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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.

WA Supreme Court: When Nolte Wants Cocaine, Nolte Gets Cocaine!

State v. Harvill

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(Nolte wants coke!)

Nolte (not the one pictured) was a bad, bad man. He'd smashed a bottle on a guy's head, giving him brain damage. He pulled a gun from another man, and then stepped in. So when Nolte called up Harvill, wanting cocaine, Harvill was understandably a little afraid. When he said, “You better get me some cocaine,” Harvill was understandably a little afraid.

Now, while the jury may not have determined that this amounted to dress, it was error for the trial court to not give such an instruction.

The trial court denied Harvill's request for a duress instruction on the ground that there was no actual "threat." See RCW 9A.16.060(1)(a) (allowing a duress defense only if the defendant "participated in the crime under compulsion by another who by threat or use of force, created an apprehension . . . ." (emphasis added)). In this context, "threat" means "to communicate, directly or indirectly the intent . . . [t]o cause bodily injury in the future to the person threatened or to any other person." RCW 9A.04.110(27)(a).

. . .

The question comes down to whether the duress statute requires an explicit threat or whether an implicit threat that arises from the circumstances will suffice. At trial and again on appeal, the State emphasized that Nolte never told Harvill to get him drugs "or else," arguing that the absence of this phrase or similar words confirms that no express or implied threat occurred. VRP (Jan. 4, 2007) at 38; Br. of Resp't at 8-9. But, the lack of an "or else" proves only that there was no direct threat. The statutory definition of threat sweeps more broadly. See RCW 9A.04.110(27) (defining "threat" as "to communicate, directly or indirectly the intent . . . [t]o cause bodily injury" (emphasis added)). Determining what counts as an indirect communication of intent to cause physical harm depends on the totality of the circumstances.

Implicit threats count, and are viewed from the reasonable perceptions of the defendant.

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