Practice Area
Litigation General
Legal Alert
From the Desk of Melanie Rose: Plaintiffs do not have endless time to file their legal actions. Rather civil claims are subject to statutes of limitation, which require a lawsuit to be filed within a specified amount of time based on the type of action—personal injury, wrongful death, breach of contract, etc. However, there are instances where these limitation periods…
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Monday February 22, 2021 By: Melanie Rose
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeffrey D. Eberhard: In certain circumstances, if a plaintiff is successful, they can recover attorney fees. However, ORCP 54 (the offer to allow judgment rule) limits a plaintiff’s recovery of fees to those incurred prior to the date of an offer of judgment, provided the offer was more than the plaintiff’s ultimate award. Does this limit…
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Thursday February 11, 2021 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Bill P. Taaffe: In Oregon, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show the harm he or she suffered was foreseeable.  How one characterizes the harm—i.e., “a head injury” versus just “an injury”—clearly has a significant impact on what can be considered foreseeable. This case asks the question: Can a head injury, caused by walking into a…
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Wednesday January 27, 2021 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert
From the desk of Ashley Nagrodski: Washington has a recreational use immunity statute that shields landowners from liability for injuries that occur on their property. However, there is an exception to this immunity which means a qualifying defendant may still face liability. What exactly is required to come within the protection of this statute? Read on to find out. Claims…
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Thursday January 7, 2021 By: Firm Authorship
Legal Alert
From the Desk of Jeff Eberhard: Oregon issued civil penalties against two insurance companies for violating emergency orders related to COVID-19. What did these insurance companies do to deserve these fines? Claims Pointer: Allstate and Root Insurance Companies were fined for canceling or not renewing policies during a time they were prohibited from doing so by a COVID-19 Emergency Order. …
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Wednesday December 16, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Thomas McCurdy: Generally, if a driver loses consciousness and causes an auto accident, they are not held liable. The driver can be held liable, however, if they were aware that there was a possibility they could suddenly lose consciousness. This case addresses the question, does a driver’s prior knowledge of their multiple health conditions make them…
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Tuesday December 1, 2020 By: Thomas McCurdy
Success Story
Claims Alleged:         False Imprisonment; Assault and Battery; and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Injuries Alleged:       Concussion; Nasal Fracture; Facial Contusions and Abrasions; and Emotional Distress Admitted Liability:    No Amount Claimed:       $995,000 The Overview: Managing Partner at Smith Freed Eberhard, Jeff Eberhard, successfully defended an individual against claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction…
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Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Cliff Wilson: The one constant in litigation is that the Plaintiff carries the burden to prove every element of their case.  In complex scenarios, however, sometimes Plaintiffs will argue to push their burden on to the Defendant, particularly in cases involving insurance company defendants, like cases involving underinsured motorist claims (UIM).  Recently, the Oregon Court of…
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Thursday November 12, 2020 By: Cliff Wilson
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure (“ORCP”) 54(E) provides that a defendant may serve an offer on the plaintiff for a judgment that can be entered against the defendant and the plaintiff has the right to decline the offer. However, if the ultimate judgment obtained by the plaintiff is not more favorable than the offer,…
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Tuesday October 13, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Hear Ye Hear Ye! Read all about it. The Oregon Supreme Court has issued a landmark opinion addressing once and for all a topic of heated debate between Oregon’s plaintiff and defense bars. No matter the side, plaintiff or defendant, attorneys will agree that parties who can prove they were injured by a defendant’s…
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Monday August 17, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Gordon C. Klug: It should come as no surprise that a lawyer is prohibited from representing a new client where that new client’s interests are adverse to the interests of a former client and the matters are closely related. From a business standpoint, lawyers are also well-served to avoid these scenarios; especially in the case of…
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Wednesday August 12, 2020 By: Gordon Klug
Success Story
The Overview: Smith Freed Eberhard associate attorney Jessica Kamish recently achieved a significant victory for her client following a complex case that was tried in Seattle, Washington.  After Plaintiff decided she was unhappy with an arbitration award, she demanded a trial de novo, which even her own lawyer advised against.  At trial, Jessica leveraged the jury selection process to remove…
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Tuesday August 11, 2020 By: Jessica Kamish
Legal Alert
From the desk of Thomas McCurdy: Washington has a track record of working to criminalize discrimination in public spaces.  Since the early 1900s, the state has been developing legislation prohibiting discrimination on a number of bases – the list of which continues to grow to this very day.  In 1957, the Washington legislature enacted the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) which made discrimination based on…
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Friday July 17, 2020 By: Thomas McCurdy
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Plaintiffs have an interest in being able to bring lawsuits to recover for damages they believe were caused by a defendant. Defendants have a countervailing interest in ensuring that they are not forever exposed to a potential claim. The legislature’s answer to protecting both of these interests? Statutory time limitations within which a plaintiff must bring their claim following an injury or damaging…
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Thursday July 16, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: Health plan contracts may provide broad rights that an injured plaintiff must repay any liability and/or UIM payments received.  If Oregon PIP/health insurance statutes are applied, the likelihood of repayment is much less.  However, as the Oregon Court of Appeals recently found, the activities of the third-party administrator play a role in determining whether they are or are not an actual insurer for purposes of…
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Thursday July 16, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Legal Alert
From the desk of Jean Kang and Cliff Wilson: Insurers and claims professionals who do business in Washington are no strangers to the relatively unfriendly legal landscape created by state statute and case law. Insurers are subject to strict regulation under statutory schemes like the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) and Consumer Protection Act (CPA), each of which expose insurers…
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Tuesday July 14, 2020 By: Jean Kang
Legal Alert
From the desk of Kyle Riley: The Washington Supreme Court recently responded to a question certified by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The question was one of agency. Specifically, it was unclear whether, under the facts at hand, defendant Selective Insurance Company (“Selective”) was bound by its agent’s written representation made on a certificate of insurance that a particular corporation…
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Friday May 29, 2020 By: Kyle Riley
Legal Alert
From the desk of Bill Taaffe: The Washington Supreme Court recently addressed the State’s longstanding “made whole” doctrine, which requires that before an insurer can exercise its right to recover payments from an insured’s recovery (aka subrogation), the insured must first have been made whole. Only when the insured has been “made whole” is the insurer allowed to seek subrogation for…
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Tuesday May 26, 2020 By: William Taaffe
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