News from around the industry highlighting firm achivements and current events

Paine Hamblen Legal Intern Nicole Luth Helps Others Dress for Success at Gonzaga Law’s Fashion Week

October 17, 2018  

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Paine Hamblen and Startup Spokane

July 20, 2018

On July 18th, Paine Hamblen partner Keith Trefry spoke to a group of new entrepreneurs at Startup Spokane about the challenges and pitfalls of scaling, as well as strategies on how and when to scale their business as they grow. Later that evening, Paine Hamblen partners Keith Trefry and Dale DeFelice also participated in Startup Spokane’s annual Summer Social event. For information on upcoming Startup Spokane events, go to Startup Spokane’s website located at

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Paine Hamblen Partners Fred Emry and Kathryn McKinley have been selected to the 2018 Super Lawyers list!

July 19, 2018

Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that partners, Kathryn McKinley and Fred Emry have been selected to the 2018 Washington Super Lawyers list. Kathryn McKinley’s practice areas include Real Estate, Banking and Creditor Debtor Rights. Fred Emry’s practice areas include Estate Planning & Probate, Tax and Elder Law. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. No more than 5% of lawyers statewide are selected each year. A description of the selection methodology can be found at process…

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U.S. Supreme Court Determines that Class Action Waivers are Legal

May 24, 2018

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of class action waivers in individual employment agreements. This means that employees who sign a class action waiver are prohibited from bringing a class action, both in litigation or in an arbitration. In the case Epic Systems v. Lewis, the U.S. Supreme Court decided three consolidated cases. The Court found that class actions are not “concerted activities” protected under the National Labor Relations Act and further, that the Federal…

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September 11, 2017

We are proud of our law firm’s legacy that began over 110 years ago. As one of the leading firms serving Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, we have offices in Spokane and Tri-Cities. We provide quality service, while offering a broad range of practice areas that meet the diverse needs of our clients. Whether our clients are individuals or Fortune 1000 companies, our goal is to develop long-term relationships based on hard work, trust, and exceptional results. What distinguishes Paine…

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Proposed Final Overtime Pay Rule Invalidated

September 6, 2017

On August 31, 2017, a Untied States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas granted Summary Judgment for the plaintiffs and thereby invalidated the final overtime rule.  The lawsuit was initially brought by 21 states and several business groups.  The rule, which would have more than doubled the salary level for overtime exemptions from $23,660.00 to $47,478.00, regardless of whether employee would qualify for the overtime exemption under the executive, administrative or professional duties test, had been prevented…

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Trademark Scammers Continue to be Troubling

August 2, 2017

Public talks were recently held between federal prosecutors and regulators and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with regard to scammers who target trademark owners.  These scammers use the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System to obtain information about trademark. Then, while using names that are calculated to confuse people into believing they are receiving official USPTO transmittals, the scammers provide notice of alleged deadlines, offer trademark monitoring services, or offer to record a trademark in a private registry that…

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Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that Tricia Usab has been named Partner

July 28, 2017

Tricia’s practice areas include real estate law, foreclosure law, business transactions, contracts, and banking law.  She is licensed to practice law in Washington, Idaho, Florida, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.  Prior to moving to Washington, Tricia practiced law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She graduated with Honors from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, and will be teaching Real Estate Transactions at the Gonzaga University School of Law in the fall. Tricia is a Board…

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What’s in a name? US Supreme Court Affirms Trademark’s Law on Restriction of Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates Free Speech Provision of the US Constitution.

June 22, 2017

Under 15 U. S. C. §1052(a), the USPTO may deny registration of a trademark that may “disparage . . . or bring. . . into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” In the Supreme Court case of Matal, Interim Director, United States Patent And Trademark Office v. Tam (U.S. Ct, June 2017), No. 15–1293, 2017 WL 2621315, Simon Tam, lead singer of the rock group “The Slants,” chose this moniker for his band to “reclaim” the term and…

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Protecting Intellectual Property – The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

June 12, 2017

By: Greg Johnson For many companies, their intellectual property is their raison d’être.  Organizations spend thousands of dollars protecting themselves from computer hackers, external intrusions, computer viruses and so forth. Ironically, as often as not, the persons who are able to do the most harm to a company are its employees and departing employees. Several years ago, the Ponemon Institute, a privacy management research firm, and Symantec, a computer security applications company, announced the results of a co-sponsored survey of…

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Partner Keith Trefry Judges First Annual Eagle’s Nest Business Pitch Competition

June 5, 2017

Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that partner, Keith Trefry, was selected to judge the first annual Eastern Washington University Center for Entrepreneurship’s Eagle’s Nest Business Pitch Competition, which took place on Thursday, May 18th. The Competition began last November with a total of 35 student teams entering. After advancing through two preliminary rounds, seven student teams remained to compete for over $5,000 in prize money, with the top team taking home $2,500! The teams pitched their ideas to a…

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Paine Hamblen Partners Fred Emry and Kathryn McKinley have been selected to the 2017 Super Lawyers list!

May 31, 2017

Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that two of its partners; Fred Emry and Kathryn McKinley, have been selected to the 2017 Super Lawyers list. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at:   Fred Emry’s practice areas include Estate Planning & Probate, Tax and Elder Law. Mr. Emry has been a selected to the Super Lawyer’s list every year since 2003. Kathryn McKinley’s practice areas include Real…

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Washington Adds Trust Decanting To The Estate Planners Toolbox

May 25, 2017

By: Eric J. Sachtjen Previous to the enactment of Washington’s decanting statute, estate planners who wanted to modify an otherwise irrevocable trust had to rely upon other methods, such as a Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act (“TEDRA”) proceeding, consolidation of trusts, or a written, binding TEDRA agreement. While rules and limitations apply, Washington’s new law, which is effective July 23, 2017, authorizes trustees to amend the provisions of irrevocable trusts or “pour over” the assets of the old trust…

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TIMBER! Division II of the Court of Appeals for the State of Washington Clarifies Washington’s Timber Trespass Statute

May 16, 2017

Held…”in recognition of the long recognized lawful authority to trim overhanging vegetation, the lawful authority to use and maintain property held in common with a cotenant, and the plain language of the timber trespass statute, we hold that where a tree stands on a common property line, the common owners of the tree may lawfully trim vegetation overhanging their property but not in a manner that  the  common owner knows will kill the tree.” To read the complete opinion go…

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Washington Supreme Court Creates Bright-Line Rule for Attorney-Client Privilege in the Corporate Setting

May 8, 2017

By: Ian J. Pisarcik In October, the Washington Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 decision, that the attorney-client privilege does not extend to postemployment communications between corporate counsel and former employees. In so holding, the Court eschewed the flexible approach articulated in Upjohn Co. v. United States; a United States Supreme Court decision that a majority of jurisdictions have relied on to extend the attorney-client privilege to include communications with former employees.   The case at issue, Newman v. Highland…

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HIPAA and the Rise of Cloud Computing

May 1, 2017

By: Ian J. Pisarcik The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently published a document explaining how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to cloud computing. The OCR was motivated to offer guidance due to the proliferation and widespread adoption of cloud computing solutions and the corresponding confusion among HIPAA-covered entities and business associates with respect to how they can take advantage of cloud computing while not running afoul of HIPAA….

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Paine Hamblen Provides Representation in Sale and Preservation of Former Convent Property on the Spokane River

April 24, 2017

Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that partner Kathryn McKinley represented the Sisters of the Holy Names with respect to the sale and permanent preservation of its Spokane River Property. Pursuant to the terms of the sale, the City of Spokane acquired 31.14 acres of the former 65 acre Sisters’ Spokane Campus on Fort George Wright Drive including 4,500 feet of Spokane River frontage. Ms. McKinley also represented the Sisters in the sale of an additional 34 acres to Catholic…

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May the Real Prevailing Party Please Stand Up? Tax Court Denies Attorney’s Request for Fees Because Attorney Was Not the Actual Prevailing Party

April 12, 2017

By: Yonicio Hernandez The Tax Court in Greenberg, David B., 147 T.C. No. 13 (2016), held that an attorney who had represented a taxpayer in an administrative proceeding was not a proper party to file a petition seeking an award of attorney’s fees for the representation, in part because he did not “incur” the costs. Rather, he was to be the recipient of any fees. Because the attorney was not a party to the underlying proceeding, he could not be…

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The Washington Supreme Court Applies Strict Liability Standard to Medical Product Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn Hospitals

February 9, 2017

By Greg Johnson In Taylor v. Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Feb 9, 2017) the Washington Supreme Court held that the Washington Product Lability Act imposes a statutory duty on manufacturers of medical products to warn hospitals of the products’ dangers when they purchase them. Manufacturers’ duty to warn purchasing hospitals is not excused by warning the doctors who use the devices because hospitals need to know the dangers of the products they purchase, which cannot be accomplished simply by the manufacturers’…

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February 9, 2017

By: Tricia D. Usab   On July 7, 2016, the Washington Supreme Court handed down a decision in Jordan v. Nationstar Mortgage, 185 Wn.2d 876 (2016), that directly impacts a lender’s ability to exercise standard provisions found in many mortgages and deeds of trust recorded throughout the state of Washington.  Many mortgages and deeds of trust contain provisions that allow a lender to enter into a borrower’s real property for the purpose of securing it after an event of default,…

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February 3, 2017

On January 20, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a case that has broad effect, potentially impacting your organization.   In the case of Syed v. M-I, LLC, Case No. 14-17186 (2017), the Court ruled that a prospective employer violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it procures a job applicant’s consumer report after including a liability waiver in the same document as the statutorily mandated disclosure.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the…

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February 1, 2017

By: Tricia D. Usab On October 6, 2016, the Washington Supreme Court handed down a decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst, 186 Wash. 2d 648 (2016),  that directly impacts the development of land with permit-exempt wells in counties such as Spokane, that are subject to the Growth Management Act.  The Growth Management Act is legislation that reinforces conservation goals, discourages sprawling low-density development patterns, and encourages future growth in urban areas.  Permit-exempt wells allow a withdrawal of groundwater for domestic…

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January 9, 2017

Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that its Employment Law Practice Group Partners, James M. Kalamon and Dale A. De Felice, successfully defended a local hospital in a significant wrongful termination lawsuit, in which the plaintiff sought over $1.2 million in economic loss damages.  After a trial that lasted two weeks, the Court ruled against the plaintiff on all of the plaintiff’s causes of action.  The Court specifically noted that Paine Hamblen’s representation was exceptional and counsel was well prepared,…

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Idaho Supreme Court Redefines When Attorney Fees May Be Awarded to Prevailing Parties

January 5, 2017

By: Paul S. Stewart The Idaho Supreme Court in Hoffer v. Shappard, 160 Idaho 870, 380 P.3d 681 (2016), held that attorney fees available to a prevailing party under I.C. § 12-121 will be awarded in any case when “justice so requires.”  This is a departure from precedent based on I.R.C.P. 54(e)(1), which, until now, only permitted attorney fees under I.C. § 12-121 when a party prevailed against frivolous claims.  The Court announced that its new interpretation of I.C. §…

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New Law Allows For Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts

December 20, 2016

By: Eric J. Sachtjen On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act which now allows individuals with disabilities with capacity to create their own self-settled special needs trust. Before the enactment of this law, individuals with disabilities had to rely upon third parties or the court to establish a special needs trust for their benefit. The new law allows capable individuals with disabilities to act in their own best interests without having to rely upon third…

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Defend Trade Secrets Act

December 9, 2016

By, Gregg R. Smith   On May 11, 2016 President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act which created a private cause of action for the owner of a trade secret that has been misappropriated. Prior to the enactment of this federal legislation trade secret law was left to the individual states, resulting in 48 variations of the Uniform Trade Secret Act and two states that relied upon common law.   The Defend Trade Secrets Act requires the…

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Paine Hamblen is proud to announce that Shane McFetridge has been named Partner

November 28, 2016

Shane McFetridge’s practice focuses on complex litigation matters, including personal injury, auto/trucking accidents, premises liability, products liability and commercial and residential construction defect cases. He has successfully defended trucking companies, hotels, apartment owners, grocery stores, and restaurants in a variety of matters involving significant claims of personal injury, including traumatic brain injury and paralysis. He has also represented owners, developers and general contractors with respect to construction defect claims involving apartments, condominiums, high rise commercial buildings and single family homes….

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Washington’s 2017 Estate Tax Exclusion

November 28, 2016

By: Eric J. Sachtjen The Washington Department of Revenue announced the 2017 Estate Tax Applicable Exclusion Amount is $2,129,000. The Applicable Exclusion Amount is the amount that can pass free of Washington’s estate tax. The 2017 filing threshold remains at $2,000,000 so decedents with estates above $2,000,000, but below $2,129,000, will still must file Washington estate tax returns.

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Washington’s B&O Tax Applies to National Sales and Drop-Ship Sales

November 28, 2016

By: Eric J. Sachtjen On November 23, 2016, the Washington Supreme Court held Washington’s B&O Tax Applies to National Sales and Drop-Shipped Sales. Avnet is one of the largest distributor of electrical components and computer products. Avnet has 35 offices in the United States, including one in Redmond, Washington, where 40 employees worked. The Redmond employees performed many functions for Avnet’s Washington customers, including soliciting orders, responding to requests for quotes, receiving orders, and responding to questions, and market intelligence…

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Eric Sachtjen to speak on Estate Planning Ethics

November 23, 2016

Paine Hamblen attorney Eric J. Sachtjen will be presenting December 1, 2016, at the Spokane County Bar Association CLE, Best Practices Potpourri. His topic will be Estate Planning Ethics. Interested parties may register for the CLE at

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