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, ...

11
Aug

SBW Dominates Top 100

We try to be modest (at least as modest as trial lawyers can be). But we can’t help but mention this: all five of our firm’s partners were named as Washington SuperLawyers for 2017 (Dave Bruce, Jim Savitt, Michele Stephen, Steve Willey and Miles Yanick), and four made the list of the Top 100 lawyers in Washington. See 2017 Washington Superlawyers Top 100 list. ...

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 ...

02
Mar

Duncan Manville, David Bruce, and Brandi Balanda presented at the Landslides in Washington CLE Conference on March 2nd and 3rd, 2017 in Seattle, WA. David Bruce discussed "After the Slide - Post-Disaster Government Communications and Actions". You may download his presentation materials by clicking here. Brandi Balanda presented "Beyond Oso: Understanding, Avoiding, and Mitigating Spoliatation Issues". You may download her presentation materials by clicking here. Mr. Manville, who was a program chair, spoke on the topic ...

17
Oct

“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 finds spoliation has occurred, it can impose sanctions as it deems warranted – from monetary sanctions to shifting the burden of proof ...

08
Aug

Increasingly, companies are including arbitration agreements in their contracts with employees, customers, and each other, with the idea that arbitration will shield them from unwanted cost, delay, publicity, or liability. Among other things, there is a general consensus that arbitration avoids wasteful and expensive discovery, leads to quicker and more predictable outcomes, and sidesteps messy jury trials. But are these popular beliefs accurate? And if so, under what circumstances? Is Arbitration Efficient? What’s the most efficient way of ...

17
Dec

Males not Inherently Dangerous

Every once in a while an opinion comes along that reminds me why we endure the intermittent drudgery of reading the advance sheets. The recent decision by the Washington Court of Appeals in Rhodes v. MacHugh[1] is one such decision. Without making light of the serious injuries Mr. Rhodes suffered, which were not at all funny, males everywhere thank Mr. Rhodes for the sacrifice he made in service to the gender. Plaintiff Rhodes and Defendant MacHugh were ...

16
Sep

Some Critical Opportunities to Consider When Your Agreement is Made Part Four of Four (read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three) Unlike court rules, none of the ready-made sets of procedural rules for arbitration is set in stone. Agreements to arbitrate—and governing how to arbitrate—are just that: agreements. As a result, almost the whole of the arbitration process can be managed and controlled, if only a party takes the time to craft ...

07
Sep

Discovery and Depositions Vary Greatly Depending on the Rules You Selected Part Three of Four (read Part One, and Part Two) Perhaps the most significant area of difference among the various arbitration rules out there also is one where the differences are most significant: discovery. For example, under the AAA rules, an arbitrator “may” require the parties to exchange documents that they intend to rely on and “may” allow requests for production of “relevant and material” documents.[1] ...

21
Aug

Some Surprises You’ll Find Inside the Most Common Rules Part Two of Four (read Part One here) Some of the ramifications of a provision calling for arbitration with, for example, the AAA or under AAA procedural rules might surprise people. For instance, even when parties only agree to arbitrate under AAA rules, they also agree—by virtue of those rules—that the AAA will administer the arbitration (and charge its standard administration fees, which can be significant).[1] ...