Tag: Abuse of Discretion

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

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Firefighter’s $12.75 Million Verdict Against City of Seattle

Last week, the State Supreme Court affirmed a $12.75 million verdict (including $2,422,006 for future care and $10 million in noneconomic damages) against the City of Seattle in favor of former Seattle firefighter, Mark Jones, who was injured when he fell 15 feet down the “pole hole” in a fire station at 3 a.m. on … Continue Reading

Anxious Trial Witness Permitted to Testify in Presence of Comfort Dog

At issue in State v. Dye (PDF) was whether a criminal defendant is denied a fair trial by allowing a developmentally disabled victim to testify with the assistance of a comfort dog.  Such trial management decisions are reviewed for abuse of discretion.  Based on the evidence presented to the trial court at a hearing on the … 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
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