Photo of J. Will Eidson

J. Will Eidson focuses his practice on complex litigation, including the representation of insurers in significant coverage disputes, particularly in the areas of fidelity and surety bonds and directors and officers insurance. He also has experience in matters involving antitrust issues, contractual disputes and investment-related claims.. He was a law clerk for The Honorable C. Arlen Beam in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (2007-2008).

The Rules of Professional Conduct: A Basis For Civil Action Or Remedy?

The Washington Supreme Court’s recent decision in LK Operating, LLC v. The Collection Group, LLC calls into question the extent that a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (“RPCs”) may be used as a basis for civil action. Ultimately, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed the rescission of a contract based on a violation of RPC 1.8(a).

This case involved a joint venture transaction regarding a debt collection business. The parties to the joint venture included LK Operating, LLC (“LKO”) and The Collection Group, LLC (“TCG”). The members of LKO, Leslie Powers and Keith Therrien, are both Washington attorneys who worked for the same law firm (the “Law Firm”). One of the members of TCG, Brian Fair, initially asked Mr. Powers and Mr. Therrien if they, along with their Law Firm, would be interested in investing in TCG and operating a joint venture. The proposal involved each party to the joint venture contributing fifty percent of all required funds, Mr. Fair providing administrative and management services, and the Law Firm and Mr. Powers providing legal services.Continue Reading The Rules of Professional Conduct: A Basis for Civil Action or Remedy?

Schroeder v. Wieghall

When Jaryd Schroeder was nine-years old, he sought treatment from Dr. Steven Weighall and Columbia Basin Imaging.  During this treatment, he received an MRI, which Weighall reviewed and concluded was normal.  Nearly eight years later, at the age of 17, Schroeder underwent another MRI.  This MRI revealed that Schroeder suffered from an Arnold Chiari Type I Malformation.  The radiologist reviewing the second MRI concluded that the condition had been present to the same extent at the time of Schroeder’s first MRI.

Subsequently, the day before his 19th birthday, Schroeder filed a medical malpractice action against Weighall, Columbia Basin Imaging, PC, and a third party (who was dismissed by stipulation).  In response, Weighall argued that the action was time barred by the applicable statute of limitations and subject to the minority-tolling exemption codified at RCW 4.16.190(2).  The trial court agreed with Weighall and dismissed Schroeder’s action.  Schroeder then appealed directly to the Washington Supreme Court, arguing that RCW 4.16.190(2) violated article I, section 10 and article I, section 12 of the Washington State Constitution.

The Washington Supreme Court reversed.Continue Reading Toll This: Wash. S. Ct. Holds Tolling Exemption In Med Mal Cases Unconstitutional


Washburn v. City of Federal Way involved the tort liability of a municipality.    Paul Chan Kim murdered his partner, Baerbel K. Roznowski, after a Federal Way police officer served Kim with an anti-harassment order forbidding him to contact or remain near Roznowski.  After the murder, Roznowski’s daughters filed suit against the City of Federal Way (the “City”), alleging that the police officer negligently served the anti-harassment order and, as a result, Kim murdered Roznowski.   After a jury trial, the jury returned a verdict against the City.  On appeal, the City claims that the trial court erred in denying its summary-judgment motion and motion for judgment as a matter of law because under the public-duty doctrine, the City owed Roznowski no duty.    Both the Court of Appeals and the Washington  Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decisions.Continue Reading Washington Supreme Court: Municipalities Can Be Held Liable For Negligent Service Of Anti-Harassment Orders

Yesterday the Washington Supreme Court recognized that taxpayers may immediately turn to courts for relief if a municipality ignores a request for a tax refund.  In CMS v. Lakewood, the Court held that the exhaustion of administrative remedies doctrine does not bar a suit for a tax refund if the taxing authority fails to respond to a refund request.  But in so holding, the Court clarified that exhaustion of administrative remedies remains a vital prerequisite to bringing suit, even if it is not a jurisdictional requirement. 
Continue Reading Washington Supreme Court on Tax Refund Suits: You Can’t Exhaust the Already Exhausted

At its October 1, 2013 conference, the Washington Supreme granted review to four cases. We provide a summary of the issues presented in each case below.

State v. Owens
Supreme Court No. 88905-8
Court of Appeals No. 67867–1–I
PFR & Answer


Whether the Court of Appeals properly reversed a conviction for First Degree

In the Matter of the Personal Restraint of Benjamin B. Brockie, No. 86241-9 (Sept. 26, 2013) (en banc)

Benjamin Brockie was charged by information for, among other things, first degree robbery.  Brockie’s charging information indicated that “in the commission of an immediate flight therefrom, the defendant displayed what appeared to be a firearm or other deadly weapon.”  (emphasis added).  Critically, the charging information did not provide for the alternative means of committing first degree robbery–being armed with a deadly weapon.  The jury instructions, however, did include this alternative charge.  After Brockie’s trial, a jury convicted Brockie of, among other things two counts of first degree robbery.  In response to these convictions and his subsequent sentencing, Brockie filed a pro se motion to vacate his judgment and sentence.  Brockie’s motion argued that his conviction should be vacated because the jury was improperly instructed on the alternative means of committing first degree robbery, which was not contained in the charging information.  The superior court where Brockie filed his motion considered it a personal restraint petition–a form of collateral attack–and transferred the motion to the Court of Appeals.  The Court of Appeals then transferred the motion to the Washington Supreme Court.
Continue Reading No Prejudice Where Jury Received Charging Instructions Not Included in Original Charging Information

Brown, et al. v. MHN Government Services, Inc., et al. Opinion – August 15, 2013

Validity of Arbitration Agreements

This case involved an agreement, labeled “Provider Services Task Order Agreement,” between two mental health professionals and their employer. The agreement contained, among other things, a “Mandatory Arbitration” provision and was governed by California law. After several years of working for MHN Government Services, Inc. (“MHN”), plaintiffs filed a complaint in Pierce County Superior Court alleging state law wage claims on behalf of themselves and a proposed class. In response, MHN filed a motion to compel arbitration and stay the proceedings. Plaintiffs, in response, moved to quash the demand for arbitration, claiming that that the following five provisions were unconscionable (1) the forum selection clause; (2) the contractual statute of limitations; (3) the arbitrator selection provision; (4) the fee-shifting provision; and (5) the punitive damages exclusion. The superior court denied the motion to compel arbitration. MHN appealed and the case was ultimately transferred to the Supreme Court, pursuant to RCW 2.06.030.Continue Reading Brown, et al. v. MHN Government Services, Inc., et al., No. 87953-2 (Aug. 15, 2013) (en banc)

In Skyline Contractors, Inc. v. Spokane Housing Authority (pdf), the Court of Appeals reaffirmed the principle that an aggrieved bidder on a public work contract is limited to seeking  injunctive relief against the government.  The Court of Appeals then extended this principal to a bidder that is awarded the public work contract and subsequently divested of its award.  As a result of the Court’s holding, a bidder, whether successful or not, is precluded from seeking monetary damages against the government.  Instead, it may seek only injunctive relief.
Continue Reading Public Works Contract Bidders Limited To Injunctive Relief Under Washington Law

In Sacred Heart Medical Center v. Knapp (pdf), the Court of Appeals concluded that a remand for further consideration of whether a claimant is in need of vocational services does not constitute a grant of “additional relief” under RCW 51.52.130(1)’s fee-shifting provision.
Continue Reading “Additional Relief” in Industrial Insurance Act Fee-Shifting Provision Clarified

In Davis v. Fred’s Appliance (pdf), the Court of Appeals held that individuals who suffer workplace discrimination due to perceived sexual orientation are not members of a protected class therefore cannot recover on a hostile work environment claim under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”).  The Court also affirmed dismissal of a claim for defmation, which ruling prompted a strong (and persuasive) dissent (pdf). 
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Holds WLAD Does Not Permit Employment Discrimination Claims Based On Perceived Sexual Orientation

In Deere Credit, Inc. v. Cervantes Nurseries, LLC, the Court of Appeals recognized that a parallel bankruptcy proceeding involving multiple creditors is not the same “action” for purposes of RCW 61.12.120’s bar against a plaintiff foreclosing on a mortgage “while he is prosecuting any other action for the same debt or matter which is secured by the mortgage. 
Continue Reading The Washington Court Of Appeals Clarifies The Scope Of The Single-Action Rule