Firm News


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.

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