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Posts from the ‘Case Law Updates’ Category

21
Feb
Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel

U.S. District Court Highlights Importance of Defining the Decision-Maker

A recent decision from the U.S. District Court in Seattle highlights why it’s important to define the client decision-maker, especially when dealing with small, closely held corporations. In this case, charges were brought by the owner of a retail clothing firm against two former employees who had left to start a rival apparel business. The suit claimed that one of the employees, identified as the chief executive manager, had transferred a registered trademark from the plaintiff to the new firm. The plaintiff also sued the company’s outside lawyer who had assisted with the transfer for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.

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20
Dec

The Latest NWLawyer is Out and Packed with Good Reads

Cover of the Dec/Jan NWLawyer
Have you seen the latest NWLawyer? Here’s what’s in the December/January issue. Get a quick read on these features.

Cover of Dec/Jan NWLawyerHave you seen the latest NWLawyer? Here’s what’s in the December/January issue. Get a quick read on these features, or check out the full issue now. Read more »

23
Nov

What to Do When You Can’t Find Your Client

Lost client flyer
What if you can’t contact your client and a deadline is near? Should you act to protect them, even if they can’t be reached?

lost client flyerEvery so often the ethics line takes a call from a member who is worried because they can’t contact their client and a deadline is near. Should they act to protect their client, even if they can’t reach them? What if the statute of limitations is approaching? If they don’t file suit, the client could be extremely prejudiced, but all efforts to contact the client by phone, email and mail brought dead ends. While I can’t give members legal advice, I can walk them through the rules that cover this situation. Read more »

2
Nov

Social Security and the 10-Year Marriage Rule

divorce
Social Security benefits may not be on clients’ minds when getting divorced, but one critical timing mistake could cost them a bundle.

divorceSocial Security retirement benefits may not be the first thing on your clients’ minds when they are getting divorced, especially if they are younger. The right to Social Security benefits is a federal entitlement not affected by state law, and rarely discussed much during divorce. But one critical timing mistake could cost your client a bundle down the road. Read more »

1
Nov

Court of Appeals Discusses Arbitration of Legal Malpractice Claims

path to success
Division I of the Court of Appeals recently discussed arbitration of legal malpractice claims in Butler v. Thomsen. The facts in Butler were unusual.

path to successDivision I of the Court of Appeals recently discussed arbitration of legal malpractice claims in Butler v. Thomsen, 2016 WL 4524244 (Wn. App. Aug. 29, 2016) (unpublished). The facts in Butler were unusual. A lawyer had negotiated the settlement of a minority shareholder “squeeze out” case involving a closely held high-tech company. The settlement agreement contained a broad release of claims and a companion provision selecting arbitration for “any dispute” arising from the agreement. Later, another shareholder raised a similar claim after allegedly being “squeezed out” of the company. None of the parties requested arbitration, but the trial court held that several claims in the second case fell within the release from the first. The shareholder in the second case then sued the lawyer who had drafted the release for malpractice — arguing that it was overly broad. Read more »