Jeffrey P. Downer and Joseph F. Martin successfully defended a large claim of sanctions against a lawyer in Ridout v. Hedgerow in King County Superior Court. One of several defendants in a water trespass lawsuit was dismissed from the suit on summary judgment. One defendant, who was pro se, then pursued a CR 11 motion for sanctions against plaintiffs’ counsel, a highly respected Seattle land use attorney. The defendant claimed that Jeff and Joe’s attorney-client had violated court rules by bringing a meritless lawsuit against him without sufficiently investigating it, and asked for $178,000 in attorney’s fees as compensation. The Court denied the motion, finding that the attorney-client did not commit legal malpractice because the lawsuit was not meritless, and that the pro se defendant could not be awarded attorney’s fees because he was not an attorney.
Jun 21, 2022