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Litigation

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014 

To view the full text of these opinions, please visit: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.recent or Lexis subscribers may use the links below to access the cases on either lexis.com or Lexis Advance. 

The Supreme Court of Washington filed 5 new opinions and Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed 3 new published opinions on Thursday, July 31, 2014:

Supreme Court:

1. LK Operating, LLC v. The Collection Group, LLC  
No. 88132-4  
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 572 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 572 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAW; COURTS

Brief: Where the only damages claimed by a legal malpractice plaintiff are attorney fees incurred in a separate litigation and the only legal basis on which plaintiff asserts those fees are compensable is the ABC Rule, then the defendant is entitled to summary judgment dismissal if the ABC Rule does not apply to the undisputed facts as a matter of law.

2. LK Operating, LLC v. The Collection Group, LLC  
No. 88846-9  
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 573 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 573 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAW; COURTS

Brief: The proceedings below satisfied the requirements of procedural due process because the parties received sufficient notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard regarding the issues presented for judicial determination. The undisputed facts established as a matter of law that the joint venture proposal contemplated a business transaction subject to, agreed to, and entered into in violation of former RPC 1.8(a). The violation of former RPC 1.8(a) rendered the terms of the business transaction unenforceable under the circumstances presented and the remedy imposed was appropriate. The business transaction also was entered in violation of former RPC 1.7, but the court declined to determine whether the violation of former RPC 1.7 would also justify the remedy imposed.

3. Sentinel C3, Inc. v. Hunt  
No. 89317-9 
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 571 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 571 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAW; COURTS

Brief: Dissenting shareholders' assertion that they were entitled to a trial under RCW 23B.13.300(5) was rejected because summary judgment was appropriate where there was no basis for the valuation opinions offered by the dissenting shareholders, other than their consultation with independent experts, which were not authenticated.

4. State v. Barton  
No. 89390-0 
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 575 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 575 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Wash. Const. art. I, § 20 means a defendant must be allowed the option to secure bail via a surety, as distinct from cash or other security. To the extent the trial court's order disallowed this possibility, it was vacated and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

5. State v. Homan  
No. 88339-4  
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 574 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 574 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: There was sufficient evidence to find that the defendant lured the minor under RCW 9A.40.090 because the defendant's statement, “Do you want some candy? I've got some at my house,” was an invitation and an enticement, and an invitation “to a house” implied an invitation to enter the house to receive the offered candy.

Court of Appeals:

1. State v. Davis  
No. 31052-3 
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1883 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1883 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: When an affidavit sets forth enough details to reasonably infer a suspect is growing marijuana on his or her property in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, chapter 69.50 RCW, the affidavit does not need to show the inapplicability of the Medical Use of Cannabis Act to establish probable cause. In this case, a sufficient nexus existed between the marijuana observed in the greenhouses and the search of the house and shed. The affidavit in support of the warrant supported a reasonable inference that the house was related to the marijuana growing in the greenhouses and evidence of criminal activity could be found inside.

2. State v. Constantine   
No. 31313-1 
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1881 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1881 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: In this case, the nexus requirement for a search warrant was met. The warrant contained information that the defendant’s husband owned and controlled the property on which the buildings stood and that the type of evidence sought could be found in the greenhouses, the house, and the shed. The relevant facts were that officers observed at least 20 marijuana plants growing in a greenhouse on the property. Located close to the greenhouses were a home and a shed. These buildings were on a clearly defined living compound owned by the defendant’s husband. Only one road driveway accessed both the greenhouses and the house, and dead ended on the property. However, the trial court erred by requiring the physician’s testimony before it would instruct the jury on the defendant’s medical marijuana affirmative defenses.

3. In re Marriage of Tahat  
No. 31454-5 
(July 31, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1882 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1882 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: COURTS; DOMESTIC RELATIONS AND FAMILY LAW

Brief: In this marriage dissolution appeal, the court held that (1) a letter ruling by the trial court was not a “decision” for purposes of commencing the period in which a party must file a motion for reconsideration under CR 59 and (2) the trial court should have allowed the nonmoving party an opportunity to respond before the trial court granted the motion for reconsideration.

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