Washington Supreme Court Decisions

Browse Opinions From the Washington Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Washington Supreme Court

In re Pers. Restraint of Lui (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: June 22, 2017
Docket Number: 92816-9

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Sione Lui challenged his conviction for the second degree murder of his fiancee, Elaina Boussiacos. He sought a new trial based on allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, Br...

Washington v. Lee (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: June 15, 2017
Docket Number: 92475-9

Justia Opinion Summary: Limiting the scope of that cross-examination was within the court's discretion. Donald Lee was convicted on two counts of third degree rape of a child. The trial court permitted Lee to ask J.W. if she had made a false ac...

Washington v. Whitlock (Majority)  
Date: June 15, 2017
Docket Number: 93685-4

Justia Opinion Summary: In Washington v. Smith, 334 P.3d 1049 (2014), the Washington Supreme Court held that the constitutional right to an open courtroom did not require trial courts to invite the public to attend sidebars. examples of sidebar...

Noll v. Amer. Biltrite Inc. (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: June 8, 2017
Docket Number: 91998-4

Justia Opinion Summary: Without alleging a defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of doing business in Washington, thus invoking the benefits and protections of Washington laws, exercising jurisdiction would not comport with due...

Columbia Riverkeeper v. Port of Vancouver USA (Majority)  
Date: June 8, 2017
Docket Number: 92455-4

Justia Opinion Summary: An exception to the open meeting mandate of the Washington's Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) permits governing bodies to enter executive session "[t]o consider the minimum price at which real estate will be offered for s...

Washington v. Estes (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: June 8, 2017
Docket Number: 93143-7

Justia Opinion Summary: During an investigatory stop of a vehicle, a traffic violator can be temporarily detained until the legitimate investigative purposes of the traffic stop have been completed. Michael Phelps appealed a criminal judgment e...

In re Pers. Restraint of Davis (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: May 18, 2017
Docket Number: 89590-2

Justia Opinion Summary: Cecil Davis was sentenced to death for brutally murdering Yoshiko Couch. Davis raped, robbed, and killed 65-year-old Couch in her home in 1997. His direct appeal was unsuccessful. He challenged his death sentence in a pe...

In re Pers. Restraint of Rhem (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: May 11, 2017
Docket Number: 92698-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue central to this appeal was whether Michael Rhem adequately raised an ineffective assistance of appellate counsel claim by including in his pro se reply brief, "Rhem would also request that this Court consider s...

Washington v. Armstrong (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: May 11, 2017
Docket Number: 93119-4

Justia Opinion Summary: In alternative means cases where substantial evidence supported both alternatives submitted to the jury, jury unanimity as to the means is not required. In this case, Dennis Armstrong petitioned the Washington Supreme Co...

Washington v. Arredondo (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: May 4, 2017
Docket Number: 92389-2

Justia Opinion Summary: Fabian Arredondo appealed his accomplice liability convictions of one count of second degree murder and three counts of first degree assault. A jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that Arredondo, a gang member, drove a...

Thorpe v. Inslee (Majority)  
Date: May 4, 2017
Docket Number: 92912-2

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented a question of whether the then-current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the State of Washington and Services Employees International Union Healthcare 775NW (SEIU) included a union securit...

Washington v. Bluford (Majority)  
Date: May 4, 2017
Docket Number: 93668-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The Washington Supreme Court reaffirmed precedent that a trial court must consider whether such joinder will result in undue prejudice to the defendant. If it will, joinder is not permissible. The State charged Charles B...

Xia v. Probuilders Specialty Ins. Co. (Majority, Dissent and Concurrence/Dissent)  
Date: April 27, 2017
Docket Number: 92436-8

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the applicability of a broad, absolute insurance pollution exclusion clause to a claim based on negligent installation of a hot water heater that led to the release of toxic levels of carbon mon...

Wash. Trucking Ass'ns v. Emp't Sec. Dep't (Majority)  
Date: April 27, 2017
Docket Number: 93079-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The principal issue in this case was whether taxpayers could bring federal or state tort claims to challenge tax assessments, or instead must rely on the normal state tax appeals process. The taxpayers here are trucking...

Frausto v. Yakima HMA, LLC (Majority)  
Date: April 27, 2017
Docket Number: 93312-0

Justia Opinion Summary: The sole issue in this case was whether advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) were per se disqualified from testifying on proximate cause in a medical negligence case. The Washington Supreme Court held that ARN...

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