed the “spot” resolutions with such persistence that he came to be known as the “spotty Lincoln”.

§ California an imperative point in his program and Mexico would not sell it at any price.

· Only way was to use force or wait for an internal American revolt.

· MW British might snatch California, and grievances from Mexico were annoying yet tolerable.

· HV 1846 Polk was bent on grasping California by fair means or fowl.

§ American expansionists were also eager to tech the Mexicans a lesson.

§ Mexicans also want to humiliate America.

· Heavily overstaffed with generals, boasted of invading the US, freeing black slaves.

· Also hoped conflict w/ Britain over Oregon would further destroy Yankees.

§ AR both sides believed the other side was the aggressor.

- Polk wanted California and not war. When war came, hoped to fight it on limited scale.

o MW Santa Anna, then exiled from Mexico in Cuba, said that if American blockades allow him to slip into Mexico, that he would agree to sell his country.

o HV Santa Anna ended up rallying countrymen for defending Mexico anyways.

- MW American operations in California successful.

o 1846 General Stephen W. Kearny led troops over Sante Fe Trail to Sante Fe and easily captured it.

§ Captain John C Fremont “happened” to be there and won province of California.

o General Zachary Taylor known as “Old Rough and Ready” fought way across Rio Grande into Mexico.

§ Could not make decisive victory in semi-deserts of northern Mexico

o TF General Winfield Scott.

§ Emerged as hero of War of 1812, pushed inland from coastal Vera Cruz

§ Handicapped severely but succeeded in reaching Mexico City in Sept 1847.

· Proved to be most distinguished general by his country b/w 1783 – 1861

Fighting Mexico for Peace

- Polk anxious to end shooting as soon as he secured his territorial goals.

o Send along with Scott’s invading army chief clerk of the State Department, Nicholas Trist

o Arranged for armistice at $10,000.

§ When Santa Anna used money and time to bolster defenses, Polk, disgusted, abruptly recalled Trist.

§ HV soon Treaty of Guadalupe 1848 signed.

· Confirmed America title to Texas and yielded the enormous area stretching westward to Oregon and the ocean and California.

· Total expanse, incl. Texas, about ½ of Mexico.

· US agreed to pay $15 mil for land and assume claims of its citizens against Mexico of 3 mil.

o Trist highly annoying, but generally did what he was ordered to w/ speed

§ Previously had antislavery Whigs denouncing this war with increasing heat

· Had controlled House in 1847 and threatening to vote down supplies for armies in the field.

§ Previously also group of expansionists due to Manifest Destiny, wanted all of Mexico.

· If America had seized all, would have been burdened with heavy expenses.

· Farseeing southerners like Calhoun recognized South was a bit too greedy.

o Treaty submitted to Senate and approved 38 to 14.

§ Was condemned by both opponents who wanted all of Mexico and opponents who wanted none of it.

- Victors rarely pay indemnity (pay of compensation)

o Polk planned to offer $25 mil, but ended up paying $18 mil.

§ Cynics charge that America was guilt-tripping while apologists point to the “Anglo-Saxon spirit of fair play”

Profit and Loss in Mexico

- Cost 13000 American lives, most taken by disease.

- Total American expanse by 1/3 (counting Texas)

o Greater than the LA Purchase.

o Sharp stimulus given to Manifest Destiny.

- Campaigns provided priceless field of experience for most officers to be in Civil War, incl Robert E. Lee and Ulyssess S. Grant.

o Military Academy at West Point founded in 1802 justified its existence through well-trained officers.

o Navy proved worth through throwing a crippling blockade around Mexican ports

§ Marine Corps est. 1798 still sings its hymn about the Halls of Montezuma.

- MW American army demonstrated prowess, British and foreign powers reluctantly revised their estimation of Yankee military prowess.

- HV Mexicans embittered that Americans took ½ of their country, that they were paid for it scarecely lessened bitterness.

o Now regarded as the “Colossus of the North” to Latin America.

- War also stimulated issue of slavery

o Critics pointed to Mexican conflict as result of southern “slavocracy” and dependency on it.

§ Bulk of volunteers from South and Southwest.

o Conflict moved to Congress.

§ 1846 shortly after war started Polk requested $2 mil to buy a peace.

§ Representative David Wilmot of PA fearful of “slavocracy” introduced a fateful amendment.

· Stipulated that slavery should never exist in any of the territory to be in mexico.

· Twice passed the House, but not the Senate.

- AR Polk left office w/ California and Southwest, but also a now unavoidable slavery dispute.

o “Mexico will poison us” philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

o “Mexicon is to us the forbidden fruit…the penalty of eating it would be to subject our institutions to political death” John Calhoun.


Oregon Supreme Court Rejects Youths’ Climate Lawsuit Claims

The Supreme Court of Oregon has rejected claims brought on behalf of youth plaintiffs that the state’s public trust doctrine imposes broad duties on it to protect the environment from greenhouse gas emissions.

The case, Chernaik v. Brown, is brought on behalf of Kelsey Juliana and Ollie Chernaik, among other youths, by the climate litigation group Our Children’s Trust. In the case, six of the seven justices of the state Supreme Court ruled Oregon’s public trust doctrine applies to navigable waters and submerged lands under those waters, but not to wildlife or the atmosphere.

“In this case, therefore, we do not impose broad fiduciary duties on the state, akin to the duties of private trustees, that would require the state to protect public trust resources from effects of greenhouse gas emissions and consequent climate change,” the court said in the October 22 opinion.

Affirms Lower Court Ruling

In 2011, teen plaintiffs Juliana and Chernaik sued then-Governor John Kitzhaber in Lane County Circuit Court, claiming Oregon had a legal duty to protect “vital natural resources,” such as land, water, and the atmosphere, which they argued the state holds in public trust. As with other public trust obligations, the government has a fiduciary duty to protect those resources for the use of current and future generations, Chernaik and Juliana argued.

The plaintiffs argued Oregon’s fiduciary obligation extends to protecting natural resources for “conservation, pollution abatement, maintenance, and enhancement of aquatic and fish life, habitat for fish and wildlife, ecological values, in-stream flows, commerce, navigation, fishing, recreation, energy production, and the transport of natural resources.”

The county court that initially heard the case rejected plaintiff’s claims, as did a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals.

“We conclude that the public trust doctrine does not impose a fiduciary obligation on the state to take affirmative action to protect public trust resources from the effects of climate change,” wrote Judge Rex Armstrong on behalf of the Appeals Court panel. “The Oregon public-trust doctrine is rooted in the idea that the state is restrained from disposing or allowing uses of public-trust resources that substantially impair the recognized public use of those resources.

“We can find no source under the Oregon conception of the public-trust doctrine for imposing fiduciary duties on the state to affirmatively act to protect public-trust resources from the effects of climate change,” Armstrong ruled.

Oregon’s Supreme Court has now affirmed the determination of the state Court of Appeals that state has no duty to protect natural resources from climate change as part of a public trust.

Follows Previous Loss in Federal Court

The Oregon Supreme Court’s ruling represents the second loss this year for the youth plaintiffs. On January 17, a three-judge panel of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, rejected a climate lawsuit filed against the federal government by Our Children’s Trust on behalf of the same group of youths.

In that case, the Trump administration, as had the Obama administration before it, argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue the federal government for climate harms. Going further, the Trump administration said, even if the court determined the youths had standing to sue, the legislature and the executive, not the courts, were the appropriate branches of government for determining the nation’s energy policies and responses to climate change.

In a 2-to-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court agreed on both points.

The youths lacked standing to sue the federal government, and the court didn’t have the authority to dictate climate policy, wrote Ninth Circuit judge Andrew Hurwitz, an Obama administration appointee, in his majority opinion.

The plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, said Hurwitz, because their injuries were not “concrete and particularized.”

“The central issue before us is whether, even assuming such a broad constitutional right exists, an Article III court can provide the plaintiffs the redress they seek—an order requiring the government to develop a plan to ‘phase out fossil fuel emissions and draw down excess atmospheric CO2,’” Hurwitz wrote. “Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power.

“Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government,” Hurwitz wrote. “[A]ny effective plan would necessarily require a host of complex policy decisions entrusted, for better or worse, to the wisdom and discretion of the executive and legislative branches.”


Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country? - History

UPDATE (May 6, 11:25 a.m. PT) – The rules that have governed Oregon's unemployment system for decades were upended in March when Congress passed the CARES Act.

At first, it looked like nothing but good news for the tens of thousands of workers facing sudden unemployment following Gov. Kate Brown’s “stay home” order: For the first time in history, self-employed freelancers and gig-economy workers could access the unemployment system. The CARES Act promised a $600 bonus for people newly out of work and faster access to benefits. And the law temporarily waived the requirement that people apply for jobs every week — an acknowledgment that there is very little work available in many fields.

But with close to 300,000 Oregonians filing initial unemployment claims since mid-March, the state's Employment Department has not been able to deliver on the federal government's promises. The agency's own data show that it's only been able to process about 64% of the unemployment claims it's received since March 11.

Gig workers who should be eligible for benefits for the first time report they are repeatedly rejected by computer systems that don’t know how to handle their claims.

Financially stressed laid-off workers are overloading the agency’s phones. Last week, the Employment Department only answered about four in every 10 calls — and that was after people waited on hold an average of two hours.

The Oregon Employment Department's Unemployment Insurance online claim system, pictured on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Oregon Employment Department Communications Manager Gail Krumenauer is urging people to keep trying and not give up.

Krumenauer says people who are unemployed should submit claims and then keep applying for unemployment once a week, even if the computer system seems to reject them. That's the best way to gain access to benefits once the state Employment Department gets caught up. She also says people should look to the agency's special COVID-19 information website to learn how the CARES Act benefit expansion is being implemented in Oregon.

“It’s not getting to everyone as fast as they need it, I know that. I’m not insensitive to that at all,” she said. “It is heartbreaking. We are working as hard as we can on the benefits part.”

We asked OPB audience members for their questions about applying for unemployment. Here are the answers we’ve found so far.

I filed for unemployment over a month ago. When will I get my first check?

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not for a long time. It’s impossible to be certain at this point.

“As of last week, from first initial claim to first check was on average three weeks,” Krumenauer said.

“That’s one average for a few hundred thousand people in super unique and different situations.”

The answer partly depends on the specific circumstances of your application: If you're eligible for the extra benefits approved by the CARES Act or if you’re an independent contractor only newly eligible for this kind of benefit, for example, it could take longer.

Other complicated claims, such as from people who had already been in and out of unemployment before COVID-19 economic restrictions, or from people who face garnishment of their benefits, could also take longer.

And how long you have to wait also seems to depend on luck, as the state’s Employment Department is overwhelmed and may take some time to get caught up with everyone.

But even if you are seeing computer rejections and the money is not coming through, you should continue to file every week, Krumenauer emphasized.

I am self-employed and unable to work because of COVID-19. How do I access unemployment benefits that are supposed to be available now?

When COVID-19 shutdowns first started, the Employment Department’s advice to everyone was “when in doubt, file” -- but as it adapts to the CARES Act, it’s adjusting its guidance.

“Some small portion of people who are self-employed structure their business in a way that they pay taxes into the UI system to cover themselves, and they could get regular UI benefits,” Krumenauer said. If you are self-employed and pay unemployment insurance taxes, you can go ahead and file now.

But for the majority of so-called 1099 contract workers in the gig economy, the Employment Department says you should wait until its computer systems are ready to handle your claims.

“We don’t have it ready yet, because traditionally unemployment benefits are calculated using information a payroll employer has already given us,” Krumenauer said in an email. “None of that is in our system for the self-employed or contract workers already. We have to have new/different forms of earnings documentation from you, and a new way to collect it aside from our online claims system.”

So most self-employed people who are presently out-of-work should stay tuned for news that the state is ready to accept their unemployment applications.

“We are trying to get all aspects of the CARES Act up and running -- and as quickly as possible,” Krumenauer said. “Once it’s up we’re telling everyone about it!”

Will people whose claims were not processed correctly be able to get them corrected and get the money that’s due? You can't get through by phone and they are taking forever to answer emails while weeks pass without checks.

“They won’t lose out on benefits because it’s hard to get through on the phone and they had a problem online,” Krumenauer said.

People should keep filing every week, even if they get errors, she said, and wait for the state’s newly hired Employment Department workers to catch up with them.

Why is it so hard to get information about the status of my unemployment claim? I have had to email, call repeatedly, and wait on hold at length, only to be told that my application had been held for three weeks because of an incorrectly answered question. Why are we not receiving prompt letters or other follow-up?

“In non-pandemic times, if you lose your job, we verify your pay by using information already given by your employer as part of their payroll, which says what your earnings were,” Krumenauer said. “Benefits are linked to data they already have.”

The CARES Act brought a temporary change to rules that have been in effect for decades, so people should be able to access benefits even when the state’s computers can’t quickly verify their past employment. At the same time, COVID-19-related economic restrictions brought mass layoffs and job losses that put an unprecedented demand on the state Employment Department.

It’s hard to get through because there are still not enough workers processing unemployment claims to keep up with all the calls – and because the computer programs that have worked for decades have still not been updated to handle the new rules, Krumenauer said.

Has the employment department hired more workers to keep up with all the new claims?

Yes, but it’s not caught up yet.

"It seems like a lifetime ago, but the backdrop of this pre-crisis was a 3.3% unemployment rate, a record low going back to 1976,” Krumenauer said. “As an agency, we don't keep hundreds of extra staff around when claims are at their lowest. So we had about 100 staff dedicated to taking claims on March 8th. By April 10th, we were up to 450."

The agency is still hiring, with a goal of getting to 800 people who can process unemployment claims.

The Employment Department’s new hires are still getting trained on the job, and as they learn their duties they will be digging out from a mountain of claims. It’s not clear how long it will take before the state is able to keep up.

“There’s been an absolute crush of new claims. We processed more claims in the first three months of 2020 than in the entire calendar year of 2019.” And most of those claims were filed in the second half of March.

My hours were cut significantly because of COVID-19. How do I access partial unemployment benefits?

One way to access partial benefits is if your employer signs up for the Work Share program, Krumenauer said.

Under this program, employers voluntarily make an agreement with the Oregon Employment Department to temporarily reduce employee hours, and workers with reduced hours are eligible for partial unemployment

“People who go back to work part-time may still be able to get unemployment benefits without being involved in Work Share, though,” Krumenauer said in a May 6 email.

As the governor develops plans to reopen Oregon's economy, the state Employment Department expects more and more part-time workers to qualify for these benefits. The agency encourages people to visit its "Working While Claiming and Reporting Earnings" website for details.

Is the federal unemployment of $600 per week pro-rated if you've been cut to part-time? Or do you get either the full amount or nothing at all if you're partially unemployed?

It’s not that simple. The $600 boost is for people who are completely unemployed. If your hours were cut and your employer participates in the Work Share program, you should be able to get additional financial assistance. But if your employer does not opt in to the program and you still have some paid work, you may be out of luck.

Gov. Kate Brown just waived the waiting period for unemployment benefits. Why was it there in the first place?

According to the National Employment Law Project, waiting periods were put in place across the country to reduce the cost and administrative burden of running unemployment programs. When unemployment benefits were still a new concept in the early 20th Century, ". there was concern that paying benefits for longer durations would not be affordable, so waiting periods of two, and even four weeks, were found in state UI (unemployment insurance) laws," NELP wrote on an information sheet about waiting periods.

A screen in the Oregon Employment Department claims process.

In 1980, the U.S. Congress passed financial incentives for states to implement one-week waiting periods, and most states adopted that policy.

The CARES Act allows states to temporarily suspend the week-long wait.

Oregon’s governor initially did not take that opportunity, saying it would take “thousands of hours of programming to make this change.”

Will I get paid for my first week out of work if I filed before the governor waived the waiting period? What about people who waited to file because they were following the old rules? Will we get paid for the week retroactively?

Brown said she is “committed to ensuring that all eligible Oregonians receive the maximum benefits available to them.”

Krumenauer said she does not know when the Employment Department will have those changes in place, but it will get there.

Other states have struggled to make upgrades to their unemployment computer systems, which use arcane programming languages such as COBOL. Is Oregon in the same boat?

Yes. And Krumenauer said there are benefits to the old technology most of the time.

“COBOL was built to be sturdy and reliable,” she said. And it has been up until now.

"We are a mainframe system,” she said, adding that, “There are modernized systems that aren't doing any better.”

While some states have not been able to hire programmers to update their old COBOL code, that is not a problem here in Oregon, Krumenauer said. But it still takes time to write new programs and test them to make sure that they work.

“We have really dedicated and talented staff,” she said. “People are working weekends and giving up holidays with their families to get this going.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new details, and will continue to be updated, as they become available.


Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country? - History

According to Oregon Live, "A state panel violated a Beaverton man's free speech rights by claiming he had unlawfully used the title 'engineer' and by fining him when he repeatedly challenged Oregon's traffic-signal timing before local media and policymakers, Oregon's attorney general has ruled." From the report: Oregon's Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying unconstitutionally applied state law governing engineering practice to Mats Jarlstrom when he exercised his free speech about traffic lights and described himself as an engineer since he was doing so "in a noncommercial'' setting and not soliciting professional business, the state Department of Justice has conceded. "We have admitted to violating Mr. Jarlstrom's rights,'' said Christina L. Beatty-Walters, senior assistant attorney general, in federal court Monday. The state's regulation of Jarlstrom under engineering practice law "was not narrowly tailored to any compelling state interests,'' she wrote in court papers. The state has pledged the board will not pursue the Beaverton man any further when he's not acting in a commercial or professional manner, and on Monday urged a federal judge to dismiss the case. The state also sent a $500 check to Jarlstrom in August, reimbursing him for the state fine.

Jarlstrom and his lawyers argued that's not good enough. They contend Jarlstrom isn't alone in getting snared by the state board's aggressive and "overbroad'' interpretation of state law. They contend others have been investigated improperly and want the court to look broader at the state law and its administrative rules and declare them unconstitutional. In the alternative, the state law should be restricted to only regulating engineering communications that are made as part of paid employment or a contractual agreement.


Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country? - History

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( Lock A locked padlock

) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Due to COVID-19, BLM is temporarily restricting in-person public access to visitor centers and public rooms in some of our Alaska offices. LEARN MORE>

MINING CLAIMS

A mining claim is a parcel of land for which the claimant has asserted a right of possession and the right to develop and extract a discovered, valuable, mineral deposit. This right does not include exclusive surface rights (see Public Law 84-167).

There are three basic types of minerals on federally-administered lands: locatable, leasable, and salable. Mining claims are staked for locatable minerals on public domain lands.

Locatable minerals include both metallic minerals (gold, silver, lead, etc.) and nonmetallic minerals (fluorspar, asbestos, mica, etc.). It is nearly impossible to list all locatable minerals because of the complex legal requirements for discovery.

Types of Claims

Lode Claims - Deposits subject to lode claims include classic veins or lodes having well-defined boundaries. They also include other rock in- place bearing valuable minerals and may be broad zones of mineralized rock. Examples include quartz or other veins bearing gold or other metallic minerals and large volume, but low-grade disseminated gold deposits. Descriptions are by metes and bounds surveys beginning at the discovery point on the claim and including a reference to natural objects or permanent monuments. Federal statute limits their size to a maximum of 1500 feet in length, and a maximum width of 600 feet (300 feet on either side of the vein).

Placer Claims - Placer claims are defined as ". including all forms of deposit, excepting veins of quartz, or other rock in-place." In other words every deposit, not located with a lode claim, should be appropriated by a placer location. Placer claims, where practicable, are located by legal subdivision (aliquot part and complete lots). The maximum size is 20 acres per locator, and the maximum for an association placer is 160 acres for 8 or more locators. The maximum size for a corporation is 20 acres per claim. Corporations may not locate association placer claims unless they are in association with other locators or corporations as co-locators.

Types of Mineral Entries

Mill Sites - A mill site must be located on "non-mineral lands" and must be noncontiguous to the lode or placer with which it is associated. Its purpose is to support a lode or placer mining operation. A mill site must include the erection of a mill or reduction works and/or may include other uses in support of a mining operation. Descriptions are by metes and bounds if on unsurveyed land and by legal subdivision if on surveyed lands. The maximum size is 5 acres.

Tunnel Sites - A tunnel site is a subsurface right-of-way under Federal land open to mineral entry. It is used for access to lode mining claims or to explore for blind or undiscovered veins, lodes, or ledges not currently claimed or known to exist on the surface. A tunnel site can be up to 3,000 feet in length.

State Requirements

Provisions of the Mining Law allow for the development of local rules that are consistent with federal law. Therefore, individual states can have their own manner of locating and recording mining claims, tunnels sites, and mill sites. Always check with the appropriate state for state-specific laws and regulations.


Questions?

If you have an issue with your workers&rsquo compensation carrier, and want to know if we can help, contact us. At the very least, we can help you know where you stand.

We have written quite a few articles that talk about the pitfalls and advantages of settling a workers' compensation case. This is yet another article, and in it, I share some thoughts on things that clients and I will discuss in deciding whether to settle a workers' compensation case, and for how much.

We write a lot articles on this because one of our most frequently viewed articles deals with settlement of Oregon Workers' Compensation claims. We know this is an important issue because many insurance companies will provide an injured worker with a settlement agreement, but little explanation as to what the agreement actually means. To get a basic idea of what these agreements involve, check out these two articles that deal with settlement of denied claims and accepted claims. Whether you should settle a case as a whole different issue. Of course, I would not and could not answer that question for every injured worker in a brief article. But we can give you some things to think about.

First, you should look at what happens if you decide to settle and what happens if you decide not to. For example, if your claim has been denied, and you have been approached with a disputed claims settlement, it's a good idea to know what kind a evidence you have that would overcome the denial. If your doctor feels that your medical condition is work related, and can explain it in a clear and well reasoned manner, then you may be able to prevail on the claim. If you do, you have the right to seek significant benefits, including medical services, wage replacement or disability, permanent partial disability, and possibly even vocational retraining. When we evaluate a claim for settlement, we have to get a good idea of what the chances of prevailing at hearing are before we can advise our client on settlement.

If you are considering settlement of your accepted claim, you should know what it is that you are giving up in exchange for a sum of money. For example, if you enter into a claims disposition agreement, which is the settlement of an accepted claim, you are giving up all benefits except for the right to request medical coverage in the future. Some people come to our office in say that they resolved their claim, but have "medical coverage for life." This is not really accurate. Instead, an injured worker who enters into a claims disposition agreement has the ability to request that the insurance company pay for future medical care, but that insurance company can deny that request. You can appeal this denial, but that can be a challenge in some cases.

Here is something else to think about with claims disposition agreements. If you settle your case with a claims disposition agreement, you still have the right to request medical care. However, if you require significant care, like a surgery, which will keep you off work, you will not be entitled to any wage replacement while disabled from work. This is because when you settled your case, you gave up the right for any wage replacement if you are disabled as a result of medical care. Depending upon the nature of your injury, that can be a significant benefit.

Whether your case involves settlement of an accepted claim, a denied claim, or both, the overall consideration is the long-term. For example, if you suffered a significant injury and are not able to return to the job you worked on the date you are hurt, then you have to figure out a way that you're going to earn a living in the future. Sometimes, the only way you will earn a wage comparable to the wage at date of injury is to undergo vocational training. If you decide to resolve your case, and you need help with retraining, you should at the very least have some kind of plan on what kind a career you intend to pursue with the funds you recover as a result of the settlement.

We are not saying that all settlements are a bad thing. A settlement of a workers' compensation claim in Oregon can be a great thing. It gets the insurance company out of your life, and gives you some control over your future. However, it is a big decision, and there is a lot to think about.

If you have an accepted claim, and you wonder if it makes sense to enter into some kind of settlement agreement, call us at 503-325-8600. We can review your claims file, and advise you on your best options for settlement. And best of all, we do not charge a fee unless we are able to resolve the case in your favor.

Social Security Disability benefits are provided under the Social Security statute. The statute tells us what you need to prove in order to obtain benefits. It also regulates how attorneys can be paid for their work representing disability claimants.

The most important thing you should know is that an attorney representing a disability claimant cannot charge a fee unless the attorney is successful in obtaining benefits. If the attorney does not get a favorable decision for the client, there is no attorney fee. If the attorney is successful, then the fee comes out of retroactive benefits. "Retroactive benefits" are those benefits that have built up from the date your disability started up until the date of the favorable decision. The attorney is entitled to no more than 25% of the retroactive benefits, but to no case, can the fee exceed $6000.00. In other words, the fee is the lesser amount of 25% of retroactive benefits, or $6000.00.

For example, if your retroactive benefits total $4000.00, then the attorney fee would be 25% of that amount, which equals $1000.00. However, if your retroactive benefits were $40,000.00, then the attorney fee would be $6000.00.

The $6000.00 limit on attorney fees applies to cases at the initial appeal, known as "reconsideration," and at the hearings level. The hearings office is known as the Office of Adjudication and Disability Review, or "ODAR." Some attorneys handle cases at Federal Court, and a different statute may govern how attorneys are paid for their fees. Nonetheless, the fees will still come out of retroactive benefits.

The statute also allows attorneys to charge an hourly rate, based on their time involved in the case. Again, this fee is subject to the 25% or $6000.00 rule.

When a Social Security Disability claimant hires us, we review the written fee agreement with our client, and then submit that fee agreement to Social Security. When we win a case, the Administrative Law Judge approves the fee agreement.

If you are curious about whether an attorney can help you on your Social Security Disability claim, call us at 503-325-8600. We have over two decades of experience working with disability claimants, and can let you know where you stand with your case.

There are a couple of provisions in the Oregon Workers' Compensation statute that tell us who can treat an on-the-job injury for an injured worker. The first place to look is at the definition of an "attending physician"

in the statute, an "attending physician" is a doctor, physician, or a physician Assistant who is primarily responsible for the treatment of your compensable injury. However, there are a lot of qualifications. If the physician is a Doctor of Osteopathic the, or a Medical Doctor licensed in the State of Oregon, that type of physician can remain your attending physician throughout the life of the claim.

Chiropractic physicians, Physician Assistants, or a Naturopathic physicians can act as the attending physician for either 60 days from the first visit or for a total of 18 visits, whichever occurs first.

The administrative rules also provide that Nurse Practitioners can act as attending physicians for limited periods of time. There are exceptions if the Nurse Practitioner is providing care under the direct supervision of a Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathic.

Another part of the Workers' Compensation system dictates who can treat your injury if your insurance company or employer contracts with a "Managed Care Organization" or "MCO." These organizations are like health maintenance organizations. If the insurance company contracts with an MCO to provide your care, then you must treat with a physician who is a member of the MCO panel. There are some exceptions, but this often creates another level of bureaucracy that impedes an injured worker's access to health care.

Even if you have an accepted claim, the attending physician can play a major role in determining whether not you are entitled to certain medical care, and whether your claim remains open, closed, and whether not you qualify for permanent partial disability benefits. The good news is that the statute allows you to change her attending physician, but only for a limited number of times.

Even if you have an accepted workers' compensation claim, you may have questions, and can call us at 503-325-8600. We can discuss the issues in your case, and help you determine whether not you need an attorney in the first place. If you do, we only get paid if we get a benefit for you that's been denied or underpaid.

The Short Answer: When in Doubt, Appeal.

The Long Answer:

Many of the people coming to us for help with Social Security Disability have applied in the past, but when their claim was denied, they chose not to appeal the denial. This can create problems for the claim. Some can be solved, but sometimes they cannot. If you are not sure whether it makes sense to appeal your denial, please consider the following:

First, going through the appeals process with Social Security disability can be a long-term proposition. Many folks will wait several months for the initial decision. If the initial claim application is denied, a request for reconsideration may only take a month, but could drag out to for five or six months.

The next appeal after a reconsideration is denied is a request for hearing, and depending upon the hearings office that schedules your case, you can be looking at well over a year before you get in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Sometimes a medical condition will improve after all these months, but other times, it will progress, and worsen.

The point is that you may not know where you will be with your health by the time a hearing is scheduled, and for that reason, it makes sense to appeal the claim and move forward. You can always withdraw your claim if your condition improves, and return to the work force.

Second, another problem not appealing a denial is that it may prevent a new application down the road. Depending upon the facts of your case, if you file an application for disability benefits, and that claim is denied, it may prevent you from filing a new application in the future. In many cases, Social Security will claim that it already decided that you are not disabled, and unless you are able to come up with new evidence that was not in your claims file the first time around, your claim will be denied. Making sure you appeal your denials will give you your best shot at having the case heard and decided with all of the required information.

If you have questions about whether to appeal a claim denial, call us at 503-325-8600. We can review your case, and let you know the consequences of appealing the denial, or not.

There is no law or rule that requires you to hire an attorney to represent you on your Social Security Disability claim. Disability claimants can file their request for reconsideration or request for hearing without the help of an attorney, and can even appear at hearing in front of a judge. However, here are some things to think about when deciding whether you need an attorney to help with your Social Security Disability claim.

First, under the Social Security statute, an attorney cannot charge a fee unless your claim is approved. The fee is based on the attorney&rsquos time working on the case, or a percentage of the retroactive benefits. All fee agreements must be approved by the Social Security Administration. If your attorney is unsuccessful in obtaining benefits, there is no attorney fee. This minimizes the risk of hiring an attorney.

Second, Social Security is a complicated area of the law. There are many potential issues you may face going into a hearing. For example, if you performed some kind of work after the date you claim your disability began, is that &ldquosignificant gainful activity?&rdquo Is your medical condition &ldquosevere&rdquo in that it interferes with work activity? Other possible issues include whether you meet an impairment listing, your residual functional capacity, and whether you can perform any work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. Often times, a well-meaning physician will write a letter supporting your claim, but may not address the critical questions Social Security needs to make the right decision on your claim.

Finally, we see many cases where medical records critical to the case have not made it into the claims file, or where the Social Security Administration simply does not have an accurate understanding of your past work and your current medical condition.

Overall, it makes sense to have someone helping you with the case.

That raises another question of how to go about selecting an attorney.

Social Security Disability is a federal benefit system, and as a result, any attorney or approved non-attorney representative can represent a disability claimant, regardless of location. We have seen situations where non-attorney representatives clear across the country in the Northeast will represent a claimant in Oregon or Washington. Although some of these national firms may do a good job for their clients, we have heard some sad stories regarding the quality of representation. It is not unusual for a disability claimant to meet their attorney or representative for the first time just a few minutes before the hearing in the hearing office waiting room.

If you are considering retaining a representative or lawyer that handles cases on a national level, make sure you understand how the firm will work with you, and handle your case. Will there be one representative assigned to your case? Will the representative assigned to your case also go to hearing with you? Will there be a pre-hearing appointment other than a brief meeting in the waiting room before you go in and see the Judge? Find out how your firm or attorney will handle the case before making a decision, and do not be shy about talking to a few different firms or attorneys.

If you have a denied Social Security disability claim, call us at 503-325-8600. We will meet with you in person, and explain the appeals process, what you must prove, and how we work with clients. Then, we leave it up to you to decide whether you would like us to help with the case, and encourage you to check around with other attorneys or representatives before making your final decision.

When somebody makes a claim for Oregon Workers' Compensation benefits, the "compensation" part of things involves a series of benefits. This article provides a brief list of those benefits, and explains what they are. Essentially, "compensation" refers to all benefits, including medical services that are provided for a compensable injury. Sometimes, the term "compensation" is important so that an attorney representing an injured worker can decide where to take a dispute. Some parts of the Oregon Workers' Compensation agencies address only those issues that involve "compensation."

If you are involved in an Oregon Workers' Compensation claim, and have questions about the benefits you may be entitled to, call us at 503-325-8600. We handle these kinds of cases every day, and can help you learn where you stand with your claim.

That is a pretty big question. The Oregon Worker's Compensation statute defines a compensable injury as an accidental injury that arises out of and occurs in the course and scope of employment requiring medical services are resulting in a disability or death. In order to prove a compensable injury, the injured worker must establish an injury with medical evidence that shows objective findings of injury.

So, there are many elements to establishing a compensable injury. First, you have to show that an injury occurred at work. Second, you have to show that the injury required medical care, or that if disabled you from work. Next, you have to show through medical evidence some objective findings supporting the existence of an injury. That leads to a question as to what "objective findings" are. Essentially, these are findings that a physician makes on examination that are repeatable and observable without input from the injured worker. Often, whether there are objective findings turns on an expert medical opinion.

If your claim involves only a "compensable injury," then you must show that the work activity was a material cause of the need for treatment or disability resulting from the injury event. You do not need to initially prove any specific medical problem, but instead the need for care or resulting disability. The term "material contributing cause" simply means that the injury event was a significant factor in causing the disability or need for treatment.

But there is a lot more. Oregon Workers' Compensation law recognizes all different kinds of compensable injuries. There are also some limitations applied to the general definition.

For example, there is a compensable injury known as a "consequential condition." This occurs when the compensable injury is the major cause of a new or different medical condition that is a direct result of the original injury or medical condition. For example, if you injured your right leg, and a cause you to favor your left leg. If a very her left leg caused medical problems to the left leg, then that could be a consequential condition. Again, a lot of this depends on medical opinions.

Then, there are "combined conditions." You will find a lot of articles on this website about "combined conditions." Essentially, a combined condition exists when an injury event, like a fall from a ladder or lifting a heavy box combines with some "pre-existing condition." Sometimes, there are disagreements as to whether not the injury combined with a pre-existing condition, or if there is a pre-existing condition at all. The key to this part of the definition is that an injured worker must show that the injury event is the major or dominant cause of the need for treatment or disability. This is why it is important to determine whether a condition or injury at work combined with some pre-existing condition.

The definition in the statute also provides a list of what is not considered a compensable injury for example, if an injured worker actively participates and assaults or combats, then that is not a compensable injury. If the worker is injured as a result of recreational or social activities primarily for the worker's personal pleasure, that is not a compensable injury under the statute.

If there is an injury on the job, and the employer is able to show that the major cause of that injury as a result of consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs, then that is not a compensable injury unless the injured worker can show that the employer knew about the consumption, or encouraged it. It is important to point out that "major contributing cause" means that the drug or alcohol use, more than any other factor, caused the injury.

These kinds of claims will also be categorized or classify as either "disabling," or "non-disabling." This is known as "classification." A "disabling" injury is one that causes disability from work, or is expected to result in some permanent impairment. If you have an excepted claim, the Notice of Acceptance will tell you whether your claim is classified as "disabling," or "non--disabling." It is important to know the difference, because it could affect your eligibility for other benefits. If you do not believe your claim was properly classified, you can request that the classification be amended. However, there are strict time limits, and you must make this request within one year of the date of the Notice of Acceptance.

Still have questions? Call us at 503-325-8600. We can discuss your claim, and let you know if you even need to get an attorney involved in the first place.

"Total temporary disability" or "temporary partial disability" (also referred to as "time loss") is the wage replacement benefit that is available to an injured worker if the attending physician authorizes the worker to be off work as result of the on-the-job injury. The amount of that benefit calculated by first figure out the worker's average weekly wage.

There are many rules that govern how an employer or its insurance company determines your time loss benefits. However, the general rule provides that the insurance company obtains your wage records for the 52 weeks prior to the date you were injured. The insurance company then calculates the total wages earned, and divides that amount by the number of weeks (52). If you have not been working for the employer for a full 52 weeks, then the insurance company simply uses the number of weeks that you actually worked. There are other rules that apply to seasonal and temporary workers.

Once the insurance company figures your average weekly wage, then as a general, it will calculate your temporary total disability benefit at 66.6% of your average weekly wage. Sometimes, the insurance company will not have accurate information when a calculates your temporary total disability benefits. If you feel you are being underpaid, you can request a hearing to have an Administrative Law Judge review the issue.

Even if the insurance company has not yet decided to accept or deny your claim in the first place, you are entitled to this benefit while the claim is being decided, but only if your physician has authorized you in writing to be off work.

If you have questions about whether you are receiving correct temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits, costs of 503-325-8600. We can review your case to determine whether not an appeals warranted. And, we only can charge a fee if we obtain additional benefits for you.