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Elizabeth Van Moppes Is Speaking At The WSBA’s Series Decoding The Law: Sexual Harassment: How Is #Metoo Transforming The Workplace?

By: Washington State Employment Law Lawyer Elizabeth L. Van Moppes

On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the Washington State Bar Association’s Decoding The Law Series will center on #MeToo and how we now view sexual harassment in the workplace. Ms. Van Moppes will be a panel speaker at this event which will also be available via live webcast as well as recorded for viewing after the event. The public and members of the Bar are invited to attend and participate in this discussion. For more information, please see the WSBA website at

Van Moppes Authors 2017 Washington Deskbook Chapter on Workplace Investigations in Litigation

By: Washington State Employment Law Lawyer Elizabeth L. Van Moppes

Elizabeth Van Moppes recently authored the 2017 Washington State Association for Justice Employment Law Deskbook Chapter on the Role of Workplace Investigations in Employment Law Claims. Available to WSAJ members only, this Deskbook and, specifically the Investigations Chapter, is designed to assist employment law litigators in their practice, with an investigator’s approach to the task at hand. Within the Investigations Chapter, Ms. Van Moppes utilizes her years of experience conducting independent investigations, and the training available from the Association of Workplace Investigators, to provide the litigator with an outline for analyzing an investigation’s role in an employment law litigation. The...Read More

Amicable Divorce? You Still Need to Update Your Estate Plan!

By: Washington State Litigation Lawyer Lisa M. Hammel

Getting a divorce is never easy --- but it certainly is less stressful when it is done amicably. In fact, many couples decide that they don’t need the advice of counsel because they are able to agree on the division of assets and liabilities --- and thus they proceed with filing pro se. Further, many couples remain friendly – and sometimes even more so – after the divorce, finding they actually get along better and like each other more outside of the confines of the marital relationship. In these situations, it is often the case that the spouses do not...Read More

When There Is Something Strange In Your Neighborhood…

By: Washington State Litigation and Business Law Lawyer Babak Shamsi

It may be your very own neighbor.  While many of us want to co-exist peacefully with our neighbors, you cannot always choose your neighbors, and they may have other goals in mind.  Conflicts between neighbors can arise in a variety of contexts, from tree cutting disputes to boundary disputes.  However, one of the most unsettling conflicts occurs when a neighbor trespasses onto your land and causes damage to your personal property. Perhaps a neighbor damages your fence or knocks down your retaining wall.  Whatever the case, having a neighbor enter onto your land without your permission and cause damage to...Read More

Paid Sick Leave In 2018: Are You At Risk Of Not Meeting This New Requirement For Washington Employers?

By: Washington State Business Law Lawyer Babak Shamsi

In the fall of 2016, Washington State voters approved Initiative 1433, which made four major changes to state law:  (1) it increases the minimum wage; (2) ensures tips and service charges are given to appropriate staff; (3) protects certain employees from retaliation for exercising their legal rights; and (4) requires employers to provide paid sick leave to certain employees beginning on January 1, 2018.  With the new year having arrived, employers now must have policies implemented that are in accordance with the new paid sick leave regulations promoted under Initiative 1433. Initiative 1433 requires employers to notify certain employees of...Read More

Remembering To Investigate As We Ride The Waves Of The #Metoo Sea Change

By: Washington State Employment Law Lawyer Elizabeth L. Van Moppes

As a woman in the work force for more than 30 years, I am personally proud of the many women who have come forward in the #MeToo movement, and equally gratified by the enterprises that are supporting them. We are witnessing a sea change the likes of which have not happened in over 40 years. As the mother of a young daughter, it is nearly impossible to put my feelings into words. However, as a workplace investigator, I must continue to advise caution as we move forward in this wave of social progress. I do not question the veracity or the...Read More

Appointing A Special Master In Lawsuits In Washington State

By: Washington State Litigation, Business and Real Estate Law Lawyer William O. Kessler

The lawyers can see it coming. By their nature, certain lawsuits are primed from the outset to cost the parties excessive money and time, regardless of the amount in controversy. A certain a piece of litigation might involve a technical or complex area of the law. It might require ongoing and frequent oversight of the discovery process. It might involve heavy pre-trial factual analysis, such as damages determined by an expert and/or a complicated CPA-generated accounting. Finally, some litigation might call for compliance with a litany of settlement requirements. In cases like those, an often-underutilized solution is the Special Master....Read More

Tax Bill Impact On Divorce And Separation Settlements: Paying Spousal Maintenance Lost Its Tax Advantage

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra S. Scott

For the past 75 years, a party who pays Spousal Maintenance/Alimony received the benefit of a tax deductible expense, and the party receiving spousal maintenance/alimony had the burden of paying income tax on the maintenance received. The tax consequences will change dramatically effective January 1, 2019. Under the new Tax Plan, for all divorce decrees and separation agreements executed after December 31, 2018, spousal maintenance/alimony payments are NOT a tax deductible expense. Such maintenance/alimony payments are treated as tax neutral, like child support is today (e.g., neither a deductible expense to the parent who pays, nor income to a parent...Read More

Lauer, Keillor, Moore, Spacey, and Rose! Harassment Terminations: Where They Stop Nobody Knows!

By: Washington State Employment Law Lawyer Elizabeth L. Van Moppes

Daily, the news brings us word of another celebrity termination for allegations of workplace harassment. We’re hearing of politicians, actors, and coaches terminated. It seems no male superstar is safe (we’ve yet to see a woman accused but I feel certain it is coming). We are living in what is being called the “Weinstein Era” or the “#MeToo Movement.” Social commentary aside, we’re witnessing a sudden consciousness that is going to have both short term and long term impacts on the workplace. Harassment in the workplace will never again be viewed the same. I’m receiving calls from clients concerned that...Read More

Washington State’s New Power Of Attorney Act

By: Washington State Litigation, Business and Real Estate Law Lawyer Lisa M. Hammel

A power of attorney gives powers to another party (commonly known as an agent or attorney in fact) to act on his or her behalf. A power of attorney essentially allows the agent to step into the shoes of the principal, and perform all acts a principal could perform in his or her own right. The scope of the power of attorney may include dealing with financial matters as well as health care decisions. It can be a useful tool when the principal is unable to manage his or her own affairs for any reason, such as travelling, hospitalization, or...Read More