SSJH News & Updates

Our updates and posts are offered for general information and educational purposes only and may be considered advertising. Although we intend to use updates and posts to provide current, useful information, they are not offered as legal advice and do not constitute legal advice or opinion. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney.

SSJH Gives Back

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Each year, SSJH owners and employees break into small groups and volunteer a minimum of eight hours in the local community as part of SSJH’s Impact! project.  On October 18, 2013, SSJH volunteers made an impact at Englewood Elementary School’s first annual Jog-A-Thon.  The students at Englewood Elementary School ran over 900 miles that morning, raising a total of $12,214.08.  SSJH was there leading warm-ups, running with the students and cheering from the sidelines.

Left to right: Sarah Bragg, Tory Hoover, Mindy Stubenrauch, Chelsea Armstrong, Michelle Russell, and Katherine Denning

Posted in SSJH Community News, SSJH Firm News |

Sherman, Sherman, Johnnie & Hoyt is proud to sponsor the Salem Art Fair & Festival

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Salem Art Fair

We are a proud sponsor of the 2013 Salem Art Fair & Festival, July 19-21, 2013 at Bush’s Pasture Park.

For more information, please visit the Salem Art Association web site.

Posted in Company News |

Should Law Firms be Owned by Non-Lawyers?

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Fall 2012 Willamette Lawyer Cover

Mark C. Hoyt was interviewed for his thoughts by the Ethics Corner department in the latest edition of the Willamette University College of Law’s alumni magazine, Willamette Lawyer.


In light of the financial difficulties facing law firms, is it time to allow these firms to be owned by non-lawyers?

No, at least not because of financial pressures.  As lawyers, we have a unique place within society.  As Shakespeare noted, in many ways we are the gatekeepers of stability and access to justice.  As such, we answer to high ethical standards, which require us to place the interests of clients ahead of profit.  If, for the sake of relieving financial pressure, law firms are sold to outside investors, profit (which, let’s be real, is a motivator in every law firm any investor would be interested in owning) would be moved in front of our ethical obligations.  Thus, decisions related to protecting our client’s interests could fall prey to pure profit motives with decision makers who answer to no code of ethics.  Allowing investment to relieve financial pressures does not warrant such risks.  But should outside investors be able to buy and operate law firms like HMOs to make legal services more available to a broader spectrum of clients?  That would seem to pose another question!

– Mark C. Hoyt JD’92, managing partner at Sherman Sherman Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP

Willamette Lawyer strives to be a thought leader on legal issues that are primarily, but not exclusively, of significance to the Pacific Northwest. The magazine advances the mission of the law school by showing how members of the law school community are actively engaged in the dissemination of knowledge, the promotion of meaningful discourse and the consideration of new ideas. Willamette Lawyer earns the trust of its audience through respect for truth, fairness, free inquiry and the presentation of competing – and sometimes controversial — subjects.

You can find the latest issue and previous issues of the Willamette Lawyer here:

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Spotlight: Artisan’s Village at the Oregon State Fair

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The Artisan’s Village at the Oregon State Fair is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.  Located on the northwest corner of the Fairgrounds at the intersection of 17th and Silverton Road, it is a unique experience within the State Fair.  For the past six years the Friends of the Visual Arts, have produced this excellent family attraction featuring over 20 demonstrating artists, live music, tasty treats and local non-profits.   Crowd favorites such as the Local 503 glass blowers, Dan Whited’s mastery of chainsaw carving or firing a piece of “Raku” pottery are just some of the demonstrations that you will see.  Visit for more information and the music stage schedule.

The Friends of the Visual Arts are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who manage the Willamette Art Center, Salem’s Community Arts Center offering hands on art activities  and classes for children and adults year round.  Fall classes start in September and other popular events to check out are the Family Clay Sunday program, and their “Empty Bowls” benefit sale for Marion Polk Food Share coming in November.  Visit for more info.

Posted in SSJH Community News, SSJH News & Events | Tagged , , , |

All Lenders Should Be Aware of the MERS Decision

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On July 18, 2012, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided Niday v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC which impacts all lenders, even those who do not participate in the MERS program.  Essentially, the Court emphasized:  “And the import of our holding is this:  A beneficiary that uses MERS to avoid publically recording assignments of a trust deed cannot avail itself of a nonjudicial foreclosure process that requires that very thing – publically recorded assignments.”  The result is that no lender can avail itself to a non-judicial foreclosure unless it has a recorded beneficial interest in the trust deed being foreclosed; and is the party to whom the loan is owed.  The underlying debt and the security for that debt are not separately transferable and, as a result, the person named in the trust deed as the person who is benefited, refers to the person designated in the trust deed as the party to whom the underlying secured obligation is owed.

The import of the ruling is that all assignments of notes and trust deeds should be recorded.  Without the recording, whether it is a MERS transaction or not, the lender may not avail itself of the non-judicial process.  While the court did not extend its decision to judicial foreclosures, without recorded assignments, there is a question as to whether the lender is the “real party in interest” and whether the lender has the right to foreclose.

The remaining open question is what happens to all of the MERS foreclosures or any other non-judicial foreclosure, where the assignments were not properly recorded.  The court provided no instructions for those situations and we would expect the case law to continue developing.

– Gina A. Johnnie

Gina focuses her practice in banking and lending law, creditor’s rights, construction, and real estate law.

Posted in Articles by SSJH Attorneys, Banking | Tagged , , , , , , , |