General Law

A Deal is a Deal, Unless You are in a State Court

Recently, the Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of all charges pursuant to a plea agreement after the defendant moved to dismiss the charge to which he had pleaded guilty. As part of the plea agreement, the Government dismissed a general conspiracy charge con- tained within the indictment . See United States v. Transfiguracion, No. 04-10457 (Ninth Cir. April 5, 2006).

By Wayne Fricke, May 2006

Always Check the Statute

A competent lawyer might think that, because it’s almost 2012, he or she can rely on the constitutionality of Washington statutes and municipal codes – especially ones that have been around for a long time.

By Casey Arbenz, January 2011

An Arrow for the Quiver

If a foreign national from almost any country is arrested and/or charged with a crime by State or Federal authorities, one or both of two treaties may come into play. One is the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) and the other is the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

By Monte Hester, December 2007

Attorney - Client Privilege vs. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Whenever a client loses in trial, and an appeal is filed, one of the issues frequently raised is ineffective assistance of counsel.

By Brett Purtzer, March 2004

Conditions of Release

As we all know, the first formal step in representing an individual is the arraignment and bail hearing. Recently, Division II Court of Appeals focused on CrR 3.2 to assist trial courts in determining what can and cannot be imposed on the accused.

By Brett Purtzer, November 2008

Crafford's Next Impact - the Lab

The confrontation clause became a little more meaningful when the Supreme Court handed down its recent opinion in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 131 S. Ct. 2705 (2011).

By Lance Hester, January 2011

Experts Love This One

Hats off to the Supremes. Our Honorable Supreme Court unanimously held in State v. Rodin Punsalan, Washington Supreme Court Docket No. 77490-1 filed May 4, 2006, that the state is obliged to fund the expense of expert assistance to an indigent defendant even though his defense counsel is a privately retained attorney.

By Monte Hester, May 2006

Hurry Up and Wait

Recently, we filed a federal habeas petition on behalf of a client who was sentenced for money laundering to 57 months based on an offender score of 25. The base offender score was determined by cross-referencing §2D1.1 (offenses involving drugs) of the Sentencing Guidelines from §2S1.1 (money laundering provision).

By Lance M. Hester, November 2004

Manifestly Unreasonable

“Show Me The Money!” After judgment go straight to CR 62 and RAP 8.1 to determine when you can start executing. In the world of civil litigation it is rarely enough to simply win a lawsuit. Once judgment is entered it’s time for the attorneys to roll up their sleeves and be- gin the real work of getting everybody their compensation.

By Lance M. Hester, November 2004

Miranda Lives

At the state trial court level in Arizona, the defendant, who was charged with the murder of several monks in a mosque via execution style killing, asked the court to de- termine that his confession should be suppressed because of Miranda violations. He claimed that the Miranda warnings given were inadequate and that his confession was involuntary. The Ninth Circuit agreed with those claims.

By Monte Hester, May 2011

PRC Update

Effective September 1, 2006, the Rules for Professional Conduct (RPC) were substantially revised. Additionally, ongoing discussions continue surrounding RPC 1.5 relating to earned and flat fees.

By Brett Purtzer, December 2006

Right to a Speedy Trial

The Supreme Court’s revision of CrR 3.3 basically gutted the concept of a speedy trial with the myriad exceptions and cure provisions. But Division I recently held that a frequent reason for a continuance, prosecutor unavailability, did not warrant a continuance and dis- missed a DUI prosecution.

By Brett Purtzer, February 2008

Serious Misconduct

Our Supreme Court has recently handed down several opinions reversing serious cases because the prosecutor in the case committed misconduct. In several of the cases, the facts weighed heavily in favor of conviction, but the Court still found the conduct of the prosecutor to be so flagrant and ill-intentioned that reversal was required.

By Casey Arbenz, July 2015

Stalter v. State, 151 wn. 2d 148 (2004) From I-5 to “Ident”

The Washington State Supreme Court recently held that, “jail personnel do have a duty to take steps to promptly release a detainee once they know or should know, based on infor- mation provided to them, that the person they are holding is not the person named in the arrest warrant.”

By Lance Hester, July 2004

What is the Meaning of "Invalid"?

The Washington Supreme Court has struggled for years in determining when a Personal Re- straint Petition is timely filed based on the finality of the judgment and sentence. Recently, in In re Pers. Restraint of Coats, N. 83544-6 (Nov. 17, 2011), the court clarified when a judgment and sentence is invalid for purposes of the one year statute of limitations.

By Wayne Fricke, January 2011

Who Can Just Say "No" to a Consent Search?

One of my favorite doormats is displayed at the entryway of a Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor’s office. It is brown and drab. But its stencil-style black letters read, “Come Back When You Have a Warrant.”

By Lance M. Hester, May 2006

Witness Unavailability by Coercion

Over the last couple of years the United States Supreme Court has decided two cases that originated within our state involving the admissibility of hearsay evidence in contravention of the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution.

By Wayne Fricke, December 2006

You Win Some, You Lose Some

After a year-and-a-half wait, the Washington Supreme Court finally ruled on the case of State v. Smith, No. 76433-6, which addressed the definition of assault and, more specifically, whether the definition should be included in the “to convict” instruction as an element.

By Wayne Fricke, May 2007

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