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The Pivotal Law Blog

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…

Recent Washington Tax Determinations Underscore the Need for Written Rulings

Posted Friday, November 1, 2013 by Ron Bueing

Two recent published determinations of the Washington Department of Revenue underscore the need for taxpayers to obtain written rulings to support guidance received from the Washington Department of Revenue. In Det. No 13-0034,32 WTD 220 (2013), the…

Recent Changes to the Washington State Estate Tax Law

Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

In June 2013, Washington State Legislature made four significant changes to Washington estate tax laws. These changes are important to know as they may affect your existing or prospective estate plans. The changes are summarized below: The new…

Can I cut down a Boundary Tree that is right on the property line?

Posted Friday, October 18, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

As a general rule, you cannot cut down trees or vegetation on another person’s property without their express permission. If you do so, Washington has two separate statutes that can impose significant damages in a civil action: Trespass and the so-called…

Common Paymaster and Reimbursement of Affiliated Expenses Remains Complicated

Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Ron Bueing

In July Gov. Inslee signed legislation (Sections 101 & 102 of ESSB 5882) to restore a deduction for reimbursements between affiliated businesses that use a centralized payroll reporting system. Despite the common sense tax policy underlying this…

Recent Case Creates Risks for Lenders in Real Property Foreclosures

Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

In 1965 Washington State authorized non-judicial foreclosures as an expedited procedure for lenders to recover real property after loan defaults. We have conducted hundreds of foreclosures as trustees working on behalf of lenders through these years…

Case Law Update: "Scriveners" Error in Deed of Trust subject to Reformation by Court.

Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In GLEPCO v. Reinstra, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division 1, held that a trial court had the authority to add the correct legal description on a trustee’s deed after a foreclosure sale where it was determined that there was an error in the…

When Two or More Tango: The Need for an Owners Agreement

Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

Running a business or investing in real estate can be a thrilling endeavor. Partners are a good way to share the risk and bring in additional capital or skills. If you want your entrepreneurial thrills to be positive when working with a partner, your…

In the News: Washington State Institutes New Gender-Neutral Vocabulary

Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

On April 22, 2013, Washington governor Jay Inslee signed into law the final piece of a six-year effort to substitute gender-neutral vocabulary into state statutes. Since 2007, Lawmakers have been passing a series of bills to root out gender bias from…

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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