Season 2, Episode 16: The Public Duty Doctrine: Can you rely on building inspections?

December 8, 2017

Washington state property purchasers and owners often rely on city and county building inspections as protecting the integrity of their investment and for their safety.  But what happens when such inspections miss obvious defects?  Can you sue the city or county to hold them responsible?  The answer may surprise you.  Tune in...


Season 2, Episode 15: “Prelitigation Misconduct”: A new way to get an attorney’s fees award in Washington?

December 1, 2017

: In September 2017 Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals upheld an award of attorneys fees to a winning party based upon their opponents "prelitigation misconduct".  The decision appears to be the first time that a Washington appellate court applied this novel theory. It also appears to be in direct conflict with an earlier decision by Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals.

Why did the Court do this? What happens now? Tune in...


Season 2, Episode 14: Chicken Fight!

November 22, 2017

Urban and suburban chicken keeping is a trend.  Most cities and counties allow it.  For the neighbor or homeowners association, it can be a pain.  But if they sue to enforce "anti-poultry" restrictions found in their recorded covenants (or try to amend them to restrict chickens), who will win?

Are chickens "household pets" like dogs or  cats?  Tune in and watch the (judicial) feathers fly!


Season 2, Episode 13: Development Impact Bonds: Innovation in International Development

November 17, 2017

Development impact bonds are a breakthrough change in the international non-profit world.  Started in 2015, they allow donors more participation in projects and bring some private market strengths to funding of nonprofits.

Tune in to find out about this innovative approach.


Season 2, Episode 12: “Easement, easement, where is the easement?” OR “The case of the incredibly expanding easement”

November 3, 2017

The location and width of road easements is often a ticklish issue.  Users want them to be wide.  Owners whose property they cross want them narrow.


In August 2017, the Washington Court of Appeals decided a case where a trial court judge seemed to have "expanded" a written recorded easement by giving users additional areas to turnout and ordered the owner whose property the road crossed not to build anything in 2-1/2 feet on each side of the easement.  Seeing that the easement they bought the property with had gone from 10 to 15 feet, they cried "Foul!" and appealed.


And the Court's decision? Tune in and find out...


Season 2, Episode 11: Condominium Associations vs. Lenders: Round 2

October 27, 2017

Of particular interest to condominium association board members and parties thinking about purchasing a foreclosure sales of condominium units:

We recently reported on a July 2017 Nevada Supreme Court case on a dispute between a condominium association and a loan holder regarding the priority of their liens.  The lender unsuccessfully claimed that their lien was prior due to  "preemption".

In August 2017, in a long anticipated decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, governing Washington and other western states, decided a similar case involving a loan held by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  The decision could impact around half of the units with defaulted home loans and overdue association assessments.

And the Court decided....tune in to find out!


Season 2, Episode 10: Choice of Law Clauses in International Deals

October 20, 2017

Washington "community property law" protects a married couples property (including wages) where a creditor fails to get one spouses signature on an agreement.  Other states and countries do not have this protection. 

What happens where only one spouse signs a deal in a "non-community property" country and the agreement says that that country's law applies to the deal? Are they still protected by Washington law?

That was the question facing the Washington Supreme Court in an October 2017 decision dealing with a loan by a Hong Kong bank.  Did the Court protect the couple, or not?


Season 2, Episode 9: Loan and Lease Guarantees: What are they good for?

October 13, 2017

Business owners (and, sometimes, relatives of business owners) are often required to guarantee leases and loans.  But what happens when the debt or lease is extended or renegotiated? Just how binding is that guarantee?  Tune in and find out.


Season 2, Episode 8: “Hell or High Water”: Unexpected Perils of Equipment Finance Leases

October 6, 2017

Businesses often need equipment where leasing makes much more economic sense than purchasing.  Copier machines are the classic example.  However, such leases often have unanticipated consequences.  Customers can end up owing to a company that financed the lease (the "assignee") even where the machine is defective or was not even delivered.  They have to pay "Come Hell or High Water"!

How can that be? Tune in and find out.


Season 2, Episode 7: Offers of Settlement

September 29, 2017

"Offers of settlement can't be used in court to prove liability".    This is an old tried and true rule of evidence that lawyers and non-lawyers often repeat.  Courts won't consider such offers as, if they did, it would discourage parties from trying to settle matters outside of court.

However, do people really know what the rule means or how it is applied? Perhaps not.

In August 2017 the Washington Court of Appeals decided a case where a property owner, in an attempt to "fix" the fact that he had mistakenly built structures on his neighbors land, agreed with his neighbor for a "Permit" allowing the structures for a time and then offered to purchase the strip of property.  When the parties finally could not resolve the problem and sued each other, the other side tried to use the "Permit" and sale offer as evidence in their favor.

Based on the offer of settlement rule, the judge refused to consider this evidence and ruled for the other side.  On appeal, the Court applied this rule and.......- tune in and find out!