Category: Washington Appellate Practice

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The Supreme Court Confirms What We Already Knew: Speculation, Hearsay, and Inadmissible Evidence Will Not Preclude Entry of Summary Judgment

In SentinelC3, Inc. v. Hunt (No. 89317-9), the Washington Supreme Court unanimously held that a dissenting shareholder’s belief that the non-dissenting shareholders “concocted a plan” to force him out of the corporation and artificially diminish the value of his shares did not create a genuine issue of material fact precluding entry of summary judgment on … Continue Reading

Criminal Case Roundup: You Don’t Need Cash to Get Out on Bail and the Supreme Court Wants to Know Whether “Child Luring” is Criminal or Just Disgusting

In State v. Barton, the Washington Supreme Court examined the mandate found in Article I, section 20 of the Washington State Constitution that criminal defendants “shall be bailable by sufficient sureties.”  The Court interpreted the phrase to mean that a criminal defendant has the right to make bail by using a surety, i.e., a third … Continue Reading

University of Washington Properly Suspended Merit Pay Increases in Face of Budget Cuts

In Storti v. University of Washington, the Washington Supreme Court determined that the University’s faculty handbook had created a valid unilateral contract with its faculty that promised a 2% merit-based salary increase subject to “reevaulation” based on funding.  When University funding went south at the height of the recession in 2009-10, the University cancelled the … Continue Reading

In Renters v. Landlords, the County Clerk Wins

Renters want to vindicate their rights without fear of retaliation.  Landlords want to know as much as they can about the people who seek to live in their property.  In Hundtofte v. Encarnacion a fractured Supreme Court resolved a conflict between those two impulses in favor of the landlords.  Renters can force their landlord to … Continue Reading

Washington’s Long Arm is Ready to Grab Madoff-Related Entity

Fall-out from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme continues.  The Washington Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the reinstatement of an action brought by a group of Washington investors (FutureSelect) against an investment firm (Tremont) that pooled and fed money into Madoff “feeder funds.” Having lost all of the $195 million it invested with Tremont, FutureSelect also sued Tremont’s … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Declines to Blame Gun Owner for Injuries Caused When a Child Took the Loaded Gun to School

In the denouement of a much-publicized case, the Washington Supreme Court ordered a trial court to dismiss charges against Douglas Bauer, a man who left a loaded gun accessible to his girlfriend’s six year old child.  The child took the gun to school, where it discharged and seriously injured a classmate.  Bauer was charged with … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Roundup

The Supreme Court announced five opinions today. We will post further analysis of the most interesting of these cases in later blog posts. Futureselect Portfolio Mgmt., Inc. v. Tremont Grp. Holdings, Inc. : The Court reversed a trial court dismissal of a lawsuit by a Washington entity against an out of state defendant related to … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Limits “Stop and Frisk”

In State v. Russell, a unanimous Supreme Court found that police officers who stop and frisk people under the “Terry stop” principle can only look for weapons and not fish for evidence of other crimes.  The Court also ruled that an individual does not give consent to a police search by “appear[ing] not to have … Continue Reading

Lying Isn’t Nice, But It’s Not Necessarily a Crime

Article by Manmeet Dhami, Summer Associate and law student at University of Washington School of Law [Learn more about Stoel Rives’ summer program here] According to a recent Washington Supreme Court decision, providing false information to a Sound Transit fare enforcement officer (FEO) is not punishable under Washington law. Typically, making a false or misleading statement … Continue Reading

Wash. S. Ct.: Medical Misdiagnosis Claims Separate and Distinct from Informed Consent Claims

By Sook Kim In Gomez v. Sauerwein, the Washington Supreme Court held that a medical negligence claim for misdiagnosis and a failure to obtain informed consent claim are mutually exclusive.  Justice Steven Gonzalez, joined by three other justices, concurred in the result but disagreed with the majority’s reasoning on this issue, arguing while alternative theories … Continue Reading

Wash. S. Ct. Clarifies Standard for Imposing Limitations on Parenting Plans

By Hunter Ferguson and Manmeet Dhami When considering a parenting plan, trial courts start from the premise that it is ordinarily in a child’s best interest to alter the existing pattern of parent-child interactions only to the extent necessary because of the parents’ changed relationship from physical, mental, or emotional harm.  But, as is the … Continue Reading

Police Dash Cam Footage Subject to Public Disclosure (with exceptions)

In Fisher Broadcasting v. Seattle, five Supreme Court justices held that the Seattle Police Department  violated the Public Records Act (PRA) when it denied  a KOMO TV reporter’s request for “a list of any and all digital in-car video/audio recordings that have been tagged for retention” by officers, including “officer’s name, badge number, date, time … Continue Reading

You’re All Better Now: Courts Will Presume Defendants Are Competent After Treatment

In State v. Coley, the Washington Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that defendants bear the burden of proof for establishing they are incompetent to stand trial after they complete therapeutic treatment designed to restore them to competency.  While the right to be competent during a criminal trial is grounded in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, … Continue Reading

Don’t Quit Too Soon

In Campbell v. State of Washington Employment Security Department, a unanimous Washington Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Department of Employment Security (Department) that a school teacher who quit his job in June 2010, to accompany his wife in February 2011 to Finland on her Fulbright grant, did not qualify for unemployment benefits under … Continue Reading

Petitions for Review – June 5, 2014

State v. Cates Court of Appeals Case No.:  68759-0-I Supreme Court Case No.:  89965-7 Issue(s): A community corrections officer (CCO) may not search a probationer’s home or personal effects without a warrant unless the officer has reasonable cause to believe the probationer violated a condition of community custody or committed a crime.  Did the Court … Continue Reading

Washington Won’t Second Guess Your Out of State Conviction.

In State v. Jordan, a unanimous Washington Supreme Court ruled that a trial court properly increased a defendant’s prison sentence because he had been previously convicted of manslaughter in Texas, even though Washington has more forgiving self-defense laws than Texas.   The court held that sentencing judges may properly consider the fact that a defendant was … Continue Reading

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

A Tough Day For Miranda Rights: Supreme Court Holds (1) That Miranda Does Not Apply To Interrogations Outside The United States By Foreign Authorities Regarding A Foreign Crime, And (2) That An Equivocal Invocation Of The Right To Remain Silent Is No Invocation At All

The Supreme Court unanimously held in State v. Trochez-Jimenez (No. 88557-0) that Miranda and its progeny do not apply when a suspect requests an attorney during an interrogation conducted outside the United States by foreign authorities regarding a foreign crime. Based on that holding, the Court rejected Trochez-Jiminez’s argument that statements he made during custodial … Continue Reading