Washington Capitol

Week 3: Coporate Act, Guardianship on the WSBA Docket

The third week of the legislative session included early floor action to address basic education issues, committee hearings involving property crimes, and bill proposals to change Washington’s public records laws. The state Senate also experienced some changes to its membership with two appointments to positions within the new presidential administration. Sen. Brian Dansel, R-7, resigned […]

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Temple of Justice Update: When Do Confidential Discovery Documents Become Publicly Available in Civil Cases?

Attorney Paul Graves outlines Bennett v. Smith Bundy Berman Britton, PS. The Washington Supreme Court’s current term has seen a considerable focus on the requirement in Article I, Section 10 of the state Constitution, that “[j]ustice in all cases shall be administered openly.” The most recent decision discussing that provision is Bennett v. Smith Bundy […]

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Temple of Justice Update: A Host of Open Courtroom Cases

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Justice Brandeis wrote. The Supreme Court delves into the right to a public trial. The Washington State Supreme Court recently handed down four cases reiterating that criminal trials must be open to the public and that closing them at any time during trial-related proceedings requires specific procedures. Counsel and trial […]

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Temple of Justice Update: When a 911 Call Goes Awry

When the government negligently fulfills its duty to protect everyone, it usually is not liable to anyone in particular. The Washington Supreme Court, in Munich v. Skagit Emergency Communication Center, (No. 85984-1), dealt with a thorny exception to that rule. Case Facts The facts of the case are tragic. While fighting over their property lines, William […]

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Temple of Justice Update: Using (and Abusing) Visual Aids

With the recent churn on the Court — the last five years have seen a new chief; the arrival of Justices Stephens, Wiggins, and Gonzalez; and Justice Chambers’ impending retirement — there is always plenty to cover. Case Facts In re Personal Restraint Petition of Glasmann, No. 84475-7, is a doozy. Edward Glasmann held quite […]

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Temple Of Justice Update: How Can Local Governments Structure Debt?

Washington’s Constitution prevents local governments from taking on certain levels of debt without a popular vote. In a case with the unwieldy caption In re Bond Issuance of Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District, No. 86552-3 , the Washington Supreme Court decided whether that constitutional provision is implicated when a city promises to pay […]

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