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The Pivotal Law Blog

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…

Tracking Proposed Real Estate Development in Seattle

Posted Friday, July 24, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

border left Have questions about a proposed development in your neighborhood? New townhomes or condos going in? Wondering what is happening with that vacant lot down the street? These questions and more can now be answered via a new website which allows…

$15/hour Minimum Wage - Washington State Attorney General Issues Guideline for Surcharges

Posted Friday, July 10, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

Seattle and SeaTac have recently decided to increase their hourly minimum wage to $15.00/hour. As local businesses react to this change, some have considered adding a line item charge for their service to cover this increased labor cost. In particular…

Case Law Update: Father Trying to do the Right Thing, Ends up Serving Daughter with Lawsuit

Posted Tuesday, March 24, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

Contrary to popular belief, lawsuits in Washington do not necessarily have to be served in person. Washington law allows for substitute service, where a party can obtain service of process of the lawsuit by serving a “person of suitable age and…

Case Law Update: Property Owners Liability for Criminal Acts of a Third Party

Posted Monday, March 16, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

In McKown v. Simon Property, the Washington Supreme Court was asked to review the scope of a landowner’s responsibility for harm when strangers commit criminal acts against “business invitees” on business premises. On November 20, 2005, Dominick S…

Social Media Updates Off Duty Can Cost You Your Job

Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by Pivotal Law Group

In a recent Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I case, the court in Kirby et al v. Dept. of Employment Security (No. 70738-8-I) analyzed whether an employee who is discharged for alleged misconduct based on her social media post disqualifies her…

Case Law Update: CPAs Can Owe Duty of Care to Non-clients

Posted Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Christopher L. Thayer

In Dewar v. Smith, No. 69701-3-1 (January 26, 2015), the Washington Court of Appeals recently addressed the question of whether a CPA could be liable to a third party (non-client) for alleged negligence or misrepresentation. This question is usually…

Case Law Update: Homestead Exemption Cannot Be Use to Facilitate Unjust Enrichment

Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent decision by Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals, Gass v. Abdel-Wahed, the Court addressed the “abuse” of the homestead exemption in the context of a divorce proceeding. The court specifically held that, where a party has wrongfully…

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