Clark County Superior Court has recognized that with the increasing surge in COVID-19 infections in our county and across the country, it is again necessary to completely suspend jury trials, both criminal and civil, until at least January 10, 2021.
The Stark Family’s oft-repeated words (yes, I know Game of Thrones ended forever ago) will soon be ringing true - “winter is coming.” When it arrives we may have one of our occasional winter storms that dumps significant snow, or we may go the mountains to find it at ski resorts, mountain retreats, or snow parks.
Washington’s Supreme Court recently issued a decision clarifying injury law in a residential landlord-tenant relationship. Previously, there has been confusion over whether the law—specifically Washington’s statutory Residential Landlord Tenant Act (RLTA), Ch. 59.18 RCW, and the common law implied warranty of habitability—could provide a legal basis for liability when an unsafe condition injured the guest of a tenant. The Court’s answer was mixed: although the RLTA warranty did not apply to guests, the common law continues to provide a framework for injured persons to seek justice.
For me, part of what makes this career rewarding is providing access to justice and access to the courts to people who might not otherwise have it. This includes people who cannot afford an attorney, people who might be unfamiliar with the legal system, and people who do not speak English as a primary language, to name a few. However, I have some concerns that, even with access through an attorney, the systems are still not set up to serve those people.
Earlier in the COVID-19 tempest we wrote about many of the things our firm has been able to do to keep cases moving forward - using Zoom (mostly) and other videoconferencing platforms to meet with clients, take and defend depositions, mediate and arbitrate cases, and attend court hearings. We’ll now add one more to the list, having completed our first trial held entirely on Zoom.
Health insurance is critical. There may be a debate as to the wisdom of having other types of insurance. Like: How much liability insurance do you need to carry? (Well, what assets do you have to protect?) Should you buy life insurance? (Well, are there going to be loved ones deprived of needed support if you are taken out unexpectedly?) What about fire insurance, earthquake insurance, flood insurance, cyber insurance, or . . .
I just celebrated my fortieth birthday. While this is a milestone most Americans reach, forty years is a long time by whatever measure. Those who have already reached forty, will remember that 1980 was the same year that Mt. Saint Helens erupted. It was the same year John Lennon was killed. It’s also the same year Post-It notes, the Rubix cube, and Pac-Man were released into the world. While those are certainly memorable events, I’m in awe of the happenings those born in 2020 will have to reflect upon forty years from now when they celebrate their birthdays. What a year we have had!
The insurance industry is proactively taking steps to limit liability/exposure for these types of claims. Thus, now is the time for businesses to review their policies and assess whether coverage may be construed to provide coverage for losses associated with COVID-19/coronavirus.
It is a time to focus on the problem of bullying. With so much going on in the world around us, it would be easy to not give attention to this important topic and I wanted to take a moment of my own to reflect upon what I can do personally to impact change. Bullying can come in many forms. It is always unwanted and involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
From the title of this, you would think that this blog would be about our country’s economic recovery. Nope. This is instead about recovery from addiction, and the creative efforts of a local man whose passion to help others in their efforts to make a comeback from alcohol and drug addiction is quite remarkable. Specifically, this is about my good friend James Kasper’s most recent project.
Having trouble going to sleep? Having trouble staying asleep? Can’t stop watching the all day, all night news channels? Wondering how the election is going to play out? You may be suffering from “Election Anxiety Syndrome”.
Due to a change in the law, starting October 1, 2020, bike riders in Washington will no longer be required to stop at stop signs. The new statute (SB 6208) will instead allow riders to treat almost all stop signs as yield signs.
It’s interesting. When the shelter-in-place orders were first issued and we as a country, indeed as a world, began the adjustment to working remotely from home, it was uncomfortable and seemed strange to be so isolated from the world around us. But we adapted and made accommodations to make our new “normal” work for us. We, no doubt, changed as a society. I absolutely believe that the “workplace” will never again return to the old “normal.” 2020 has changed it forever. I believe it changed the way we work, the way we vacation, and the way we interact with our clients and business associates. Returning, at some point in the future, will surely cause another adjustment as we all adapt to our new, new normal.
Forty years ago, in May of 1980, I drove my 1973 Volkswagen Beetle to Seattle to study for and take the Washington State Bar examination.
Schauermann Thayer joins the legal community, the nation, and the world as we mourn the passing of the esteemed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
The shortest answer to the overarching question is: yes, in Oregon and Washington personal injury cases, you can settle the property damage claims separately from your bodily injury claims associated with, for example, a motor vehicle collision. However, as with most aspects of what we do, it is not so simple. Please read on!
Ina past post, we wrote that if your case settles in the negotiations stage of a claim it “usually takes … one to two months wrap up your case and get you a check.” That seems like a long time to wrap something up that seems to be already wrapped up and many clients wonder why it takes so long. We hope to answer that question here.
When I settle a personal injury claim for one of my accident victim clients, it is common for me to have to pay some of the settlement money to other people or businesses related to the case. Of course my job is to see that as much of the settlement as is possible gets into my client’s pocket but it’s sometimes out of my hands and there is nothing I can do. This often results in my client receiving less money than the amount the client agreed to settle their case for.
One of the real advantages for personal injury claimants in Washington state is that we as attorneys are able to pursue the full measure of damages on their behalf- including medical bills and wage loss that might have already been (to some degree at least) paid by entities other than the party who did the harm.
Schauermann Thayer, in recognition of the importance of Election Day, is closing the firm and giving its employees the day off. November 3 is thus a paid company holiday.
On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, the informational series from the Clark County Bar Association entitled “Clark County Court Updates”—which started in June 2020—was again held for local attorneys on Zoom.
There are many different reasons that a personal injury case might need to move into litigation. Once that happens, the case can be delayed, and it can feel like it takes a long time to get anywhere. For that reason, we often look for ways to speed the process along. One of them is moving for a Default.
When it is appropriate to move forward with trying to resolve a personal injury claim is not always an easy decision to be made and one which must be answered on a case by case basis. That being said, there are certainly some generalities that apply across the board to virtually all clients’ cases.
Discussions of race, race relations, and racial disparity in America are as prevalent now as they were in the 1960’s. Protests throughout the United States seek to raise awareness of the bias in America—especially with respect to the effects of race in the administration of the law. It is undeniable that African Americans and other racial minorities are over-represented in all aspects of the criminal justice system. For example, African Americans are more often reported as having committed a crime, more often arrested, more often charged, more often convicted, more severely sentenced, and less likely to be granted an appeal.
WSAJ was founded in 1986 and is the oldest and largest civil justice advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. Schauermann Thayer attorneys have been members since that time.