Archive For: Litigation

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

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

When Should A Creditor File A Bankruptcy Adversary Action?

By: Washington State Business and Bankruptcy Lawyer Jonathan P. McQuade

Typically, creditors have little to no recourse when a debtor files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Unless the debtor has sufficient non-exempt assets to pay all of his creditors, or the debts are secured by homes, cars, or other tangible items, the debts will likely be discharged – i.e., wiped out – leaving creditors with little to no recovery on their debt. In certain instances, however, debtors cannot discharge debts because of how debtors incurred the debt. If   The debt was obtained by false pretenses, false representation, or actual fraud; or The debt arose from fraud or...Read More

An Update To The Relocation Statute

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

A Washington Court of Appeals recently differentiated 50/50 shared parenting plans from plans in which there is a named primary residential parent with respect to the intent to move with the child. “A proposed relocation that would modify a joint parenting plan’s equal residential time to something less than equal residential time is in effect a change in residential placement. Such a change in residential placement requires an adequate cause finding under the modification statute. We therefore conclude that the CRA does not apply to a proposed relocation that would modify the joint parenting plan’s joint and equal residential time...Read More

Criminal Background Checks: Controlling Risks For Employee Related Litigation

By: Washington State Litigation and Employment Lawyer Timothy E. Steen

Employers face increasing litigation risks from the wrongful acts of their employees as the law of negligent hiring and retention expands. Employers are potentially liable for negligent hiring when employing an unfit applicant who poses an unreasonable risk of harm to others. If an employer should have known of an employee’s unfitness at the time of hiring and the employment leads to the harm of a third person, employers may face substantial liability. Additionally, if the employer learns of the employee’s unfitness during the course of employment, an employer may be liable to a later injured party for retaining that...Read More

Creating Positive Outcomes For Our Clients

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

The lawyers of Beresford Booth harness our expertise to maximize the benefit for our clients in any given situation. This can mean transforming a seemingly dire situation to a positive outcome. We enjoy creating efficient and successful outcomes. Recently, we had a client whose financial position was bleak. His wife had died, leaving property in his hands. He called Beresford Booth PLLC and we helped our client take control of the estate. We quickly realized that as part of the estate, our client and his wife owned a shared property with a partner. We established that the partner owed our...Read More

Tools For Fast Debt Collection In Washington State

By: Washington State Business & Real Estate Law Lawyer William O. Kessler

Lenders and other creditors are often reluctant to litigate against a debtor, even when liability is clear and the debtor is solvent. Why? Because the creditor fears the debtor will either hide his assets, delay the litigation process, or both. Good news, Washington creditors. In many situations, your attorney may be able to quickly and efficiently collect the debt by obtaining pre-judgment writs of garnishment and attachment against the debtor’s property. Under RCW 6.25 and 6.26, your attorney simply files a motion with the court at the same time the lawsuit is filed, meaning there is a hearing on the...Read More

Total Loss Determination Of A Rare Or Uncommon Vehicle In Washington State

By: BeresfordBooth

So you have been in an accident and the insurance carrier has deemed your vehicle a total loss? You are not alone, on average 12 to 14 percent of all post-accident insurance appraisals result in a total loss. That means one in seven vehicles involved in an accident is a total loss. Whether a vehicle is determined to be a total loss depends generally on whether the cost to repair the vehicle approaches a certain percentage of the fair market value of that vehicle. I.  How Does an Insurance Carrier Determine the Fair Market Value of a Vehicle in Washington?...Read More

“Can I Lien This Project?” Contractor Liens And Pre-Claim Lien Notices In Washington State

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

Your crew has done construction or remodel work at a property, but you are not being paid. You want to file a lien against the real estate, but you are not sure you can legally. You are not even sure exactly how a lien might benefit you. Overview of Liens A “mechanic's lien” is the most common form of contractor’s lien in Washington. It sounds like something a car mechanic would utilize, but it actually applies to work performed on real estate. The lien is authorized by RCW 60.04. If you are within 90 days from the last date you...Read More

Plaintiffs In Washington State May Pursue Tort Lawsuits More Easily, Even When There Is A Contract

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

In the 2010 case Eastwood, the Washington Supreme Court set forth the Independent Duty Doctrine (the “IDD”).  Under the IDD, when two parties had a contract together, one could only sue the other for a “tort” (such as negligence or fraud) if the tort claim “traces back to the breach of a tort duty arising independently of the terms of the contract.” Eastwood v. Horse Harbor Found., Inc., 170 Wn.2d 380, 389, 241 P.3d 1256 (2010). The IDD was a roadblock to a plaintiff suing for a tort claim when there was also a contract involved.  However, under the recent Court of...Read More