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January 15th, 2020

Chong Yim v. City of Seattle, –Wn.2d–, 451 P.3d 675 (2019), also called Yim I, made headlines for its holding that Seattle’s first-in-time rule, which required landlords to rent to the first qualified applicant, was not facially unconstitutional. But it also made a huge change to Washington regulatory takings law by adopting the federal definition of regulatory takings…

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December 30th, 2019

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries recently overhauled the state’s rules governing overtime pay. As a result, the Department of Labor & Industries estimates 259,099 workers in Washington will become eligible for overtime pay once the new rules are fully implemented in 2028. The new changes will affect employees, especially those that are…

November 14th, 2019

Unfortunately, in the early 1900s, racially restrictive covenants were recorded against properties. This happened even in Washington. Whatcom County was not immune from this behavior. Some covenants would single out particular races of people that were excluded from owning or occupying the property. Others would limit ownership or occupation to one particular race. Sometimes, restrictions…

September 25th, 2019

Bellingham and Whatcom County are full of nonprofit service opportunities, including one our firm regularly supports and on whose Board I currently serve:  civil legal aid through LAW Advocates. I am frequently asked about nonprofit corporate board service and see issues arise when individuals don’t know what legal duties and responsibilities they have on a…

August 27th, 2019

When applying for Medicaid for yourself or on behalf of your spouse, it can be easy to forget that life insurance is an important asset that can impact financial eligibility. Generally speaking, term life insurance is an exempt resource and doesn’t count toward the Medicaid resource limits (the $2,000 resource limit for the applicant and,…

August 19th, 2019

Michael Kleps practices in the areas of Wills, Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. He is back full time at Carmichael Clark, P.S. after a nine month sailing adventure on the east coast US, Bahamas and Cuba. His family found living and traveling on a 30’ sailboat to have quite a learning curve between keeping an…

July 24th, 2019

The City of Bellingham’s new short-term rental (“STR”) ordinance became effective on May 5, 2019. BMC 20.10.037. It places restrictions on the rental of rooms, accessory dwelling units, and homes on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The City has created a helpful website describing the new regulations. All owners of STRs will need to obtain…

June 26th, 2019

Beginning July 1, 2019, employers will begin reporting under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. Employers will need to report for each employee, the employee’s name, social security number, and wages paid in the reporting quarter and the associated hours. The report must also include the total amount of premiums deducted from all employees’…

May 21st, 2019

On May 8, 2019, the Governor signed a new law passed by State Legislators which creates additional restrictions on non-compete or non-competition agreements or covenants in Washington State. These agreements, often signed at the onset of employment, restrict a departing employee from competing with their former employer, usually by working for a new employer in…

April 17th, 2019

When a commercial tenant breaches their lease one too many times, the landlord may decide to terminate the lease and evict the tenant. Commercial evictions are very similar to residential evictions. The landlord must comply with the terms of the lease and the applicable law to evict the tenant. Before a landlord can evict a…

March 15th, 2019

When a single individual purchases real estate in “fee simple,” which is outright ownership of the land, they hold a 100% interest in the property. When more than one person owns property together, a “tenancy” situation is created. “Tenancy” here does not mean how it is most commonly used today; no one is renting property…

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