Legal scale in an empty courtroom, black and white photo.

Court of Appeals Discusses Elected Prosecutor Conflicts

Division III of the Washington State Court of Appeals recently, in a split decision, drew from a 1988 death penalty case to refine the determination for when a prosecutor’s client conflict might extend to the office as a whole. State v. Nickels, ___ Wn. App. 2d___, 434 P.3d 535, 2019 WL 479494 (Feb. 7, 2019) […]

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‘Deepfakes’: A New Challenge for Trial Courts

The following was excerpted from an article that will appear in a future issue of NWLawyer. The author was also recently interviewed for the “What’s Next” newsletter on LAW.COM, which you can read here. The client shows his lawyer a video he says he took on his cell phone. It shows the defendant saying things […]

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New WSBA Advisory Opinion on ‘Quadripartite’ Relationships

The WSBA Committee on Professional Ethics recently released advisory opinion No. 201802 addressing “quadripartite” relationships. “Tripartite” relationships among an insurer, the insured, and defense counsel have been delineated extensively in both court decisions and advisory opinions. “Quadripartite” relationships, by contrast, are a fairly new development and remain comparatively unplumbed. The term generally describes situations where […]

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U.S. District Court Highlights Importance of ‘Non-Engagement’ Letters

A recent decision from the U.S. District Court in Seattle highlights the importance of “non-engagement” letters: a letter or other communication to a non-client involved in the background context of a representation telling the non-client that the lawyer is not representing the non-client. Smartek21, LLC v. VisiKard, Inc., 2018 WL 5024031 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 17, […]

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Law books

Supreme Court Holds No Double Jeopardy for Lawyer Discipline

In a case of first impression in Washington, the Supreme Court recently held that the double jeopardy provisions of the United States and Washington Constitutions do not apply to lawyer discipline proceedings. In re Waechter, ___ Wn.2d ___, 419 P.3d 827, 2018 WL 2977072 (June 14, 2018), involved a lawyer who had allegedly converted client […]

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health care

New Law Simplifies Credentialing for Health Care Providers

Help has arrived for health care providers who are fed up with the burdens and delays of credentialing with multiple health carriers in the state of Washington. Beginning this year, a new law should address two significant problems that have long plagued the credentialing process, which is the method insurance carriers use to ensure that […]

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Confirming When Representation Begins Matters

A recent decision by Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals illustrates the importance of confirming whether or not you have taken on a client at an initial meeting. Fechner v. Volyn, ___ Wn. App. ___, 418 P.3d 120, 2018 WL 2307703 (May 22, 2018), was painted against the backdrop of a medical malpractice […]

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Court of Appeals: Claiming Attorney Fees as Damages Waives Privilege

Attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages, a Court of Appeals rules. Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals held recently that the attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages in a subsequent legal malpractice case. Leen v. Defoe, 2018 […]

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Stricter Health Dept. Rule Hikes Cost for New Walk-in Surgery Centers

Previously overlooked legal rules could raise costs for physicians seeking to establish or expand small outpatient surgery centers. New enforcement of previously overlooked legal requirements could significantly raise costs for physicians seeking to establish or expand small outpatient surgery centers. The Washington State Department of Health recently limited exemptions in its Certificate of Need Program, […]

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