ABA Says Lawyers May Passively view a Juror’s Electronic Social Media

    Formal Opinion 466 Lawyer Reviewing Jurors’ Internet Presence The AB’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility was asked to form an opinion on whether a lawyer may review a juror’s electronic social media. The Committee determined that there are three levels of lawyer review of a juror’s internet presence: passive lawyer review of a juror’s website or electronic social media (ESM) that is available without making an access request where ... [Continue Reading]

Exceptions to Public Duty Doctrine in Negligence Cases

Fabre v. Ruston, No. 43459-8-II, (Mar. 19, 2014). The issue in this case were the proprietary and special relationship exceptions to the public duty doctrine. The elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation and damages. A governmental entity is liable for damages "to the same extent as if they were a private person or corporation."   Cummins v. Lewis County, 156 Wn.2d 844, 853, 133 P.3d 459 (2006) (quoting RCW 4.96.010( 1)). However, when the defendant is a governmental agency, ... [Continue Reading]

Under WEAJA, No Judicial Review, No Attorneys’ Fees

  More on Attorneys' Fees   In re Dependency of A.P., No. 30925-8-III (Nov. 14, 2013) DSHS filed a petition and alleged A.P. was a dependent of the State, but B.P. successfully opposed it in superior court and retained custody of her daughter. She sought an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs under Washington's equal access to justice act (WEAJA) in RCW 4.84.350.  WEAJA awards attorneys’ fees to qualified parties who prevail in a judicial review of an agency ... [Continue Reading]

WA Supreme Court Affirms its Holding in Coristine

    State v. Lynch, No. 87882-0 (Sept. 19, 2013) The WA Supreme Court affirmed its reasoning in State v. Coristine, 300 P.3d 400, 177 Wn.2d 370, (2013) in a case with similar facts. Lynch was charged with second degree rape and indecent liberties.  His defense was that the state could not prove its case, but over his objection, the trial court allowed a jury instruction on the affirmative defense of consent.  The jury instruction on consent shifted the burden of proof ... [Continue Reading]

When is dismissal with prejudice appropriate?

   CrR 8.3 gives two tests for dismissing a criminal charge: 1.                  CrR 8.3 (a) – when the prosecutor sets forth reasons in a written motion, the court has discretion to dismiss the criminal charge and 2.                  CrR 8.3(b) – when the court moves to dismiss because the prosecution has engaged in arbitrary action or misconduct which materially prejudiced the defendant.  The trial court must set forth its reasons in a written ... [Continue Reading]