Roe v. Wade is out. Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta is in. The challenges of attracting new lawyers to Washington’s rural communities. Court decisions that clarify the Rules of Professional Conduct. A lot has happened in the past year. Surprisingly and thankfully, much of the news had nothing to do with the COVID pandemic.
As has become tradition at NWSidebar, we looked back at the blogs of 2022 to see which stories resonated most with our readers. Read on to see the most-read articles of 2022.
RPC 4.2 relates to communications between a lawyer and another lawyer’s client. But like any rule, new situations can arise that make a modern lawyer wonder what to do. In this blog, NWSidebar’s resident legal ethics expert, Mark Fucile (who also won the 2022 Acknowledging Professional Excellence Award for professionalism), breaks down the WSBA Committee on Professional Ethics Advisory Opinion 202201, which clarifies when—and when not—to hit reply all on an email between a lawyer, another lawyer, and that lawyer’s cc’d client.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its decision regarding Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, ruled that the federal government and states “have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian country.” Jack Fiander, who represents low-income tribes and tribal members in the Pacific Northwest, argues that the decision balks the originalist and strict constructionist philosophy espoused by several justices.
Rural communities in Washington often struggle to attract new lawyers. Many of those who come out of the law schools in our urban cores of Seattle and Spokane hesitate to move to Washington’s far flung and less-populated communities. These decisions are often driven by fear, writes L.R. “Rusty” McGuire, and those fears are often unfounded.
What happened in Olympia in 2022? At least 300 things that were pertinent to WSBA members. Earlier this year, the WSBA Legislative Affairs team referred and tracked nearly 300 bills for WSBA Sections. Additionally, they helped spearhead the WSBA’s Bar-request legislative proposal and kept tabs on all the action packed into the 60-day legislative session.
In another Mark Fucile post, this time he looks at a Seattle federal district court’s order for an attorney testify in an insurance bad faith case. In the case in question, the court granted a motion to compel the lawyer’s deposition and, according to Fucile, “In doing so, the court noted that under Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, 176 Wn.2d 686, 295 P.3d 239 (2013), a lawyer handling the insurance claim adjustment process is assisting the insurer in carrying out its quasi-fiduciary responsibility to fairly consider claims submitted by its insureds.”
Throughout the year, we hit the road to visit with rural attorneys from across the state, learn about their legal practices and their lives, and to tell their stories and the unique obstacles of rural lawyering. In this piece, we traveled to Colville, a timber-and mining-fueled small community about two hours northwest of Spokane. There we met Alison McGrane, an energetic local attorney who explains that, as a kid, she never imagined coming back to “this little town in the middle of nowhere,” but also what brought her back.
You probably heard the story of the “frivolous” lawsuit over a cup of spilled McDonald’s coffee, but do you really know what happened that brought the case to court? In addition to the film Hot Coffee, which dives into that infamous case, this blog includes a small batch of can’t-miss documentaries for legal wonks.
In March, a new Washington law put in place new restrictions on employers’ nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions. The Silenced No More Act repealed and replaced “a 2018 Washington state law that prohibits employers from using employment agreements to preemptively restrict workers from disclosing claims of workplace-related sexual assault and sexual harassment.” Lori A. Medley explains why employers should take note.
Looking for a last-minute gift for a law student or lawyer? In this blog you’ll find a variety of titles for the legal bookworm in your life, with covered topics ranging from refreshers on the law to expert advice to the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Many Americans will remember 2022 as the year when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. As significant as that case was, it was far from the only major issue the Court weighed in on. In this blog, which was viewed more than any other we published this year, Seattle attorney and frequent NWSidebar contributor Shanna Lisberg gives us a look at some of the most interesting and impactful cases that came before the nine justices. In addition to abortion, these cases posed key questions on gun rights, separation of church and state, the death penalty, state secrets, and much more.