BarNews-DEC-JAN-2022

Analyzing the Year of the New Normal in Washington State Bar News

2021 has been a year of adaptation. Though we went into the year with cautious optimism of a return to normal, it seems that we are now coming to grips with a world in which we are collectively creating our new normal. As Mark Fucile explains in the latest Ethics & the Law column in Washington State Bar News, “there are a number of risk-management considerations for the work of a traditional law firm both inside and outside of a physical office.”

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Feb 2022 Cover of Bar News with Justice Whitener

Black History Month, Bar Structure, and More in the February Bar News

Justice G. Helen Whitener is at the intersection of several identities: a gay woman, someone living with a disability, a first-generation immigrant, and the first Black woman to serve on the Washington Supreme Court. In a wide-ranging interview with Justice Whitener, which is the featured story in the latest issue of the new Washington State Bar News, Hon. Lisa H. Mansfield asked the mentor, educator, and trailblazing judge, “In our society, a combination of all five intersecting identities does not necessarily add up to a life of success and abundance. In your case, it has. What has been your journey to achieving such abundance?”

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Cover of June 2021 Bar News

What are NFTs? Find Out in the Latest Issue of Bar News

In the latest issue of Washington State Bar News, attorneys David Sheldon and Leron Vandsburger answer some key NFT questions and explain the rights that are transferred through an NFT transaction and what legal professionals should know before talking to a client about whether to get into NFTs.

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Cover of April/May 2021 Bar News depicting a cow

Home on the Range and a Home of Our Own in Latest Bar News

For many, dairy farms will bring to mind pleasant imagery of placid cows nibbling grass and farmworkers ambling in the pre-dawn hours with stool and milking bucket in hand. In reality, the job of a dairy farmworker involves handling sometimes dangerous fully grown cows, machinery that can lead to injury or death, and long hours in a risky environment. These are some of the reasons why dairy farmworkers fought and won the right to overtime pay after the landmark Washington Supreme Court decision Martinez-Cuevas v. DeRuyter Bros. In the newest issue of Washington State Bar News, Marc Lampson breaks down the court’s decision and provides a detailed history of dairy farming to explain how this battle for overtime pay and worker safety on dairy farms came about.

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Books

Washington Supreme Court Outlines Contours of Confidentiality Rule

The Washington Supreme Court recently addressed the scope of the confidentiality rule RPC 1.6 in In re Cross. Cross had represented a client in a criminal case arising out of an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle the client was driving. When the criminal case resolved, Cross and the client held a confidential discussion about the possibility of pursuing a product liability claim against the ATV manufacturer. Based on Cross’s advice, the client decided not to file a product liability claim. A passenger in the ATV accident later sued Cross’s by-then former client. When the former client’s defense lawyer in the civil case moved to add an affirmative defense attributing the accident to a product defect, the passenger opposed the motion. To support the opposition, the passenger’s lawyer obtained a declaration from Cross in which he disclosed the confidential conversation he had with the former client evaluating the possibility of bringing a product claim and revealing that the former client had decided not to pursue such a claim in light of the costs and risks. A bar grievance followed.

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Lady Justice

Risk Management by the Numbers – New ABA Study on Malpractice Claims

Approximately every four years since 1985, the American Bar Association has published a “Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims.” Plaintiffs’ personal injury and family law are the most frequent source of claims, according to the latest profile. Although the Profile does not correlate the severity of claims by practice area, the Profile’s “anecdotal observations” section suggests that business and commercial law have traditionally been higher-risk areas on this score.

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Law books and a phrenology head

Court of Appeals Issues Rare Decision on Revoking Consent to Conflict Waiver

Earlier this year, Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals issued a decision touching on an area of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) that is rarely litigated: revoking consent to conflict waivers. The decision was “unpublished” under General Rule 14.1, but is instructive nonetheless—both for its illumination of this comparatively “unplumbed” area of conflicts law and as an illustration of the result.

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Digital law and justice graphic with document, gavel, and scale icons

Statewide Electronic Filing is on the Way to Washington Courts

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) will soon begin rolling out a new electronic system for case management and electronic filing (e-filing) for Washington’s district and municipal courts and probation offices. The AOC is trying to spread the word about the e-filing component of its Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Case Management System (CLJ-CMS) project, also known as Odyssey File & Serve (OFS).

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Cover of Dec-Jan 2019 NWLawyer

Farewells and Celebrations in the Latest NWLawyer

The WSBA literally would not function without the hundreds upon hundreds of dedicated volunteers who often work behind the scenes to keep the legal profession on a path of progression. Serving selflessly in everything from committees to boards to sections, WSBA volunteers are the propulsive force behind issues that touch the lives of lawyers, LPOs, […]

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2021 Year Concept.

NWSidebar’s Top 10 Most-Read Blogs in 2021

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is already over. After a painfully slow 2020 during which the entire world was coming to grips with a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, things almost began to feel normal this past year, and the weeks and months seemed to fly by. We started going out. We dared to think about things other than the virus. We gave our streaming services a much-needed break. The virus remained an ever-present part of life in 2021, but nowhere near what it was in the year before. You can see that reflected in the variety of topics covered on NWSidebar this year. Although the pandemic has remained a challenge for lawyers and non-lawyers alike, the blogs over the past year began to stretch beyond the limitations of COVID life and back into some semblance of normalcy. As has become our annual tradition, take a look back at 2021 to see the 10 most-read blogs of the year

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Multi-colored fractal background

Strange New Trip: The Emerging World of Psychedelic Law and Decriminalization

After substances like LSD (acid), MDMA (ecstasy), and notably psilocybin (magic mushrooms) were classified as federally prohibited Schedule 1 drugs, a new wave of research into their therapeutic potential is growing, state and local governments are decriminalizing their use, and new areas of law are opening up. “Now there’s what’s referred to as a psychedelic renaissance …,” said Kathryn Tucker, special counsel at Emerge Law Group. “It’s just an incredible surge of interest.”

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