Capitol in Olympia

What Happened in the 2023 Washington Legislative Session

The 105-day 2023 legislative session began on Jan. 9 and adjourned sine die on April 23. Legislators passed a two-year, $69.2 billion state operating budget providing funding increases for K-12 schools, with an emphasis on special education and programs to support affordable housing, as well as a $13.5 billion biennial transportation budget that supports improvements to the Washington State Ferry System, increases bicycle and pedestrian access to schools, and funds major highway construction projects statewide.

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The Washington Capitol in Olympia

Washington Legislative Recap: 2021 Session Summary for Legal Professionals

On April 25, the Washington State Legislature closed its unprecedented 2021 Regular Session, capping 105 days in Olympia that for the first time was also conducted nearly entirely virtually. Despite a few technical glitches and Zoom missteps, that have become commonplace during pandemic life, the session went surprisingly smoothly and WSBA Legislative Affairs was busy throughout, monitoring hundreds of bills that are of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals.

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Portrait of happy parents piggybacking kids outdoors

A Family Law Perspective on the COVID-19 Crisis

When Washington’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 23, the uncertainty of where my firm, Navigate Law Group, might be when the dust settled weighed heavily on all of us. Similar concerns were felt throughout the legal community, and the ability of firms to embrace technology became a pressing issue.

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Social Security and the 10-Year Marriage Rule

Social Security retirement benefits may not be the first thing on your clients’ minds when they are getting divorced, especially if they are younger. The right to Social Security benefits is a federal entitlement not affected by state law, and rarely discussed much during divorce. But one critical timing mistake could cost your client a […]

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Hands typing on computer

Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct – Your Comments Are Needed

Washington state is making national news with the introduction of Limited License Legal Technicians. Washington will be the first U.S. jurisdiction to license legal technicians, but a number of states are already studying Washington’s model for possible adoption. Legal technicians are authorized to provide legal advice within the limited scope described in Regulation 2 of […]

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6 Surprising Facts About Cuba’s Legal System

Representatives from a  professional research delegation share some surprising facts. In March 2013, I led a delegation of U.S. lawyers and guests to visit Cuba as part of a professional research delegation. Only 90 miles from the United States, it seems incredibly distant in many respects. The legal structure and the real-world struggles of the […]

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Tips for Managing the Holidays When You’re Divorced

Learn best practices to help your clients — or yourself — this holiday season. In the practice of family law, I sometimes have to remind myself that I am a lawyer, not a therapist. I do not have a counseling degree and I am not a mental health specialist, yet there are many times when there seems […]

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LLLT Family Law Courses: Enroll Now

Join us on Nov. 19 for a free presentation about the program and to learn how to qualify. We are excited to announce that enrollment is now open for the winter quarter LLLT Family Law Course with new qualification options. The deadline for enrollment is Dec. 16, 2013. We invite all interested individuals to join us in-person or […]

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Father refuses to turn over Baby Veronica

NWSidebar contributor Jennifer Richards offers an update on the Baby Veronica case. Reposted from Queen City Addendum. NWSidebar contributor Jennifer Richards offers an update on the Baby Veronica case. In July, SCOTUS ruled in favor of the Capobiancos, the adoptive couple. However, Veronica is still in the custody of her biological father. Read the full update […]

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Baby Veronica: SCOTUS Rules

Review the Court’s reasoning and learn what comes next for the parties in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator. — Native American Proverb The story of 4-year-old Baby Veronica in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, 2013 WL 3184627 was lost […]

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Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: How should SCOTUS Rule?

SCOTUS explores the intersection of state adoption law and the Indian Child Welfare Act. UPDATE: On June 25, 2013, in a 5-4 opinion,  SCOTUS ruled that under these facts, ICWA did not block the adoption of Baby Girl by a non-Indian couple. Read the opinion in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.  — How is “Parent” […]

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