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The Pivotal Law Blog

Car Crash vs. Car Accident: Lawmakers Move Away From Labeling Crashes as Accidents

Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Most car crashes stem from risky driver behavior like drinking, distracted driving, speeding and other dangerous activities. Only 6 percent of crashes are caused by vehicle malfunctions, weather, and other factors. The question remains then, why has…

Washington State Enacts Law Governing Access to a Person’s “Digital Assets”

Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 by Michael A. Larson and Pivotal Law Group

When a person dies or becomes incapacitated, they may have assets that need to be located, accessed, and managed. Traditionally, those assets could include things like houses, cars, bank accounts, other personal property, etc. The person formally named…

New Federal Regulations for E-Cigarettes Cause Controversy

Posted Thursday, June 23, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

The Food and Drug Administration has recently issued its first regulation on e-cigarettes. Previously subject to almost no oversight, the sale of e-cigarettes will soon be banned to anyone under the age of 18. Manufacturers of the product will now be…

Call Before You Dig– Excavator Liability For Damaging Underground Utilities in WA

Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

border left Washington has a comprehensive statutory scheme relating to homeowner and contractor responsibilities regarding excavation and underground utilities. The Underground Utility Prevention Act (the “UUPA”), which was significantly amended and…

With Recent Advances in Technology, Should Harm to Prosthetic Limbs Be Considered Property Damage or Personal Injury?

Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Prosthetic limbs have become increasingly advanced. For example, the most recent devices being created at Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory have been developed with neurotechnology and may enable users to mentally control their prosthetic limbs…

Will Contests: How to Prove a Will Was the Product of Undue Influence

Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2016 by Michael A. Larson and Pivotal Law Group

In general, people have a fundamental right to distribute their property however they choose in the event of their death. So, when a person executes a will in the manner required by law, that will is presumed valid and will be honored. But what if a…

Prince Died Without a Will: The Importance of Estate Planning

Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Michael A. Larson

The late pop superstar, Prince, was found to have died without a will. His estate is estimated to be worth $300 million dollars and it is expected to grow now with the sales of his music skyrocketing since his death. Prince died without any known…

Underinsured Motorist Benefits and When They Apply

Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Underinsured Motorist Benefits Apply When There Is “Some Causal Connection” Between an Injury and the Use of an Underinsured Vehicle Anyone who drives a car knows they need to have car insurance. When it comes to coverage for personal injuries, there are…

Washington court rules Seattle garbage-can search ordinance unconstitutional

Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

On April 27, 2016, Washington State Superior Court Judge Beth M. Andrus declared unconstitutional the Seattle ordinance requiring garbage collectors to search through residents' trash for food waste and compostable paper. Seattle Municipal Code…

Oral Agreements and Adverse Possession - A Case Law Update

Posted Thursday, April 28, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

border In LeBleu v. Aalgaard, Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals addressed whether an oral agreement regarding a boundary between two lots could affect the “hostility” element in an adverse possession claim. In LeBleu, seller sold two…

Access to Medical Records: HHS Provides New Guidance About This Critical Right

Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

border As lawyers, we often need to obtain medical records for our injured clients. But there are many times when people may want their own records, even when a lawsuit isn’t involved. They may be moving and need to find a new doctor. They may be…

How Much is a Pet Dog Worth in a Court of Law?

Posted Friday, April 15, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

border Do you know the value of your pet in the eyes of the law? The answer may surprise you. The Georgia Supreme Court is considering whether a rescue mutt whose death was allegedly caused by a kennel’s negligence had any value — or had a value…

You May Be Owed Money If You Bought A Flat Screen TV, Computer Or iPod 10 Years Ago

Posted Friday, April 8, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

Due to a recent settlement agreement in a price-fixing case regarding LCD screens, Washington residents may be entitled to recovery. If you bought a flat screen TV a decade ago, you probably paid too much for it. The same is true if you purchased a color…

Renters facing mold call Jesse for help -- Mike Larson weighs in

Posted Friday, April 1, 2016 by Michael A. Larson

Last week, with great help from Alice Noman, I collaborated on a Jesse Jones piece on mold in rental units. Real Estate Attorney Mike Larson said renters shouldn’t argue mold with landlords. Instead, talk about water intrusion. That’s something the law…

It Takes a Community to Split Your Assets

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

A Scenario of Sorts: You marry later in life. Before your marriage, you and your partner-to-be each had successful careers that provided you with sizeable nest eggs, including separate bank, investment, and retirement accounts. You both agree you want to…

Abuse of Child by Parents Does Not Relieve DSHS’s Duty to Investigate

Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

When someone acts negligently, and that negligence harms another, they are generally responsible for the harm caused. That is the essence of tort or injury law. One exception to this rule is where there is a “superseding cause” of the harm—an…

Important changes to Washington law regarding Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and what you need to know

Posted Friday, February 26, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation making sweeping changes to the Washington Limited Liability Company Act. The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) requested the changes in an effort to make the law easier to understand and…

Washington’s Consumer Protection Act extends to out-of-state persons injured by unfair business practices of in-state entities

Posted Monday, February 8, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Washington State protects consumers against unfair business practices in a variety of ways. One of those ways is the Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86 (also known as the CPA). The CPA forbids business practices that are unfair or deceptive. It also…

Non-Parental Custody and Visitation: An Uphill Battle, At Times Worth Waging

Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Grandparents and other non-parents often play an integral role in the life of a child. But when the parents don’t want the non-parents involved, the non-parents face an uphill battle when it comes to receiving court-ordered visitation. Up until the year…

Case Law Update: The Boundaries of Co-employee Tort Immunity

Posted Thursday, January 21, 2016 by Pivotal Law Group

Normally, a person who negligently causes injury (also known as a “tortfeasor”) can be sued by the person they injured. This kind of lawsuit (also known as a “third party action”) allows the injured person to seek compensation for the damages caused by…

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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