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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 Legal Roundup - Division II

Bless Div. II for only putting out one opinion tonight. And from the looks of it, its criminal. Lets see if that means easy blogging for yours truly:

State v. Heath

The trial court wanted to wrap up its day, so it cut off motions in limine for Heath's firearms possession trial, to pick back up in the morning. In the morning, instead of hearing the motions in open court, it heard them in chambers. The judge also allowed jurors to ask questions individually in chambers during voir dire if they felt they'd not be able to see it in open court. However, to do closed proceedings of this nature requires a Bone-Club analysis. State v. Bone Club, 128 Wn.2d 254, 906 P.2d 325 (1995). The state had argued that the right to a public trial belonged to the public. However, the right to a public trial belongs to the accused.

The trial court didn't apply the Bone-Club factors, but here they are for you anyhow:

1. The proponent of closure or sealing must make some showing [of a compelling interest], and where that need is based on a right other than an accused's right to a fair trial, the proponent must show a "serious and imminent threat" to that right.

2. Anyone present when the closure motion is made must be given an opportunity to object to the closure.

3. The proposed method for curtailing open access must be the least restrictive means available for protecting the threatened interests.

4. The court must weigh the competing interests of the proponent of closure and the public.

5. The order must be no broader in its application or duration than necessary to serve its purpose.

Bone-Club, 128 Wn.2d at 258-59.

Judge Hunt, in her dissent, would require the trial court to explicitly close proceedings to the public for a Bone-Club analysis to be implicated. This, of course, would lead only to judge's implicitly closing proceedings. I fail to see how any closer, whether explicit or implicit, isn't a foreclosure on the right to a public trial. Moving a trial to chambers effectively closes it to the public. I wonder if she would so readily allow the public into her chambers?

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