HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, May 8, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 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 7 new opinions and Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed no new published opinions on Thursday, May 8, 2014:

1. State v. Trochez-Jimenez
No. 88577-0
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 373 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 373 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The rule that prior to custodial interrogation, a suspect must be informed of his or her right to remain silent and right to counsel and once the suspect invokes his or her right to counsel, no further interrogation about any offense by any authorities may be conducted until counsel is present or the suspect initiates communication, does not apply when a suspect requests an attorney during an interrogation conducted outside the United States by foreign authorities regarding a foreign crime.

2. AllianceOne Receivables Mgmt., Inc. v. Lewis
No. 87445-0 
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 377 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 377 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: COURTS

Brief: There must be a final judgment before attorney fees can be made available to the prevailing party under RCW 4.84.250 and .270. When a defendant requests fees under these statutes, the court should apply a three-factor test: (1) the damages sought must be equal to or less than $ 10,000, (2) there must be an entry of judgment, and (3) the defendant must be deemed the prevailing party. Here, there was no judgment because plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its claim against defendant. Without a judgment, there is no prevailing party. Defendant was not entitled to attorney fees upon dismissal at the district court, nor is he entitled to an award of attorney fees on appeal.

3. In re Det. of Morgan
No. 86234-6
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 379 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 379 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The challenged in-chambers conference did not implicate public trial rights under Const. art. I, § 10, and due process did not require the sex offender to be competent for his sexually violent predator commitment trial.

4. In re Pers. Restraint of Gomez
No. 86711-9 
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 378 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 378 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The personal restraint petition is denied. The petitioner did not met her burden of proving ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court transcripts paint a picture of a supremely fair trial at which the petitioner was represented by a highly competent attorney. Having received a fair trial with effective attorney assistance, the State was able to prove all elements of homicide by abuse.

5. State v. Franklin
No. 87253-8 
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 375 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 375 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The trial court erred in excluding other suspect evidence in this case, and the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

6. State v. Lindsay / State v. Holmes
No. 88437-4 
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 374 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 374 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The criminal trial was plagued by misconduct. The prosecutor and the lawyer for one of the defendants engaged in unprofessional behavior, trading verbal jabs and snide remarks throughout over 90 volumes of proceedings in this case. On appeal, the defendants argued that the prosecutor's remarks, particularly during closing arguments, constituted misconduct that prejudiced both defendants. The Court of Appeals agreed that the prosecutor committed misconduct but split as to whether that misconduct caused prejudice. Two judges thought it did not; one dissenter thought that it did. The Washington Supreme Court agrees with the dissenting Court of Appeals judge that reversal is required given the magnitude of the problem and the two lawyers' inability to control their conduct.

7. State v. Piatnitsky
No. 87904-4 
(May 8, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 376 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 376 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Defendant did not unequivocally invoke his right to remain silent when he told police investigating a murder that "I don't want to talk right now" but that he would "write it down."

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