A recent disqualification decision by the federal district court in Spokane highlights the importance of engagement agreements in defining who is — and who is not — the client. In Cox v. Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., 2017 WL 4640452 (E.D. Wash. Sept. 19, 2017) (unpublished), the plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment to void a non-compete. Shortly after the defendants answered, the plaintiffs filed a motion to disqualify defense counsel. Although the motion had several facets — all of which were denied — one is particularly instructive. Read more
The Washington State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics recently released an advisory opinion surveying withdrawal issues in the context of public court proceedings. Advisory Opinion 201701 primarily addresses what you can — and can’t — say in public court papers and related public proceedings. In doing so, the opinion analyzes the sensitive intersection between the withdrawal rule — RPC 1.16 — and the confidentiality rule — RPC 1.6. Read more
Another legislative cycle is upon us. The 2018 session – scheduled for 60 days – began Monday, Jan. 8, and promises to be interesting. Democrats will enjoy majorities in both the House and the Senate, but margins are thin enough that bipartisan support will be needed on many key issues.
As chair of the Business Law Section’s Communications Committee at the Washington Bar Association, I recently edited the first Business Law newsletter edition focused entirely on issues of sustainability and climate change tailored to the interests of Washington business attorneys. Read more
*Warning: This word — the actual word — is a prominent part of the article below. It has been somewhat sanitized in the title because, I understand, it’s a word that can shock, cause discomfort, and shut down readers before they even get to the substance — but please understand, as a person of color, as an African American and as a gay black woman, I encounter this word and its accompanying degradation every day; hopefully that truth is even more shocking and uncomfortable.
Equity, inclusion, and justice within the legal profession are under attack and it’s time to fight back. The legal profession is not the place for racist individuals, biased laws, and hateful rhetoric, yet they continue to find space to flourish. Read more