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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP   PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION LAWYERS

Issaquah Law Group - Injury Litigation Attorneys

TRUST: Personal injuries are personal. Which is why the attorneys at ILG treat every client and every case differently. Because they are different, and extremely personal. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built on trust. Trust that you will be heard. Trust that you will be protected. Trust that every effort will be made to see justice done in your case. The singular goal of every ILG attorney is to earn and preserve that trust.

EXPERIENCE: ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals and we bring this experience to bear on behalf of our clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents, bus versus pedestrian accidents, defective and dangerous products, medical malpractice, slip/trip and fall accidents, and catastrophic losses due to fire.

LOCATION: We are located on the Eastside in Issaquah, convenient to Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Renton, Sammamish and North Bend. However, we provide legal services in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County and throughout the entire state of Washington.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Legal Roundup: Division II

State v. Kennealy

Kennealy appeals his many convictions of child rape, child molestation, and assault with sexual motivations.  The charges concerned three children ages 5, 6, and 7.  Kennealy argues on appeal that the trial court erred in admitting several child hearsay statements, finding that one of three children were competent to testify, and argues that the prosecutor committed misconduct when he referred to Kennealy’s past misconduct with children as part of a common scheme or plan in closing arguments.

Preceding trial, the court held competency hearings for the children involved as well as a hearing relating to the admissibility of several child hearsay statements.  The court found all three children competent despite that one of them suffered ADD and there was some confusion in his testimony about “promises.”  On appeal, this court held that the trial court did not error and affirmed all the convictions.

The appeals court ruled that the trial court did not error in finding that S.J was competent to testify.  The court reasoned that while S.J was interviewed he listened very carefully to all the questions, had an adequate memory of what happened to him, and the mental capacity to relay that information to the court.  Despite the fact S.J suffered from ADD, he could listen to each question and provide accurate information.

In determining the child hearsay statements admissibly the trial court considers the 9 Ryan elements, though the factors are considered on an overall evaluation.  The appeals court found, after reasoning that the children did not have a reason to lie, they had been trustworthy and had reputations for truthfulness, that each child told the same accusations to more than one person over time, the statements were spontaneous when recanted back, and that the statements were made soon after the events occurred preserving the memory of the incident, that the trial court did not error in determining that the child hearsay statements were admissible.

In regards to the prosecutorial misconduct, the court reasoned that the common features between his prior misconduct and the misconduct charged at trial showed a plan to “gain access to children in order to repeatedly sexually abuse young children.” The court did not find the statements to be too prejudice that it outweighed their probative value.  Moreover, the court argued that the trial court gave limiting instructions to the jury regarding the defendants prior misconducts were heard by the jury.   

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