World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15, 2020 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation used June 15 as an opportunity to remind all of us to help elders be on guard for financial exploitation. You can see the State’s announcement here.

The State’s announcement is a reminder that in light of COVID-19, social isolation has exposed seniors to increased risk of financial abuse. Schemes to take advantage of seniors can include everything from identify theft, to prize and sweepstakes scams, to romance scams, to unscrupulous investment advisers who overconcentrate a senior’s portfolio or recommend unsuitable investments.

Along with laws that protect you from investment fraud, Oregon has laws aimed at providing additional protections for people who are 65 and older. In particular, laws prohibiting financial elder abuse create a statutory right for a person 65 and over to bring a legal action against someone who causes or permits financial abuse. Many financial abuse cases in Oregon involve a defendant who has wrongfully taken money that belongs to an elderly person or that is intended for the use of an elderly person. Oregon’s financial elder abuse statutes give the plaintiff who wins his or her case the right to recover three times the amount of damages plus reasonable attorney fees.

Because of the protections for seniors in elder abuse statutes in Oregon and other states, when we are evaluating cases that involve investment fraud or other financial misconduct, we also look to see whether the victim may have a right to bring a claim for financial elder abuse.

This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon Investments.

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Cody Berne
Cody Berne is an attorney at Stoll Berne in Portland. Cody’s practice focuses on representing investors who lost money because of fraud and other misconduct, class actions, and business litigation. He is a member of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association. Cody previously worked as a deputy district attorney at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office where he tried over 30 trials to verdict. Before that, Cody represented individuals and businesses in cases involving investment fraud and a wide range of business disputes at a large Portland firm. He received the Haglund Award in 2016 from the Multnomah Bar Association and was named in The Best Lawyers in America in 2020. During law school, Cody interned for U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller and U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Delaney. Elected to Order of the Coif, he received the Clinical Legal Education Association Award and a Witkin Award. Cody also represented clients as a law student at the Civil Rights Clinic and Prison Law Clinic and earned a Public Service Certificate. Before law school, Cody worked as a police officer with the Portland Police Bureau and as a wildland firefighter.


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Legal Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.