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Posts from the ‘Tort Law’ Category

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 Aug. 14, 2017) (unpublished), involved a dissolution case that had settled in trial court.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 Aug. 14, 2017) (unpublished), involved a dissolution case that had settled in trial court.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 »

26
Jan

7 Tips for Negotiating Effectively

Black and white figures shaking hands

Lawyers frequently negotiate on behalf of their clients. Here are some tips for negotiating effectively.

Black and white figures shaking handsIn law, negotiations between parties can end in a win-win for both sides or they can break down and leave your client further from their objective. It’s a delicate dance that requires a clear understanding or your client’s needs and desires as well as those of the opposing party.

Here are seven tips for negotiating effectively. Read more »

28
Aug

Court of Appeals Rules on Authority of Insurance Defense Counsel

A client and attorney
Appeals court addresses an insurance defense counsel’s authority when the counsel had no contact with the insured throughout litigation.

A client and attorneyDivision II of the Court of Appeals recently addressed the authority of insurance defense counsel in an unusual scenario: where defense counsel had no contact with the insured throughout the course of the litigation involved. Kruger-Willis v. Hoffenburg, 198 Wn. App. 408, 393 P.3d 844 (2017), arose out of an automobile accident. The defendant drove a truck into the plaintiff’s parked car. The defendant’s insurer paid for the property damage involved, but then the plaintiff sued the defendant for the diminished value of the vehicle. The defendant prevailed at trial, and the trial court awarded the defendant $11,490 in fees and costs. In the course of litigating the fee award, defense counsel admitted that he had never had any contact with the defendant. 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 »

10
Feb

Friday 5: Lessons from the Trial Advocacy Program I Wish I Had Learned Sooner

TAP seminar
At the 2016 Trial Advocacy Program, I had many moments when I thought to myself, “I wish I knew this before!”

TAP seminarI attended the 2016 WSBA Trial Advocacy Program (TAP) one week after relocating back to my home state. I most recently was a managing attorney at a nonprofit legal aid organization in Navajo Nation. I had been promoted to this position in the same month I was sworn into the relevant bar. At TAP, I had many moments when I thought to myself, “I wish I knew this before!” Read more »