“Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy.”

Walt Whitman

Hispanic female attorney (50s) advising senior Hispanic woman (70s).

Building Collectivistic Cultural Relevance, Competency for Estate Planning

Providing estate planning and end-of-life services to an ailing parent generation, within a culture that does not have tools in place to easily do so, is going to require new strategies and forward thinking about cultural relevance and cultural competency. 
The issue is vast and complex, so I believe a good place to begin is with the hesitancy of many people to move forward with formal estate planning. This is especially true among those who are first-generation immigrants from a collectivistic culture, thereby leading to higher risk that their wishes will not be properly expressed during the end-of-life process. 

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Cover of September 2023 Bar News

The Art of Appreciation in the New Issue of Bar News 

WSBA President Daniel D. Clark set pen to paper for the last time to write the final President’s Corner column of his time in the role. In that column, which appears in the latest issue of Washington State Bar News, Clark wrote, “this is my last opportunity to encourage each of you to volunteer at the WSBA—YOUR Bar Association—to get involved in pro bono legal services, to serve on the Board of Governors, and to vote in WSBA elections. It’s my hope that I have encouraged at least some of you to consider volunteering at the WSBA. For those of you I haven’t reached, it’s not too late, and I encourage you to consider getting involved in the future.” 

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Hipster attorney riding a skateboard in office.

From Burnout to Balance: 4 Key Considerations for a Lateral Move

Career is a vital part of our lives, and our day-to-day actions at work have resounding consequences on our personal and professional relationships, as well as on our mental and physical health. The prospect of shifting to a new path, even if it’s a lateral shift, can be both overwhelming and, at times, discouraging to navigate the complex decision-making process. 
What I mean by “lateral shift” is a job transition involving a change in responsibilities or position, but maintaining a relatively similar level of seniority, compensation, or status. Typically, lateral moves do not entail a significant promotion or increase in pay. Contrary to a vertical move, which involves upward career progression, a lateral move focuses on acquiring new skills, broadening one’s experience, or seeking a better fit for one’s interests and strengths without necessarily climbing the corporate ladder.

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A summer day in front of the US Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC.

Federal Court Disqualifies In-House Counsel

The federal district court in Seattle recently issued a rare decision disqualifying in-house counsel from participating in a case that involved the lawyer’s corporate employer. Docklight Brands, Inc. v. Tilray, Inc. and High Park Holdings, Ltd., 2023 WL 5279309 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 16, 2023), is a dispute over a licensing agreement. The litigants were formerly related affiliates within the same overall corporate group before a restructuring split the plaintiff from the defendants. Although separated, they later entered into the licensing agreement that became the focal point of the litigation.

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Suspect arrested, police officer finds drugs during the search.

The Blake Refund Program and Washington’s 39 Flavors of Rabbit Hole

“Welcome to my rabbit hole, Colin,” Ali Hohman said, “where dreams go to die.” Hohman is mostly joking—mostly. She’s the director of legal services for the Washington Defender Association (WDA), where much of her recent work has been focused on issues arising from the Washington Supreme Court’s earth-shattering decision in State v. Blake. In 2021, a court majority ruled that Washington’s strict liability drug possession statute is unconstitutional. That ruling was like dropping a thermonuclear bomb on almost a half-century of felony drug policy. It immediately prompted hurried statements from law enforcement agencies, a stop-gap measure by the Legislature in 2021, and a renewed legislative correction earlier this year that required a special session to finalize.

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