Zuanich Law Newsletter
Episode #60: The Return
October 29, 2022
Well, that was a long break.
You’re probably thinking I don’t have a good excuse for depriving the legal community of the gift of scintillating, discerning, and perceptive legal analysis for such a long time … and you would ….be ….. right.
Here’s what really happened. For the past several months, I have been serving as a legal advisor for Bachelor in Paradise – apparently, couples who hook up on those shows don’t always develop and sustain close and meaningful emotional bonds and they break up, and they fight. It started happening so often that the producers decided they needed an in-house advisor to arbitrate disputes… so there I was.
I was even featured on a few episodes but they didn’t air because apparently audiences didn’t tune into Bachelor in Paradise for legal analysis. So here I am.
We’ve missed so much over the past 8 months! The Kitsap County District Court Draeger War and Peace ruling for instance? I mean, come on. It doesn’t get more analytically legally legal than that.
But it’s Saturday morning, and we just can’t do that opinion justice this early in the morning.
So baby steps to get back into it.
Until further notice, this will be a combined newsletter – family law and criminal. So yes, you’re all stuck together. Make friends. Gossip. Have fun.
State v. Hawkins
Washington Supreme Court
October 27, 2022
Motion to Vacate Conviction
Facts: Veteran with no criminal history suffered psychotic episode and committed felony assault but made stellar rehabilitative efforts. Parties agreed that defendant meet eligibility requirements for vacating conviction but Court denied based on seriousness of the facts.
Holding: WA Supreme Court reversed. RCW 9.94A.640 gives trial courts discretion on whether to vacate but not unlimited discretion. The court “may not rely solely or even primarily on facts about the underlying crime” but must consider a defendant’s “level of rehabilitation.”
In other words, the seriousness of the crime matters, but because the underlying purpose of the statute is to help deserving defendants who otherwise qualify, rehabilitation matters – a lot.
My take: This case clearly helps defendants. At a minimum, the Supremes provided (finally) clear guidance for trial judges, who for a long time have had very little guidance to go off on how to weigh these petitions.
Marriage of Abbess
Court of Appeals, Division One
September 9, 2022
Facts: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Husband and wife can’t agree and go to court. The end.
Holding: When considering a contested motion for residential time and a petition relocate, the trial court must craft a permanent residential schedule based on the 6,765 factors listed under Parenting Act, RCW 26.09.187 (emphasis mine). In this case, the trial court looked at the temporary orders entered to help guide its decision, but temporary orders are based on different evidence and criteria. In other words, to look at the temporary order as a starting presumptive point.
My take: COA ruling: Stop being lazy, trial judges. Listen and follow the statute.
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.