I met Shellie 30 years ago when she was pregnant with her eldest daughter. We were both working at a hideously dysfunctional insurance defense firm. She wisely fled before I did.Read More
My website was old.
Ten years ago (at age 47 if you must know) finished my stint as President of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Our organization had helped the citizens of our state survive two consecutive initiative battles - caps on medical negligence damages and a roll back of the Insurance Fair Conduct Act. We were bashed by the insurance industry in the process via millions in TV ads.
Took on the small personal mission of sharing the inner workings of life as a plaintiff lawyer. Hoping that through transparency, others might see that lawyers were real people too.Read More
Walks in and is already flustered.
Doesn’t ask your client how they are doing.
Isn’t familiar with the details of your clients’ injuries
Our office has formally declined to file charges on this matter.
The following statement will be released if there are inquiries on the status of the case...Read More
Under Washington law, wrongful death actions are strictly governed by statute. Atchison v. Great W. Malting Co., 161 Wn.2d 372 (2007). When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act of another, the decedent's personal representative may maintain an action for damages. RCW 4.20.010.Read More
On October 9, 2017, the above letter was delivered to the investigating Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys, Criminal Division, of the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.Read More
I am looking at the Medical Examiner's chart. She has been shot 7 times. 7 pieces of metal are either in or have gone through her small body. The same height as mine. But more slender. Her face is beautiful. It was spared. They aimed at her middle.
I count the bullet holes on the front of the body diagram. Then on the back. There are more than 7 holes. Some bullets count for 2 holes each. In. Out.Read More
Sometimes my job is sickening. I get the whole idea of defense lawyers attacking my clients in order to make sure they are telling the truth. But what I can never get used to are the grotesque tactical maneuvers used by some defense lawyers to save an insurance company a buck.
Here are a few excerpts from an argument I made to the Court opposing defense counsel's motion to dismiss a father's claim for the wrongful death of his child. Before reading this: a) put on a white jacket; b) stand up fully; c) employ wonder woman frown; d) thrust out chin; and e) use extra emphasis when using the word: "repulsive."Read More
Let me count the ways...
- Answered every question thoughtfully - including if there really was a man in the moon.
- Gave us puzzles and calendars featuring photos of sperm taken with his electron microscope
- Tucked us into bed every night. Then came back to check half an hour later to see if we were really asleep.
9-10:00 am perform office work with Nala in tow
10:00 – 11:15 teleconference with AAJ committee. Anne takes Nala for a walk and brings her back.
11:15 – 12:30 Meeting with co-counsel and new client who is in full rigid body brace. Nala tries to tip her over.
12:30 – 1:15 Put Nala in car. Head to court but first stop off at Whole Foods Interbay as frig is bare. Pick up fruit.
In its third motion for protective order my least favorite tourism company asks the court yet again to stop the plaintiff from filing motions in the public court file. Instead they want a special rule that requires us to give them five days notice before we can file a document so they can bring a motion asking the court to seal it or block us. Kind of like an early warning anti-missile system. We must tell them before we launch then they try to shoot us down before the paperwork can hit the courthouse file.Read More
Judges don't like it when us attorneys can't stop bickering. They are irritated by having to deal with our exchanges of snipes, digs and downright insults.
Last month after a trial ended, two jurors followed me down to the courthouse lobby. They wanted to talk about what happened. Both commented on how impressed they were that the attorneys acted in a civil manner. Sure we disagreed with each other and objected and there were tense moments. But we were not overly disrespectful like the lawyers they saw on television. They appreciated that.Read More
A tree branch scratched the lower part of my left upper arm last summer when I capsized a kayak. The wound stung. Swelled into a welt. But didn't bleed. Almost a year later there is definitely a scar still there. My real skin is getting thinner with age. My mental skin is not.Read More
After Thanksgiving, my brother sisters and I decide to sort through the few remaining boxes of mom's things. The contents of two storage units and a condo have been reduced to a pile of certificates, photos, and little treasures. We are at Greg and Laurie's craftsman house. Sitting around the living room. Creating our respective piles.Read More
A few days before Thanksgiving a defendant corporation sends me the report of its expert accountant. This person's job is to place a value on the life of a two and a half year old child who has died as the result of the negligence of others.
In our state the way we decide the "value" of loss of life under such circumstances is to project what the child would have grown up and earned during her life time. Less what the child would have consumed. The amount that is left over is called "net accumulations" and this cold calculation = value of the life lost.Read More