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The Pivotal Law Blog

Seattle’s New Minimum Wage Ordinance

Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2014 by Michael J. Warren

On June 2, 2014, the Seattle City Council adopted a minimum wage ordinance that applies to all employees within the City of Seattle. In short, beginning April 1, 2015, the Ordinance requires all Seattle employers to raise the minimum they pay to their…


Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

Millions of vehicles in the United States sold by a wide-range of automobile manufacturers are being recalled as a result of potentially defective and dangerous airbags manufactured by Japanese supplier, Takata. The National Highway Traffic Safety…

Liability for Dog Bites under Washington Law

Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

Dog bite injuries are unfortunately a fairly common occurrence. These injuries can be quite severe, gruesome, and are frequently complicated by infection. We often get questions about what your options may be if you have been bitten by a dog; or, as a…

Case law update: can a child sue his or her parents for negligence? Yes, in certain circumstances.

Posted Thursday, September 18, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent decision from Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals, Woods v. H.O. Sports, et al, the court addressed the issue of whether a child can bring a tort claim for personal injuries against a parent. In Woods, the father Michael Woods was…

Why All Employers Should Have an Employee Handbook

Posted Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by Pivotal Law Group

In Washington, there is no law requiring employers to have an employee handbook, but for obvious reasons, it’s a good idea to have one—even a short one. A handbook allows employers to inform its employees about the rules enforced at the workplace in an…

How to Collect on a Judgment in Washington: Garnishments and Supplemental Proceedings

Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by Pivotal Law Group

You were awarded a nice judgment by the court, great! Now what? A money judgment does not necessarily mean you will be able to collect on it yourself. Maybe the debtor is actively trying to avoid payment. This is where we come in. There are several…

Should You Incorporate Your Business?

Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Pivotal Law Group

More and more businesses are incorporating in Washington state today. If you are a sole proprietor or in a general partnership, you may be putting your own finances at risk, including your family’s if you do not incorporate your business. If you are…

Guardianship 101: How Can I Get a Guardian Appointed?

Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Pivotal Law Group

A guardian is a person appointed by the court to manage an incapacitated person’s affairs. Guardians are usually appointed by superior court judges or court commissioners. A family member can request to be appointed as a guardian or ask the court to…

Loan Modification – Is It For You?

Posted Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Pivotal Law Group

Unfortunately, the number of foreclosures in the state of Washington is still prominent. Millions of homeowners are bearing the effects of the foreclosure crisis. In 2013, almost 1.4 million homes across the United States were in some stage of…

Can a row of trees planted on your property be considered a “spite fence”?

Posted Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

Under Washington law a party may not construct a fence or other “structure” on their land when it is “maliciously” erected with the intention to “spite, injure or annoy an adjoining [landowner].” RCW 7.40.030. Often referred to as the “spite fence”…

Understanding “Wrongful” Death Claims in Washington

Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Pivotal Law Group

The untimely loss of a loved one is always difficult for surviving family members to cope with. In Washington, we have wrongful death claims. Although no amount of money can bring them back, the party responsible for the death should be held accountable…

Covenants Not to Compete--Sign with Extreme Caution

Posted Thursday, July 10, 2014 by Michael A. Larson

IIn Washington state, employment covenants not to compete are generally enforceable. It is not unusual to be handed a covenant not to compete on the first day of a job or during employment with a short deadline to sign and return the document. More often…

Case Law Update: Who has the right to control disposition of a deceased person’s remains?

Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

A recent Court of Appeals (Division III) case, Whitney v. Cervantes, addressed a dispute over who had the right to control disposition of a deceased relative’s remains. Lawrence Wilhalm died in 2011. He was not married and had no children. His only…

Case Law Update: Is your Doctor Required to Tell You About Your Lab Results?

Posted Thursday, June 19, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

Short answer: maybe not. In a recent decision, Gomez v. Sauer, the Washington Supreme Court was asked to determine whether a doctor was obligated to report certain lab results to his patient. Under the specific facts of this case, the Court held that…

Is Skype Testimony Allowed In Court?

Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

Traditionally, all witnesses are required to testify live in Washington courts, even if this means substantial inconvenience for the witnesses. On occasion, witnesses have been allowed to testify by telephone, but this has been a rare exception, as…

Free Agent at Mini-Camp not an “Employee” of Seahawks

Posted Monday, June 9, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent decision by the Washington Court of Appeals (Division 1), the Court addressed whether a free agent attending a mini-camp tryout could received Workman’s Compensation benefits if they were injured during camp. In Robinson v. Football Northwest…

Healthcare Directives in Estate Planning: Physician’s Wary of Measures to Extend Life

Posted Friday, June 6, 2014 by Michael A. Larson

As an estate planning attorney, healthcare directives and POLSTs are usual and standard estate planning documents and topics of discussion. Recently, when discussing these and other estate planning documents, I surprisingly discovered that a large…

Insurance Policy Interpretation—An Overview

Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

Very few people have taken the time to actually review in detail the provisions of their insurance policies. Insurance policies are contracts and subject to many of the same provisions that govern the interpretation of contracts. It likely comes as no…

Business Succesion Planning

Posted Monday, December 9, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

My practice is concentrated on business and real estate transactions with an emphasis on estate planning. Keeping an eye on personal financial goals while selling businesses, investing in real estate, forming partnerships and corporations and other…

Case Law Update: “Stigma” damages for car involved in a serious accident

Posted Monday, December 2, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent Washington Court of Appeals decision, Ibrahim v. AIU Insurance Company (No. 69554-1-1, November 4, 2013), Division I held that “stigma” damages to a vehicle are distinct from “diminished value” damages. In 2007, Ibrahim was involved in an…

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not legal advice. This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice under any circumstances, nor should it be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. The information on this blog is a general statement of the law and may not be up to date, accurate or applicable to your specific circumstances. Prior success in litigation is not an indication of future results; each case is unique and past results cannot predict future outcomes.

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