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

State v. Harvill


(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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