Archive For: Litigation

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

Can A Defendant Be Served via Facebook?

By: BeresfordBooth

Serving a defendant is not always easy – he may be hard to locate and may do everything in his power to evade service. You may not be able to find a physical address or he could be living half a world away. So what if you could just serve him somewhere where you’ll know the defendant will see it: his Facebook page? In jurisdictions outside of the United States, more and more courts are allowing service of legal documents and notices through electronic means… even via Facebook and Twitter. In most instances, Facebook or other social media is a...Read More

Federal Courts To Stay Open But U.S. Attorneys Postponing Civil Litigation During Government Shutdown.

By: BeresfordBooth

Despite politicians’ inability to resolve the budget impasse in Washington D.C., the Executive Office of the United States Courts recently announced Federal Courts will remain open through at least October 17—possibly through Friday, October 18th.  The Federal Courts have been operating on fee income and no-year appropriated funds to keep operations functioning since the shutdown started on October 1st by severely restricting spending.  But it is not “business as usual” in the Federal Court system for either the Courts or the U.S. Attorneys Office since the shutdown started.  For example, according to an October 10th memo from the Department of...Read More

Do Not Wait Too Long To Protect Your Rights In Washington State

By: Washington State Litigation Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson

If you think your rights have been violated in Washington State, then don’t wait too long to protect them.  The case of Anderson v. Dussault, et al helps illustrate this point.  How much time is “too long” will vary depending upon the situation and the rights involved.   This case is specific to trusts, however, other laws can lead to the same result in a variety of situations. Anderson v. Dussault, et al., a recent case from Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals, illustrates the dangers of waiting too long to protect rights you think may have been violated. ...Read More

Turning A Civil Judgement Into Cash With A Personal Property Execution

By: Washington State Civil Litigation Lawyer William O. Kessler

After a party obtains a civil judgment in a lawsuit, his lawyer often advises him to conduct “supplemental proceedings.”  This is a process in which the judgment debtor appears in court and answers the lawyer’s questions about the nature and whereabouts of the debtor’s assets. There are often problems with supplemental proceedings, including: (a) the debtor has notice of the hearing, giving him time to hide his assets either before or after the hearing; (b) the debtor often lies about the location and nature his assets; and (c) at the end of the day, the judgment creditor puts no cash...Read More

Bank Repossess Wrong House Then Tries To Bargain With Homeowner

By: BeresfordBooth

Unfortunately the story of Katie Barnett, a Vinton County, Ohio woman is not a new one in this post-recession housing market, but is still one a homeowner’s nightmares are made of.  While Ms. Barnett was on vacation, a bank accidentally repossessed her home, rather than the correct home across the street.  When Ms. Barnett returned to her home in McArthur, Ohio, she had to crawl through the window to get into her house because the locks had been changed and her key no longer worked in the front door.  Once inside, Ms. Barnett was greeted by the absence of many...Read More

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 PLLC substituted in as counsel...Read More