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Posts from the ‘Case Law Updates’ Category

1
May

2017 Law Day Marks Increased Focus on Legal Profession, Recognizes Impact of 14th Amendment

Law Day 2017 banner "The 14th Amendment:: American Democracy"
Happy Law Day! The WSBA’s new legal community outreach specialist shares his thoughts on this important May 1 holiday.

Law Day 2017 banner "The 14th Amendment:: American Democracy"Happy Law Day! I’m Sanjay Walvekar, the new legal community outreach specialist at the WSBA. I’m excited for this opportunity to introduce myself and to share my thoughts on this important holiday. Read more »

20
Apr

Court of Appeals Reiterates No Duty to Will Beneficiaries

law books
Court of Appeals affirms will beneficiaries usually have no standing for malpractice against the attorney who drew the will.

law booksDivision I of the Court of Appeals in Reznick v. Livengood, Alskog, PLLC, 2016 WL 7470037 (Wn. App. Dec. 27, 2016) (unpublished), recently reiterated that will beneficiaries ordinarily do not have standing to bring a legal malpractice claim against the attorney who drew the will involved because they are not clients of the lawyer. In doing so, the Court of Appeals relied primarily on its own opinion in Parks v. Fink, 173 Wn. App. 366, 293 P.3d 1275 (2013), which, in turn, applied the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Trask v. Butler, 123 Wn.2d 835, 872 P.2d 1080 (1994). Read more »

27
Mar

Mental Health Professionals Now Subject to Expanding Tort Liability

Worried female psychiatrist speaking to client
A recent Supreme Court ruling extends psychiatrists’ duty to people harmed by their client even if the client never mentioned a threat.

Worried female psychiatrist speaking to clientThe Washington Supreme Court recently extended the potential duty a psychiatrist owes to people harmed by their outpatient clients. In Volk v. DeMeerleer, 187 Wn.2d 241, 386 P.3d 254 (2016), the Court extended this potential duty to protect despite the absence of any threat to others made by the patient to the psychiatrist. This decision may have detrimental, long-lasting consequences for mental health professionals in Washington. Read more »

21
Mar

Court of Appeals Distinguishes Legal Malpractice and Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Gavel and scale
An appeals court recently underscored differences between legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty arising from the same facts.

Gavel and scaleDivision I of the Court of Appeals in Paulsell v. Gaffney, 2016 WL 7470061 (Wn. App. Dec. 19, 2016) (unpublished), recently underscored the differences between claims for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty that can arise from the same set of facts. Read more »

21
Feb

U.S. District Court Highlights Importance of Defining the Decision-Maker

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel
A recent U.S. District Court decision highlights why it’s important to define the client decision-maker, especially for small corporations.

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavelA recent decision from the U.S. District Court in Seattle highlights why it’s important to define the client decision-maker, especially when dealing with small, closely held corporations (Kische USA LLC v. Simsek, 2016 WL 7212534, W.D. Wash. Dec. 13, 2016, unpublished). In this case, charges were brought by the owner of a retail clothing firm against two former employees who had left to start a rival apparel business. The suit claimed that one of the employees, identified as the chief executive manager, had transferred a registered trademark from the plaintiff to the new firm. The plaintiff also sued the company’s outside lawyer who had assisted with the transfer for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. Read more »