Legal scale and law books

Appeals Court Weighs in on Successor Personal Representative Malpractice Claims

Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals recently addressed whether a successor personal representative had standing to bring a legal malpractice claim against a law firm that had worked solely with an earlier personal representative. The answer: “No.” In reaching its conclusion, the Court of Appeals in Benjamin v. Singleton, ___ Wn. App. 2d […]

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New WSBA Advisory Opinion on Withdrawal

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

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

A 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 Dec. 13, 2016, unpublished).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 […]

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New Advisory Opinion on Virtual Offices

The Washington State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics recently released an advisory opinion surveying regulatory and risk management issues for lawyers practicing in so-called “virtual offices.” This emerging practice arrangement can range from a solo attorney working from home to an entire firm that lacks a traditional brick-and-mortar location. Virtual offices typically rely instead […]

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Court of Appeals Finds Fee Dispute Alone Doesn’t Support Consumer Protection Act Claim

Since Short v. Demopolis, 103 Wn.2d 52, 691 P.2d 163 (1984), the business aspects of law practice have been subject to the Washington Consumer Protection Act. RCW 19.86.020 prohibits “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce…” RCW 19.86.090, in turn, creates a private […]

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Alaska Bar Warns of “Web Bugs”

The Alaska Bar Association recently released a new ethics opinion on so-called “web bugs” — electronic trackers placed in email to allow the sender to see (among other things) where the recipient forwarded the email and how long the email was reviewed. In the scenario that gave rise to the opinion, an Alaska Bar member […]

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Court of Appeals Discusses Arbitration of Legal Malpractice Claims

Division I of the Court of Appeals recently discussed arbitration of legal malpractice claims in Butler v. Thomsen, 2016 WL 4524244 (Wn. App. Aug. 29, 2016) (unpublished). The facts in Butler were unusual. A lawyer had negotiated the settlement of a minority shareholder “squeeze out” case involving a closely held high-tech company. The settlement agreement […]

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Court of Appeals Reiterates No CPA Claims for Asserted Malpractice Alone

Since the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Short v. Demopolis, 103 Wn.2d 52, 691 P.2d 163 (1984), the business aspects of law practice have been subject to the Consumer Protection Act, RCW Chapter 19.86. The CPA generally prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in “trade or commerce” under RCW 19.86.020. Remedies under RCW 19.86.090 […]

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Court of Appeals Outlines Standards for Implied Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege in Settlement Reasonableness Hearings

Division II of the Court of Appeals recently outlined the standards for implied waiver of the attorney-client privilege in the context of settlement “reasonableness” hearings under RCW 4.22.060. In Steel v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. WL 4001431 (July 26, 2016), the parents of children who had been abused at a day care center sued the center […]

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