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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.

Court of Appeals: Div. III – Court Finds No Contempt, Just Parents’ Inability to Communicate

Williams v. Williams

Mr. and Ms. Williams (no relation to this writer…I think) had two children together. They didn’t play nice and thus the court was used as a playground monitor to make sure they followed the rules. The rules in this case were contained in the parties’ parenting plan. It has been my experience in family law that people either take one of two roads when it comes to parenting plans: either they file the parenting plan away after the divorce is over and never refer to it again or they have it memorized and use it as a sword to constantly chastise their ex-spouse. The key difference here being the ability to communicate and work things out without needing a document to tell the parents how to raise their children TOGETHER. Divorce does not end the relationship if you have children. It just makes it different.

Fighting Parents

In this case, Mr. Williams cried foul to the court and alleged 11 counts of contempt on his ex-wife for failing to follow the parenting plan. Ms. Williams told the court that her actions were justified based on Mr. Williams’ abusive nature and drinking. (I swear they’re not related). “The commissioner found both parents' bad behavior stemmed from mutually bad communication. The commissioner further found noncompliance by the mother may have been justified given Mr. Williams' behavior that invited Ms. Williams' responses.” The motion for contempt was denied.

Mr. Williams appealed claiming that the trial court erred in combining the 11 contempt allegations based on separate incidents. The Court of Appeals quoted In re Marriage of Eklund, 143 Wn.App. 207, 213, 177 P.3d 189 (2008): “It is well within the trial court's discretion to hold that, when an initial petition alleges separate violations of a single court order, the incidents constitute a pattern of conduct that merges into a single finding of contempt when these acts are simultaneously declared to violate the order.” Therefore allegations of separate violations can merge into a single finding of no contempt. Mr. Williams also claimed that the commissioner’s findings were incorrect, but the Court of Appeals did not agree.

The bad part of this whole thing is that once these kids are over the age of 18 (which one of them now is), they will have to be the referees in this ugly dance for the rest of their lives. Graduations, weddings, holidays, even funerals will become the battle field for these two individuals to display their inability to just get along for the sake of their children.

Referee

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