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Posts made in October, 2013

By on Oct 31, 2013 in Traffic Ticket | 0 comments

The Seattle Times just came out with a new article about speeding tickets and biking. For anyone who drives or bikes in Seattle it’s required reading. But here are the main points: Cops hang out at schools during specific hours to hand out tickets. Those hours are when the “School Zone” lights are flashing, which is also when the speed limit on those streets drops to 20 mph. I’ve represented people who have received tickets at these places and I can tell you the tickets are more expensive and generally harder to fight. So be extra careful about going over 20 when you see those lights. Bicyclists are getting tickets! The law is clear that the rules of the road apply to bicyclists too. But it’s still been relatively rare for bicyclists to receive tickets, simply because 1) there are more cars than bikes on the road, 2) it’s harder to prove a case against bicyclists for violations, and 3) the tickets are less expensive for bikers than drivers. But this article makes it clear that bicyclists are not immune to receiving an infraction. The takeaway is clear: cops are hanging out around school zones trying to give tickets to anyone they can. Be cautious, and drive or bike slower when you see those flashing lights. If you received an infraction and need to talk to a Seattle traffic ticket lawyer, feel free to give me a...

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By on Oct 11, 2013 in Court, Noah Weil | 2 comments

The American court system is described as an “adversarial” system. That means our system relies on two sides zealously throwing their weight around until the winning side arises from the wreckage. This system has pros and cons. The obvious pro is that when both sides come ready for war, the issue becomes fully litigated. We thus have more faith in the outcome. The obvious con is that, where there are winners there are also losers. The adversarial system inherently means one side loses. Which is fine if you’re on the winning side but, well, you know. The natural solution to the winner-takes-all approach is compromise. Plea bargains and settlements are both mechanisms lawyers use to control the outcome of a case. Someone sues someone else, or someone is charged with a crime. Then the lawyers get together to hash out a mutually agreeable resolution, détente, case closed. I like compromise and I like assured outcomes. I like being able to tell a client “You’re doing to do X, and in 12 months the charge will be automatically dismissed. No need to throw your fate to a jury.” Clients generally seem to appreciate it too. All that being said, I enjoy a good scrap too. I was reminded of that this week. I drafted a motion to get some relatively confidential records, which is rare but not particularly unusual. It looked like the other side wasn’t going to raise too much of a fuss about it. But then one party got an expensive lawyer, and the Attorney General got involved, and lots of paper was thrown back and forth. The argument for these records is this afternoon. Was I happy all these other people got involved in this? I mean, for the client’s sake it would have been great if the motion was granted unopposed. But…it’s more fun the other way. There’s no compromise on this one. Everyone’s getting together and we’re going to have an (intellectually speaking) bare-knuckle brawl over these records. As I’m sitting here right now, I’m very much looking forward to it. Having spoken to colleagues over the years I feel this trait, a sense of anticipation over a big motion or a big trial, part and...

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