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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.

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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 III: Offender Score Showdown on DUI Cases - Divisions I and II Squaring Off Against Division III as Eastern Washington Rejects Morales and Jacobs.

State v. Hernandez

This case is actually pretty significant if you do DUI work. Otherwise, this is not a terribly exciting case. Its a guy who pleaded guilty to a DUI, but disputed his offender score calculation. He also was miffed about a bunch of terms that were over the statutory maximum sentences. Under the sentencing guidelines, these things have ranges - minimums and maximums. Sometimes you can depart with good reason. There was no such thing here.

Hernandez also complained about the court considering offenses that weren’t listed in the statute in calculating his offender score. The court of appeals had no problem with that. The statute talks about counting prior felony dui, felony control, and serious traffic offenses under certain circumstances. It doesn’t say that the other prior convictions won’t be counted under the standards for all offender score calculations. Its modifying a subset:

The holdings in Morales Jacob do not bind us. While Divisions One and Two were persuaded the plain meaning of subsection (2}(e) means solely those crimes specifically enumerated in the subsection could count in an offender score calculation for a felony DUI, we reason the plain meaning is that subsection (2}(e) acts as an exception to the wash out provisions seen in subsections (2}(c) and (d). Subsection (2)(e) revives certain offenses that would wash out under (2}(c) and (d), but solely in cases where the current conviction is for felony DUI or felony physical control.

First, the fact that they called it the Morales Jacob holding is weird. These are two separate cases: State v. Morales, 168 Wn. App. 489, 278 P.3d 668 (Div. I 2012), and State v. Jacob, 176 Wn. App. 351, 308 P.3d 800 (Div. 2 2013) (adopting Morales). These two cases essentially took the opposite view, that RCW 9.94A.525(2)(e) was an exclusive list, and not a modification of wash out provisions.

So, it looks like we have an honest to goodness split here that the Supreme Court will have to weigh in on. Hopefully this case is taken up to the Washington Supreme Court to settle the matter.

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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