The Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed Washington’s “one client” standard for insurance company defense counsel.
[Your name here] is, I think, an exceptional lawyer, one of the most exceptional lawyers I’ve had the pleasure of appearing before me…
While the media is embroiled in the controversy surrounding the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court also made a significant Fourth Amendment ruling in People v. Riley, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 44997 (2014). The case creates a bright line rule against warrantless searches of cell phones under the search incident to arrest doctrine (SITA). It is the first SCOTUS decision to bring modern context to antiquated Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. This decision is consistent with the recent trend of SCOTUS decisions affording more protection to the privacy of individuals. See, e.g., McNeely. Read more
“Can I testify via Skype?”
This great question was first posed to us by an international family law client two years ago. While it seemed like a basic inquiry to our client, it took two years to arrive at a definitive answer. The Court of Appeals would only offer guidance once the same case was appealed, on the basis that the trial court abused its discretion when Skype testimony was ultimately allowed. On Feb. 20, 2014, the Court of Appeals Division II issued a decision upholding the use of Skype in Marriage of Swaka. (Marriage of Swaka, 319 P.3d 69 (2014))
We have long supported the use of court calls and witness testimony by phone, but what about Skype, or a similar program that allows for the contemporaneous transmission of testimony without losing the ability for the court to observe the physical attributes, mannerisms, and body language of a witness? What if we could save litigants and witnesses the cost and burden of long-distance travel and increase the information available to the court? Read more
Said the judge to the lawyer: “Counsel, I’ve read your papers, but how does yesterday’s decision in _____________ affect your argument”? Said the lawyer to the judge: “Well, your Honor, I… uh… I’m not familiar with that case.”
Maybe you think this scenario isn’t a real problem. You tell yourself, “If it’s a significant case, I’ll know about it. And if I haven’t heard about it, why then, I’ll just tell the truth. The judge won’t fault me if the case is only a few days old.” But that, of course, depends on expectations, and expectations are changing. Read more