Category: News & Updates

FROM THE DIRECTOR: DECEMBER 2021

What’s that Sound? An eBook Explosion at KCLL!

Barbara Engstrom, Executive Director, King County Law Library

During the past year, the law library has made a big push to transition some of our collection to eBooks available for remote access. Because of the popularity of the first round of eBook acquisitions, we recently doubled the amount of eBook content available. We currently have a couple of different eBook platforms. Our main platform is Lexis Digital which is where you’ll find all your favorite Lexis/ Mathew Bender treatises along with content from the ABA, the WSBA, and the KCBA. In addition to Lexis Digital, we also have eBook content for legal practitioners from Wolters Kluwer and the National Consumer Law Center. Here’s a look at what’s available, starting with Lexis Digital.

Lexis Digital

Primary Law

For federal primary law, we have the United States Code Service (USCS) Lexis’s annotated code. For Washington, we have the Annotated Revised Code of Washington (ARCW) and the Washington Rules of Court Annotated. In addition to substantive law, you’ll find references to related cases, statutes, regulations, law review articles, and other secondary sources. Even if you have Westlaw access for primary law, you may want to take a look at the annotated codes and court rules on Lexis Digital, you’ll be surprised at the lack of overlap between the Lexis and Westlaw results.

WSBA Deskbooks!

A very exciting acquisition is the WSBA Deskbook collection. Lexis and the WSBA recently partnered to offer the deskbooks as true eBooks. While electronic versions of the desk books were available in the past via Casemaker, the Lexis Digital version allows full eBook functionality including highlighting, adding annotations, and downloading customized content. The following titles are currently available

  • Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Administration in Washington
  • Public Records Act Deskbook: Washington’s Public Disclosure and Open Public Meetings Laws
  • Shareholder Litigation in Washington State
  • The Law of Lawyering in Washington
  • Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook
  • Washington Business Corporation Act (RCW 23B) Sourcebook
  • Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook
  • Washington Community Property Deskbook
  • Washington Construction Law Deskbook
  • Washington Law of Wills and Intestate Succession
  • Washington Legal Ethics Deskbook
  • Washington Partnership and Limited Liability Company Deskbook
  • Washington Real Property Deskbook Series

You may be wondering why the Family Law Deskbook and the Washington Motor Vehicle Deskbook trio (Accidents, Accident Litigation, and Accident Insurance) aren’t included on the list. Lexis is in the process of updating those sets and will have them available early in the new year.

Washington Practitioner Resources

In addition to the WSBA Deskbooks, we have a lot of other great Washington specific resources. We have the full set of the KCBA’s Washington Lawyer’s Practice Manual (WLPM). For greater accessibility, the WLPM is available for download by chapter. We also have the following.

  • Defending DUIs In Washington
  • Employment in Washington
  • The Law of Evidence in Washington
  • New Appleman Washington Insurance Law
  • Washington Business Entities: Law and Forms
  • Washington Civil Discovery
  • Washington Criminal Law
  • Washington Family Law
  • Washington Guardianship Law
  • Washington Insurance Law
  • Washington Marijuana Laws and Regulations
  • Washington Pretrial Civil Procedure
  • Washington Probate and Estate Administration
  • Washington Real Estate Litigation
  • Washington State Environmental Policy Act
  • Washington Torts and Personal Injury
  • Washington Trial and Post-Trial Civil Procedure

Gold Standard Treatise Sets

We also upped our treatise content and have acquired several new gold standard treatise sets. These sets, which cost thousands of dollars to purchase and maintain, are now available to you anytime of the day or night at the convenience of your home or office.

  • Moore’s Federal Practice
  • Weinstein’s Federal Evidence
  • Current Legal Forms
  • Benders Forms of Discovery
  • Corbin on Contracts
  • Powell on Real Property
  • Collier on Bankruptcy
  • New Appleman on Insurance
  • Page on Wills
  • Bender’s Immigration & Nationality
  • Nichols on Eminent Domain
  • Benedict on Admiralty

Subject Matter Areas

We’ve also beefed up our holdings in several different practice areas including (but not limited to):

Criminal Law

  • Constitutional Law
  • Courtroom Criminal Evidence
  • Criminal Law Deskbook
  • Criminal Practice Handbook
  • Federal Habeas Corpus Practice and Procedure
  • Mental Disability Law: Criminal and Civil
  • Police Civil Liability
  • Pretrial Motions in Criminal Prosecutions
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Search and Seizure
  • Sexual Assault Trials

Litigation

  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Cross-Examination
  • Electronic Discovery & Evidence
  • Fundamentals of Damages in Tort Actions
  • Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, and Damages
  • Punitive Damages
  • What It’s Worth

Labor & Employment

  • Employee Rights Litigation
  • Employment Libel and Privacy
  • Labor & Employment Law

Real Property

  • Clark on Surveying and Boundaries
  • Condo Law & Practice
  • Practical Guide to Landowner Disputes

How to Access KCLL’s Expanded Lexis Digital eBook Collection

If you are already a subscriber to KCLL, you can find the Lexis Digital Library via our Remote Database page https://kcll.org/remote-databases/ You’ll just sign on using your email address on file with your subscriber account. If you are not a subscriber but would like to start accessing the eBook bounty, learn more about the benefits of our subscriber program and join at https://kcll.org/join-kcll/ The default checkout period for eBooks is 7 days and is for 5 books at a time. Early return of a book will free up an allotted checkout.

Are You A King County Public Defender, Prosecutor or Judge? Get Special Access to Lexis Digital

If you are a judge in King County or work for the King County DPD or PAO and have a kingcounty.gov email address, contact us about complementary access to the Lexis Digital eBook collection. services@kcll.org

Wolters Kluwer/ VitalLaw a/k/a Cheetah

If you’ve followed this column in the past or have looked for remote databases on KCLL’s website you may be wondering where the Cheetah database went. Never fear, it is still available, but under a new name. Wolters Kluwer recently (and without much notice) rebranded Cheetah as VitalLaw. A rose by any name will still smell as sweet and so does the VitalLaw content which includes:

  • Administrative Law Treatise
  • Antitrust Law
  • Bromberg & Ribstein on Partnership
  • Drafting Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements
  • Drafting Prenuptial Agreements
  • Drunk Driving Defense
  • Elder Law Answer Book
  • ElderLaw Forms Manual
  • Employee Dismissal Law & Practice
  • Law of Lawyering
  • Law of Restitution
  • Motions Practice
  • Scott & Ascher on Trusts
  • Special Needs Trust Handbook

National Consumer Law Center

The treatise collection from the National Consumer Law Center is also available in eBook format for remote access. These were some of our most heavily circulated items in the before times. You’ll find the following on the NCLC database:

  • Debtor Rights
  • Fair Debt Collection
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice
  • Student Loan Law
  • Repossessions
  • Access to Utility Service

Mortgages & Foreclosures

  • Mortgage Lending
  • Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications
  • Home Foreclosures

Credit & Banking

  • Fair Credit Reporting
  • Truth in Lending
  • Consumer Credit Regulation
  • Credit Discrimination
  • Consumer Banking and Payments Law

Deception & Warranties

  • Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices
  • Federal Deception Law
  • Automobile Fraud
  • Consumer Warranty Law

Consumer Litigation

  • Collection Actions
  • Consumer Class Actions
  • Consumer Arbitration Agreements
  • Consumer Law Pleadings

How to Access KCLL’s Wolters Kluwer/ VitalLaw and National Consumer Law Center Databases

You do not have to be a subscriber to access either of these databases. For Vital Law you’ll need to sign up for a guest registration and get a library card number. For the National Consumer Law Center database just follow the prompts for the log on information. https://kcll.org/remote-databases/

Wait, I Like Print Books! Does KCLL Still Have Those?

Good question, thanks for asking! Yes, all of the books and treatise sets mentioned in this article are available in both print and eBook format. Print books are available for in-library use for all KCLL patrons. Subscribers are welcome to check out the print volumes for the standard two-week check-out period.

Have Suggestions or Questions? Need Help?

Let us know if there are titles that you’d like to see added to our eBook collection. At this point we are limited to titles from LexisNexis/Matthew Bender, Wolters Kluwer, and the ABA, but we’d love to hear what’s on your wish list. If you have questions about our eBook collections or any of the databases or resources mentioned feel free to contact the law library at services@kcll.org. We’re happy to answer questions about eBooks, print books, or on any other law-related topic.

Search Law Firm Websites

Very often, lawyers write and post very informative articles to their websites or blogs that provide helpful summaries of legal topics.  Running a general Google search will surely include some of these articles in their results – but they will be included with all of the other materials found across the internet.  Rather than sifting through all of this unwanted “noise,” you can restrict your search just to law firm websites with a search engine built for this very purpose!

You can read more about the engine HERE.

Or you can go straight to the search engine here: Law Firm Search Engine  

Legal Aid for Indigent Tenants Facing Evictions

The passage of SB 5160 charged the Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) with developing a plan to implement Washington State’s first-in-the-Nation program to provide no-cost legal representation for indigent tenants facing evictions.  OCLA has met the challenge and presented its plan to the Legislature ahead of its 90-day deadline.  The plan will bring to life Washington State’s historic Right to Counsel law.  It gives priority to those counties where evictions happen most frequently and will enable over 60 Right to Counsel (RTC) attorneys to provide full-time defense for qualified tenants.  Read more about the presentation of the plan here.  Tenants who are threatened with eviction should contact the Eviction Defense Screening Line at 855-657-8387 or apply on-line at https://nwjustice.org/apply-online.

Form Packet for Making a Motion in a Civil Case

If you have a civil case in King County Superior Court and need to ask your assigned judge to do something, this packet may be very helpful.  It has instructions and forms for submitting a motion (the way you ask the court to do something) and a proposed order (the thing that you’re asking the court to do).

This is NOT meant for family law cases or for presentation to the Ex Parte Department.

You can order the packet from our website HERE.

The Library can be contacted at (206) 477-1305 or Services@KCLL.org

GAO Reports Servicemembers Risk Losing Rights

The Government Accountability Office recently reported that servicemembers are at risk of losing valuable rights and protections granted to them by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)  Businesses may ask servicemembers to waive certain rights granted by the SCRA.  Servicemembers are often unaware that they are doing so or have little understanding of the long-term effects.  The rights servicemembers can inadvertently waive include the right to terminate motor vehicle leases early, the right to stay the enforcement of civil court proceedings, and protections against foreclosure.

See a summary of the GAO report here.

See the full GAO report here.

For more information about the report, contact GAO Director Tranchau (Kris) T. Nguyen at (202) 512-7215 or nguyentt@gao.gov

Unpaid Tickets No Longer Grounds for License Suspension

Unpaid traffic fines will no longer be used as grounds for suspending a person’s driver’s license.  Not only that, but licenses that are already suspended – due to fines or a failure to appear for a noncriminal moving violation – will be reinstated.  This moratorium stems from a recent Thurston County court case that led to negotiations between the ACLU and the State of Washington.

The moratorium will be in place until SB 5226 takes effect in 2023 – which will still allow suspensions for failing to appear in court.

You can read the full article from the Seattle Times HERE.

 

From the Director: May 2021

Keeping Up with COVID

Barbara Engstrom, Executive Director King County Law Library

 

The language describing the mitigation measures used to counteract the pandemic would imply this past year has been one of stasis. (Lockdown, suspension of services, closures to the public)  If anything, the rapidity of change during this period has been unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes.  Even as we begin to reach vaccination benchmarks, the churn of new statutes, court rules, opinions, and other norms continue apace.  Keeping abreast of this constant flux of information can be daunting.  Fortunately, there are several great resources that aggregate legal information related to COViD.  The following are some resources available either online or via the King County Law Library that can help you stay informed.

Landlord Tenant

Perhaps the area of law that has seen the greatest change is landlord tenant.  Stoel Rives has produced a regularly updated guide to track the changes to state, federal and local rules related to the eviction moratoria.  The most recent version is current as of March 9, 2021 and is 19 pages of densely packed information detailing the dates and consequences of the various rules and orders along with references to litigation filed in response. The current version can be found here https://www.stoel.com/legal-insights/legal-updates/covid-19-update-stoel-rives-guide-to-washington-st   KIng County has information on the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program here including access to the EPRAP portal for both landlords and tenants.  https://kingcounty.gov/depts/community-human-services/COVID/eviction-prevention-rent-assistance.aspx  The Northwest Justice Project’s Washington Law Help website has information regarding eviction and tenant’s right geared for non-attorneys with videos and informational guides and a summary of the new 2021 legislation in an easy to digest infographics https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/health/coronavirus-covid-19#content

Consumer Law

The National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Digital Library has a running list of current awareness articles under New Developments on their homepage.  These timely articles cover many COVID related consumer law issues and link to treatises in the KCLL’s NCLC digital collection.  Some recent examples include: Consumer Law Implications of the American Recovery Plan Act, Cheat Sheet to COVID-19 Bankruptcy Provisions and Sunsets, Protecting Wages, Benefits, and Bank Accounts from Judgment Creditors, Homeowner Right During COVID Pandemic, and Essential Reading for FDCPA Practitioners. The NCLC Digital Library is available for remote access via the law library’s Remote Databases link. https://kcll.org/remote-databases/

Aggregate Resources

Our newest acquisition for remote access, the Cheetah Database from Wolters Kluwer, has COVID related current awareness information for an array of practice areas. The tax materials include 2020 Tax Legislation: Law, Explanation & Analysis, CCH Tax Briefings and Federal Tax Day with emerging information on executive and congressional branch activity along with IRS letter rulings and technical advice memoranda.   Labor & Employment resources include the Family and Medical Leave Guide, the Employee Benefits Newsletter and the Unemployment/ Social Security Newsletter.  The Cheetah COVID database also has white papers and a news aggregator for the breaking COVID related legal news.

In addition to current awareness resources, the Wolters Kluwer database also includes access to the following eBooks:  Bromberg & Ribstein on Partnership, Drafting Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements, Drafting Prenuptial Agreements, Drunk Driving Defense, Elder Law Answer Book, Elder Law Forms Manual, Employee Dismissal Law & Practice, Law of Lawyering, Law of Restitution, Motions Practice, Scott and Ascher on Trusts, and Special Needs Trust Handbook.

Another very helpful COVID related legal news source is available from Law360.  Normally Law360 requires a subscription, but Lexis is providing free access to their coronavirus coverage.  This includes news stories and expert analysis.  You can find the Law360 coronavirus coverage here. https://www.law360.com/coronavirus

The Coronavirus Legal Daily (CLD)is an offshoot of Lex Blog, the legal blog aggregator.  You’ll find new posts featured daily under the topic areas of employment & labor, health care, corporate & commercial and administrative law.  There is also a continually updated list of the latest blog posts.  You can access the Coronavirus Legal Daily at https://www.coronaviruslegaldaily.com/

For the academic perspective, Jurist (a project from the University of Pittsburg School of Law in collaboration with other law schools to create and make publicly available high-quality legal news and analysis resources) created a COVID-19 Special Coverage page that features legal news and analysis from the United States and world-wide. This is an excellent resource for understanding foreign and international law perspectives. https://www.jurist.org/covid-coverage/

WSBA & KCBA

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wealth of very practical information available on both the WSBA and KCBA’s Coronvirus webpages.  The WSBA’s coronavirus information can be found here. https://wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/covid-19 and the KCBA’s coronavirus information can be found here. https://www.kcba.org/For-Lawyers/COVID-19-Resources

King County Law Library

As always, the law library is here to help if you want more information on any of the resources listed.  We are happy to work with you either in person at the Seattle or Kent Branches or remotely via email or video reference.  Come by or drop us an email at services@kcll.org   Keep an eye on our website the latest on our hours of operation and information on our newest resources. www.kcll.org

Important Changes to Landlord Tenant Laws

The Washington Legislature recently passed a number of important changes to the state’s landlord-tenant laws (generally, at RCW 59.18).  These changes include things like standards for rent repayment plans (as long as the state eviction moratorium is in effect), help for low-income tenants to get legal assistance, support for Eviction Resolution Pilot Programs and a prohibition against “no cause” evictions.

 

The Northwest Justice Project has put together a very good summary of the changes HERE.

Information about King County’s Eviction Resolution Program can be found HERE.

You can find a link to an Eviction Defense Helper HERE.

Behind on Rent? King County Announces New Assistance

Low income residents of King County who are behind on their rent can now apply for a new assistance program.  Recipients will be selected in a weekly lottery-style drawing and can can receive up to 12 months of total rent – including up to three months of future rent.  To qualify for the aid, applicants must be experiencing COVID-related hardships and housing instability.

You can read the entire Seattle Times article HERE.

Renters can apply for the help here: https://rent-help.kingcounty.gov/

White House Fights to Increase Access to Legal Aid

Having legal representation can make all the difference in the world – from keeping someone in their home, to securing proper citizenship status, to protecting people against consumer fraud.  This week, the White House announced that it was reinvigorating federal efforts to provide that critical aid – including a request of $1.5 billion in funding for state and local justice systems.

 

You can read the White House announcement HERE.

The Associated Press story can be read HERE.