Zuanich Law Newsletter
Episode #59: The Wordle Episode
January 92, 2022
If this Newsletter does anything well, it’s stay hip and current—at least according to most unofficial polls I have commissioned involving select subscribers who say exactly what I tell them to say.
And so I would be doing you a disservice if the Zuanich Law Newsletter did not host its first annual Wordle Competition.
Duh … you better know them by now.
But because Zuanich Law is cutting edge, we’re not playing by the rules.
This word will have 6 letters. That’s right … SIX … LETTERS.
So, of course, you get 7 guesses.
The first subscriber to get the clue right after the fewest number of guesses win.
The winner gets the following:
2. Your firm name on the title of an episode
3. My praise
I’ve also decided we’re going to keep the COMBINED episode thing going for a while … this will also make the competitions more challenging and it will force you all to learn about the other subscribers’ areas of practice.
I know, this Newsletter is educational and cutting-edge. Just pinch me.
Cornelius vs. Alpha Kappa Lambda
Court of Appeals, Division 1
Facts: WSU student sues frat for negligence. Facts irrelevant but likely crazy and worthy of Netflix binge watching.
As part of pledge week, AKL made students signed paperwork on an online protocol. Students felt rushed through the process. One of these documents was (surprise) an arbitration agreement. AKL appeals because trial court erred in denying its motion to compel arbitration.
Holding: This case turns on procedural unconscionability—to be honest, I thought this only existed in law school hypos but apparently it’s a real thing that gets litigated … like for realz.
Procedural unconscionability basically means that the party was forced to sign on a “take it or leave it” basis by the party that had a lot more bargaining power . Also relevant is whether the party had the opportunity to review it before signing?
Facts unclear from record, COA says. Cornelius says he had no chance to ask questions, but Cornelius never explained at trial court why he felt he had no opportunity. Were the terms of the contract hidden? Doesn’t look like it, COA said about the AKL arbitration agreement.
Finally, what about unequal bargaining power. COA said “well, we’re not sure.” In other words. “look, Cornelius, you were not forced into sweatshop labor and forced to sign a contract paying you half a cent a day.” (Zuanich Law interpretation emphasis added a lot).
Back to the trial court you go, COA says. Go away and (probably) don’t come back.
State v. Waits
Court of Appeals, Division 3
January 20, 2022
Facts: Child molestation trial took place outside Asotin County courthouse. But audio recording was shitty, so resulted in incomplete trial transcript. To facilitate reconstruction of record, court commissioned stayed appeal and ordered appellate counsel to prepare report of proceedings under RAP 9.3 or 9.4.
So what’s a narrative report of proceedings? Glad you asked. The appealing party prepares it best on the appealing party’s “best recollection” of what was actually said. And an agreed report means (you guessed it) the parties AGREE on what the narrative report should be and submit a JOINT ONE.
Holding: Appellate counsel didn’t want remand because said “I wasn’t there, so I can’t attest to accuracy of this shitshow trial under RAP 3.3(a) (candor before tribunal). That’s ok, COA said. Do your best.
“You don’t have to attest to the facts, COA tells likely pissed-off appellate attorney, but just help the appellant prepare the document. And you can also get trial counsel involved in this really fun enterprise. And, if you guys can’t agree, then the trial judge will jump in and resolve dispute.” Affidavits under RAP 9.3 only need to be “fair and accurate,” not verbatim. And under the Rules, appellate counsel does not have to attest to the facts because the word “party” under the rules refers to the appellant him/herself.
Motion for remand denied. Good luck.
My take: “Thankfully, these rules are little used,” in one of the most massive understatements every written by a judge in the history of judging and writing. I can’t wait to read this transcript. I mean, it’s a child molestation trial, so I’m sure everyone will agree on everything.
About Us: Zuanich Law focuses on criminal and civil appeals, DOL appeals, and post-conviction relief. Our civil practice focuses on personal injury, family law, breach of contract protection order hearings, property law, landlord-tenant law, and general civil litigation.