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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: Implied Equitable Servitude May Keep the Golf Going

Riverview Community Group v. Spencer & Livingston

Here’s a short story on this one. People bought properties surrounding a golf course. They bought the properties because it was surrounding a golf course. The golf course then went away, and the owners of the golf course sought to change it to homes.

One of the biggest problems here is the time difference between when the representations that this place was being made with the golf course were made by the developers and the time in which the golf course was going the way of the dodo – 30 years.

When this went to the Court of Appeals, they said that the owners of the property did have some expectation that there would always be a golf course, but that you can’t be expected to maintain a derelict golf course.

The supreme court first looked at standing. For those that don’t know, that is the right for a certain person to bring a lawsuit. In most cases, it’s simple. The person bringing the lawsuit is the one who is directly involved in it. Here, it is an organization of people that may or may not have been involved in the original sales of the houses. However, the association here was formed specifically for the purpose of defending the interests and keeping a golf course in the development.

The next question here has to do with something called equitable servitude. Essentially, this is saying that the golf course is restricted to being a golf course because all these people bought the houses because of the golf course. Usually, these things have to be in writing. Here the question is whether it can be implied because it was represented to the people that bought the houses that the golf course was a major part of this development. When the developers say things like this, it raises the property value. When homeowners sell their houses, it allows them to sell at a higher value. Taking away the golf course would take down the property values.

The court found that there was enough evidence here to have a trial as to whether there was an equitable servitude regarding the golf course. The court also reversed the Court of Appeals on the issue of whether it would, essentially, be unfair to force them to keep this is a golf course for profitability reasons. Unfortunately, there was no evidence in the record one way or the other.

Off to trial we go!

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