Supporting the Endangered Class of Female Attorneys

Author: Emilia Arutunian

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:43am

March was Women’s History Month, a time in which we celebrate women’s contributions to society and promote female empowerment. Empowering women in the legal profession is more important now than it has ever been. Notwithstanding the strides women have made in society and in the legal profession, women are abandoning the profession at an alarming rate. According to the American Bar Association, women enter the legal profession in equal numbers to men. After, however, a process of reduction occurs so that women make up just 23% of partners and 19% of equity partners.

A Case Study on Conflicts of Interest- Attorneys Disqualified Based Upon Former Client Representation

Author: Kyle Jones

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:40am

Division 1 of the Washington Court of Appeals recently decided a case affecting insurance defense attorneys in their representation of appointed clients. In the matter of In re: Estate of Taylor Griffith, the court considered the interplay between notices of appearance and conflicts of interest under Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.9.

Washington Court of Appeal Upholds Local Ban on the Sale of Recreational Marijuana and Proponents of Legal Marijuana Should Be Pleased

Author: David Reeve

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:37am

In Emerald Enterprises, LLC, and John Larson v. Clark County (March 13, 2018), Division II of the Court of Appeals ruled that Washington’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act (USCA)—which provides for the limited production, processing, and sale of recreational marijuana to Washington residents over the age of 21—does not preempt local jurisdictions’ authority to restrict and, as was the case here, outright ban marijuana sales so long as the federal government continues to list marijuana as a controlled substance. This decision is the first on the issue by an appellate court in Washington. It follows the 2014 opinion of Washington’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, that local governments should retain the authority to enact local bans on marijuana sales.

In Washington, Telephone Calls are Inadmissible Evidence Unless Consent to Record the Audio was Given by All Parties Engaged in the Call

Author: Angelina Petrosyan

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:35am

In Larson Motors, Inc. v. Paul Snypp (March 20, 2018) NO. 49671-2-II, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division II, recently held a trial court errored in granting a motion for partial summary judgement because telephone calls relied upon in that motion were inadmissible. The Court held that Washington’s Privacy Act requires a party who wishes to record a conversation to first obtain “consent of all persons engaged in the conversation.”

Aliante Decision is Good News for Nevada HOAs

Author: Tom McGrath

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:33am

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) in Nevada have become accustomed to their involvement as parties in quiet title and declaratory relief litigation, arising from HOA foreclosure sales.  In HOA foreclosure litigation, the primary dispute is between the real estate investors who purchased properties at the HOA foreclosure sales and the lenders who claim their first deed of trust interest survived the sale and continues to encumber the property.  The HOA foreclosure litigation exists primarily because before October 2015, Nevada’s HOA foreclosure statute (NRS 116.3116) did not expressly clarify whether the “super-priority” portion of an HOA’s lien for delinquent assessments, could include attorneys’ fees and costs. 

Social Media in Civil Litigation: Are Your Social Media Accounts and Posts Discoverable?

Author: Sarah Serrano

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:30am

Social media is just another form of electronically stored information. As such, courts have generally held that there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in your social media accounts. Even when a party has updated their Facebook page or Instagram account’s privacy settings and attempts to limit who can see their photos, their information may still be discoverable if they have posted a photo or status update that is relevant to the lawsuit.

The Latest Wrinkle in Nevada Medical Liens

Author: Carrie McCrea Hanlon

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:28am

It is bad enough in Nevada plaintiff gets to board the actual amount billed by providers for medical treatment as opposed to the amount received.  It is doubly bad the number can be the amount put on a lien with the medical provider, as the lien number is typically higher than the amount would have been if billed through an insurance carrier.  Before a provider will take the case on a lien, it often seeks details to evaluate the risk, since if plaintiff does not win, the provider does not get paid.  The doctor will ask about the amount of coverage, whether liability is disputed and whether their potential patient has a history of prior accidents or preexisting issues.  At least, at time of trial, defense counsel is allowed to ask whether the patient treated on a lien to attempt to establish bias due to the doctor having a financial investment in the outcome of the case.  Khoury v. Seastrand, 377 P.3d 81, 132 Nev. Adv. Op. 52 (2016).

The Humpty Dumpty Plaintiff and Claims of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Nevada

Author: Branden Sigua

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:24am

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

In personal injury cases, defense attorneys are often faced with plaintiffs who desperately want the jury to believe they are the living personification of Humpty Dumpty.  The best example of these claims can be encapsulated in the oft used term “traumatic brain injury.”  What exactly defines a traumatic brain injury?  I think the most concise and accurate response would be, “a plaintiff’s attorney.”

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Haldon Greenburg

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:19am

Remittitur of Excessive Future Damages

WAL-MART Stores, Inc. v. Derrick Thornton (43 Fla. L Weekly D521a)

A Broward County Plaintiff sued for damages resulting from a slip-and-fall accident.  At trial, a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff was rendered and damages were awarded for injuries sustained, including $150,000 for future medical costs.  Following the trial, Wal-Mart filed a Motion for Remittitur, arguing the damages awarded was excessive in light of the facts presented, which the trial court denied.

Quantity Over Quality? What Constitutes a Sufficiently Pled Fraud Allegation?

Author: Monique Larmond

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:14am

“Your argument is sound, nothing but sound.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Before you can call someone a fraud before the law, you must plead with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud.[1] Geico gets heat for its 191 page complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where it seeks to recover more than 15 million dollars it paid for allegedly fraudulent claims. (Government Employees Insurance Co. et al v. Path Medical, LLC et al, Case No. 8:17-CV-02848) In the lawsuit, Geico names a Florida-based chiropractic network, Path Medical LLC, Kanner & Pintaluga, Landua & Associates, and several other parties for allegedly conspiring and violating Florida’s Patient Brokering Act, Self-Referral Act, Clinic Act, Anti-Kickback Statute and Chiropractor Advertising Laws.

Developing Your Motions in Limine for the Florida Courtroom

Author: Kathryn Lee

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:11am

Motion in Limine translates to motion “at the threshold.” When properly used, Motions in Limine have the ability to drastically limit and focus the jury on key issues, diminish the length of trial, and lead to favorable settlements or verdicts. Motions in Limine can also help eliminate the need to lodge repetitive objections during trials, as not even the most experienced trial lawyer can predict a specific jury’s perception of persistent objections coming from the defense table.

Colorado Case Law Update

Author: Probal Young

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 4, 2018 9:08am

Affiliated Tribes Must be Given Notice of Child’s Potential Placement in Foster Care or Adoption Programs Pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act

The People of the State of Colorado in the Interest of L.H. (on certiorari) (February 22, 2018, 2018 WL 1008140)


The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted by Congress to address a growing concern that many children of Indian (Native American) descent were being separated from their parents and tribes and placed into adoption or foster care outside their community. ICWA recognizes that “Indian tribes have a separate but distinct interest in Indian children that is equivalent to, but distinct from, parental interests.”  Id. at 1.

Product Liability and Insurance Coverage Concerns for the Colorado Marijuana Industry

Author: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 3, 2018 4:57pm

The legalization of marijuana for recreational use over the past several years in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C., and for medicinal use in another 29 states, has led to billions of dollars in sales for growers, sellers, and billions of dollars in taxes for the states. It has also led to increased risk of product liability litigation against those same growers, sellers, and governmental agencies who license the businesses. Many, if not most, of the insurance policies purporting to cover the growers and sellers are likely modified standard product liability and CGL policies which have explicit exclusions for the sale, manufacture, or ingestion of psychotropic substances, including marijuana.

Employee? Independent Contractor? The Colorado Totality of the Circumstances Test for Independent Contractor Status

Author: Dorota James

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 3, 2018 4:37pm

As the Internet changes how modern companies respond to the needs of consumers seeking their services, a growing trend has emerged among businesses nationwide – the return of the freelance contractor. Now, one in three workers in the United States is considered “an independent contractor.”  The trend of hiring independent contractors to handle jobs once performed by full-time employees has caused the freelance sector to explode with workers.  But the line between an employee and an independent contractor is blurry. Not understanding the differences between these classifications can be costly for the independent contractor or for the business hiring them.

California Case Law Updates

Author: Emily Berman

Guest Editor: Tiffany LeMelle

April 3, 2018 3:41pm

Coalition Against Distracted Driving et al. v. Apple Inc. et al.[1]

In this appeal recently brought before the Second Appellate District (downtown Los Angeles), appellant urged the Court to revive a suit in he and a coalition brought against Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft. In that suit, it was alleged these tech giants should be required to warn consumers about the dangers of using smartphones while driving.  Plaintiffs argued the four tech companies must apply warning labels regarding the dangers of distracted driving to their products.  The trial court dismissed the case, ruling the coalition had no standing to sue.

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