“Little Blue Houses for You and Me?: Homeowner Association Control of House Color Schemes

December 21, 2017

One of the rights that owners typically give up when they own property in a homeowners association is the right to choose whatever (obnoxious) home color suits their fancy.  But what happens when the association's covenants governing home construction and improvements don't directly address home colors.  Is the owner free to paint as they will or can the association still preserve some taste in the neighborhood.  In December 2017 the Nebraska Supreme Court was faced with this very question.  Was the owner allowed to freely express themselves or did the association have the right to protect itself from bad taste? Tune in and find out.

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Do Monkeys have (Copy)Rights?

December 21, 2017

Join us for a little bit of monkey business where the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with this intriguing question.  Monkey see, monkey sue?

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Tulip Wars: Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Washington Courts

December 21, 2017

Companies doing business in foreign countries are always at risk of being sued in that country's courts.  What happens if they lose and their opponent seeks to enforce the judgment against them through Washington courts?  Does Washington law provide some protection?

That is the issue that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided in October 2017 in the case of Midbrook Flowerbulbs Holland B.V. v. Holland America Bulb Farms, Inc. -   a fight between two brothers about their tulip importing contracts.

Did Washington law protect the American brother against his Dutch brother's company's judgment?  Tune in and find out...

 

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Appraisals: When Can a Property Buyer Sue, and Win?

December 21, 2017

Appraisals are crucial for lender financed purchases of residential property.  But what happens where, after buying property, an owner discovers that, in fact, the appraisal grossly overstated its value - that the appraiser was negligent or worse?  As the appraisal is generally done for the lender, does a borrower buyer have any rights against the appraiser?  Tune in and find out...

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Venue Clauses: Getting Home Court Advantage

December 21, 2017

Having to sue or getting sued in a distant court is a great disadvantage.  Parties often  attempt to get the "home court advantage" by including venue clauses in their contracts that force lawsuits to be in their local courts.  But how do these really work when a judge has to decide on enforcing them?  Do they even work?

Tune in and find out.

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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...

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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...

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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!

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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.

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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...

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