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5 Things to Know About Chelan-Douglas Counties Volunteer Attorney Services

Through Chelan-Douglas Counties Volunteer Attorney Services (VAS), over 600 hours and $140,000 in pro bono legal services are donated every year to individuals and families in Chelan and Douglas counties. Read on to learn five things you should know about them.
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Learn, Act and Make an Impact: Celebrate Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono is next week – here’s what you should know about this national celebration.
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Supreme Court Holds Order Allowing Withdrawal Precludes Subsequent Malpractice Claim Over the Withdrawal

The Washington Supreme Court held recently in Schibel v. Eymann that a court order permitting withdrawal under CR 71 precludes a subsequent malpractice claim over the withdrawal. Schibel grew out of a commercial lease and related mold exposure litigation. Disagreements over strategy in the underlying case led the lawyers to seek leave to withdraw. Because the trial was approaching rapidly, the lawyers also filed a motion to continue. The trial court allowed the withdrawal but denied the continuance. When the clients — who were then pro se — did not appear for trial, the trial court dismissed their claims with prejudice and the Court of Appeals affirmed in Schibel v. Johnson, 2012 WL 2326992 (Wn. App. June 19, 2012) (unpublished). The clients later sued the lawyers for legal malpractice, alleging that the lawyers’ withdrawal was improper that close to trial. In the legal malpractice case, the lawyers moved for summary judgment — arguing that the clients were precluded from challenging their withdrawal because it had been allowed by the trial court and affirmed on appeal. The trial court in the legal malpractice case denied the motion, concluding that the subsequent action was not barred by collateral estoppel. On discretionary review, Division III agreed. On a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court reversed — holding that the portions of the subsequent legal malpractice claim focused on withdrawal were precluded as a matter of law.
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New Law Opens Dental Practice Ownership to Those Not Licensed to Practice

Dental support organizations are typically not owned by dentists, so historically they use creative methods to operate in Washington. Until recently, state law required any entity providing dental services to be owned and controlled by licensed dentists. A new law opens that door, while placing clear restrictions and patient protections.
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Recent Articles

11
Sep

It’s Here: The September Issue of NWLawyer

Cover of NWLawyer September 2017
Learn cross-examination tips from one of the state’s leading trial lawyers in the September issue.

Cover of NWLawyer September 2017Inside the latest issue of NWLawyer, you’ll find: cross-examination tips from one of the state’s leading trial lawyers; an in-depth look at the use of police body-worn cameras in Washington; and an exploration of mandatory malpractice insurance. You can also take our 11-question quiz to test your knowledge on gender barriers. See how much you know about ways to end gender stereotypes and learn how to help advance women in the legal profession. Read more »

8
Sep

Navigating Inherent Bias in Social Security Law

Two Social Security Cards
Social Security disability law can be a squeeze play. Sometimes the truth almost guarantees a lengthy appeal just to get a benefit.

Two Social Security CardsIn a perfect world, there’d be less need for the safety nets of Social Security, and no one who warranted disability would be denied because of administrative or subjective biases. This world isn’t perfect, though, and biases exist to the point where a whole industry has been formed to get unduly denied and disabled Americans the support they have been and are guaranteed by Congress and the law. Read more »

7
Sep

What is the Washington State Bar Foundation?

The Foundation is the fundraising arm for the WSBA’s public service and diversity programs. Separately incorporated as a Washington state nonprofit, the Foundation is recognized as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

That’s a question I get asked a lot, and I’m sure it’s one you’ve asked yourself. Let me start by explaining what it’s not. It is not to be confused with the Legal Foundation of Washington (LFW), which raises and distributes state, private, and IOLTA funds to support civil legal aid across the state. Nor is the Washington State Bar Foundation the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), which both regulates lawyers and provides professional-association-like services to its members. So what is the Washington State Bar Foundation? The Foundation is the fundraising arm for the WSBA’s public service and diversity programs. Separately incorporated as a Washington state nonprofit, it is recognized as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Read more »

1
Sep

Help Law Students Shop Without Spending a Dime

A mannequin in a pop up shop
If you’re a law student, how do you dress for the job you want on the budget you currently have?

A mannequin in a pop up shopIf you’re a law student, how do you dress for the job you want on the budget you currently have?

I’ve worked in Seattle University School of Law’s Center for Professional Development (CPD) since 2008, and during that time I’ve encouraged students to “dress for success” and “be the best dressed person in the room” and, yes, “dress for the jobs they want.” But what do these platitudes mean when confronted with a tight student budget? Suits are expensive and getting properly fitted and styled sometimes comes with additional costs. Read more »

28
Aug

Court of Appeals Rules on Authority of Insurance Defense Counsel

A client and attorney
Appeals court addresses an insurance defense counsel’s authority when the counsel had no contact with the insured throughout litigation.

A client and attorneyDivision II of the Court of Appeals recently addressed the authority of insurance defense counsel in an unusual scenario: where defense counsel had no contact with the insured throughout the course of the litigation involved. Kruger-Willis v. Hoffenburg, 198 Wn. App. 408, 393 P.3d 844 (2017), arose out of an automobile accident. The defendant drove a truck into the plaintiff’s parked car. The defendant’s insurer paid for the property damage involved, but then the plaintiff sued the defendant for the diminished value of the vehicle. The defendant prevailed at trial, and the trial court awarded the defendant $11,490 in fees and costs. In the course of litigating the fee award, defense counsel admitted that he had never had any contact with the defendant. Read more »