Posts Tagged Success Stories

September 25, 2017

Dismissal of Real Estate Case

Jeff Downer and Nicholas L. Jenkins secured voluntary dismissal of a professional malpractice claim against a real estate appraiser. Our appraiser client valued a four-unit apartment complex. The appraiser used comparative sales, income and cost appraisal methods. The bank loaned funds to the buyer who later sought to refinance the property. When the bank declined, the buyer sued, arguing the appraiser overstated the building’s square footage and therefore its value. Jeff and Nick argued the square footage calculations had no significant role in calculating value, and any causal connection between and the appraisal and the bank’s later decision was too speculative to litigate. The buyer voluntarily dismissed his case after receiving discovery requests that underscored the speculative nature of his liability and damage theories.

Repeat Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Case

Jeff Downer and Pam DeVet won a motion to dismiss the Lyons v. Attorney case in federal court. In state court, Plaintiff pro se sued several attorneys who had represented him in a dispute many years ago. The state court dismissed on legal grounds on summary judgment. Plaintiff refiled the action in federal court, twice. The court granted Pam and Jeff’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion both times because the action had already been decided on the merits.

Summary Judgement in Deed of Trust Dispute

Marc Rosenberg won summary judgment dismissal in Arnot v. Trustee in Oregon federal court. A successor trustee on a deed of trust foreclosed on a debtor’s property. Later, the debtor’s bankruptcy trustee challenged the foreclosure. Marc argued that when the debtor had formerly declared bankruptcy, that trustee abandoned the asset when he closed the bankruptcy. The court denied and granted summary judgment in favor of Marc’s client, and denied plaintiff’s cross-motion.

Summary Judgement in Real Estate Case

Jeff Downer and James Graves won summary judgment in Shahbazian Trust v. Ocean Shores et al. in federal court. Plaintiff sued the seller of property and its real estate brokers, Jeff and James’s clients, for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty. Jeff and James argued that plaintiff could not prove justifiable reliance, a necessary element of the fraud and negligent-misrepresentation claims, and that claims of breach of fiduciary duty of a real estate broker have been abrogated by statute in Washington. The court agreed, granted summary judgment, and dismissed the action.

Dismissal of Debt Collector Action

Marc Rosenberg won dismissal law in Calderon v. Dynamic Collectors in the federal court. Plaintiff sued a collection agency claiming violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Washington’s Collection Agency Act, and Washington’s CPA, based on collection of sums due to a Washington court for traffic infractions. The court held that amounts due to a court for traffic files are not a “debt” as defined by the FDCPA, not a “claim” as defined by the CAA, and do not occur in “trade or commerce,” as required by the CPA. The matter was dismissed with prejudice on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, where no amendment would save the claims.

Summary Judgement in Prison Abuse Case

Sherry H. Rogers and Holly Williams won summary judgment in Stockmyer v. Fetroe, et al. in federal court.  The case involved claims by a pro se plaintiff for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment and for malpractice against his treatment providers based on medical care he received while incarcerated.

Summary Judgement in Misrepresentation Case

Jeffrey P. Downer, Peter E. Sutherland, and Jonathan J. Loch won summary judgment in Bellora Condominium Owners Association v. Green. Plaintiff had sued to quiet title to a portion of an outdoor deck that it considered a common area, but that unit owner Green claimed was exclusively his. Green counterclaimed for adverse possession and for damages for negligent misrepresentation if the court determined that the deck was not his. Jeff, Peter, and Jonathan defended the misrepresentation claim and argued that Green lacked the required clear, cogent, and convincing evidence of that cause of action. The court agreed and dismissed the misrepresentation counterclaim.

Summary Judgement in Fraud Case

Joel E. Wright and James T. Graves won summary judgment in Fotinos v. Coldwell Banker Kline & Associates. Plaintiff sued his real estate brokerage and others for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and Consumer Protection Act violations. On behalf of the broker, Joel and James argued that plaintiff could not prove the necessary element of justifiable reliance, that the broker knew of the claimed defects, or essential elements of a CPA violation claim. The court agreed, granted summary judgment, and dismissed the action.

Summary Judgement in Slip-and-Fall Case

Steven G. Wraith and Holly A. Williams won summary judgment in Tessema v. MacMillan-Piper, Inc.  Plaintiff sued for personal injuries after falling on allegedly icy outdoor stairs. The court took judicial notice of weather records that established the temperature had been well above freezing for days before the incident, held plaintiff failed to offer proof that defendant had notice of any dangerous condition, and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint. 

Defense Verdict

Sam B. Franklin and Sarah L. Lee obtained a defense verdict in Blakey v. Law Firm in King County Superior County. Plaintiffs claimed defendant attorneys breached fiduciary duty by not filing a witness declaration with the court without any prior discussion with plaintiffs. The court found that defendants exercised judgment was within the reasonable range and therefore breached no fiduciary duty.

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