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Posts from the ‘Case Law Updates’ Category

7
Aug
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Court of Appeals Underscores Significance of Written Fee Agreement

A recent decision by Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals highlights the importance of a written fee agreement. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP v. Peterson, 2017 WL 1593009 (Wn. App. May 1, 2017) (unpublished), was a fee collection case by a law firm against a client. The law firm had represented the client in commercial litigation before withdrawing. After the underlying case resolved, the law firm sued the client for unpaid fees and related expenses that the law firm had advanced.

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19
Jul

Court of Appeals Discusses Implied Waiver of Privilege When Claiming Attorney Fees as Damages

books on the table and classes and the bottom shelf
Division I of the Court of Appeals recently discussed implied waiver of the attorney-client privilege when claiming attorney fees as damages.

books on the table and classes and the bottom shelfDivision I of the Court of Appeals recently discussed implied waiver of the attorney-client privilege when claiming attorney fees as damages. Bellevue Farm Owners Association v. Stevens, ___ Wn. App. ___, ___ P.3d ___, 2017 WL 1293482 (2017), was on discretionary review. The underlying litigation involved the development of waterfront property and included a counterclaim for abuse of process. The damages asserted under the counterclaim were solely attorney fees and related costs.The counterclaim defendant sought discovery of billing records relating to the attorney fees and costs claimed. Following an order at the trial court requiring production, the counterclaimant requested — and was granted — discretionary review. At the Court of Appeals, the defendant argued that the counterclaimant had impliedly waived privilege by claiming the attorney fees and associated costs as damages. The counterclaimant, in turn, contended that implied waiver only applied to legal malpractice claims. Read more »

7
Jul

Knowing When to Go: Court of Appeals Affirms Sanctions Against Lawyer for Continuing After Disqualification

Young attorney walking away down a lonely road.
An appeals court recently affirmed sanctions against a lawyer, who continued to participate in the case after being disqualified.

Young attorney walking away down a lonely road.Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals recently affirmed sanctions against a lawyer in an unusual scenario: the lawyer continued to participate in the case after being disqualified. Read more »

1
May

2017 Law Day Marks Increased Focus on Legal Profession, Recognizes Impact of 14th Amendment

Law Day 2017 banner "The 14th Amendment:: American Democracy"
Happy Law Day! The WSBA’s new legal community outreach specialist shares his thoughts on this important May 1 holiday.

Law Day 2017 banner "The 14th Amendment:: American Democracy"Happy Law Day! I’m Sanjay Walvekar, the new legal community outreach specialist at the WSBA. I’m excited for this opportunity to introduce myself and to share my thoughts on this important holiday. Read more »

20
Apr

Court of Appeals Reiterates No Duty to Will Beneficiaries

law books
Court of Appeals affirms will beneficiaries usually have no standing for malpractice against the attorney who drew the will.

law booksDivision I of the Court of Appeals in Reznick v. Livengood, Alskog, PLLC, 2016 WL 7470037 (Wn. App. Dec. 27, 2016) (unpublished), recently reiterated that will beneficiaries ordinarily do not have standing to bring a legal malpractice claim against the attorney who drew the will involved because they are not clients of the lawyer. In doing so, the Court of Appeals relied primarily on its own opinion in Parks v. Fink, 173 Wn. App. 366, 293 P.3d 1275 (2013), which, in turn, applied the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Trask v. Butler, 123 Wn.2d 835, 872 P.2d 1080 (1994). Read more »