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Posts from the ‘Consumer Protection’ Category


Court of Appeals Discusses Lawyer Web Advertising under the Consumer Protection Act

A hand sticking through a laptop giving a business card
Consumer Protection Act claims against lawyers usually involve fees, but an appeals court recently discussed CPA and online lawyer ads.

A hand sticking through a laptop giving a business cardSince Short v. Demopolis, 103 Wn.2d 52, 691 P.2d 163 (1984), the business aspects of law practice have been subject to the Washington Consumer Protection Act. RCW 19.86.020 prohibits “[u]nfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce[.]” RCW 19.86.090, in turn, creates a private right of action for CPA violations and includes both attorney fees and treble damages (to $25,000 beyond actual damages) remedies for a successful claimant. Historically, most CPA claims involving lawyers touched on fee-related issues (see, e.g., Cotton v. Kronenberg, 111 Wn. App. 258, 273-75, 44 P.3d 878 (2002)). Division I of the Court of Appeals, however, recently discussed lawyer web advertising in the CPA context in Rhodes v. Rains, 2016 WL 3080727 (Wn. App. May 31, 2016) (published on July 28, 2016).
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Watch Out for Scams Spoofing or Targeting Attorneys

Googling "Scam Alert"
Reported are “spoofing” attorneys. Some use their identity to extort money from victims; others send ransomware directly to attorneys.

Googling "Scam Alert"

Recently, the WSBA has received several reports of scams either “spoofing” (pretending to be, or be from attorneys) or targeting attorneys. Some scams use an attorney’s or firm’s identity to extort money from victims, while others are sending ransomware directly to the attorneys. Read more »


Court of Appeals Reiterates No CPA Claims for Asserted Malpractice Alone

gavel on wooden desk with books as background
Attorney Mark Fucile takes a closer look at the state Supreme Court’s stance on law firms under the Consumer Protection Act.

A gavel and law booksAttorney Mark Fucile takes a closer look at the state Supreme Court’s stance on legal practice under the Consumer Protection Act. Read more »


Is Your Cellphone Subject to Public Records Act Disclosure?

Traveling businessman checking cell phone
State Supreme Court ruling makes personal cellphones of public employees subject to Washington’s Public Records Act.

Traveling businessman checking cell phoneThe Washington Supreme Court on Aug. 17, 2015, issued its ruling in Nissen v. Pierce County, which ruled that the personal cellphone of a public employee, if used to conduct public business, is now subject to disclosure under the state’s Public Records Act. Read more »


What Your Clients Need to Know About Cyber Responsibility

online security
Help your clients demonstrate a sense of respect for the privacy concerns of their consumers.

online securityAmericans are increasingly concerned about the privacy of their personal data. For example, an ESET and Harris Interactive survey reveals an uptick in “cyber responsibility,” that can be defined as the ability of individuals to exercise certain levels of protection over their personal data. The survey reveals 4 out of 5 individuals surveyed have adjusted their privacy settings within the last 6 months.

While individuals may exercise cyber responsibility related to their social media accounts, it is more challenging for individuals, acting as consumers, to exercise protection over personal data once it is under the control of a company. Read more »