Michael Kutzner is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ Seattle office. His practice includes general liability and personal injury litigation.
Mr. Kutzner represents individuals and businesses in a wide variety of civil litigation matters. He conducts keen case analysis with forethought to future possibilities. Prior to joining Tyson & Mendes, Mr. Kutzner worked as a criminal defense attorney, representing individuals at all levels of the criminal judicial process, including arraignment, pretrial, motion, trial, and review hearings. He has been successful in case dismissals through pretrial motions, including charges carrying mandatory minimums of 180 days of incarceration. He successfully recognized and preserved a significant Constitutional issue during trial that is currently being decided by the Washington Supreme Court.
Mr. Kutzner obtained his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law and his MBA from Seattle University School of Business in 2015. During law school, Mr. Kutzner welcomed the unique opportunity to advocate on behalf of indigent elders and presented Bill 1839 to both the Washington House and Senate. He obtained his B.S. from Walla Walla University in 2012, where he graduated with honors. Mr. Kutzner was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2016.
In his free time, Mr. Kutzner enjoys fitness, the outdoors, and building old vehicles. He also enjoys visiting tropical beaches with palm trees to offset the years of Canadian winters.
Death is difficult. It can cause a host of emotions, most of which are typically unpleasant. In most situations, the deceased are handled respectfully and tended to prior to a funeral service, celebration of life, or other farewells. Sadly, on some occasions the deceased are not respected, and living persons “related to” or “close to” the deceased may be entitled to recover damages for emotional distress when tortious interference with a corpse occurs.
In a recent ruling, the Washington state Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision regarding legal exemptions for religious employers. This article discusses the ruling in the case, Woods v. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission..
Everyone makes mistakes; such is life. No one is perfect. Learn the lesson and do not let it happen again. One such mistake occurred recently in Mancini v. City of Tacoma, 2021 WL 279715 (2021).
Insurance policies are often rather complete and precise in what exactly they will cover. When a policy fails to include a definition to a potentially vague term, Washington courts will look to the intent of the laws guiding a definition, while also seeking to incorporate the definition most favorable to plaintiff.
Patients have a high expectation their communication, diagnoses, and treatment will remain confidential when speaking with their medical providers. This includes treating physicians, nurses, and social workers. Washington law enforces this privileged bond. How far does this privilege extend? What other privileges may defeat the physician-patient privilege, if any?
The law is ever-evolving. Thought paradigms shift with an increased understanding of human dynamics and the introduction of new ideas. Washington law typically follows a more liberal-sided evolution of the law, often causing defense attorneys some degree of frustration. Washington law regulates minimum wage but also provides exemptions from the minimum wage requirement for some positions in various industries. The Minimum Wage Act of Washington was based on the Fair Labor Standards of 1938, which plaintiffs in Martinez-Cuevas v. DeRuyter Brothers Dairy, Inc., WL 6495500 (2020) claimed incorporated racist motivations underlying the federal statute.
Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims must satisfy five elements to be successful in Washington. A plaintiff must establish (1) an unfair or deceptive act or practice, (2) occurring in trade or commerce, (3) affecting the public interest, (4) injury to a person’s business or property, and (5) causation. In Young v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., WL 5668986 (2020), the Washington Court of Appeals opined the unfair or deceptive act must be material for the first element to be satisfied. The Washington Supreme Court found this conclusion to mistake the sufficient for the necessary.
Washington law prohibits an award of damages if the claimant was drunk and more than 50 percent at fault for causing the damages. Pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington (“RCW”) section 5.40.060(1) is an affirmative defense, and provides “the person injured . . . was [(1)] under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug at the time of the occurrence causing the injury . . . and [(2)] that such condition was a proximate cause of the injury . . . and [(3)] the trier of fact finds such person to have been more than fifty percent at fault.”
Employment discrimination cases may present unique opportunities for plaintiffs and defendants alike. Although typically barred in civil litigation, if a plaintiff prevails in an employment discrimination case, s/he may request attorney’s fee under Washington statute, and said attorney’s fees will likely be awarded. A unique element of employment discrimination cases for defense counsel pertains to case theory. Often, defense counsel wishes to present many alternate theories of a case to a jury to negate many possibilities…
COVID-19 (“COVID”) has been an ever-increasing topic of discussion around the globe. In the recent weeks, COVID case numbers have climbed to over 4,000,000 in the United States. Close-quarter-populace facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and correction facilities experience great difficulty in controlling the spread of COVID if residents become infected. In Washington, case law is already being established…