HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, January 23, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, January 23, 2014


Thursday, January 23, 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 filed 1 new opinion and Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions on Thursday, January 23, 2014:

Supreme Court:

1. In re Personal Restraint of Gentry
No. 86585-0
(January 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 67 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 67 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: While the rule in State v. Monday, 171 Wn.2d 667 (2011)that, when a party shows prosecutorial misconduct based on racial bias, it is the State's burden to show harmlessness beyond a reasonable doubt is critically important to the justice system, it does not qualify as a “watershed” rule that can be applied retroactively under Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989). Nevertheless, even if the petitioner's claims were not procedurally barred, they would still fail under the standard imposed by Monday because the petitioner could not demonstrate the prejudice required to merit relief on collateral review.

2. In re Personal Restraint of Stockwell
No. 86001-7
(January 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 66 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 66 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Personal restraint petitioner who sought to withdraw his plea of guilty to a charge of first degree statutory rape on the basis that his plea statement and the judgment and sentence misstated the statutory maximum sentence for the offense could not obtain relief because he failed to show actual and substantial prejudice. 

3. Youngs v. PeaceHealth
No. 87811-1
(January 23, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 68 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 68 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: COURTS; PERSONAL INJURY AND INSURANCE LAW

Brief: Loudon v. Mhyre, 110 Wn.2d 675 (1988), which prohibits defense counsel in a personal injury case from communicating ex parte with the plaintiff's nonparty treating physician, bars ex parte communications between a physician and his or her employer's attorney where the employer is a corporation and named defendant whose corporate attorney-client privilege likely extends to the physician, at least as to certain subjects. If Loudon conflicts with a defendant's corporate attorney-client privilege, however, it must yield to that privilege. This means that an attorney hired by a corporate defendant to investigate or litigate an alleged negligent event may engage in privileged (ex parte) communications with the corporation's physician-employee where the physician-employee has firsthand knowledge of the alleged negligent event and where the communications are limited to the facts of the alleged negligent event. “The facts of the alleged negligent incident” do not encompass health care that was provided before or after the event triggering the litigation, such as care for preexisting conditions or postevent recovery. This is true even where such care bears on the issue of damages. 

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