Free Consultation: (503) 222-7401Tap to Call This Lawyer
Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman
  • Estate Planning, Probate, Personal Injury...
  • Oregon
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

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
Placeholder image for jurisdictions.
9th Circuit
Placeholder image for jurisdictions.
  • 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
Lewis & Clark Law School Logo
University of California - Los Angeles
B.S. | Business/Economics
Honors: Cum Laude
University of California - Los Angeles Logo
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
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Oregon State Bar # 833832
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Washington County Bar Association
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Multnomah Bar Association
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
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
683 Questions Answered

Q. My attorney won't return my calls. I've already paid her for bankruptcy services.
A: I'm a bit confused. Your location says Los Angeles so are you sure you need an Oregon Attorney? Also did your Attorney file or not file your bankruptcy? Are you correctly stating that you paid the full fee your Attorney required prior to filing your bankruptcy or is the situation that you paid some money but not all the money your Attorney told you was needed? As for free services, there may be some program that your local legal aid offers to help low income file bankruptcy. But you will probably have to pay otherwise for legal help. Also whether you need to file bankruptcy or not is really the question you need to be asking an Attorney. If you have no assets and no money, you may be Judgment Proof and not really need to file a bankruptcy. If you do have some assets and money, then maybe you should thinking about how to pay an Attorney to help you.
Q. Im 16 and i want to move out with my girlfriend because me and my mom are not in good terms, what should I do?
A: You are a minor so you have no legal rights yet. You can't sign a contract or at least no contract you sign will be legally binding until you are 18. Your mother is legally responsible for you until you turn 18. So no, you don't have adult rights to decide where you want to live and to be financially independent. Can you "run away" from home? I suppose you could. I don't think the police are going to arrest you and they have too many crimes to solve to spend their time on runaways. But any adult that takes you in runs the risk of being arrested for custodial interference. So you are facing a situation where you don't have the means to take care of yourself, someone that helps you could be arrested, and you can't form the types of financial commitments that an adult needs to form to survive, like rent an apartment. Let me put it another way, getting along with your mother for two years is not as hard as being an adult and surviving out in the world, much less doing all of that when you are a father and you have to support a child. I strongly recommend that you make peace with your mother and figure out how you are going to survive when you eventually leave home at age 18. I also recommend that you stay in school and get an education.
Q. My son's father has sole custody. He uses drugs everyday. How do I get the court to order a hair follicle test?
A: I can't think of any easy way to do this. I would focus on objective evidence of how the father's behavior is negatively impacting your son. You are going to need a lawyer to help you with this most likely. But look for things like school records showing that your son isn't doing well or that he is frequently absent. Are there concerns about your son's behavior that his teachers are telling you about? Is the house where your son lives not being cleaned properly? Is there a problem with your son getting proper food and enough sleep? If this is about the father smoking marijuana the court isn't going to be concerned unless it is interfering with how your son is doing. Also the court would be concerned if the father is driving while under the influence. You could look up at the court whether the father has any concerning traffic or criminal matters. The court records are public records.
Q. I need urgent advice on the laws in Oregon regarding child custody
A: You are in a tough situation. As between you and the other parent, the other parent has to defer to you being awarded legal custody. But be careful what you wish for because if the other parent refuses to allow your 17 year old daughter to move in then there is nothing stopping your 17 year old daughter from running away! So which is worse? Working with the other parent as to the best solution or being worried sick because you don't know where your 17 year old daughter is? The police have been known to not assist when a teenager runs away but isn't committing a crime other than running away. That's why we have so many homeless youths on our streets. Hopefully the other parent is as concerned as you are and together you can work on some solution. Your daughter will be age 18 soon so do your best to lay a foundation that will keep working when she is a legal adult.
Q. I am a low income mom looking for a divorce lawyer that will help me for free. Thank you
A: Unfortunately the availability of free or low income legal services in Oregon are scarce. You can call Legal Aid (LASO) but they only take a certain type of cases so they are very limited. The Oregon State Bar offers Lawyer Referral that gets you one cheap meeting ( about $35.00) but after that you will be asked to pay the lawyer's hourly rate and the lawyers participating in the program are often new lawyers looking to build their practice so they may not have a lot of experience. There is the modest means program where the Oregon State Bar matches you with a lawyer who has volunteered to take cases at a low rate, but this is hit or miss depending on who volunteers. The best bet is St. Andrew's Legal Services who will charge you, but on an income based sliding scale. To be perfectly honest with you if your situation involves assets and your spouse might end up paying you spousal support, you might be able to afford and attorney and you should look for an experienced family law Attorney who is willing to work with you. If your marriage is such that there really aren't any assets involved and probably no alimony, then you might want to investigate using the on line divorce forms, but pay for an Attorney to review the forms and give you some overall advice before you file the forms.
Q. Can my ex wife go after me for money even though we’ve been divorced for 3 years?
A: It depends. Once a divorce is final as to property it can't be re-litigated. Spousal support has to be awarded in the original divorce or it can't be requested later. If spousal support is in the initial divorce, then a proceeding can be filed to amend or extend it so long as it is still in effect. There can be additional matters that cause new litigation between two people who used to be spouses such as on going involvement in the same property. There are limited grounds on which a divorce can be revisited, such as the belated discovery of fraud, misrepresentation, or hidden assets. Also anything that was ordered in the original judgment can be brought back before the court for non-compliance.
Q. I am thinking about filing for a bankruptcy, but have co-signed for a relative on a vehicle.
A: It shouldn't cause a problem unless the purchase papers have some type of clause that triggers something when the co-signor files bankruptcy. You and the purchaser should review the purchase documents that you co-signed. I would be surprised if there was anything but since I can't assume there isn't I have to advise you to review the documents. Essentially your bankruptcy only releases you from debts you have contracted to pay. So the effect will be that you will no longer be liable as a co-signer. The purchaser of the car is still liable and I would expect that if the purchaser keeps making all the payments on time the creditor will be happy. The creditor still has a security interest in the vehicle. All that has changes is the creditor no longer has a co-signor to go after. (You will need to list the loan you co-signed on in your bankruptcy and the creditor will be notified.)
Q. Our house is for sale and under contract. The buyer placed an ad to rent out our house. Is this legal?
A: They would be entitled to rent the house once the sale closes. But it sounds like they acted prematurely. I wouldn't jump to conclusions without knowing the facts. Have your real estate agent contact their real estate agent and get this sorted out, ie no rental advertisements until the sale closes. Technically you are protected by having your name on the title of the house until the sale closes. This gives record notice to anyone hoping to have an interest in the house as a purchase, rental, security for a loan or otherwise, that you and only you currently own the house. So if there is ever a problem due to someone thinking someone else has the right to do something with the house, you win, hands down, while your name is on the title. So this type of shenanigans can't give anyone a real interest in your house that you didn't consent to. But it is best to avoid any problems all together. (My guess is that they have a really tight budget and they need a renter in their for some period of time before they move in so they are trying to line the renter up ahead of time. Possibly you and the buyer can agree to an advertisement that offers the rental but explains that it won't be available until a certain date far enough on the future that it's past the estimated closing date. After all, you do want to help the buyer close the sale, as long as it doesn't cause you an problems.
Q. I live in a house that is owned by my dad. My husband and I pay my dad the mortgage he took a loan for to help us get in
A: You need to go see a lawyer. You can have all sorts of problems when you are buying a house but the house is held in someone else's name as is the mortgage. It sounds like you need a contract for the sale of the house from your dad to you to memorialize what is really going on, ie your dad helped you buy the house. Then you need to figure out if recording the deed could mess up your mortgage arrangement. So go and see an Attorney immediately. There could be very serious problems if your father ever needs to apply for Medicaid to get into a nursing home and Medicaid turns him down because they think he owns this house. There are also probably tax issues such as who has been deducting the property taxes and mortgage interest on their tax return. Seriously get this fixed before it implodes. How your dad sets up his estate is another problem that your dad will need to address with an estate planning Attorney.
Click here to see all answers
Contact & Map
Portland Legal Services
8835 SW Canyon Lane Suite
Suite 301
Portland, OR 97225
Telephone: (503) 222-7401