Michael Kutzner - Associate

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.

Recent Posts

Did this Washington Court Get it Wrong?

Trial court judges do not always get it right when deciding what evidence may be admitted at trial.  Sometimes a court will make rulings which create prejudice against one of the parties…

Mobile Homeowners – Special Protection?

Surety companies in Washington are generally not liable in tort to a third party. However, a specific exception was created for the setting up and siting of mobile homes. Poor or lacking performance with regards to these aspects…

Contractual Analysis for The Hazed and The Hazer

Arbitration can significantly impact the outcome of a case.  Arbitration agreements must be worded precisely so as not to create procedural unconscionability, and arbitration agreements within adhesion contracts must be carefully scrutinized because they create complex legal issues.

Clients Must Always Be Prioritized

Attorneys may not disclose information relating to the representation of a client – discussions with a client are privileged.  In the case discussed below, a court found a lawyer need not even know his/her intentional acts violated the Rules of Professional Conduct to be held accountable. 

Liability Waivers: A Cautionary Tale of the Inconspicuous Waiver

Liability waivers are an important part of many contracts as they shift liability from the business to the individual should some action be taken by the contract signer.  The liability waiver is an opportunity for a business to inform the signer of the risk associated with the related activity and to reduce the business’ liability should an accident occur.  Quite often though, liability waivers are passed over or skimmed at best.

Whose Employee Are They Anyway?

Typically, businesses directly hire employees to fill various roles within their organization.  In these situations, the employer is likely responsible for the acts of the employee if the employee is acting within the course and scope of their employment (i.e., “on the job”).  Businesses will also utilize staffing agencies at times to hire temporary workers.  In these situations, who is the employer of these temporary workers – the staffing agency or the host employer?  A recent Washington case, Department of Labor and Industries v. Tradesmen International, LLC, clarified.

One For the Landlords in Washington

Landlord and tenant law in Washington usually favors the tenant.  However, a tenant can be the disfavored party when a clearly written, easily interpreted contract is involved.  In Spokane Airport Board v. Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 79, the Washington Supreme Court adhered to the contract in question, siding with the landlord.

Covenant Judgments Can Be the Foundation of Bad Faith Claims

Bad faith claims have become an all too familiar threat when plaintiff’s counsel engages in settlement negotiations. Once a policy limit demand is made and rejected, one of two things will likely happen: either plaintiff’s counsel will approach the insured and ask the insured to agree to a covenant judgment, or the insurer will provide the insured with a “blue sky” letter, which promises the insurer will pay any award in excess of policy limits (thus fully protecting the insured against any contribution).

Falling for Liquor: Washington Court Reaffirms Premises Liability Law

Premises liability claims can be a slippery subject, particularly when the claim takes place in an unusual setting or deals with an unusual set of facts. Washington liquor stores have long faced regulations and laws far more stringent than those applied to other types of businesses and have faced special scrutiny in nearly all aspects of business operation.

Are Security Deposits “Property” in Washington?

In an attempt to improve living conditions and balance the bargaining positions of landlords and tenants, Washington passed the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 1973 (RLTA)

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