Skylee Robinson

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Skylee focuses her practice on general commercial litigation, with diverse experiences ranging from mass torts, products liability and class actions. She handles various phases of litigation including discovery, motion practice, alternative dispute resolution and trial. Since joining Stoel Rives, Skylee has been individually responsible for managing the document production and analysis in products liability/mass tort and class actions and for drafting dispositive motions and appellate-level briefing. She has also taken and defended depositions of fact witnesses, experts, and 30(b)(6) designees.

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State v. Franklin – State Supreme Court Divided Over Discretion

In State v. Andre Luis Franklin, five State Supreme Court justices reversed a defendant’s convictions after concluding the trial court erred in excluding evidence to further the defendant’s “other suspect” defense.  The defendant, Franklin, was in pseudo-relationships with two different women, Hibbler and Fuerte, and the women had a history of jealousy with one another.  … Continue Reading

Discretion Prevails: Trial Courts May Rule on Jury Instructions When Asked…or Not

In a unanimous decision, the Washington Supreme Court clarified Washington’s Criminal Court Rules by holding that it is within the trial court’s discretion to provide preliminary rulings on jury instructions during trial. The Court then affirmed Ronald Mendes’s second degree murder conviction after rejecting his argument that he was “compelled” to testify in his defense.… Continue Reading

State Supreme Court Upholds $57 Million Verdict for In-Home Care Providers

In a 5-4 decision, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a Thurston County jury’s award of over $57 million to live-in individual care providers (“providers”). Eight of the nine justices agreed to overturn an additional $39 million in prejudgment interest the providers also received at trial. All of the justices agreed that the recipients of … Continue Reading

State v. Garcia, Jr. – Not Enough Evidence for First Degree Kidnapping Conviction

In State v. Garcia, Jr., No. 88020-4, the State Supreme Court unanimously reversed the defendant’s first degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping convictions and remanded for a new trial of those convictions, but affirmed the defendant’s criminal trespass conviction. The defendant, Phillip Garcia, Jr., believed he was involved in a car chase after hearing gun shots … Continue Reading

These Walls Shouldn’t Have Ears: State Supreme Court “Appalled” by the Need to Remind State that It May Not Eavesdrop on Private Conversations Between a Defendant and His/Her Counsel

In State v. Pena Fuentes, the State Supreme Court again condemned “the odious practice of eavesdropping on privileged communication between attorney and client” in criminal matters, as it had previously done in State v. Cory, 62 Wn.2d 371, 382 P.2d 1019 (1963).  Though the Cory court held that such misconduct is presumably prejudicial, in Pena … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court: Recreational Use Immunity is in the Eye of the Landowner

In a 5-3 decision, the State Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment on the use of Washington’s recreational immunity statute (former RCW 4.24.210) in Camicia v. Howard S. Wright Constr. Co., No. 85583-8. Plaintiff Susan Camicia was bicycling along the Interstate-90 trail, crossing over a … Continue Reading

Fifty Shades of Poverty: State Supreme Court Holds There is No Such Thing as “Driving While Poor” If You Own Your House

In State v. Johnson, a 5-4 majority of the State Supreme Court upheld Lewis County resident Stephen Johnson’s third-degree driving while license suspended (DWLS) charge for failing to pay a $260 traffic ticket because he arguably had the financial means to do so. Background After Johnson’s driver’s license expired in 2001 he did not renew it.  In 2007, … Continue Reading

State Supreme Court Curtails Post-Foreclosure Sale Invalidation, but Permits Other Relief

Washington State Supreme Court reverses Division II in part and holds that failure to meet conditions to terminate a foreclosure sale and further appeal the trial court’s ruling constitutes a waiver of the right to challenge the foreclosure sale, but not other post-sale relief in Frizzell v. Murray, No. 87927-3. Background and Analysis Despite her … Continue Reading

Wash. S. Ct. Clarifies that Law Firm Paid By Title Insurer to Defend Insured Not Subject to Title Insurer’s Malpractice Claim

In Stewart Title Guaranty Co. v. Sterling Savings Bank, the State Supreme Court unanimously held that a law firm paid by a title insurer to represent its insured owed a duty of care only to the law firm’s client—the insured—such that the non-client title insurer could not maintain a malpractice action against the attorney.… Continue Reading

Summary of Cases Granted Review at Washington Supreme Court’s October Conference

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 Issue: Whether the Court of Appeals properly reversed a conviction for First Degree Trafficking … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies that Courts Must Resolve Disputes that go to the Validity of an Arbitration Agreement (e.g., Unconscionability) before Compelling Arbitration

In Hill v. Garda CL NW, Inc., the Washington Supreme Court reiterated that courts have the power and obligation to resolve dsputes going to the validity of arbitration agreements, unless an arbitration agreement clearly and unmistakably provides otherwise. Unconscionability is one such dispute, and the Court ruled that an arbitration agreement severely limiting the rights … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Recognizes Broad Discretion of Administrative Law Judges to Admit Evidence, Even if Inconsistent with Past Agency Position

In King County Public Hospital District No. 2 v. Wash. State Dep’t of Health, the Washington State Supreme Court recognized that administrative law judges have broad discretion to admit evidence in challenges to agency actions. Further, administrative law judges’ decisions on underlying agency actions are reviewed under the arbitrary and capricious standard, and the record supported the … Continue Reading