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Coni Rathbone Announced as a Women of Vision Award Recipient

July 25th, 2014

Women of Vision award winners announced

The Daily Journal of Commerce has released the names of the winners of the 2014 Women of Vision Awards.

The awards are designed to recognize women in Oregon and Southwest Washington who work in architecture, engineering, construction and other fields related to the building industry.

Winners will be honored during an awards luncheon Sept. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Sentinel Hotel, in Portland.

The Sentinel Hotel also will serve as the location of the DJC’s Women of Vision Conference, which also will be held on Sept. 24. The conference, which will run from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., will feature a keynote presentation by Karen Hough of ImprovEdge and a mini workshop on building personal brand led by Nicki Pozos of HDR Inc. A panel discussion featuring women leaders from the building industry will be moderated by Lois Cohen, founder and president of Lois D. Cohen Associates.

Coni Rathbone Interview (101fm) – Business Briefing re Jobs Act & TIC Practice

June 20th, 2014

Business Briefing re Jobs Act & TIC Practice
(Segment 1 of 3)

Business Briefing re Jobs Act & TIC Practice
(Segment 2 of 3)

Business Briefing re Jobs Act & TIC Practice
(Segment 3 of 3)


Download the MP3 file (1 of 3).
Download the MP3 file (2 of 3).
Download the MP3 file (3 of 3).

Listen to segment 1 of 3

Beware of ‘wolves’ preying on TICs

May 27th, 2014

The tenant-in-common (TIC) industry is being raided by predatory asset managers.

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, these companies take over management of commercial property (or continue in management) with the promise of turning around what is usually a distressed property.

Coni Rathbone is a real estate and business transaction attorney in the Lake Oswego firm Zupancic | Rathbone Law Group P.C.

Underneath the wolf’s feigned promises of improved management, however, lies a sinister motive – the desire to acquire the property owned by tenant-in-common owners for pennies on the dollar. Lacking a watchful shepherd, the trusting and inattentive owners sit idly by as the wolf drains reserve accounts and makes unnecessary and predatory loans.

Having consumed all the property’s resources, the wolf then finishes off the sheep by proposing a plan that allows it to acquire part or all of property’s equity or even the property itself.

Owners beware, wolves are on the prowl.

A brief historical recap is helpful to understanding the allure of these predatory asset managers and other consultants to the beleaguered TIC industry. Sponsored TIC property sales flourished in the early 2000s and through 2009.

During this time, there appeared to be no such thing as a bad buy for a piece of commercial real property. The market seemed to be in a never-ending upward spiral. Real estate investment businesses were thriving all over the country by putting together TIC structures to provide real property interests, for the second leg of 1031 exchanges…

Read full article at

Former Longview girl receives proof of citizenship after nearly 15-year battle

May 23rd, 2014

Article Originally Posted on
Written by 

PORTLAND — It took nearly 15 years, numerous appeals to lawmakers and a battalion of guardian angel lawyers, but Cerrina Foster finally has a country to call home — and the paperwork to prove it.

Friday, the 14-year-old stood in a federal office, raised her hand along with 12 other people and pledged her loyalty to America. Lots of immigrants do this every year to become naturalized citizens, but Cerrina’s case is different: She’s always been an American citizen; but she never had a birth certificate.

Cerrina was born prematurely in 1999 while her mother was visiting Mexico. Both of her parents were American citizens, but due to her early birth and some language difficulties, she wasn’t issued the correct form for babies born to American parents abroad. No one told her mother such a form was needed. When Crissy Foster brought her daughter home to Longview after the birth, the border guard who let them back into America even congratulated her on what he assumed was Cerrina’s automatic dual-citizenship, she said Friday.

But Cerrina didn’t have citizenship anywhere, as her mother soon learned.

The saga began when Foster and Cerrina still lived in Longview, but they’ve moved several times trying to find more receptive government officials and now live in Springfield, Ore.

Bill Wagner / The Daily News

After years of legal meanderings and deadends, Crissy Foster, right, finally gets to celebrate her daughter Cerrina Foster’s official U.S.citizenship papers at the INS office in Portland.

The United States wouldn’t issue a birth certificate to Cerrina without the correct paperwork from Mexico. And Mexico also didn’t claim her, because by law she was an American. At first the paperwork glitch seemed minor. But her case dragged on. It took a petition to the Mount Vernon School Board and a conference call with then-Congressman Brian Baird just to get Cerrina enrolled in kindergarten. She couldn’t be on her mother’s health insurance policy without a birth certificate, either.

Each time family members thought they were close to a solution, the law would change or another form would suddenly be required. Meanwhile, Cerrina couldn’t get a learner’s driving permit, a job or even volunteer without a birth certificate. She was a straight-A student, but she wouldn’t have been able to attend college if the situation had not been resolved.

Cerrina has plans to run a vet hospital that includes a grooming and training business. She’s already drawn out the floor plans. So not being able to go to college was unthinkable.

Every agency agreed she met the qualifications for U.S. citizenship, but no one knew what was needed to get the right documents issued. She also couldn’t qualify for a green card or Visa, because she wasn’t immigrating from somewhere else.

“She’s countryless,” Foster said Thursday while still fearing some last-minute glitch would derail Friday’s plans. “Usually that’s for people like terrorists or refugees. Or (federal documents-leaker) Edward Snowden, who gave up citizenship and hasn’t been accepted elsewhere.”

“It’s a unique case,” said Rebecca Russell, the Lake Oswego immigration lawyer who agreed to take on Cerrina’s case for free about a year ago. “And our system is not set up for unique cases … or ones that don’t fit inside the box.”

Russell threw the case out to a computer network of experienced immigration lawyers. They eventually figured out a way to petition for citizenship that didn’t require a birth certificate or passport. Another round of paperwork was submitted and last week Cerrina got a letter in the mail inviting her to Friday’s ceremony to receive a certificate of citizenship. With that, she’ll now be able to apply for a passport and a birth certificate.

After the years of struggle, the ceremony itself was remarkably brief.

Participants sang the National Anthem, said the Pledge of Allegiance and then took the oath of citizenship and were handed a certificate proclaiming them once and for all Americans.

And then Cerrina — sporting a huge smile — was mobbed by her mother, brother and stepfather and other well wishers.

“Welcome home American,” Foster said as she hugged her daughter. “I’m so glad this is behind us.”

How does it feel to officially be an American?

“I already was,” Cerrina said with a smile.

How does it feel to have proof?

“It’s awesome!,” she said. “I can’t wait to vote. And to go to college. But right now I just want to go get some ice cream.”

CREW Network Connections: Entrepreneurial Spirit

March 27th, 2014

Several years ago, Coni Rathbone made a courageous leap of faith – she left the large law firm she loved to pursue her longtime dream of practicing law and being a real estate developer. Today, the Zupancic Rathbone Law Group is a thriving firm that has been ranked by the Portland Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies in Oregon.

Coni Rathbone
Zupancic Rathbone Law Group, PC
CREW Portland

Recently, the firm opened the Stafford Hills Club, a unique tennis and lifestyle club that was also one of the first private recreational facilities to earn LEED certification. Despite the obstacles the team faced in financing and land use regulation, the club has created as much as $100 million in local economic growth, and the project represents a model for economic development and sustainable construction during challenging economic times.

One of her most significant accomplishments has been representing more than 3,000 owners of tenant-incommon properties by helping them save their properties from foreclosure, refinancing their loans or negotiating to put new property managers in place. “When I can keep just one of those properties from going to foreclosure,” Rathbone says, “it preserves the retirements and often the life savings of up to 40 people in just one property. It doesn’t get much more meaningful than that.”

Originally published in CREW Network Connections (Winter 2013 – Sprint 2014)

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