Subscribe in a reader

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 - Div I: Commission Order Lessening Cops Punishment Not Supported By Substantial Evidence; Requests Under the PRA are NOT Continuing (duh); Oath-ify Your De Novo; UW Has Delegated Authority to Suspend Raises; But There's Not…err…typo…NOW Racism; Review Those Manslaughter Instructions; Can't Just Toss Out an Other-Person With ONLY Evidence That Another Said They Did It To Cops; Goodwill is an Asset

Holy &*(%!!!! Is Division I trying to kill yours truly? I need to get a hold of some truthers up in this biatch! Seriously! Eight opinions?! Ever heard of a little thing called staggering? Or scotch! Scotch would resolve this problem, I bet. If you're hungover, you won't pump out this much work in one day.

Werner v. Seattle Police Dep't

Its rare that you see something kicked back on lack of evidence grounds. Here, Werner (an officer with SPD) was disciplined for lying to investigators about striking a suspect. SPD, of course, wants its officers to be truthful. This is especially true given the recent string of incidents of officer violence.

Anyhow, Werner was being investigated for excessive force and denied striking a suspect. During the interview process for a job in Snohomish, he admitted to striking the suspect.

Gil 86'd the officer, but the commission reduced it to a 30-day suspension based on what it deemed uneven application of the discipline rules around truthfulness.

29.  Even-Handedness of the Rule.  The Commission 
       majority is concerned about the even-handedness in which the 
       Department is applying its rules.  There is evidence that employees
       in past cases involving dishonesty either received no suspension 
       of duties or only temporary suspension of duties.  Examples of 
       more lenient punishment include an officer who fired shots at a 
       stolen car and then misrepresented the facts was not suspended 
       for the incident; an officer who did not notify authorities of the 
       discharge of his service weapon, and only reported the incident 
       when he learned that local police were investigating was not 
       suspended but instead received a disciplinary transfer with no loss 
       of pay; an off-duty officer was involved in an encounter when her 
       handgun was accidentally discharged, she initially denied it before 
       reporting it to her chain of command and was given only 15 days 
       suspension; and an officer, who denied using any force but was 
       contradicted by three witnesses, received a one-day suspension 
       for excessive force in a case where dishonesty was an issue. To 
       date, no other employee has been terminated based on 
       dishonesty.  The Commission majority concludes the evidence 
       does not support that the Department even-handedly applied its 
       rules.

       The superior court reversed finding of fact 29 for lack of evidentiary 

support. The superior court ruled as follows:  

              The Department correctly argues that the finding is not supported 
       by substantial evidence.  To the contrary, none of the cases cited by the 
       Commission include a sustained finding of dishonesty (as opposed to 
       other misconduct).  Moreover, none of the cited cases involve a sustained 
       finding of intentional dishonesty in an investigation regarding use of force.  
       Nor did the Commission find that the misbehavior in the cited cases was 
       either as serious as or more serious than Werner's dishonesty.  In short, 
       there is neither any evidence that other officers who either engaged in the 
       same behavior or who were disciplined for dishonesty were treated 

                                           8 

No. 65632-5-I/9

       differently.

Yes, I'm going to be lazy and not format that. Its a pain in the butt and I have better things to do. Anyhow, the supremes went through the cases of "unevenhandedness" and found that they weren't comparable to Werner, noting that even Diaz had testified that not all discrepancies are acts of dishonesty (the law does allow for brain farts).

The superior court decision stands and the court refused to reinstate the commission ruling.

Sargent v. Seattle Police Department

There is no standing request under the PRA. Once the disclosure is made, they don't have to keep looking through new documents. Can you imagine?!

Brackman v. City of Lake Forest Park

A certificate of service filed with a request for trial de novo that is

signed by a legal assistant, but is not made under oath or under penalty of perjury, is

not "proof that a copy has been served" under Mandatory Arbitration Rule (MAR)

7.1(a).  We affirm the trial court's decision to strike the request for trial de novo and the 

order denying reconsideration.

Nye v. Univ. of Wash.

Peter Nye, representing a putative class of University of 

Washington faculty members, appeals a summary judgment order dismissing his 

breach of contract claim against the  university.  Nye contends the university 

breached its contractual obligation under the faculty salary policy to pay two 

percent merit raises to eligible faculty members during the 2009-2011 biennium.  

Because the university acted within its delegated authority in suspending the 

merit raises, we affirm.

State v. Read

Read argued that he didn't focus his racial epithets at one person as required by the law. The court begged to differ: "We hold that the virulent racial epithets Read used coupled with his aggressive and intimidating conduct establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Read intentionally and maliciously threatened the victim because of her race, color, ancestry, or national origin, and sufficient evidence supports the trial court's finding that Read made a true threat.

Donezo!

State v. Peters

The jury 

found Peters not guilty of felony murder but guilty of manslaughter in the first degree.  

Contrary to State v. Gamble, 154 Wn.2d 457, 114 P.3d 646 (2005) and 11 Washington 

Practice:  Washington Pattern Jury Instructions:  Criminal 10.03 (3d ed. 2008) (WPIC),

the trial court erroneously instructed the jury that in order to convict Peters of 

manslaughter in the first degree, the State need only prove that he knew of and 

disregarded "a substantial risk that a wrongful act may occur," rather than "a substantial 

risk that death may occur." Because the erroneous jury instruction was not harmless  

No. 64568-4-I/2

beyond a reasonable doubt, we reverse and remand for a new trial.

State v. Strizheus

This one is interesting. Strizheus pointed to his son, Vladimir. Because of what I'm about to type, I think I should refer to him as "Vlad the Stabby":

In his trial brief, Strizheus claimed Valentina blamed Strizheus for committing the 

crime because she was more afraid of Vladimir than she was of Strizheus.  Strizheus

asserted that Vladimir "is a suspect in this case" and there was evidence that 

established Vladimir committed the charged crime.  Strizheus argued that the evidence 

of Vladimir's October 2007 statements to the police, the February 2007 malicious 

mischief conviction, the 2008 incident resulting in the assault charge, and evidence that 

police had been called to the residence on several occasions in the months before the 

stabbing, met the requirements to admit evidence that Vladimir committed the crime.  

The defense further sought to introduce evidence that Vladimir was angry at Strizheus

because Strizheus allegedly had sex with Vladimir's girlfriend, and evidence that 

Valentina broke up a physical fight between Strizheus and Vladimir a couple of days 

before the stabbing.  

       The trial court addressed the admissibility of the proffered other suspect

                                               6 

No. 64077-1-I/7

evidence several times during the trial.  Most of the discussion focused on the 

admissibility of the statements Vladimir made in October 2007 as recounted in the 

police reports.  The State and the defense disputed whether these statements 

amounted to a confession to the crime.  Relying on the report of one officer, the 

defense argued that Vladimir said that he "'stabbed his mother and father.'"  The State

countered that the statements the defense relied on were not actually Vladimir's words 

but only the officer's interpretation of what Vladimir said to the other officer.  According 

to the State, the police officer whose report Vladimir cited would testify that Vladimir's 

actual statements were "'[i]t's my fault, arrest me.  I should be in jail.'"

 

Now, I don't know about you, but those statements seem pretty clear cut evidence of a different person committing the crime. I'm no Sherlock Holmes here, but a guy coming up to me and saying "I stabbed her" is pretty good evidence that its not anyone that didn't say that.

The court of appeals frames this, talking not about the other evidence, which Strizheus didn't talk about in the brief, but which he rested on just the statement:

But on appeal, Strizheus challenges only the trial court's 

exclusion of the statement Vladimir allegedly made to police in October 2007.  

Strizheus argues that the prior statement is direct evidence that Vladimir committed the 

crime.  Strizheus claims a statement that Vladimir stabbed his mother and father,

standing alone, satisfies the nexus required to admit evidence showing that Vladimir 

committed the crime.        

I dunno, they say its not enough on its own. I don't agree with this. This is when we get down to technicalities instead of truth. Hopefully there's an appeal to the supreme court.

Dixon v. Crawford, McGilliard, Peterson & Yelish

Goodwill is an asset for law firms.


In other news, have you checked out the new blog? The Nursing Home Neglect Report covers issues of elder abuse and neglect and elder care. You can find it at http://www.nursinghomeneglectreport.com.

Subscribe in a reader