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Posts from the ‘Case Law Updates’ Category

27
Sep
Gavel and Bemjamins

Court of Appeals Finds Fee Dispute Alone Doesn’t Support Consumer Protection Act Claim

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals illustrates that some fee disputes will not meet the “public interest” requirement.

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1
Sep

Supreme Court Reaffirms ‘Actual Innocence’ Requirement for Criminal-Case Malpractice Claims

Gavel and scale
The state Supreme Court reaffirmed that legal malpractice claims from a criminal case must prove the plaintiff innocent of the crime.

Gavel and scale

The Washington Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the requirement that a plaintiff in a legal malpractice claim arising from a criminal case prove that the plaintiff was actually innocent of the crime involved. The “actual innocence” requirement presents a high bar for claimants because, as the Supreme Court explained in Ang v. Martin, 154 Wn.2d 477, 484-85, 114 P.3d 637 (2005), it means more than just “legal innocence” in the sense of having a conviction reversed or otherwise vacated. As the Supreme Court defined it in Ang, “actual innocence” means just that: a malpractice claimant must show that the claimant did not do the crime charged. Read more »

22
Aug

Court of Appeals Holds that Fee Rules Don’t Apply to In-House Counsel’s Wages

books on the table and classes and the bottom shelf
Division I of the Court of Appeals recently held that the rules governing lawyer fees do not apply to an in-house counsel’s wages.

books on the table and classes and the bottom shelfDivision I of the Court of Appeals recently held that the rules governing lawyer fees do not apply to an in-house counsel’s wages. The case, Chism v. Tri-State Const., Inc., 193 Wn. App. 818, 374 P.3d 193 (2016), involved a wage claim by a former in-house general counsel against his former corporate employer. Read more »

17
Aug

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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5
Aug

4 Important Changes to Washington DUI Laws

Police officer giving a roadside sobriety test.
With new legislation now in effect, it is important to keep DUI clients informed on sentencing and licensing changes. Here are four updates.

Police officer giving a roadside sobriety test.With House Bill 2700 going into effect on June 9, 2016, it is important to keep DUI clients informed on sentencing and licensing changes. Here are four updates to DUI laws that your clients may need to know. Read more »