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Posts from the ‘Case Law Updates’ Category

26
Jul
Police officer conducts a traffic stop to give sobriety test to young man.

Supreme Court on Use of Refusal to Submit to Field Sobriety Tests: No Clear Holding

In State v. Mecham, the Washington Supreme Court on June 16 issued a fractured opinion in a DUI prosecution in which the state used the defendant’s refusal to perform field sobriety tests (FSTs) as evidence of his guilt during the trial. Although the court stated it was affirming the defendant’s conviction, the actual result appears to be reversing the conviction in a 5-4 vote, with the reasoning behind the outcome ending up in a 4-1-2-2 split.

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23
Jun

Court of Appeals Addresses Insurance Defense Conflicts in Reservation of Rights Context

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel
A recent court ruling may be useful for lawyers defending an insured when they and their carrier are engaged in a separate coverage dispute.

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavelDivision II of the Court of Appeals recently addressed conflicts when an insurance defense counsel is representing an insured in a reservation of rights case. The plaintiffs in Arden v. Forsberg & Umlauf, P.S., ___ Wn. App. ___, ___ P.3d ___, 2016 WL 2647685 (May 3, 2016), asserted that the defendant law firm had a conflict when representing them in an earlier tort case and were pursuing breach of fiduciary duty and related claims against the firm. On summary judgment, the firm argued that it had no conflict. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Read more »

13
Jun

Case Analysis: Second Amendment Does Not Protect Concealed Carry

Man drawing a handgun from under his jacket.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the Second Amendment does not include the right to concealed carry.

Man drawing a handgun from under his jacket.The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled June 9, 2016, in Peruta v. County of San Diego that the Second Amendment does not include the right to concealed carry. The court heard the case en banc and decided 7–4. Read more »

3
Jun

U.S. District Court Disqualification Case Highlights Importance of Engagement Agreements

law books
A recent federal district court decision in Seattle illustrates the problems that can occur when law firms skip a crucial safeguard.

law booksA recent disqualification decision by the federal district court in Seattle highlights the importance of engagement agreements — and the problems that can occur if a law firm doesn’t have one. Read more »

20
May

Court of Appeals Discusses Interplay Between RPC 1.16 and CR 71 on Withdrawal

A lawyer walking out of court
At issue: Strategy conflicts in a commercial lease and mold-exposure case leading to claims of legal malpractice.

A lawyer walking out of courtDivision III of the Court of Appeals recently addressed the interplay between RPC 1.16 and CR 71 on withdrawal in Schibel v. Eymann, ___ Wn. App. ___, ___ P.3d ___, 2016 WL 1639567 (Apr. 26, 2016). Schibel is a legal malpractice case that grew out of commercial lease and related mold exposure litigation. Disagreements over strategy in the underlying case led the lawyers to seek leave to withdraw. Because the trial was approaching rapidly, the lawyers also filed a motion to continue. The trial court allowed the withdrawal but denied the continuance. When the clients — who were then pro se — did not appear for trial, the trial court dismissed their claims with prejudice and the Court of Appeals affirmed in Schibel v. Johnson, 2012 WL 2326992 (Wn. App. June 19, 2012) (unpublished). Read more »

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