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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

Thompson v. Lennox

Be nice to thy neighbor.  The Thompsons appeal the trial court’s award of appellate fees and costs after their appeal was dismissed for failure to file an opening brief.  The case began after The Thompsons sold property across from their house to their neighbors the Lennoxs.  In the deed was a written height agreement stating that the property could not exceed 25 feet in order to keep their view. 

After construction began, the Thompsons felt their neighbors were in violation of the agreement, filed suit and lost.  The trial court held that the language was ambiguous and the Lenox’s interpretation that the measurement be from the eastern most point was reasonable.  The trial court ordered the Thompson’s to pay attorneys fees and costs.  Meanwhile the Thompson’s filed an appeal but failed to file opening briefs and the appeal was dismissed and sent to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with the dismissal.  The trial court further ordered additional fees and costs against the Thompson’s for the commenced appeal.

The Thompson’s argue that the trial court did not have authority to award appellate attorney fees for the abandoned appeal.  This Court agrees.  The court reasoned that RAP  18.1 requires that the party seeking attorneys fees request the same in their opening brief in front of the appeals court.  Moreover, RAP 18.1(d) requires a party to serve and file in the appeals court an affidavit detailing the expenses.  RAP 18.1(f) allows for the commissioner or clerk to determine the amount of fees without a hearing.  If the parties object to the amount they file a motion under RAP 17.7.  Therefore the court held that, read together, RAP 18.1 “makes clear that a party seeking fees on appeal must clearly set forth the request and the basis for same before the appellate court.” The court also rules that appellate jurisdiction was triggered in this case when the Thompson’s filed their notice of appeal, therefore the appropriate authority for a request for appellate fees and costs would have been the appellate court. 

The Respondents relied on some general rules from three cases, which this Court distinguished and basically shot down.  The Respondents also relied on the mandate written by a clerk of the appellate court notifying the parties that the court was dismissing the case and retaining no jurisdiction to issue orders and that the Superior Court “now has jurisdiction to take all actions consistent with the mandate”  to which the Court ruled that a mandate becomes binding on the parties and would have included an award for attorneys fees, which the trial court would have authority to enforce.  In this case, however, there was no award of fees and costs included in the mandate for the trial court to enforce because any such award should have been requested and been ruled on by the appellate court.  

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