Between Two Screens: Bankruptcy Options

Please join us for the newest addition of SYK Studios – Between Two Screens. This latest episodes features attorneys Victoria Blachly and Jessica McConnell, focuses on bankruptcy options; what is bankruptcy and what does it mean for you?

Jessica McConnell is an experienced debtor-creditor attorney. She handles a variety of insolvency and bankruptcy matters; a majority of which have tax complexities. She regularly represents businesses, individuals, and estates with unfiled tax returns, compliance problems, and those with unpaid tax liabilities that are experiencing unwanted and unexpected tax collection. Ms. McConnell assists clients in resolving outstanding tax liabilities with penalty abatements, offers in compromise, installment agreements, collection holds, and discharging taxes in bankruptcy.

Between Two Screens: Estate Planning – Plan for Success

Please join us for the next installment of SYK Studios – Between Two Screens. This latest episodes features attorneys Victoria Blachly, Darlene Pasieczny, and Anastasia Yu Meisner, and focuses on estate planning.

“We have all heard the phrase: nothing in this world can be certain in life, except death and taxes. As an estate planner, I address these two issues every day. I counsel clients on the best strategies to pass their estates to their loved ones, how to efficiently manage their affairs if they can’t make decisions for themselves, and advise them on the most financially efficient ways to accomplish their goals. With nearly 20 years of estate planning experience, I have collected a list of common mistakes or misunderstandings.” – Anastasia Yu Meisner (be sure to check out her recent blog article: Top Estate Planning Mistakes or Misunderstandings).

SYK Attorney Laura Nelson and CCBA: Clark County Courts Need Masks

In the July edition of Clark County Bar Association’s monthly newsletter, the HearSay, there is a call for help. The Washington Courts are asking for assistance to help protect those who work in and visit the Clark County Courts.

Dear Vancouver Area Attorneys:
You well know that the COVID-19 global pandemic has seriously impacted most everyone and everything – including our Clark County Courts. As Washington eases back into opening for business, the need to protect our judges, court staff, litigants, and visitors is vital. Accordingly, this is a call for help in donating disposable or washable masks (not required to be N95 masks), or funds to be used to purchase such masks. Please send checks to the CCBA office and write “Masks” in the memo line.

Collection sites include the Clark County Superior Court, our new offices in Vancouver, and the offices of Jeffrey Barrar.

The call for help was sounded by our own Laura Nelson, along with the CCBA.

“With so much out of control right now, let’s take a positive step toward helping others.”

Firm and Attorneys Recognized by 2020 Chambers & Partners

This year, Samuels Yoelin Kantor was recognized by Chambers and Partners – High Net Worth: Private Wealth Law Department. Not only was the firm as a whole recognized, but three SYK partners were also individually recognized.

Stephen Kantor and Victoria Blachly were included again this year. In addition, Eric Wieland was included for the first time as an “Up and Coming” individual.

The firm as a whole as included as a Band 2 Private Wealth Law firm (only 6 firms were included in the Oregon Private Wealth Law list).

SYK Attorneys Recognized in 2020 Oregon Super Lawyers®

This year, we are happy to share that 7 Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP attorneys were included in the 2020 Oregon Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list. These attorneys were recognized by their peers for their service and achievements.

Victoria Blachly – Super Lawyer

Walker Clark – Rising Star

Christine Costantino – Super Lawyer

Leslie Johnson – Super Lawyer

Stephen Kantor – Super Lawyer

Jessica McConnell – Rising Star

Valerie Sasaki – Super Lawyer

“Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.”

Digital Assets Webinar: Springwater Wealth Management & Michael Walker

“Do you have an estate plan? Is it complete? Does it address your digital assets? A digital asset is content that is stored electronically. Digital assets include images, videos, files and credentials. If it’s stored on your computer, your phone or in the cloud, it’s a digital asset. ”

Springwater Wealth Management and SYK attorney Michael Walker will be hosting a virtual webinar on July 22nd. The education webinar aims to educate others about digital assets. If you have questions, now is a great opportunity to get them answered, and learn more about what digital assets really are, and when they need to be addressed in your estate planning. Registration for the webinar is free, but limited. Be sure to register early to guarantee your stop.

Oath of Office: Colleen Muñoz Joins the Oregon State Bar

We are happy to introduce the newest attorney in the SYK family – Colleen Muñoz.

Colleen is a a graduate of Lewis & Clark. During her time in law school, Colleen clerked for Federal Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman, volunteered with Innovation Law Lab to assist detained individuals in presenting their asylum claims, and clerked at Passage Immigration Law. Colleen joined SYK as a law clerk during her third year of law school, where she found a home to begin her professional career as a lawyer. She passed the Oregon State Bar earlier this year. Her practice is centered around commercial and fiduciary litigation focusing on real property, employment, and construction law.

Due to COVID-19, her swearing in was a little different than the usual ceremony. Judge Katherine Tennyson joined us via Zoom to administer Colleen’s Oath of Office.

The Oregon State Bar also shared a virtual admissions ceremony. This was led by Chief Justice Martha Walters, and included a symbolic Oath of Office.

Creative (and free!) Options When You Can’t Hit the Gym

We have a few free and fun ways to get moving and out of your head when you can’t get out of the house.

The recent Stay-at-Home order issued in Portland, Oregon has many of us adjusting to the new day to day life of remote work. It can be a hard balance when your work and home life all take place in the same building. Remember to take a few minutes for yourself and your mental wellness – stretch, or engage in a form of exercise you enjoy.

Though we are still able to go outside for walks and recreation (allowing for 6 feet of distance), Portland weather isn’t always so accommodating. If you’re in need of a creative way to move, but don’t have the space for an at home gym, we have a few suggestions.

Portland based BurnCycle, a high energy spin studio, is offering free access to home workouts and lead meditation. Find them here.

If you enjoy HIIT, strength training, boxing, yoga, there’s an app for that. Chris Hemsworth’s app, Centr, is currently offering six weeks of free memberships for new users. It also includes meal plans and guided meditations.

Don’t have any equipment? Keep It Cleaner is offering a free virtual gym with workouts on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can join via their Facebook page.

Annie Belcher, a Melbourne yoga teacher, has free audio yoga classes available for download on her website.

Orange Theory is even getting in on the virtual wave. They are sharing a new workout online every day. You might need equipment for some of the classes, but just a random 3-5kg item, or my personal favorite, a gallon of water, will do.

Daily Burn is a subscription platform with routines for yoga, running, and at-home HIIT workouts. They’re currently offering 60 free days of membership.

The App Store’s highest-rated yoga app, Down Dog, is completely free until April 1st. The offer is also extended to their other apps: Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout. For school teachers and health care workers, the app is free until July.

If you need more inspiration, MSN has a few more fun suggestions.

Donor Advised Funds – SYK Attorney Featured in Portland Business Journal

SYK attorney Anastasia Yu Meisner is a sought after source of knowledge in the area of planned giving. Recently, she put pen to paper for the Portland Business Journal, sharing her knowledge about tax reform, and how it will make donor-advised funds a more popular tool for charitable planned giving.

“Donor-advised funds have been a popular tool for charitable planned giving for a few decades.

They allow a donor to make such charitable contributions to sponsoring charities including appreciated assets, real estate and closely held business interests. The option also allows users to take tax deductions in the year of the contribution and retain the right to advise how funds are distributed in future years from the DAF to a charity or charities.

With the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, DAFs likely will become a more attractive tool for certain donors. This is due to expectations that more tax payers will benefit from claiming the new higher standard deduction rather than itemizing deductions as they had in the past. For individual filers the standard deduction increased from $6,350 to $12,000 and for joint filers the deduction increased from $12,700 to $24,000.”

For the full article, please see the Portland Business Journal’s website.

Anastasia (Stacie) Yu Meisner is a member of the SYK Estate Planners practice. Her practice focuses on estate planning, mediation, probate, trust and estate administration. In addition, she also works with guardianships and conservatorships, as well as business transactions and formation. Meisner’s extensive experience in mediation has made her a sought after source of knowledge. In 2018, Ms. Meisner was appointed Pro Tem Judge for the Washington County Probate Department. She also serves as pro bono counsel for the Korean American Coalition of Oregon.

Adequate Funding Needed to Support Court: Op Ed Article

The Oregon State Legislature is currently in full session and debating a proposed budget for Governor Brown’s approval. At stake is funding for our Oregon Courts. The Judicial Branch currently receives less than 3{45ef85514356201a9665f05d22c09675e96dde607afc20c57d108fe109b047b6} of the total budget even though it is one of our three branches of government. SYK partner, Chris Costantino, in her role as President of the Oregon State Bar this year co-authored an article which was recently published in The Oregonian outlining the need to adequately fund our state courts in the 2019 budget. Right now, only one court house in the entire state is providing public services full time; other courts have limited time to answer phone calls or in-person requests. This is because court staffing has been cut by more than 12{45ef85514356201a9665f05d22c09675e96dde607afc20c57d108fe109b047b6} since 2009. Understaffing impacts individuals and businesses who cannot access the court to get their disputes heard and resolved in a timely manner. The legislative session is scheduled to conclude on June 30th. Reach out to your local legislator and let them know how important it is to adequately fund our courts! For more information go to the Oregon State Bar’s website at

2019 President of the Oregon State Bar, Chris Costantino is committed to helping clients navigate the complex and emotionally challenging territory of family law in their personal lives and family businesses.

Her trademark philosophy — love your children, protect your assets, and preserve your legacy — guides her law practice as she helps clients with a number of legal issues including divorce and dissolution of domestic partnerships; prenuptial and domestic partner agreements; contested custody, child and spousal support; grandparents’ rights; contested guardianships and conservatorships; and trust litigation.