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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP   PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION LAWYERS

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.

Division I: At Odds With Division II Over Whether a Device was Designed for Shoplifting, Adopts Any Possible Purpose Test

State v. Larson

This is an interesting case, but not for the reasons you think. You see, in an earlier case, Division II said that pliers used to remove a security tag weren’t a device designed to overcome security systems. This is because pliers are designed to do other things, and just happen to also be able to overcome security systems. The statute was reserved for specifically made tag removers and foil lined bags…things that indicate professional repeat shoplifters. Though not mentioned, this could presumably include things like under-skirt hook and harness systems that gypsies would use to cart off televisions or microwaves under their dresses. If you’re caught with one of those, its an aggravating factor in your sentencing:

Principles of statutory construction and an analysis of the legislative history and statutory scheme do not resolve the ambiguity in former RCW 9A.56.360( 1)( b) in the State' s favor. If anything, these interpretive aids tend to 'support interpretation of the statute in Reeves' s favor. They definitely do not " clearly establish" that the legislature intended the phrase " item, article, implement, or device designed to overcome security systems" to include any device — including ordinary pliers — a person uses to overcome security systems to commit retail theft. 

State v. Reeves.

Well, we have pretty much the same thing here, only with wire cutters, and not pliers. The result was a little different out of Division I:

In recognition ofthe fact that wire cutters are designed to cutwire, which is a common feature ofsecurity systems, we hold that, within the meaning of former RCW 9A.56.360(1 )(b), wire cutters constitute a "device designed to overcome security systems."

. . .

We are aware that the foregoing analysis is at odds with a recent Division Two decision. See State v. Reeves, ___ Wn. App. ___, 336 P.3d 105 (2014) (holding that "ordinary pliers" do not constitute a device designed to overcome security systems). We are not persuaded by that decision's reasoning.

Judge Tricky rightfully dissents and would follow State v. Reeves.

While the lawyers at Issaquah Legal Services do not currently practice criminal law, we expect to add an Issaquah Attorney practicing in the area soon. In the meantime, please contact us for a referral to other qualified attorneys.

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