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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 Supreme Court: Court Invalidates Terry Stop Outside of Drug House; Could Have Reversed On Vehicle Search Grounds But Chose Terry Stop

State v. Doughty

Doughty stopped by a drug house for a couple minutes and drove away. An officer stopped him, and ran a records check and found he had a suspended. They searched incident to arrest and found meth.

Those familiar with the recent slew of search and seizure cases that have been coming down know that they can search the vehicle for something instrumental to the crime and in the immediate vicinity, but no longer have a full blanket ability to search the entire vehicle. Thus, the meth they found incident to arrest in the vehicle search is out:

Oooops. Helps if I read the whole opinion. The terry stop itself is out!

In contrast, here Bishop relied only on his own incomplete observations. There was no informant's tip (which was the element we found most persuasive in Kennedyid. at 6-8) and no furtive movement. Bishop merely saw Doughty approach and leave a suspected drug house at 3:20 a.m. Bishop had no idea what, if anything, Doughty did at the house. The totality of these circumstances does not warrant intrusion into Doughty's private affairs.

. . .

A more apt analogy rests with State v. Gleason, 70 Wn. App. 13, 851 P.2d 731 (1993). Based on the totality of the circumstances, the Gleason court held it improper to seize a person merely for exiting an apartment complex that had a history of drug sales.  Id. at 18.  The court reasoned that "this was the first time the defendant had been seen in the area, the officers did not know what occurred inside the apartment and neither officer saw him involved in the purchase of drugs. Further, there was no evidence Mr. Gleason was acting suspiciously, he was not carrying any unusual objects."  Id. (citation omitted).  That statement describes the events in Doughty's chronology almost exactly.

Officer Bishop lacked sufficient specific and articulable facts to seize Doughty.  No legal basis existed for the Terry stop.  If a Terry stop is unlawful, the fruits obtained as a result must be suppressed.  See Garvin, 166 Wn.2d at 254.  "'The exclusionary rule mandates the suppression of evidence gathered through unconstitutional means.'"  Id. (quoting State v. Duncan, 146 Wn.2d 166, 176, 43 P.3d 513 (2002)); see also Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 83 S. Ct. 407, 9 L. Ed. 2d 441 (1963). Accordingly, suppression of the evidence obtained after the unlawful seizure in this case is proper.

Now, here's what I'm seeing. The court really wanted to take a look at this Terry stop issue. They could have gotten rid of the conviction on the grounds I talked about earlier. They didn't? Is this a commentary on our State

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