Spring 2018

Defense News Spring 2018
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Table of Contents
Notes from the Editor's Desk...

Members are welcome to submit articles for publication in the Defense News. If you are interested in writing, please contact me at kdanielson@schwabe.com.

Kyler Danielson, Editor
Mandatory Arbitration Rules (MAR) - Changes under HB 1128
by Mark Conforti
For the last couple of years, the lobbying arm of WDTL and several defense attorneys who testified in front of the Legislature, defeated proposed changes to the Mandatory Arbitration Statute. This year however, the Plaintiff’s Bar took advantage of a change in the make-up of the Legislature whereby the Democratic Party took control of both Houses of the Legislature, as well as this year’s “short session” to pass significant changes to Mandatory Arbitration – now called Civil Arbitration. These changes will go into effect September 1, 2018. The timing of implementation of these changes coincides with the timeframe for new Court Rules to go into effect. The new rules apply only to those cases filed on or after September 1.
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Mandatory Arbitration Rules (MAR) - WDTL Efforts with the Legislature
by: Brad Smith, WDTL Legislative Chair
In 2018, Washington state legislators sent Governor Inslee just over 300 bills that were approved during the short 60-day Regular Session.  Among the measures that the Governor approved is HB 1128—a bill that will increase the dollar threshold for matters that are subject to mandatory arbitration from the current level of $50,000 to $100,000.  This is the fourth year that plaintiff lawyers have pushed for the increase.  The WDTL, together with the Association of Washington Business, the insurance industry and other defense-oriented stakeholders successfully defended against the passage of the plan in each of the prior three years, but the increase was approved this year.  The change becomes effective for cases filed on and after September 1, 2018. 
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Washington Legislature Limits Employers’ Ability to Obtain Medical Records in WLAD Cases
by: Brian Augenthaler
Effective June 7, 2018, defendants in employment discrimination lawsuits will have their rights to a claimant’s medical records sharply curtailed. In what will be a new section to chapter 49.60 of the Revised Code of Washington, a claimant does not, as a matter of statutory law, put his or her health at issue or waive any health care privilege by making a claim for noneconomic damages in a Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) lawsuit.  
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Member Spotlight: Defense News Editorial Team
by Kyler M. Danielson
WDTL thrives through the participation of its faithful members. The Defense News is proud to highlight its members in this Member Spotlight column. In this edition, at special request from fellow WDTL members, we are pleased to introduce the current WDTL Editorial Team, including myself, Brian Augenthaler, and John Randolph.
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What is the Future of Cannabis Product Liability Litigation?
by: Melissa K. Roeder
In this era of a billion dollar product industry where more and more states are legalizing marijuana use, there is a significant absence of legal precedent to provide guidance on cannabis product liability issues. In fact, there have only been a total of two cases dealing with cannabis product liability issues.  The first was a 2015 Colorado class action against a cannabis grower for pesticide use.  The second was a wrongful death matter filed in Colorado against a manufacturer of cannabis-infused candy.
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Three-Dimensional (3D) Scanning in Forensic Investigations
By: Nicolaus Faino, MS, CFEI
When an incident occurs, forensic investigators must document the scene to preserve information in case there is future litigation. Many times, an investigator only has one chance to document the conditions of a scene before it is altered by remediation or clean-up efforts. Additionally, relating complicated engineering concepts to a fact-finder or jury can be difficult without clear and concise visual aids. Three-Dimensional (“3D”) scanning enables investigators to capture a large amount of data in a short period of time and to distill that information into a three-dimensional model that people without technical knowledge can visually understand.
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Defense Successes
In each edition, the Defense News features successes of our members and colleagues. WDTL is proud of our defense attorneys and we would like to share their accomplishments. We would love to hear from you. Please share your stories with our Editor-in-Chief for publishing in the Defense News.
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Upcoming WDTL Events
June 29, 2018
Annual Asbestos CLE

July 19-22, 2018
Annual Meeting & Convention
Welcome New WDTL Members
Shantrice  Anderson
Nicoll Black & Feig, PLLC

Scott Boyce
Bohrnsen Stocker Smith Luciani Anderson PLLC

Mark V. Brady
Law Office of Alice C. Brown

Earle Q. Bravo
Reed McClure

Denis Globa 

Thomas A. Heinrich
Forsberg & Umlauf, P.S.

Maria Hunt
Betts Patterson Mines

David Hynes
Todd Bowers & Associates

Christina Kefalas
Andrews Skinner, P.S.

Natasha Khachatourians
Betts Patterson & Mines P.S.

Sarah Demaree Macklin
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard Smith

Jessica Marie Marshall
Law Office of Alice Brown
Benjamin Miller
Law Office of Alice C. Brown

Sean Paulich 
Betts Patterson Mines, P.S.

Adam  Shapiro

Edward M. Silverman
Williams Kastner & Gibbs PLLC

Elizabeth G. Smith                  
Law Offices of Elizabeth G. Smith

Paul  Stewart
Paine Hamblen LLP

Luisa  Taddeo
Scheer Law Group, LLP

Kara Tredway
Betts Patterson & Mines P.S.

Scott Ugelstad
Dynan and Associates

Damon Vickers 
Cummins Goodman Denley Vickers, PC

Daira Waldenberg
Selman Breitman

David Edward Worley 
Scheer Law Group
Thank you WDTL Core Sponsors
Please support the WDTL Core sponsors.   Click here for the full list.
Copyright © 2018 Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, All rights reserved.

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