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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 - WA State Supreme Court: Per curium defining substantial bodily harm; withdrawal of plea ok given misunderstanding of offender score

Two new opinions out of the court. One was a per curiam decision. What does that mean? The law in the thing is so basic, that the court doesn't really feel the need to have a "majority" author, because the court is speaking with one united voice. Here, in State v. McKague, the court used the opportunity to correct the court of appeals definition of substantially bodily harm:

The Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions in a split decision. Judge Armstrong dissented on the issue of the sufficiency of the evidence of "substantial bodily harm." He specifically disagreed with the lead opinion's citation to a dictionarydefinition of the term "substantial" as including "something having substance or actual existence." State v. McKague, 159 Wn. App. 489, 520-21, 246 P.3d 558 (2011) (Armstrong, J., dissenting in part and concurring in part). Judge Armstrong opined that under this definition, any cognizable injury would necessarily be "substantial." He would have held that the term "substantial" requires the harm to be considerable and that the State's evidence was insufficient to meet that standard.

We agree with Judge Armstrong that the majority applied an erroneous definition of "substantial," but we nonetheless affirm McKague's conviction because the evidence was sufficient to show that Chang's injuries were "substantial" under a proper definition.

The court takes no side on whether it was appropriate to define substantial in a jury instruction, only that the definition by the court of appeals was wrong. So what is the proper definition?

We hold instead that the term "substantial," as used in RCW 9A.36.021(1)(a), signifies a degree of harm that is considerable and necessarily requires a showing greater than an injury merely having some existence. While we do not limit the meaning of "substantial" to any particular dictionary definition, we approve of the definition cited by the dissent below: "considerable in amount, value, or worth." Webster's, supra, at 2280.

The next case on the block is State v. Robinson. Robinson was given a plea deal after being explained the implications. He thought his juvenile offenses had washed out. Not true. So basically he hadn't made a knowing and voluntary waiver, and the trial court allowed him to withdraw the plea. The Supremes agreed, holding that it was not an abuse of discretion to do so.

 

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