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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.

Division II: Sign Holding Not Proper Punishment for Thief under the Sentencing Reform Act

State v. Button

Washington state does not give its judges the same leeway the judges and other states get. For our judges to impose a sentence, there has to be some statutory authority to do so. Our statutes allow things like community custody, jail time, probation, etc.

This case involves a woman to it embezzled funds from a booster club. The judge requested she hold the sign that said, “I stole from kids.” But the prosecutor and the defense attorney recognize that there is no authority for this. Though the parties agreed, the judge still summoned button back into court to determine why she did not comply with this. He then gave her more time in jail and still ordered her to display the side.

The courts do have the leeway to impose conditions on people as part of their sentence, but those conditions must be related to their crimes. For instance, hackers often cannot use computers. However, the judge oversteps their bounds when they coerce the defendant to do things for purposes of rehabilitation. Any affirmative condition must be authorized by the Sentencing Reform Act. “Persons may be punished for their crimes and they may be prohibited from doing things which are directly related to their crimes, but they may not be coerced into doing things which are believed will rehabilitate them."

Here, the Sentencing Reform Act does not authorize affirmative acts in relation to first-degree theft.

Now, here is the interesting question to me. What if Button decided to enter a plea agreement where she held the sign in lieu of a portion of her sentence? Would this still be subject to the Sentencing Perform Act requirements?

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