Category Archives

Division III Warns Potential Defendants: Denying a Clearly Valid Claim Could Mean You Owe Attorney’s Fees if You Get Sued

Since its adoption by the United States Supreme Court in 1796, the “American Rule” has been a bedrock principle of American law.1 The basis for the rule is the idea that it promotes access to the courts: potential litigants may be discouraged from pursuing their claims if losing would mean they had to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees. ...

Since its adoption by the United States Supreme Court in 1796, the “American Rule” has been a bedrock principle of American law.1 The basis for the rule is the idea ...

Washington’s Pocket Service Rule – a Unique and Useful Tool for Certain Plaintiffs

In Washington, a party does not have to actually file a complaint in Superior Court to start a lawsuit and trigger the time period within which the defendant must respond.[1]  Instead, a party can commence a lawsuit by serving a complaint and summons on the defendant.[2]  This process is commonly called “pocket service.”  It is different from the procedure ...

In Washington, a party does not have to actually file a complaint in Superior Court to start a lawsuit and trigger the time period within which the defendant must respond.[1]  ...

Digging into the Details of Washington’s New Non-Compete Law

This is the third post in a series examining Washington law on noncompete agreements. In the first, we provided an overview of the major changes to Washington law regarding noncompete agreements under new legislation that Governor Inslee signed into law on May 8, 2019. In the second, we discussed how Washington courts evaluate the reasonableness of a noncompete agreement ...

This is the third post in a series examining Washington law on noncompete agreements. In the first, we provided an overview of the major changes to Washington law regarding noncompete ...

What Makes a Non-compete Enforceable in Washington?

When a company hires senior employees, it may invest a great deal of time and money training them.  Employees also may receive access to confidential client lists, relationships with customers and vendors, or proprietary business information.  So what happens when employees move on, taking that training and knowledge with them?  Ex-employees sometimes are uniquely positioned to open up a ...

When a company hires senior employees, it may invest a great deal of time and money training them.  Employees also may receive access to confidential client lists, relationships with customers ...

Washington State Changes its Law on Non-Compete Agreements

Will banning certain non-compete agreements protect employees and foster competition?  Washington state legislators and Governor Inslee think so. Non-compete agreements raise policy issues regarding the balancing of legitimate business interests with a worker’s right to freely seek employment—a right that some argue is increasingly important in the growing gig economy.  Like many states, Washington courts have stricken that balance ...

Will banning certain non-compete agreements protect employees and foster competition?  Washington state legislators and Governor Inslee think so. Non-compete agreements raise policy issues regarding the balancing of legitimate business interests ...

Leveling the Playing Field: Prompt Resolution of Public Records Requests for Agencies through Show-Cause Procedure

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 ...

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 ...

Choose Your Rules Carefully: How Selecting Arbitration Rules in an Agreement to Arbitrate May Ultimately Decide the Forum

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] ...

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 ...

A Caution to Counsel: Under Washington Law the Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Protect Communications with Your Client’s Former Employees

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 ...

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: ...

What is Spoliation (and Isn’t)?

“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 ...

“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: ...

A Washington Court Offers Guidance for Employers who want an Arbitration-Only Workforce

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 ...

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 ...