Synopsis: Johnson appealed his conviction for driving while license suspended in the third degree (DWLS), claiming that the DWLS law does not criminalize driving with a license suspended for failing to pay traffic fines. He also argued that the State could not constitutionally suspend his license because of his indigence. Finally, he contended that the State must pay the costs of his appeal.
Synopsis: Whether a public employee who claims he was terminated for engaging in union organizing activity may maintain a tort action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy on the basis of the policy expressed in the Public Employees’ Collective Bargaining Act, chapter 41.56 RCW.
Synopsis: Whether a domestic violence protection order entered in connection with a marriage dissolution proceeding was a “court-ordered parenting plan,” violation of which constituted the crime of first degree custodial interference under RCW 9A.40.060(2).
Docket No. 84240-0 (from Court of Appeals Division I Case No. 63815-7) Facts: Respondent John Gordon was convicted of murder in the Superior Court for Pierce County and sentenced to an exceptional sentence pursuant to the jury’s finding that the aggravating factors of deliberate cruelty and particular vulnerability of the victim were present. Gordon subsequently appealed his sentence, asserting that the trial court’s failure to instruct the jury as to the legal elements of deliberate cruelty and particular vulnerability of victim constituted error of constitutional magnitude that could be raised for the first time on appeal. Continue reading
Docket No. 84712-6 (from Benton Case No. 07-2-02040-1) Facts: After being permanently disabled by a stroke, petitioner Linda Mohr filed a medical malpractice action against respondent Dale Grantham. Mohr asserted that the negligent care that she had received both prior to and subsequent to her stroke substantially diminished her chances of recovery. The Superior Court for Benton County granted summary judgment for Grantham, ruling that Mohr had failed to show “but for” causation and that a cause of action for a lost chance of a better outcome does not exist in the medical malpractice context where the ultimate harm is something short of death. Continue reading
Docket No. 83992-1 (from Court of Appeals Division II Case No. 37619-9) Facts: Petitioner Michael Williams was convicted of first degree theft, obstructing a law enforcement officer, and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant in the Superior Court for Pierce County after leaving an automobile dealership without paying for new tires and wheels and subsequently giving police officers his brother’s name instead of his own in order to avoid discovery of an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Continue reading