FIRM NEWS

The Washington State Bar Association honored Bill Hickman on November 3, 2017 at a tribute luncheon, along with others who have been bar members for 50 years.  Here, in part, is what they said: “Fifty years is a lengthy tenure of service and we greatly value the service you have provided to the people of Washington during your extensive and distinguished career.”

Reed McClure has been named in the 2018 edition of “Best Law Firms,” a U.S. News-Best Lawyers publication, for Appellate Practice, Insurance Law, and Construction Litigation.

Bill Hickman has been listed in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  He has been selected by his peers for Appellate Practice since 2007.

Marilee Erickson‘s article “MAR 7.3 Attorney Fees—What is the Test to Determine Whether You Improved Your Position on Trial De Novo?” was published in the Summer 2017 edition of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyer’s Defense News.

On August 14, Mike Rogers won an appeal in the Court of Appeals.  Our client’s insured punched somebody in the face and broke his jaw.  The insured claimed he didn’t intend to injure the victim.  The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment finding no coverage under a homeowners policy for a lawsuit against the insured.  The court held that the injury was not an accident because a broken jaw is a reasonably foreseeable result of striking somebody in the face.

We are very proud to announce that Bill Hickman has been included in Thomson Reuters’ Top 100: 2017 Washington Super Lawyers List for appellate practice.  We are also proud to announce that Pam Okano & Marilee Erickson have been included in Thomson Reuters’ 2017 Washington Super Lawyers list.

On March 31st, Jason Vacha chaired the WDTL Annual Insurance Law Update seminar.  Jason is the chair of the Insurance Section of WDTL.  Marilee Erickson spoke on IFCA Actual Damages.

In February 2017, Mike Rogers achieved a defense verdict in a bad faith, IFCA, and CPA suit.  The jury concluded it was reasonable for the insurer to offer to pay to wash a rental home contaminated with meth in compliance with state and county regulatory requirements.  The owner insisted on removing all walls and ceilings.

Pam Okano preserved a defense verdict obtained by Jack Rankin and Suzanna Shaub. Plaintiff suffered brain damage when he fell through the ceiling at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary while working in the crawl space. He claimed the general contractor that had built the building should have warned the penitentiary the ceiling could not be walked on, even though the contract did not require walkability. A jury disagreed. So did the Washington Court of Appeals. The Washington Supreme Court refused to review.

Jason Vacha recently obtained a tremendous result in a two-week jury trial. Plaintiff claimed permanent cognitive impairment and asked for $1 million. The jury awarded plaintiff just $12,000, following Jason’s suggestion in closing argument. And the jury found plaintiff partially at fault, leaving Jason’s client to pay only $4,400.

Reed McClure has been named in the 2017 edition of “Best Law Firms,” a U.S. News-Best Lawyers publication, for Appellate Practice, Insurance Law, and Construction Litigation.

Reed McClure presented its Fourteenth Insurance Law Seminar at the Cedarbrook Lodge on October 6, 2016.  The seminar featured lively, informative presentations on a wide range of insurance topics.

Bill Hickman has been listed in the 23rd Edition of Best Lawyers in America.  He was selected by his peers for Appellate Practice.

In July, 2016, Mike Rogers won a federal court trial involving underinsured motorist benefits.  The insured was hit by a car while riding a bicycle.  The jury concluded the claim exceeded the policy limit, but the insured breached her duty to cooperate in the insurer’s investigation.  The jury found Mike’s client did not commit bad faith, breach the contract, or violate the Consumer Protection Act or Insurance Fair Conduct Act.

We are very proud to announce that Bill Hickman, Jack Rankin, Pam Okano, & Marilee Erickson have all been included in Thomson Reuters’ 2016 Washington Super Lawyers list and that Jason Vacha was named to Thomson Reuters’ 2016 Rising Star list.

On June 2, 2016, Jason Vacha presented and taught two sections at the annual “Mastering the Deposition” program in Seattle, presenting on the handling of exhibits during discovery depositions and on objections and preserving the record during depositions.  The program was put on by Pincus Professional Education.

Two Reed McClure attorneys participated in the 2016 Annual Insurance Law Update seminar sponsored by WDTL.  Jason Vacha, Chair of WDTL Insurance Section, chaired the seminar.  Marilee Erickson provided an update on Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act.  The seminar took place on April 29, 2016.

On April 15, Mike Rogers won summary judgment on behalf of an insurer.  The federal court ruled that our client had no duty to defend an insured who allegedly engaged in a campaign of defamation to publicly embarrass, humiliate, and destroy a woman she believed had a romantic relationship with her husband.

Pam Okano successfully handled a federal court collapse coverage appeal. The insured claimed its condominium had suffered “collapse” no later than 1998, the last time the carrier was on the risk. There was no indication that the buildings or any part of them had tipped, leaned, dropped, or sagged at that time or since. Nevertheless, the insured’s engineering expert claimed there had been substantial impairment of structural integrity, on the ground that the buildings’ lateral force (wind, earthquake) resisting components had been severely damaged. Although the Washington Supreme Court adopted the “substantial impairment of structural integrity standard” for collapse, that court further specified that the building or part of a building must be unfit for its function or unsafe, i.e., that there must be an impairment so severe as to materially impair a building’s ability to remain upright.

In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to accept that all an insured need do to recover on a collapse claim is have an expert say there was “substantial impairment of structural integrity.” It affirmed summary judgment for the insurer, saying that no reasonable jury could find that the condominium or parts thereof had “collapsed” over 17 years ago, given that the buildings remained standing years later. The court said it was simply implausible that some walls of the condominiums could have become “unfit for [their] function or unsafe” during or before 1998.

Queen Anne Park HOA v. State Farm, 633 Fed. Appx. 415 (9th Cir. Feb. 3, 2016).  (Memorandum Decision)

Division III of the Court of Appeals issued a published opinion holding that a contractor working at defendants’ house is not a “then resident therein” for purposes of substitute service of process.  Marilee Erickson successfully represented the defendants on appeal.  (Published Opinion)

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