Dino Constance went through a contentious divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife. Witnesses claimed that he beat up and drug his ex-wife by her hair in front of the child. Police obtained court authorization to audio record conversations Mr. Constance made to a person he believed would kill his ex-wife for money. Mr. Constance was charged with solicitation of murder. He tried to have the audio recordings suppressed from trial. The trial court denied the motion to suppress. The Court of Appeals determined that the application to intercept and record the conversation was proper, if boilerplate, because it met the legal requirements for such an intercept.
Archive for the ‘Judge Anne L. Ellington – Concur in Majority’ Category
Court of Appeals: Div I – Police May Not Search Any Vehicle After They’ve Arrested the Driver, Except for Eugene Riley’sFebruary 10, 2010
Eugene Riley was pulled over for running a stop light. After determining that there was an outstanding warrant, police arrested Mr. Riley. After he had been arrested and was in handcuffs, police searched his car, finding methamphetamine. At his trial, Mr. Riley claimed that the vehicle belonged to someone else and that he had no knowledge of the drugs being in the car. He was convicted of possession of methamphetamine.
During the prosecution, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Arizona v. Gant. In that case, the Supreme Court had held that police may not search a vehicle after an arrest unless they are searching for evidence related to the offense for which the arrest was made.
The Court of Appeals held in this case (2-1), that because the police were operating under a good faith belief that their conduct was constitutional, the evidence they found (methamphetamine) was admissible at trial. The majority didn’t seem to care that the search was actually unconstitutional, only that the police thought it was at the time. The majority also declined to state that the search was unconstitutional under article I, section 7 of the Washington Constitution.
The dissent disagreed. The dissent stated that under controlling Washington Supreme Court precedent, the search was unconstitutional under art. I, sec. 7 of the Washington constitution and should have been suppressed.
Note to Supreme Court: The dissent appears to be interpreting the state constitution according to your recent precedent.
Paramjit Singh went to Providence Everett Medical Center in October 2004 for a relatively routine heart bypass surgery. During the surgery, an Edwards Lifesciences’ monitor malfunctioned causing a catheter in Mr. Singh’s heart to heat up and destroy the heart. He was kept alive by a mechanical heart for 11 weeks until a heart transplant became available. Anti-rejection medication caused Mr. Singh to develop blood cancer.
Mr. Singh sued Edwards Lifesciences (which was apparently uninterested in both life and science in Mr. Singh’s case). The lawsuit sought punitive damages against Edwards Lifesciences. The evidence presented at trial revealed that Edwards knew about the flaw in their heart monitor as early as 1998. In October of 2002, the same devise had caught fire during a surgery in Japan. Edwards did not recall the product or warn any of the users of the defect.
Edwards admitted liability, but alleged that Providence shared in that liability for using a defective cable. The jury returned a verdict of $31,750,000 and awarded punitive damages under California law. Punitive damages amounted to $8,350,000. Edwards appealed, arguing that because Washington disfavors punitive damages, none should have been awarded because the case was litigated in Washington. California law provides for punitive damages.
The Court of Appeals rejected this argument, relying on the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws. The Court held that “[e]ven though Washington has a strong policy against punitive damages, it has no interest in protecting companies that commit fraud. Where, as here, an entity headquartered in California, committed the conduct in California that resulted in the plaintiff’s damages, California had the greater interest in deterring such fraudulent activities.”
Note to self: Pay careful attention to what Paul Luvera does. He is a living legend. Joel Cunningham, Robert Gellatly, Deborah Martin, Howard Goodfriend and Andy Hoyal aren’t bad either.
Curtis walked onto the Lein’s dock and her leg went through. The trial court applied res ipsa (the dock was destroyed without an opportunity to inspect). But it refused to summarily hold that the Leins should have known of the defect, only that the defect existed:
Expanding Penson to include the facts in this case would create the potential for premises liability every time a structure fails regardless of whether a defect was discoverable.
Here’s my problem with that logic: The dock may have provided evidence that they should have known. If the whole thing was creaky and rotten, logic would dictate they should have known. Then again, that is a pretty strong sanction for the spoliation in this case, especially where the defect is given to the Plaintiff.
Thoughts? I would love to hear from both bars here.
Whisand had tried to circumvent a 20 day notice to vacate on his month to month oral lease by paying Ledas his usual monthly rent. Ledas handed the money orders to their attorney, who deposited them in trust and wrote a letter to Whisand stating that he had done so and the money orders submitted were not rent. The court, in looking to the WRLTA, noted that his argument may have had sway if the money was accepted to cure a previous deficiency in rent. However, such was not the case here, and no new contract was formed via mutual assent.
The court did remand based on the fact that, after counsel for Whisand asked the court to examine the witnesses as to the date the original tenancy was created, the court refused to do so, instead putting 100% of the burden on the parties in their offer of proof. However, the WRLTA puts an affirmative duty on the court to “examine the parties and witnesses orally to ascertain the merits of the complaint and answer.”