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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. 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 in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

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.

Court of Appeals: Div. III – “Permanent” Does Not Mean “Forever”

In re the Interest of J.R.

This is a sad case where perhaps the law failed. When J.R. was five years old, his mother relinquished her parental rights to him. A guardianship was ordered and the guardianship put J.R. in the care of his grandmother and another relative. After 10 years the guardians requested that the juvenile court terminate the guardianship. At this point J.R. was 15 years old and his mother had apparently cleaned up her act. J.R. wanted to live with his mother.

RCW 13.34.215(1) allows dependent children to petition for reinstatement of parental rights if four conditions are present:

1. The child was previously found to be a dependent child under this chapter;

2. The child's parent's rights were terminated in a proceeding under this chapter;

3. The child has not achieved his or her permanency plan within three years of a final order of termination; and

4. The child must be at least twelve years old at the time the petition is filed.

There was no doubt that J.R. met the first, second, and fourth conditions, but the State argued that he did not meet the third condition because there was a permanency plan in place when the guardianship was ordered. Under the same statutory chapter, “permanency plan of care” includes guardianships. J.R. argued that since the guardianship was terminated after 10 years, it couldn’t have been permanent. The State countered that “permanent” does not mean forever, it simply means “intended to last.”

The Court of Appeals agreed with the State citing legislative intent, the unambiguous language of the statute, and the ever powerful Webster’s Dictionary. J.R. also claimed that the statute violated his right to substantive due process and equal protection, but the Court didn’t agree. The decision was affirmed. However, the opinion did state even though the juvenile court found that there was no statutory support for J.R.’s petition, “the court indicated that the State would continue to explore permanency plan options for him.” Hopefully the right result was obtained.

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