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June 22nd, 2021

When parties are involved in a legal dispute, oftentimes they will be better served resolving their dispute in ways other than in a trial. Litigating cases in court, with a jury or a judge deciding who wins and loses, has many downsides: Litigation is time-consuming. It can often take a year or more to get…

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May 27th, 2021

A key step in perfecting a lawsuit is serving the defendants. Failing to serve timely or serving the wrong documents or the wrong person could lead to dismissal of a case. One of the most basic, and often confusing, aspects of service is understanding the difference between form of process and service of process. Form…

May 7th, 2021

As described in my November 2020 blog, in September 2020, the Washington State Department of Ecology submitted a report to the Washington State legislature requesting funding for an adjudication of the water rights in two watersheds, the Nooksack River Basin (WRIA 1) and the Lake Roosevelt and Middle Tributaries (WRIA 58). The state legislature passed…

March 31st, 2021

The Washington Department of Health has announced that all Washingtonians 16 and older will be eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccinations starting April 15, 2021. As remote workers transition back to the office in larger numbers, many employers want to know if they can legally require employees to be vaccinated for Covid-19 before they return. The…

February 26th, 2021

Executor. Trustee. Power of Attorney. Most of my clients have encountered these common estate planning terms before, but often they aren’t quite clear on the differences between them. It’s helpful to think of each term as a job title. Each “job” is similar in that all involve acting as a fiduciary (that is, being legally…

January 28th, 2021

Have you ever wanted to be a friend of the court? Well, you can. All it takes is filing an amicus curiae (Latin for “friend of the court”) brief in an appellate court case. Appeals can often be high stakes. When a party appeals a trial court’s decision, it is often because the party thinks…

January 14th, 2021

On December 21, 2020 Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, signed into law December 27, 2020. This Act continued, and in some ways expanded, the unemployment benefits available to individuals. It removed the mandates for employer provided sick leave and family medical leave, but extended the employer tax credits through March 31, 2021. UNEMPLOYMENT…

November 20th, 2020

In a September 2020 report to the legislature, the Washington State Department of Ecology (“DOE”) recommended that water rights in the Nooksack River watershed (“WRIA 1”), along with rights in one other watershed, Lake Roosevelt and middle tributaries (WRIA 58), be formally adjudicated. All water withdrawn in Washington State is withdrawn pursuant to a water…

October 29th, 2020

Hiring and managing employees means paperwork. Most small business owners are aware they’re supposed to keep employment records for their employees, but many are understandably confused about what they’re required to keep and for how long. Since failing to comply with the various state and federal laws governing employment document retention can be a costly…

September 25th, 2020

I frequently find that my estate planning clients come into our initial meeting with a decent understanding that end-of-life care directions are an important part of a complete estate plan, but that they often have a confused sense of how end-of-life care directions are actually documented. This is understandable as the central document for end-of-life…

August 25th, 2020

Arbitration is an alternative way to resolve disputes outside of court. As explained by the American Bar Association, arbitration is a private process where disputing parties agree that a neutral third party can make a decision about the dispute after hearing evidence and arguments. Arbitration is different than mediation. In arbitration the arbitrator can decide…

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