Possession must be open and notorious

In Seattle, many older properties have rockeries, small fences and even garden walls. In established areas, these features are often overgrown with all sorts of plants—often invited and cultivated—sometimes wild and unwanted. When a boundary dispute between neighbors erupts, one or the other may point to these features to support a claim for adverse possession. […]

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Pending gun rights cases

Although some might argue it is a bit of a stretch for a property lawyer to write on gun rights issues, I had the unfortunate opportunity early in my career to help a family victimized in a drive-by shooting. Also, I must be aware of the possibility that property owners may have guns in their […]

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Condominium super-priority liens, are super

In a recent Division I opinion, the Court of Appeals reiterated that condominium assessments enjoy super status compared to other lien holders. In BAC Home Loans Servicing v. Fulbright, the Court addressed Bank of America’s attempt to protect its security interest in a foreclosed condominium against the claims of a purchaser at a foreclosure sale. […]

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2013 Urban Forest Symposium

On May 13, 2013, Plant Amnesty and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens will be hosting a symposium on trees and views at the Center of Urban Horticulture. The symposium will include several prominent guest speakers addressing the issues that arise when views and trees come into conflict. Topics will include the methodology behind valuing […]

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Adverse possession and public property

People acquire property—and lose property—by adverse possession when certain facts have been present for more than ten years. The facts center on the possessor’s use and occupation of the “true” owner’s property. The use may have been by a prior possessor. I have addressed the elements in a previous post. The purpose of this post […]

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Inverse condemnation—what’s that?

Governments (federal, state and local) pass laws and regulations that impact the use of private property. Sometimes those government regulations are so restrictive that a private property owner has a right to compensation for the “taking” of his or her property. Recently, a landowner with property adjacent to the state penitentiary in Walla Walla, claimed […]

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Tenant as implied co-insured

What is an implied co-insured? Disputes about insurance coverage arise all the time. After all, someone will need to pay for the repair after an event that causes significant damage. Often, we look to insurance companies to pay. They often don’t want to. Recently, the Court of Appeals, considered whether a commercial tenant is an […]

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What is mediation and why do it?

Mediators are trained (usually) professionals that assist parties in solving their dispute. A mediation is usually held in an office with the parties in separate rooms. (Although in facilitative mediation the parties would be in the same room with the mediator). The mediator goes back and forth between the rooms working with the parties to […]

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Time for your deposition

Most lawsuits settle. But, there may be a time when the opposing attorney will have you in the hot seat answering questions under oath. Attorneys have the right to require parties and witnesses to answer questions during the discovery process. It can be a nerve wracking time. Most lawsuits settle because of what happens during […]

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No attorney’s fees for you!

Even with the most economical approach to handling a dispute, attorney’s fees and costs can often overwhelm a dispute if the amount in controversy is less than $10,000 or even $20,000. In order to insure that meritorious claims are still economically viable, Washington enacted two rules. In cases involving less than $50,000 in controversy, the […]

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