Case & Statutory updates 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 ...

Resuming Jury Trials in Seattle

Court systems across the country are on indefinite hold.  The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has continued all in-person civil and criminal proceedings scheduled to occur before August 3, 2020 pending further order of the Court.[1]  In Washington state courts, all civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until at least July 6, 2020.[2]  The ...

Court systems across the country are on indefinite hold.  The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has continued all in-person civil and criminal proceedings scheduled to occur ...

Temporary Garnishment Moratorium in Washington State

Earlier this week, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation (akin to an executive order) that imposed a temporary moratorium on garnishments of wages and other income to collect judgments for consumer debt throughout Washington.  The proclamation temporarily prohibits garnishments of wages and other income to collect judgments for consumer debt until 11:50 PM on May 14, 2020.  Violation of the ...

Earlier this week, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation (akin to an executive order) that imposed a temporary moratorium on garnishments of wages and other income to collect judgments for consumer ...

The Western District of Washington’s Revised ESI Model Order: One Size Does not Fit All

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Update: Will the Bezos Divorce Impact SEC Disclosure Obligations for Public Companies?

On February 20, 2019 we posted about whether the Bezos’ divorce would impact SEC disclosure requirements for public companies.  In this regard, Amazon’s recent filing may offer additional support to those who wish to argue that personal matters impacting management, or a shareholder who owns a controlling stake in the company, should be disclosed. On April 4, 2019, Amazon ...

On February 20, 2019 we posted about whether the Bezos’ divorce would impact SEC disclosure requirements for public companies.  In this regard, Amazon’s recent filing may offer additional support to ...

James Savitt Testifies as Expert Witness in United States v. Troy Kelley

Jim Savitt testified as an expert witness in the case of the United States v. Troy X. Kelley, Washington’s State Auditor who was accused of theft and money laundering. Mr. Savitt’s testimony, on behalf of the defense, addressed the interpretation and ambiguity of the contracts central to the prosecution’s case. On April 26, 2016 the jury returned an acquittal ...

Jim Savitt testified as an expert witness in the case of the United States v. Troy X. Kelley, Washington’s State Auditor who was accused of theft and money laundering. Mr. ...

Privilege and the Public Records Act

To what extent does the attorney-client privilege[1] exempt from disclosure under Washington’s Public Records Act[2] billing statements submitted to government agencies by outside litigation counsel? The privilege protects “communications incident to the giving and receiving of legal advice, and incident to the representation of the client’s legal interests.”[3] This includes attorney-client communications about relevant facts. As the Washington Supreme ...

To what extent does the attorney-client privilege[1] exempt from disclosure under Washington’s Public Records Act[2] billing statements submitted to government agencies by outside litigation counsel? The privilege protects “communications incident ...

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 ...