09
Apr

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 announced via a Form 8-K filing that MacKenzie Bezos will receive as part of ...

20
Mar

The Rights of Minority Shareholders in Washington Minority shareholders—those who don’t own a controlling interest in a corporation—frequently do not have a say in corporate financial or management decisions.  And in closely held corporations, such shareholders also may not be able to easily sell their stock.  But the law provides certain protections.  Among other things, Washington law gives minority shareholders the right to inspect certain corporate records.  Minority shareholders also have the right to bring a suit on behalf of the ...

27
Feb

When used effectively, Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure gives defendants a powerful and often underestimated tool.  Rule 68 allows “a party defending against a claim” to serve an offer of judgment with “the costs then accrued.”[1]  The offeree then has 14 days to accept the offer, or the offer is considered withdrawn.  If the offer of judgment is not accepted and the judgment that the claimant eventually obtains “is not more favorable than the ...

13
Sep

Disputes often arise in the middle of a deposition—such as how to allocate the time available for deposing a third-party witness, the scope of a 30(b)(6) deposition, or simply the permissibility of a line of questioning or an objection.  Although these are opportune times to call the judge for an immediate and timely ruling, parties often are reluctant to do this. Courts would obviously prefer that parties resolve discovery disputes without the court’s intervention.  Calling the judge’s chambers in the middle ...

30
Aug

Mr. David Bruce presented on the topic of Class Certification at the Seminar Group's 21st Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference on August 24th, 2018. In his presentation titled "Class Certification: The End or Just The Beginning", Mr. Bruce discussed how wage and hour class actions present issues of CR 23 commonality and predominance, highlighted in U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes. These issues are often prominent in litigating certification, and many class actions settle if and after a ...

01
Aug

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 responsive records, communicating with requestors, and providing the records for inspection and copying unless they are exempt from disclosure ...

08
Nov

All documents filed in a court proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (and most places) are available to the public—unless filed under seal. In the Western District, a party can file a document under seal only: (a) where a statute, rule, or prior court order expressly authorizes it or (b) if the party filing the document under seal files a motion to seal (which the court may or may not grant) either before or ...

15
Sep

Our website has a blog. We think (hope?) it is good—that it has articles of interest to our clients and our colleagues at the bar, and that it sometimes is not just interesting but amusing. (E.g. here and here.) It doesn’t have a name, though, and don’t all good blogs have a name? Well, we like a musical as much as anyone else, and we can recognize much of ...

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, ...

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 ...