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Posts from the ‘Case Law Updates’ Category

11
Apr

Court of Appeals: Claiming Attorney Fees as Damages Waives Privilege

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel
Attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages, a Court of Appeals rules.

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavelDivision 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 WL 582448 (Wn. App. Jan. 29, 2018) (unpublished), arose against the backdrop of a commercial transaction. The plaintiffs had hired the defendant law firm to represent them in negotiating the sale of a business. Read more »

6
Apr

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

Surgeon hand in a green latex glove is holding C-notes.
Previously overlooked legal rules could raise costs for physicians seeking to establish or expand small outpatient surgery centers.

A gloved surgeon hand holding C-notes.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, which regulates how health care providers can build or expand facilities and offer new services. Read more »

23
Mar

Court of Appeals Interprets ‘Proceeds’ Attached by Attorney Lien in Dissolution Case

Gavel and Benjamins

Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals recently interpreted the term “proceeds” to which an attorney lien attached in a dissolution case. Matter of Marriage of Shulikov, 2017 WL 3476783 (Wn. App. Aug. 14, 2017) (unpublished), involved a dissolution case that had settled in trial court. The resolution involved payments of maintenance and child support by the husband to the wife and a separate property settlement under which the husband made monthly payments to the wife for her share of the couple’s business. The wife’s attorney withdrew following the resolution and filed a lien for fees. In light of the lien, the husband paid the amounts due under the property settlement into the court. Represented by new counsel, the wife challenged her former lawyer’s lien over the funds the husband had deposited into the court.

The trial court concluded that the funds involved were not subject to the lien. The Court of Appeals, however, concluded that the property settlement funds were “proceeds” capable of being attached by the lien and reversed.

Gavel and BenjaminsDivision I of the Washington Court of Appeals recently interpreted the term “proceeds” to which an attorney lien attached in a dissolution case. Matter of Marriage of Shulikov, 2017 WL 3476783 (Wn. App. Aug. 14, 2017) (unpublished), involved a dissolution case that had settled in trial court. The resolution involved payments of maintenance and child support by the husband to the wife and a separate property settlement under which the husband made monthly payments to the wife for her share of the couple’s business. The wife’s attorney withdrew following the resolution and filed a lien for fees. In light of the lien, the husband paid the amounts due under the property settlement into the court. Represented by new counsel, the wife challenged her former lawyer’s lien over the funds the husband had deposited into the court.

The trial court concluded that the funds involved were not subject to the lien. The Court of Appeals, however, concluded that the property settlement funds were “proceeds” capable of being attached by the lien and reversed. Read more »

22
Jan

Federal Court Decision Highlights Importance of Engagement Agreements

People holding up signs with question marks
A recent disqualification decision by the federal district court in Spokane highlights the importance of engagement agreements in defining who is — and who is not — the client.

People holding up signs with question marksA recent disqualification decision by the federal district court in Spokane highlights the importance of engagement agreements in defining who is — and who is not — the client. In Cox v. Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., 2017 WL 4640452 (E.D. Wash. Sept. 19, 2017) (unpublished), the plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment to void a non-compete. Shortly after the defendants answered, the plaintiffs filed a motion to disqualify defense counsel. Although the motion had several facets — all of which were denied — one is particularly instructive. Read more »

12
Jan

New WSBA Advisory Opinion on Withdrawal

justice
WSBA’s Committee on Professional Ethics recently released an advisory opinion on withdrawal issues in for public court proceedings.

justice

The Washington State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics recently released an advisory opinion surveying withdrawal issues in the context of public court proceedings. Advisory Opinion 201701 primarily addresses what you can — and can’t — say in public court papers and related public proceedings. In doing so, the opinion analyzes the sensitive intersection between the withdrawal rule — RPC 1.16 — and the confidentiality rule — RPC 1.6. Read more »