US Supreme Court Holds that a Drug Detection K-9 Dog’s Alert is Sufficient to Establish Probable Cause for a Vehicle Search

A Sheriff’s deputy and his drug-detecting K-9 companion in (the ironically named) Liberty County, Florida pulled over William Harris for a routine traffic stop. Observing Harris’s nervousness and an open beer can, the deputy (Wheatley) asked for permission from Harris to search Harris’ vehicle.   Harris refused to consent to the search, so the deputy … Continued

Maryland Court of Appeals Finds that Pit Bulls are Inherently Dangerous, and Imposes Strict Liability on Owners of Pit Bulls and Landlords who Know that Pit Bulls are Present

On April 26, 2012, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion finding that an owner of a pit bull, or of a pit bull mix, is ‘strictly liable’ for injuries caused by such animal.   This changed what had been the rule in Maryland:   that a dog owner is liable only upon proof … Continued

Washington Supreme Court Resolves Potential Conflict Between Two Attorneys Fee Statutes

The basic rule thus established in Williams v. Tilaye is that in order to invoke the attorney fees scheme under RCW 4.84.250-.300, a plaintiff must make an offer of settlement 10 days before the initial hearing whether it is a trial or an arbitration. Because the Plaintiffs in the Williams case did not make an offer at least10 days before the mandatory arbitration, they were not entitled to attorney fees under RCW 4.84.250-.300.

The Basics of the Doctrine of Adverse Possession

As an attorney who practices extensively in the area of real property litigation, I am frequently called upon to prosecute or defend cases involving a claim of adverse possession, and am approached by individuals who either have only a basic understanding of what adverse possession is, or who have formed misconceptions about what it means and how the doctrine is applied. This article is intended as a primer for non-attorneys — individuals who are interested in learning the basic contours of the doctrine of adverse possession as it applies in the state of Washington (although the law of adverse possession is similar if not identical in most states).

PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN BUYING OR SELLING REAL ESTATE Navigating the Recent Amendments to the MLS Standard Purchase and Sale Agreement

Anybody who buys or sells residential real estate (as well as the agents and brokers who assist in structuring and evaluating offers) should be aware of the significant consequences of changes made to the standard MLS Purchase and Sale Agreement form. It has long been the law in Washington that a seller of real estate … Continued