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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.

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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