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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 Legal Roundup - WA State Supreme Court: Cigs on Trust Land Outside Res? State Juris. to raid untaxed cigs.

State v. Comenout

Really, that's all that's to it really. Comenout was operating a smoke shop on trust land outside the res. The cigs didn't have tribal or state tax stamps. 37,000 cartons in the store. Under an agreement, smoke shops in Indian Country to be licensed by the tribe.

This case presents two primary issues. The first is: does the State of Washington have criminal jurisdiction over tribal members selling unstamped cigarettes from an unlicensed store located on trust allotment property lying outside the borders of an Indian reservation?

Now, I'm calling out the clerk here. Never present a roadmap to your decision without providing all parts of the roadmap. A better read would be as follows:

This case presents two primary issues. First, does the State of Washington have criminal jurisdiction over tribal members selling unstamped cigarettes from an unlicensed store located on trust allotment properly lying outside the borders of an Indian Reservation? Second, are the Comenouts whether the Comenouts are exempt from the state cigarette tax as "Indian retailers"? We answer the first in the affirmative, and the second in the negative.

Then move on to your breakdown of each. My legal writing nerdacity is really showing here. I wrote this without checking who wrote the majority. Justice Alexander. Don't know his clerks, and I apologize if this offends you. You can ask Laura, I'm actually a really nice guy. But she will verify, ima nerd.

Moving on to the opinion, Washington State established criminal jurisdiction of Indian Country outside of reservations. State v. Cooper, 130 Wn.2d 770, 928 P.2d 406 (1996), controls, and the facts are pretty similar. So yes, the State does have jurisdiction here.

As to the tax, the contract with their tribe supersedes the general provisions of the statute (as per another statute saying so). RCW 82.24.020(5), if you care to look. Their contract says an Indian Retailer has to be licensed by the tribe, which this one was not. Thus, you're not an Indian Retailer. 9-0, with Judge Cox sitting in Pro Tem for J. Johnson.

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