01
Sep

The nature and scope of consumer protection statutes vary by state. Depending upon the circumstances of a given case, a plaintiff may find one state’s statute to be preferable to that of another and may therefore seek to file suit in a state other than the one in which he or she resides. In Washington, however, the ability of out-of-state plaintiffs to file claims under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) may soon be limited. In Thornell ...

01
Apr

Before 2003, Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provided that “[a] class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court, and notice of the proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class in such manner as the court directs.”  This ambiguous language created  a circuit split regarding whether court approval was required for settlement and dismissal of a putative class action prior to class certification. In 2003, the ...

12
Nov

On October 21, 2014, the Washington Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case brought against Backpage.com and its affiliates by three underage sex trafficking victims who alleged that hundreds of sex trafficking customers were directed to them via Backpage’s website.  Savitt Bruce & Willey served as Washington counsel for amici the National Crime Victim Law Institute, Shared Hope International, Covenant House, and Human Rights Project for Girls.[1] The question for the Supreme Court was whether the Backpage defendants ...

18
Jul

At the end of a deposition, pursuant to Washington Civil Rule 30(e), the court reporter typically asks the deponent’s attorney whether she would like to reserve signature on the deposition until the deponent is able to review the transcript and make appropriate corrections.  Most attorneys view this as the right of deponent and, as a matter of course, almost always reserve the deponent’s signature.  They then work with their clients to conduct a careful review of the transcript and submit ...

03
Mar

Federal Rule of Evidence 502 was enacted in 2008 in an effort to provide uniformity with regard to the treatment of privilege waivers resulting from the inadvertent disclosure of documents.  Subdivision (b) sets forth the default requirements governing such disclosures.  It calls for an inquiry into (1) whether the disclosure was inadvertent, (2) whether the holder of the privilege took reasonable steps to prevent the disclosure, and (3) whether the holder of the privilege took reasonable steps to rectify the error. Because ...

13
Nov

In the past, some defendants in class actions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 have attempted to deprive courts of subject matter jurisdiction by making a pre-class certification offer of judgment to the class representative in full satisfaction of his claims.  This was done on the theory that a defendant could moot the class representative’s claims by giving him everything he was demanding and thereby get rid of the entire class action since no class had yet been certified. The ...

10
Sep

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 is a risk-shifting tool designed to encourage settlements in civil litigation—in essence, it serves to penalize a plaintiff who refuses to accept a reasonable settlement offer by making him responsible for all “costs” incurred after the date on which the offer was made.  It is triggered where the plaintiff offeree refuses to settle, and then fails to obtain a judgment that is more favorable than the settlement offer.  Because an offer of judgment shifts ...