Journal/Case Review

2016-bannerca-bar-convention-2016
89th Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California
Tips on the Rules of Evidence and Jury Selection: Use of Flow Charts and Working Diagrams.

At the 2016 89th Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California, I attended two excellent lectures by veteran LA trial lawyer Michael D. Schwartz entitled: 1) The Rules of Evidence: A Trial Lawyer’s Version; and 2) Jury Selection: A Trial Lawyer’s Version. Mr. Schwartz is a former criminal prosecutor, founding member of Trial Advocacy …

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December 7, 2016
second-ave-good-one
Tort Law: Duty of Business and Property Owners to Protect Others From Criminal Acts

I recently defended a Seattle hotel against claims that the hotel had breached a duty to protect a guest from being criminally assaulted by another guest. I had not really looked at issues of this kind since the late 1980s when I defended a bank whose employee was hurt by a pipe bomb placed in …

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October 24, 2016
email-message-in-bottle
Evidence: What Does An E-Mail Disclaimer Really Do for You?

I always read e-mail disclaimers declaring that the mail is protected from unauthorized use by “attorney-client privilege” and as “work product”, but I always wonder a bit whether the blanket use of such e-mail disclaimers makes any real sense. Federal Rule of Evidence 502 provides some protection against waiver of attorney-client privilege in federal proceedings …

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October 24, 2016
civil-rights-debate-drawing
Discovery: A Deponent Need Not Draw Under Civil Rule 30?

In a recent deposition, opposing counsel was pressing my client to make a drawing by hand of the position of a horse lying in a roadway over which his client had allegedly driven her Ford Explorer. I did not want my client to draw because I thought that the result would be inaccurate in scale …

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October 24, 2016
contract-fine-print
Contract Law: Statutes That Make Contractual Relief Reciprocal

Prior posts have covered exceptions to the American Rule, the generality that parties pay their own attorney fees in litigation. An additional point concerns a potential nexus between contractual and statutory exceptions to the Rule. In Washington, when a contract contains a clause providing that only one party may recover attorney fees in the resolution …

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October 24, 2016
dont-play-hard-to-get
Motion and Trial Practice: Start with Basic Concepts and Definitions

The advent of the internet and online research tools has led many lawyers to look at the ‘big picture’ first when analyzing a legal issue for motion or trial practice. Although I might try an immediate Google or Lexis search depending on what I’m looking for, I more often take the advice of the judge …

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October 24, 2016
olympia-cap
Law Tech: Following California and Washington Legislation

If you would like to follow proposed and current laws/legislation in California and Washington State including proposed amendments to existing statutory law try the California Votes and Washington Votes websites. These sites allow you to create a free account and build a “watch list”. Thereafter, you will be sent e-mail(s) with legislative updates concerning your …

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October 24, 2016
man-with-stack-of-paper
Civil Procedure: Pre-Suit Filing Requirements Meant to Screen, Streamline and/or Prevent Litigation

Whenever a particular kind of litigation becomes abundant, cumbersome and/or very costly, state courts and legislatures often attempt to meet it with some sort of control or prophylactic measure. In Washington, construction defect litigation was met by RCW 64.50.020 (mandating notice of claim and procedures for negotiations pre-suit) and RCW Chapter 64.55 (prescribing inspection, arbitration …

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October 24, 2016
jd-supra
Law Tech: JD Supra

The JD Supra website is a good place to find articles about specific legal topics, legal briefing and pleadings, and case law, as well as to learn a bit more about a lawyer’s practice. A registered user of the site can upload documents by category or type and posted documents are searchable and can be …

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October 24, 2016
court-columns-full-flag
Discovery Of Expert Information Over A Civil Rule 26 (b)(5)(B) Objection.

There seems to be expert(s) everywhere who are willing to investigate, document and analyze almost any subject matter on short notice and later testify about their efforts, if only given the chance. Sometimes a party or parties to litigation may attempt to protect discovery of what expert(s) find at the scene of a loss even …

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October 24, 2016
insurance-management
The Impact Of Evidence Extrinsic To The Complaint In Determining An Insurer’s Duty To Defend

Under Washington law, there are two exceptions to the rule that the duty to defend must be determined only from the complaint, and both the exceptions favor the insured. If coverage is not clear from the face of the complaint but may exist, the insurer must investigate the claim and give the insured the benefit …

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October 24, 2016
construction-worker-working-on-window
Job Site Owner Liability for Work-Related Injuries of Independent Contractors and Their Employees

This post [using the Washington Supreme Court decision in Kamla v. Space Needle Corp., 147 Wn.2d 114 (2002)] reviews some of the primary legal theories upon which a job site owner may become liable for work-related injuries of independent contractors and their employees. In Kamla, the employee of a contractor was hurt while installing a …

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October 24, 2016