Attorney working in an office at night

Legal Research Companies Casemaker and Fastcase Merge

Legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase today announce their merger and joint building out of legal research and analytics, news, data, and workflow solutions. The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients.

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Police shootout

State Supreme Court Case Could Determine Fate of King County’s Inquest Process

King County is one of the only jurisdictions in the country that requires an inquest every time a police officer kills a community member. But will these inquests continue to be largely pro forma processes that almost always appear to absolve officers of wrongdoing? Or will they become a meaningful tool for police accountability, a truly fair and transparent examination of what happened and why when law enforcement kills a member of the community? Families whose loved ones have been killed by law enforcement hope it is the latter.

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A woman in front of her computer working at home on Zoom.

ABA Issues New Ethics Opinion on Remote Working

The pandemic has forced many lawyers to work remotely. In some instances, that simply means working out of a home office in the same city that the lawyer’s firm is based. In others, however, lawyers have been working from second homes in states in which they are not licensed to practice law. The American Bar Association (ABA) recently addressed this latter aspect of remote work in a new ethics opinion—Formal Opinion 495, issued on Dec. 16.

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Accounting woman in a COVID mask

A Step-by-Step Guide to Year-End Bookkeeping for Law Firms

It’s that time again! Not just for holidays and eggnog, but also taxes, 1099s, and other year-end financial must-dos. And after the year we’ve had – what with PPP loans and unplanned expenses – the process will be more complicated than ever. If we set aside just a few minutes to organize our year-end now, we’ll find ourselves much less stressed when the new year and tax deadlines roll around. This practical, step-by-step guide will set you and your firm up for a year-end win and success in 2021.

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Paula Littlewood

Remembering Paula

The long-serving executive director of the WSBA, Paula C. Littlewood, died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 14. We mourn the terrible loss of a great leader and a loving friend.

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Young woman taking bar exam on computer at home

Washington Prepares for First-Ever Remote Bar Exam

For the first time in its history, the WSBA will administer the bar exam remotely. On Dec. 3, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order authorizing the WSBA “to conduct the February 2021 administration of legal licensing examinations for admission using remote testing software,” citing the “extraordinary barriers” created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.On Dec. 3, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order authorizing the WSBA “to conduct the February 2021 administration of legal licensing examinations for admission using remote testing software,” citing the “extraordinary barriers” created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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An empty courtroom

A View from the Respondents Regarding Subject Matter Jurisdiction

We were counsel for Olympic View Water and Sewer District in Ronald Wastewater District v. Olympic View Water & Sewer District. Benjamin Gould’s article in NWSidebar suggesting the Supreme Court’s reasoning in that case departed from past decisions of the court on subject-matter jurisdiction, fails to acknowledge supportive Supreme Court precedent.

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Legal Scale

The 10 Most-Read NWSidebar Articles of 2020

You probably won’t be surprised by the trend that emerges when one glances through the most-read articles published to NWSidebar in 2020. As of this writing, after about nine months of COVID-19—with a vaccine off-ramp still months out and new spikes in cases resulting in yet another statewide lockdown—much has been learned about, adapted to, and coped with regarding the pandemic that has turned all of daily life upside down … and then spun it a few more times just for good measure.

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US Supreme Court building

8 Cases to Watch at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020-2021

The U.S. Supreme Court began its 2020-2021 term in October. There are a number of high-profile cases on the docket, including disputes over voting rights, LGBTQ rights, and the Affordable Care Act. The Court hears oral arguments from October through April. The justices continue to add new cases to the docket, so it’s highly probable more hot-topic cases will be granted as the term goes on. Opinions are usually handed down by the last day of the Court’s term. With the exception of this deadline, there are no rules concerning when decisions must be released. With all that in mind, here are eight cases to watch at the Supreme Court:

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Law books

Supreme Court Applies Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege to ‘Functional Employees’

The Washington Supreme Court recently applied the corporate attorney-client privilege to “functional employees” in Hermanson v. Multicare Health Systems, Inc. In the privilege context, “functional employees” are not directly employed by a corporation but are sufficiently integrated into a company’s operations that some federal courts—including the 9th Circuit and Washington’s federal district courts—had concluded that they fall within the corporation’s attorney-client privilege.

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Cover of Bar News Nov 2020

Honoring Veterans in Washington State Bar News

Each November we dedicate a day to pause and reflect on our veterans. In the latest issue of Washington State Bar News, we’ve done just that. In recognition of Veterans Day, we’re sharing stories that focus on issues affecting service members, their families, and the legal professionals who make serving veterans their duty. Members of the WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section help explain its origins and what its section members do

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Military chopper mission in the morning

Attorney General Bob Ferguson Honors Service Members, Calls for MEDAL Volunteers This Veterans Day

Each year on Veterans Day, we pause to honor those who have served in our armed forces. We should never forget their contributions to our safety, security, and health. Over the past year, service members have been called to the front lines of historic challenges, including management of the COVID-19 pandemic and fighting wildfires threatening communities across our state.

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Mousetrap

ReportFraud.FTC.gov: New Consumer Fraud-Reporting Tool

On Oct. 22, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched ReportFraud.FTC.gov, a new consumer-friendly fraud-reporting portal. Consumers can report anything from government imposter scams to phony weight-loss claims, abusive debt collection, and deceptive auto sales, along with all sorts of unwanted phone calls, text messages, and emails. And the FTC wants to hear about them all! Please help us spread the word and keep Washingtonians safe from scams.

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