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.

Division III - Asking People to be Polite Not a Courtroom Closure

State v. Stark

Stark (no, not Tony Stark…but you can picture that if it helps) shot her husband dead dead dead. The main issue here was whether the judge improperly closed the courtroom, in violation of Public Meetings requirements. Are you ready for the damning alleged closure?

I ask all the spectators, I don't really want people corning or going during closings, so if you don't think you can last the morning, you might want to rethink being in here, unless you really need to. It's just very disruptive.

Suffice it to say, the Court of Appeals did not agree this was an improper closure of a public trial:

     Here, like in Lormor, our focus is whether the plain language of the trial court's request "completely and purposefully closed [the courtroom] to spectators so that no one may enter and no one may leave." Lormor, 172 Wn.2d at 93. Contrary to Ms. Stark's arguments, the court's choice of language suggests the court did not "completely" or "purposefully" close the proceedings. Lormor, 172 Wn.2d at 93. First, the court did not tell spectators they could not come and go. The court "ask[ed] all spectators" not to come and go during the closings. RP at 891. Generally, we reason a request to minimize disruptive behavior is not a closure. Second, even assuming the court's request indicated an intent to close the court, it would not be a complete closure. The court directed its request solely to those who "don't think [they] can last the morning." RP at 891. Third, and most important, the court expressly permitted spectators to come and go if they "really needed to." RP at 891.

     Considering all, we reason the court did not intend to close the court. Instead, we conclude the court's purpose was, as it explained, limiting disruption. Accordingly, we hold the trial court did not violate Ms. Stark's public trial rights and, therefore, did not err when admonishing the spectators to limit disruptive behavior.

Turns out asking people to be polite is just that.

Subscribe in a reader