HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Wednesday, January 22, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Wednesday, January 22, 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.


Division Two of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions and announced the publication of 1 additional opinion and Division Three filed no opinions on Wednesday, January 22, 2014:

1. State v. Miller
No. 43215-3
(January 22, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 136 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 136 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The Court of Appeals affirms the defendant's convictions of second degree theft and making a false statement in application for or assignment of certificate of title to a tractor-trailer, rejecting his arguments that (1) the trial court violated his and the public's right to an open and public trial by meeting with counsel in chambers; (2) the trial court violated his right to be present by discussing a statute with counsel in chambers; (3) insufficient evidence supports that his statement was false, an element of his application for or assignment of certificate of title conviction; and (4) the trial court improperly commented on the evidence by instructing the jury on the statutory process for legally claiming title to found property.

2. Teamsters Local Union No. 117 v. Dep't of Corr.
No. 43604-3
(January 22, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 134 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 134 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: EMPLOYMENT LAW; GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Brief: Washington's public employee rights statute, ch. 41.80 RCW, clearly does not protect public employees' “concerted activities,” i.e., activities undertaken by employees, jointly with one another, for the purpose of improving their working conditions.

3. Rith Kok v. Tacoma Sch. Dist. No. 10
No. 44517-4
(filed October 22, 2013; ordered published January 21, 2014)
2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2512 (lexis.com)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2512 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: COURTS; PERSONAL INJURY AND INSURANCE LAW

Brief: The estate of the decedent sued the Tacoma School District for negligence after a student shot the decedent in the hallway at school. To prevail in its negligence action, the estate had the burden to show that the district had some reason to believe the shooter might be dangerous. The trial court granted summary judgment for the district, finding that the shooter's actions were not foreseeable. The Court of Appeals holds that the trial court did not err in finding that the shooter's actions were not foreseeable by the district because the shooter's behavior and medical records did not indicate that he was at risk for harming other students. Additionally, the trial judge did not err by denying the estate's recusal motion because neither she nor her spouse, who had previously represented the district on unrelated issues, had an interest in the outcome of the present case.  

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