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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

State v. Bliss

Bliss was driving her van when a patrol officer pulled her over to verify she was the registered owner.  The patrol car had noticed the van and a light skinned woman with light hair driving.  The police officer ran a check on the car to find that the registered owner (Bliss) had outstanding arrest warrants (felony and misdemeanor) and was a light skinned woman with blond hair.  The officer pulled Bliss over, arrested her, and searched the van- finding meth.  Bliss tried to suppress the meth by arguing that the office made an unreasonable stop and an unreasonable inference she was the driver.

Bliss appeals her conviction, arguing that the trial court erred in denying her CrR 3.6 motion to suppress the meth and in concluding that the officer acted reasonably in stopping Bliss’s vehicle.  Bliss also argues that under Arizona v. Gant, which disallows a warrantless vehicle search incident to arrest under some circumstances, the meth should have been suppressed.

The appeals court disagreed with Bliss’s arguments that the police officer’s observations of her prior to pulling her over were not sufficient for the stop and that the stop was unjustified, however, the court held that in light of Gant, there was insufficient evidence for review and remanded back to the trial court for more evidentiary hearings. The court based its decision regarding the justified stop on the analysis that the police officer observed a driver with light skin and light hair, which fit the description of the registered owner with outstanding warrants. 

The appeals court remanded on the limited issue of whether any other exceptions to the warrant requirement might apply to the search of Bliss’s vehicle.  The trial court is to conduct another suppression hearing, enter findings and give those findings to the Division II Court of Appeals.

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