Washington

  • March 15, 2024

    Wash. Supreme Court Clears Way For Bar Exam Alternatives

    The state of Washington's Supreme Court has approved plans for law school students and graduates to become lawyers without taking the bar exam, forging alternative pathways a state task force has recommended to help make legal licenses more accessible to people of color and other historically marginalized groups.

  • March 15, 2024

    9th Circ. Says No Arbitration For Rent-To-Own Class Claims

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday said a rent-to-own company can't get a putative class action over its furniture rental fees sent to arbitration, saying the contract provision is unenforceable under California law.

  • March 15, 2024

    Aircraft Co. Says Charter Co. Shifting Blame For Fatal Crash

    A Washington judge has consolidated five lawsuits linked to a 2022 seaplane accident that killed 10 people, rejecting opposition from De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., which said a co-defendant flight company is trying to pin the blame on the plane manufacturer.

  • March 15, 2024

    U. Of Wash. Opposes Question Cert. In COVID Coverage Suit

    The University of Washington's board of regents urged a state court to reject a Liberty Mutual unit's motion to certify COVID-19 coverage questions to a state appeals court, pointing to the Washington Supreme Court's previous rejection of such a move in a separate case that similarly involved pleadings-stage coverage claims.

  • March 15, 2024

    Judge Asks Colo. Why Grocery Merger Case Can't Wait

    A state judge in Denver has asked Colorado enforcers why they need to have a hearing on their bid to block Kroger's planned $24.6 billion purchase of fellow grocery store giant Albertsons before other hearings in challenges from federal enforcers and Washington state.

  • March 15, 2024

    Boeing Supplier Sued Over 737 Max Door Plug's Missing Bolts

    A new lawsuit in Washington state court over a Boeing 737 blowout that endangered an Alaska Airlines flight takes aim at Spirit AeroSystems, the manufacturer of the door plug that ruptured from the fuselage, for allegedly not installing necessary bolts and fittings.

  • March 15, 2024

    9th Circ. Pauses Benefits Case Awaiting UBH Challenge

    The Ninth Circuit has told a trial court to halt what United Behavioral Health has called an improper revival of a proposed class action alleging the insurance company illegally denied coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

  • March 15, 2024

    Wash. Justices Affirm Condo's Roof Damage Coverage Win

    A resulting loss exception in a condominium complex's policy with Farmers Insurance Exchange preserves coverage for damage caused by potentially covered perils, such as condensation and water vapor, even though the loss resulted from excluded faulty workmanship, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously ruled.

  • March 15, 2024

    Tribe, Teck Weigh In On Columbia Pollution Claims

    A Teck Resources Ltd. unit is pushing back against the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation's argument that its claims for so-called tribal service losses for Upper Columbia River pollution were improperly dismissed, while a neighboring tribe is also urging a Washington federal judge to revisit a "clearly erroneous ruling."

  • March 15, 2024

    'Needless Circuit Split' In Tribal COVID Row, 9th Circ. Told

    An AIG unit and other insurers are urging the Ninth Circuit to rethink its decision ordering them to litigate the Suquamish Tribe's COVID-19 business interruption claims in tribal court, arguing that a three-judge appeals panel's unanimous affirmation "creates a needless circuit split on the scope of tribal-court jurisdiction."

  • March 14, 2024

    Gamers Seek To Block Microsoft From 'Dismantling' Activision

    Gamers who are still challenging Microsoft's now-completed union with gaming titan Activision Blizzard say a California federal court must hand down an order stopping further integration of the two businesses after Microsoft laid off 1,900 people from the gaming company.

  • March 14, 2024

    Wash. Supreme Court Again Backs State's Fair Wage Law

    The Washington State Supreme Court has again upheld the state's updated prevailing wage law for public works projects, ruling Thursday that there was no problem with regulators using collective bargaining agreements across county lines to set wage standards.

  • March 14, 2024

    Wash. Atty Who Ducked Bar Probe Suspended For 3 Years

    A Washington state attorney has agreed to a three-year suspension for suing the wrong person in a vehicle crash lawsuit, ghosting his client and an insurer involved and later trying to evade a legal malpractice judgment and disciplinary investigation, according to the Washington State Bar Association.

  • March 14, 2024

    Potential Nine-Figure Deal Ends NXP, Impinj Chip Patent Row

    Rival chipmakers Impinj and NXP have agreed to settle multiple patent infringement suits between them following trial victories for Impinj, in a deal where Impinj said NXP will pay it more than $195 million if the license runs for its entire term.

  • March 14, 2024

    Game Developer Seeks Class Cert. In Valve Antitrust Case

    Developer Wolfire Games is asking a Seattle federal judge for class certification in its consolidated antitrust suit against online game seller Valve, saying discovery has brought abundant evidence that the platform uses its most-favored-nation clause to stifle competition and maintain monopoly power.

  • March 14, 2024

    Bechtel Missed Subcontractor Targets On Nuke Waste Project

    Bechtel National Inc. failed its subcontracting obligations while building a federal nuclear waste plant at the Hanford site in Washington state, lapses that cost businesses up to $700 million in missed opportunities, according to a watchdog agency report released Thursday.

  • March 14, 2024

    Wash. Real Estate Co.'s Ch 11 Plan OK'd After Judgment Slashed

    Washington state-based commercial and residential real estate company High Valley Investments LLC 's Chapter 11 plan received a Delaware bankruptcy judge's blessing Thursday after a settlement agreement slashed a $47.4 million judgment against it to an $18 million claim.

  • March 14, 2024

    Ford Slammed For Bid To 'Sidestep' Faulty Axle-Bolt Suit

    Two Washington SUV owners suing Ford for allegedly slacking on safety in newer Explorer models have accused the vehicle maker of trying to "sidestep liability" in their proposed class action by pointing to two recalls that didn't address the design flaw at issue.

  • March 14, 2024

    9th Circ. Is Asked To Revive LegalForce's TM Dispute

    Intellectual property firm LegalForce RAPC Worldwide PC has taken its trademark battle with a Japanese company over the brand "LegalForce" to the Ninth Circuit, arguing in its appeal that a federal statute dictates that infringement can occur through equity sales to investors.

  • March 14, 2024

    Most States Fall Short In Disclosing Justices' Finance Reports

    The vast majority of state supreme courts make it exceedingly difficult for the public to get information about justices' financial entanglements, and the information they do give out is often scant at best, according to a report released Thursday.

  • March 13, 2024

    Amazon Ducks Consumers' 'Buy Box'-Shipping Antitrust Suit

    Amazon.com is facing one less consumer antitrust suit after a Seattle federal judge said Wednesday that Prime members failed to define the relevant market or explain how they were harmed by policies tying placement of the "Buy Box" feature with sellers paying for its shipping services and cannot fix the shortcomings of their complaint.

  • March 13, 2024

    9th Circ. Unsure If Abortion Pill Suit Harms Red States

    Two Ninth Circuit judges on Wednesday challenged Idaho and other Republican-led states' bid to intervene in Washington's lawsuit seeking to expand access to the abortion pill mifepristone, asking if the states could back up their claims of economic harm.

  • March 13, 2024

    Cherry IP Deception Claims Would Inflame Jury, Canada Says

    The Canadian government has told a Washington federal judge that jurors should not hear allegations that its IP licenser deceived the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a trial against Washington fruit growers it claims rebranded a unique Canadian sweet cherry variety as their own, citing the "inflammatory" nature of the growers' counterclaim.

  • March 13, 2024

    Colo. Justices Doubt Amazon's Math For Holiday Incentives

    Several Colorado Supreme Court justices were skeptical Wednesday about Amazon's claim that it can exclude extra holiday wages from workers' overtime payouts, asking what the company didn't understand about a state requirement to include "all compensation" in its overtime calculations.

  • March 13, 2024

    Ex-Boeing IP Manager's Counsel Secures $224K In Fees

    A Washington federal judge has awarded more than $224,000 in attorney fees to a former Boeing intellectual property manager after finding that the company retaliated against him for speaking up against the poor treatment of other workers.

Expert Analysis

  • Return Days Key In Hyatt COVID-19 Layoffs Ruling

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    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Hartstein v. Hyatt, which clarified when the hotel giant had to pay out accrued vacation time after pandemic-prompted temporary layoffs, highlights the importance of whether an employer specifies a return date within the normal pay period, say attorneys at ArentFox Schiff.

  • Opinion

    Newman Suspension Shows Need For Judicial Reform

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    The recent suspension of U.S. Circuit Judge Pauline Newman following her alleged refusal to participate in a disability inquiry reveals the need for judicial misconduct reforms to ensure that judges step down when they can no longer serve effectively, says Aliza Shatzman at The Legal Accountability Project.

  • 9th Circ. Ruling Expands The Horizons Of Debt Discharge

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    The Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s recent ruling in RS Air v. NetJets demonstrates that creditors should not be quick to conclude that their recoveries are limited if a debtor commences bankruptcy and receives a discharge, and should instead consider other potential paths for recovery, like alter ego claims, say Dania Slim and Claire Wu at Pillsbury.

  • How And Why Your Firm Should Implement Fixed-Fee Billing

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    Amid rising burnout in the legal industry and client efforts to curtail spending, pivoting to a fixed-fee billing model may improve client-attorney relationships and offer lawyers financial, logistical and stress relief — while still maintaining profit margins, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Needs Defense Amid Political Threats

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    Amid recent and historic challenges to the judiciary from political forces, safeguarding judicial independence and maintaining the integrity of the legal system is increasingly urgent, says Robert Peck at the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

  • How Life Sciences Cos. Can Prevent Securities Class Actions

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    Though the overall volume of securities fraud class actions has dipped in the last couple of years, life sciences companies remain a particularly popular target for these filings and should employ best practices to minimize risk, say Joni Jacobsen and Angela Liu at Dechert.

  • How Law Firms Can Use Account-Based Marketing Strategies

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    Amid several evolving legal industry trends, account-based marketing can help law firms uncover additional revenue-generating opportunities with existing clients, with key considerations ranging from data analytics to relationship building, say Jennifer Ramsey at stage LLC and consultant Gina Sponzilli.

  • Strategic Succession Planning At Law Firms Is Crucial

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    Senior partners' reluctance to retire, the rise of the nonequity partner tier and generational differences in expectations are all contributing to an increasing number of departures from BigLaw, making it imperative for firms to encourage retirement among senior ranks and provide clearer leadership pathways to junior attorneys, says Laura Leopard at Leopard Solutions.

  • Ruling Shows Barriers Remain For Kids' Privacy Regulation

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    A California federal court’s recent decision halting state officials from enforcing the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act demonstrates that major roadblocks continue to obstruct regulation intended to make browsing more appropriate for children, say attorneys at Goodwin.

  • To Responsibly Rock Out At Work, Draft A Music Policy

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    Employers may be tempted to turn down the tunes after a Ninth Circuit decision that blasting misogynist music could count as workplace harassment, but companies can safely provide a soundtrack to the workday if they first take practical steps to ensure their playlists don’t demean or disrespect workers or patrons, says Ally Coll at the Purple Method.

  • Autonomous Vehicles Must Navigate Patchwork Of State Regs

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    With only modest action by the federal government on the autonomous vehicle regulatory front in 2023, states and localities remain the predominant source of new regulations affecting AVs — but the result is a mix of rules that both help and hinder AV development and adoption, say attorneys at Faegre Drinker.

  • Maximizing Law Firm Profitability In Uncertain Times

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    As threats of an economic downturn loom, firms can boost profits by embracing the power of bottom-line management and creating an ecosystem where strategic financial oversight and robust timekeeping practices meet evolved client relations, says Shireen Hilal at Maior Strategic Consulting.

  • Federal Policies Keeping Autonomous Vehicles In Slow Lane

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    In the first installment of this two-part article, attorneys at Faegre Drinker examine recent federal regulations and programs related to autonomous vehicles — and how the federal government's failure to implement a more comprehensive AV regulatory scheme may be slowing the progress of the industry.

  • What UCC Article 12 Adoption Means For Digital Assets

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    Until it is widely adopted, both owners of digital assets and their secured lenders will need to exercise caution in jurisdictions that have adopted Uniform Commercial Code Article 12, and care will need to be taken when creating, transferring and managing digital assets to comply with its requirements, say Margo Tank and David Whitaker at DLA Piper.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Reminds Attys That CBP Can Search Devices

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent Malik v. Department of Homeland Security decision adds to the chorus of federal courts holding that border agents don’t need a warrant to search travelers’ electronic devices, so attorneys should consider certain special precautions to secure privileged information when reentering the U.S., says Jennifer Freel at Jackson Walker.

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