Archive For: Litigation

London Lawyer Outs J.K. Rowling As Author Of The Cuckoo’s Calling

By: BeresfordBooth

The recent outing of J.K. Rowling as the author of the mystery novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, highlights the heightened necessity of a lawyer maintaining client secrets in the age of social media.  Apparently a London lawyer told his wife’s best friend about Rowling’s pseudonym, who then posted the information on Twitter.  A London newspaper then found the information on Twitter and published it in a weekend edition. Rowling, reeling from the disclosure, succinctly summed up the situation as follows: "To say that I am disappointed is an understatement….I had assumed that I could expect total...Read More

How Ignoring An Arbitration Notice Cost Miss USA Contestant $5 Million

By: BeresfordBooth

Recently, a Manhattan federal judge upheld a $5 Million arbitration award against Miss Pennsylvania for remarks she made claiming the Miss USA beauty pageant, which is owned by Donald Trump, was rigged. Several lessons can be learned from the ruling upholding Mr. Trump’s arbitration award. First, and most importantly, never ignore an arbitration notice or an arbitration action if you are a named party.  In the case of Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania, she ignored the arbitration proceedings entirely—apparently on the advice of her lawyer—and the arbitrator awarded the $5 million award against her by default. The entry of the award...Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Enforces Contracts Barring Class Arbitration Despite High Litigation Costs

By: BeresfordBooth

On June 20, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant, holding that contract agreements that require arbitration and prohibit class-action claims are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), even when the potential recovery is overshadowed by costs of individual arbitration.  The 5-3 opinion, which was authored by Justice Antonin Scalia is linked herein.  The case involved merchants in New York City that tried to pursue a class arbitration claim against American Express.  The lower court, here the 2nd Circuit, had held that the arbitration provisions were unenforceable because the costs associated...Read More

Beresford Booth Wins Dismissal Releasing Client from $30 Million In Exposure On Racketeering Claims

By: BeresfordBooth

On April 17, 2013, the Hon. Richard A. Jones issued an order dismissing the majority of the pled claims in Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians v. Nelson et. al. Case No. 2:10-cv-00327-RAJ (W.D. Wash) (the “Order”).  A complete copy of the Order can be found here: [wpdm_file id=1] In February 2010, Plaintiff, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians (the “Tribe”) commenced an action against multiple defendants alleging a multitude of causes of action, all centered around the Tribe’s real estate transactions, construction and operation of a methadone clinic, and a smoke shop operated on tribal lands.  Beresford Booth substituted in as counsel of...Read More

Neighborhood Boundary Line Dispute Escalates Into A Bulldozer Rampage

By: BeresfordBooth

By Washington State Litigation Attorneys Beresford Booth PLLC. Just days after a Port Angeles man made national news by demolishing his neighbor’s home and flattening his neighbor’s truck, along with damaging several other homes, media outlets are reporting that the bulldozer-wielding man “was angry about a longstanding dispute over a property line and fence.” Lawyers at Beresford Booth have extensive experience in resolving property line disputes and boundary issues and the facts of this recent incident highlight the need to retain legal counsel before a boundary dispute between neighbors escalates to volatile levels.  Retaining legal counsel also would have been...Read More

The Most Common Construction Defects That Lead To Water Damage In The Pacific Northwest

By: BeresfordBooth

As summer approaches Pacific Northwest property owners come out of hibernation, into the sun, and inevitably begin dealing with repair and maintenance on their properties including their homes and condominiums.  Now is a good time to review your property’s weatherproofing and examine any areas where you may have had any water intrusion over the past winter months. It is through this annual review that you might identify possible construction defects in your property.  Some construction defects are more obvious than others, but some defects and their resulting damage may not become observable for many years.   For example, defects causing water...Read More

One Simple Way to Avoid Litigation – Always Have an Attorney’s Fee Provision in Your Controlling Documents

By: BeresfordBooth

Always have an attorney’s fee provision in your controlling documents.  It seems like a simple concept to understand.  Repeat it now:  Always have a fee provision.  Without a fee provision, the party contemplating litigation only has to answer the question: “How am I going to pay my lawyer to pursue my claims in this case?” With plenty of lawyers out there working on contingent fees in this economy, answering that question is becoming a lot easier.  However, if there is a fee provision in the contract or other controlling documents, the party contemplating litigation not only has to figure out...Read More

New Hope for Tort Claims in Contract Litigation

By: BeresfordBooth

Since the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Alejandre v. Bull in 2007, a plaintiff was generally prohibited from recovering money damages in tort (e.g. a claim based on negligence) if (a) the plaintiff and defendant had a contract and (b) the tort arose out of the subject matter of that contract.  Dubbed the “Economic Loss Rule,” the logic was to encourage parties in a contractual relationship to allocate the risk of loss in the contract.  For example, in Alejandre, the Supreme Court precluded homebuyers from pursuing a negligence claim against their seller when the septic tank turned out to be...Read More