13
Sep

Disputes often arise in the middle of a deposition—such as how to allocate the time available for deposing a third-party witness, the scope of a 30(b)(6) deposition, or simply the permissibility of a line of questioning or an objection.  Although these are opportune times to call the judge for an immediate and timely ruling, parties often are reluctant to do this. Courts would obviously prefer that parties resolve discovery disputes without the court’s intervention.  Calling the judge’s chambers in the middle ...

30
Aug

Mr. David Bruce presented on the topic of Class Certification at the Seminar Group's 21st Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference on August 24th, 2018. In his presentation titled "Class Certification: The End or Just The Beginning", Mr. Bruce discussed how wage and hour class actions present issues of CR 23 commonality and predominance, highlighted in U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes. These issues are often prominent in litigating certification, and many class actions settle if and after a ...

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
Nov

All documents filed in a court proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (and most places) are available to the public—unless filed under seal. In the Western District, a party can file a document under seal only: (a) where a statute, rule, or prior court order expressly authorizes it or (b) if the party filing the document under seal files a motion to seal (which the court may or may not grant) either before or ...

15
Sep

Our website has a blog. We think (hope?) it is good—that it has articles of interest to our clients and our colleagues at the bar, and that it sometimes is not just interesting but amusing. (E.g. here and here.) It doesn’t have a name, though, and don’t all good blogs have a name? Well, we like a musical as much as anyone else, and we can recognize much of ...

16
Aug

A previous post addressed the situation where individuals other than the deponent, court reporter, and counsel attend a deposition at the invitation of one party and without notice to the other side. In short, while the best practice is to provide advance notice to opposing counsel, there are no clear prohibitions. But that situation assumed that those invited to the deposition would be physically present, and thus their attendance known. With the increasing use of live-stream technology in depositions, ...

27
Mar

Landslide defense attorney David N. Bruce, co-founding partner of the law firm Savitt Bruce & Willey and former Senior Assistant Attorney for the City of Seattle, recently discussed the interests of government when communicating and acting in the wake of a landslide or natural disaster. His remarks, made at "Landslide Law and Science", a conference held March 2-3, 2017 in Seattle, with supporting photos and exhibits follow. Introduction My thesis is that the government has at least two interests ...

01
Mar

In any class-action settlement, the fate of unclaimed funds can be pivotal. For instance, with a common-fund settlement (with an agreed amount deposited into a common fund for distribution to class members), a significant portion of the fund may remain after distributions are made depending on how payments are calculated and distributed. And even with a “claims-made” settlement (with the amount paid equaling the sum of the claims filed), there will usually be some settlement checks that go ...

20
Dec

Suppose you represent the defendant in a lawsuit, and he wants his long-time significant other to participate in communications with you about legal strategy—discussions that would be protected by the attorney-client privilege if they were between you and him alone. Would such participation vitiate the privilege? RCW 5.60.060(2)(a) provides that “[a]n attorney or counselor shall not, without the consent of his or her client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him or her, or his ...

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 ...