20
Nov

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, ...

30
Oct

Part One (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 ...

05
Sep

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. 1.  Do Not Communicate or Reach Out in Your Own Your first instinct may be to try to communicate with the plaintiff—the person who brought the suit.  You ...

25
Jun

In this era of tightening federal budgets and periodic government shutdowns, there can be no guarantee that any particular federal courthouse will be open for business—or even in existence—at the time an agreement spawns litigation. Under a recent Ninth Circuit decision, such a closure could be more than inconvenient: it could cut off a party’s bargained-for access to federal court. In a matter of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a venue-selection clause ...

01
Apr

SBW is pleased to report that our partner Steve Willey has been named a "BTI Client Service All-Star" for 2019. Unique among those who review or rate legal services, BTI's appellation relies only on the input of clients, predominantly major companies.  No attorney or firm can self-nominate, self-refer, nor pay to be included in this report, and peers at the bar also have no say.  Clients have the final--and only--say in the identification of those named.  To be included in ...

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 ...

28
Mar

SBW Welcomes Rena Chng

We are pleased to announce that Ms. Rena Chng has joined Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Chng was a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, and an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, in Palo Alto, CA.  Ms. Chng has represented clients in the technology, telecommunications, financial, insurance, and agriculture industries.  She is a 2000 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. Welcome, Rena!

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 ...

08
Sep

A previous post in this blog discussed the impact that arbitration rules can have on how an eventual dispute is resolved. In arbitration, the parties can chose—or even make—the rules that will apply. Often they will chose, without considering, AAA rules. A recent decision by the Washington Court of Appeals, Raven Offshore Yacht Shipping, LLP v. F.T. Holdings, LLC,[1] illustrates how adopting what would appear to be a “standard” set of institutional arbitration rules ...

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, ...