The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has revised its Local Civil Rules effective January 1, 2020.  The changes to the rules themselves are modest; perhaps more important to the Western District bar are the changes to the District’s Model Agreement Regarding Discovery of Electronically Stored Information and Proposed Order (the “Model Order”).  In many federal cases involving discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”), the Model Order is the starting point for the parties’ negotiation of the nature, scope, and scale of discovery—and parties often adopt the Model Order wholesale.  The Model Order thus sets the ground rules in the Western District for one of the most expensive and fraught aspects of American litigation.


Ordinarily, in a dispute over the breach or performance of a contract where the aggrieved party is seeking a monetary award as compensation, the measure of those damages is the party’s “actual damages.”  Actual damages are just that—the measure of the aggrieved party’s actual loss, measured as the difference between the current circumstances and the circumstances that would have obtained had the contract not been breached.  The idea is to give the aggrieved party the “benefit of the bargain.”


Part Two (read Part One here)

(This is the second of two articles based on David Bruce’s presentation to the 2018 Annual Meeting of the League of California Cities.  Mr. Bruce is the co-founding partner of Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP and served as a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Seattle.)

As discussed in the prior post in this series, although Government entities generally have important legal defenses in cases involving natural disasters and disaster relief, the more the government gets involved, the more likely it is to create the basis for legal claims where none may have existed otherwise.  With this in mind, following are some tangible steps governments can take to minimize liability regarding natural disaster preparation and relief.


A handshake and a promise may be an amicable and honorable way to make an agreement, but is it legally binding?

In Washington, the answer is:  sometimes.  Whether an oral contract is enforceable in Washington depends upon the circumstances surrounding the terms of the agreement—most notably, whether the agreement falls under the provisions of the so-called “Statute of Frauds,” requiring that certain types of contracts must always be in writing and signed by the parties to the agreement (or at least, in some circumstances, signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought).


We are pleased to report that Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP has again been recognized by U.S News & World Report as a “Best Law Firm” both nationally and regionally in multiple practice areas.


(This is the first of two articles based on David Bruce’s presentation to the 2018 Annual Meeting of the League of California Cities.  Mr. Bruce is the co-founding partner of Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP and served as a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Seattle.)

Landslides, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis.  Natural disasters happen—and by all accounts are occurring more frequently and causing devastation and the loss of human life and property. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (the “NCEI”; see https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/beyond-data/2017-us-billion-dollar-weather-and-climate-disasters-historic-year) called 2017 “a historic year of weather and climate disasters” that caused a record amount of damage at $306.2 billion.


The attorney-client privilege protects communications sent between a lawyer and client.  But not all attorney-client communications are protected.  There are at least two common misunderstandings about when the privilege applies.


You just received a summons and complaint filed against your company by an employee, vendor or supplier, client, or customer.   What you do in immediate response may have a profound effect on what follows.  To position your company for the best possible outcome, here are five things to keep in mind in every case.


Savitt Bruce & Willey would like to congratulate five of our lawyers for their continued recognition as “Best Lawyers” for the 26th edition of Best Lawyers in America.  David Bruce, Duncan Manville, James Savitt, Stephen Willey, and Miles Yanick have again been recognized for their excellent work in Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Litigation – Intellectual ...


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 to determine its enforceability.

In this post, we take a closer look at the key elements of the new statutory scheme governing noncompete agreements, so that employers and employees can be attuned to how recent changes may impact their rights and risks.