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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: PRA Requires Some Detailed Explanation as to Claimed Exemptions

City of Lakewood v. Koenig

Lakewood redacted some drivers’ license numbers within PRA requests. They cited generally some statutes, including RCW 42.56.240 (general law enforcement exemptions), RCW 46.52.120 (Records of Convictions and Infractions), and RCW 46.52.130 (abstract of driving record). Note that there is no subsection there, just the general statute. 

After being called to the carpet over the vagueness, the city responded with another citation and a case, and said that redaction of drivers’ license numbers was “self-evident.” 

We find the city's response did not meet [the] standard. In its response to each request, the city either failed to cite a specific exemption or failed to provide any explanation for how a cited "other" statute exemption applied to the redacted driver’s license numbers in the specific records produced. Consequently the burden was shifted to the requester to sift through the statutes cited by the city and parse out possible exemption claims. This was improper under the PRA.

Now, we are left with a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, the rules don’t require a correct explanation of the cited authority for withholding, but it does require some explanation. The four person dissent points out that this opinion will have the effect of requiring a correct citation. 

Interesting case, for sure.

Issaquah Legal Services Personal Injury Attorneys are skilled in using the Public Records Act to move you case forward and can help you in parsing through the complexities of the PRA if you need to respond.

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