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The Pivotal Law Blog

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…

Case Law Update: Is a Male Sheep an “Abnormally Dangerous” Animal?

Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016 by Christopher L. Thayer

In Rhodes v. MacHugh (No. 32509-1, 11.3.15), a case that feels like it could only come out of Division III (which covers Eastern Washington), the Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether a ram (male sheep) could be considered “abnormally dangerous”…

Harvard study links flavor in e-cigarettes to "popcorn lung"

Posted Monday, December 21, 2015 by Pivotal Law Group

Researchers from Harvard University warn that many flavored e-cigarettes and e-liquid flavor canisters contain chemicals known to cause respiratory problems. One of those chemicals, diacetyl, has been directly linked to "bronchiolitis…

Family Law: Relocating With Children

Posted Monday, December 14, 2015 by Pivotal Law Group

What happens if you and your spouse are divorced and one of you wants to move, taking your child along? This is a difficult situation for families, and it can be a very contentious proceeding. The rules surrounding the relocation of a child come into…

Moving a Law Firm - a Managing Partner’s Point of View

Posted Monday, December 7, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

As many of you know, Pivotal Law Group has moved our offices. After nearly 20 years at One Union Square we have moved into a brand new suite in the IBM Building (1200 5th Ave., Suite 1217, Seattle, WA 98101). The IBM Building was completed in 1964 and…

"Mild" Traumatic Brain Injury? Univ. of Penn. study says no such thing

Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 by Pivotal Law Group

A study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Glasgow found that "seemingly mild, concussion-type head injuries lead to long-term cognitive impairments surprisingly often" and "can…

Assumption of Risk Doctrine Limited by Recent Court Decision

Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

border left In an unpublished decision, Division I of the Washington State Court of Appeals, re-visited the doctrine of Assumption of Risk in Gray v. Ida Culver House (August 10, 2015). In Gray, an 84-year-old resident of an assisted living facility…

Do It Yourself Dissolution

Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015 by Pivotal Law Group

While it may be strange for the first family law post on this blog to be about how you may not need a lawyer at all, the truth is that many people are able to handle their divorce on their own. All of the forms that are needed to start and finish a…

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