Skip to content
Drunk guy holding a shot of whiskey.

Demystifying Addiction in the Legal Profession

The ABA calls it a crisis of the legal profession. A professor of psychiatry told The New York Times it’s “a conspiracy of silence.” Yet for many attorneys, alcohol and substance abuse are sometimes just part of the job.
Read more
Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel

Court of Appeals: Claiming Attorney Fees as Damages Waives Privilege

Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals held recently that the attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages in a subsequent legal malpractice case. Leen v. Defoe, 2018 WL 582448 (Wn. App. Jan. 29, 2018) (unpublished), arose against the backdrop of a commercial transaction. The plaintiffs had hired the defendant law firm to represent them in negotiating the sale of a business.
Read more
A gloved surgeon hand holding C-notes.

Stricter Health Dept. Rule Hikes Cost for New Walk-in Surgery Centers

New enforcement of previously overlooked legal requirements could significantly raise costs for physicians seeking to establish or expand small outpatient surgery centers. The Washington State Department of Health recently limited exemptions in its Certificate of Need Program, which regulates how health care providers can build or expand facilities and offer new services.

Obtaining a certificate of need can be an expensive, complicated, lengthy, and uncertain process. Between the $20,427 application fee, consult costs, and attorney fees, even a simple application may cost $40,000 or more. To get one, applicants must show a need in the community, financial feasibility, improvements in health care they would bring, and cost containment. The application process can take a year or longer. One existing two-room ambulatory surgery center’s certificate application took more than a year and resulted in a 32-page decision. Thus, it is easy to understand why people try to fit within an exemption to the certificate of need requirement.

Read more

Recent Articles

3
Apr

WSBA Practice Management Tools and Member Discounts Evolve

Discount icon
The WSBA Practice Management Discount Network has been invaluable to a budget conscious new business owner, and the array of discounts is especially appealing.

Discount iconAfter working hard to attain my Limited License Legal Technician license, the time came to launch my business. I needed tools and resources and, most importantly, a place to start. The WSBA Practice Management Discount Network has been invaluable to a budget conscious new business owner, and the array of discounts is especially appealing. Read more »

30
Mar

Client Confidentiality When Withdrawing – How to Avoid a Catch 22

Female lawyer walking a tightrope
Lawyers sometimes call the WSBA Ethics Line asking how they can file a motion to withdraw and also maintain client confidentiality.

Lawyers sometimes call the WSBA Ethics Line (800-945-9722, ext. 8282) asking how they can file a motion to withdraw and also maintain client confidentiality. Fortunately, there’s a 2017 Advisory Opinion that walks you through it. While this blog provides a quick review, be sure to read the rules and their comments in their entirety. Read more »

26
Mar

Spring into the latest issue of NWLawyer!

In the March NWLawyer we take a close look at some of the practical and legal barriers to reporting sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Cover of March NWLawyerIn the March issue of NWLawyer, we take a close look at some of the practical and legal barriers to reporting sexual misconduct in the workplace. We also get a fascinating look inside one of the most significant mergers in the region in recent history – Alaska Air and Virgin America – in a Q & A with Kyle Levine, Alaska Air Group’s vice president and general counsel. We also feature the stories and often unique challenges of some Washington state lawyers who don’t necessarily fit the norm. And we showcase the launch of a series of historical exhibits now on permanent display in the lobbies of federal courthouses throughout the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. Read more »

23
Mar

Court of Appeals Interprets ‘Proceeds’ Attached by Attorney Lien in Dissolution Case

Gavel and Benjamins

Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals recently interpreted the term “proceeds” to which an attorney lien attached in a dissolution case. Matter of Marriage of Shulikov, 2017 WL 3476783 (Wn. App. Aug. 14, 2017) (unpublished), involved a dissolution case that had settled in trial court. The resolution involved payments of maintenance and child support by the husband to the wife and a separate property settlement under which the husband made monthly payments to the wife for her share of the couple’s business. The wife’s attorney withdrew following the resolution and filed a lien for fees. In light of the lien, the husband paid the amounts due under the property settlement into the court. Represented by new counsel, the wife challenged her former lawyer’s lien over the funds the husband had deposited into the court.

The trial court concluded that the funds involved were not subject to the lien. The Court of Appeals, however, concluded that the property settlement funds were “proceeds” capable of being attached by the lien and reversed.

Gavel and BenjaminsDivision I of the Washington Court of Appeals recently interpreted the term “proceeds” to which an attorney lien attached in a dissolution case. Matter of Marriage of Shulikov, 2017 WL 3476783 (Wn. App. Aug. 14, 2017) (unpublished), involved a dissolution case that had settled in trial court. The resolution involved payments of maintenance and child support by the husband to the wife and a separate property settlement under which the husband made monthly payments to the wife for her share of the couple’s business. The wife’s attorney withdrew following the resolution and filed a lien for fees. In light of the lien, the husband paid the amounts due under the property settlement into the court. Represented by new counsel, the wife challenged her former lawyer’s lien over the funds the husband had deposited into the court.

The trial court concluded that the funds involved were not subject to the lien. The Court of Appeals, however, concluded that the property settlement funds were “proceeds” capable of being attached by the lien and reversed. Read more »

14
Mar

It’s a Wrap! Highs & Lows from Olympia

Washington's flag
The 2018 legislative session is over.

Washington's Capitol in OlyThe 2018 legislative session is over. The Legislature officially adjourned sine die on Thursday, March 8, following a flurry of activity. After passing a capital budget and resolving a contentious water rights issue early in the 60-day session, lawmakers tackled a number of priorities leading up to the Thursday night deadline. Their accomplishments last week include passing a supplemental operating budget package that cuts statewide property taxes and funds teacher salaries, finalizing a deal to change state law regarding use of deadly force by police, and passing a bill to address gender pay inequity.

Read more »