01
Aug

Washington’s Public Records Act (“PRA”) mandates the broad disclosure of public records in furtherance of the public policy of government transparency.[1]  Under the PRA, the media and ordinary citizens can request and obtain government records to stay informed about how their government is serving the public’s interest.  Government agencies must respond to these requests by conducting reasonable searches for responsive records, communicating with requestors, and providing the records for inspection and copying unless they are exempt from disclosure ...

08
Sep

A previous post in this blog discussed the impact that arbitration rules can have on how an eventual dispute is resolved. In arbitration, the parties can chose—or even make—the rules that will apply. Often they will chose, without considering, AAA rules. A recent decision by the Washington Court of Appeals, Raven Offshore Yacht Shipping, LLP v. F.T. Holdings, LLC,[1] illustrates how adopting what would appear to be a “standard” set of institutional arbitration rules ...

22
Nov

The Washington Supreme Court recently resolved an important question regarding the scope of the attorney-client privilege. In Newman v. Highland School Dist. No. 203,[1] the Court established a bright-line rule: an attorney’s communications with a client’s former employees are not protected by the attorney-client privilege. This is true even if the discussion concerns something that happened when the former employee worked for the client. In Newman, a Highland High School quarterback suffered a permanent brain injury ...

17
Oct

“Spoliation” of evidence occurs when a party with an obligation to preserve evidence in a court case fails to do so. A failure to preserve evidence can take many forms: destroying the evidence, damaging it, or altering it. When spoliation occurs, the party responsible may be held accountable in court through a variety of different sanctions. If a court finds spoliation has occurred, it can impose sanctions as it deems warranted – from monetary sanctions to shifting the burden of proof ...

23
Nov

There are many reasons an employer may want to require arbitration of disputes with its employees. Arbitration can be (but is not always) less expensive than court litigation; arbitrations are not public and are often confidential; and an arbitration agreement can, when combined with a class-action waiver, effectively preclude employee class actions where the claims are not small. Earlier this month, the Washington Court of Appeals confirmed an employer’s right to require its employees to sign an arbitration ...

02
Oct

Earlier this summer, our blog discussed a recent Ninth Circuit decision in which the court appeared to take a more liberal approach to removal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Recently, the Ninth Circuit focused on the purpose of CAFA’s local-controversy exception to reinforce a key yet narrow limit on federal jurisdiction under CAFA.[1] Congress enacted CAFA in 2005 to curb perceived abuses of the class-action device by vesting federal courts with ...