Gym Liability for Injuries (Video Post)

Today I would like to talk to you about gym liability for injuries or gym owner liability. People like to work out and when they go to the gym, the question is when they get injured what liability does the gym owner has?
Some order management has, what duties do they have to follow to ensure that their clients or customers are safe. Well, this is kind of a “to follow” question. One is typically, a smart gym owner would have a liability waiver or a disclaimer on which you would waive any claim against the gym owner for an injury that happens during a workout. So the first questions is, are these waivers, these waivers or liability, are they enforceable?
Number one, the waiver has to be done very carefully, very well drafted. It can’t just be a form that is sort of downloaded off the internet. It can be a form downloaded off the internet but if it is not applicable to the State of Washington or local laws, a good lawyer may be able to set it aside. Without that waiver the gym owner is fully liable on anything that happens because they have to protect the consumer from any foreseeable harm.
And anybody who is straining too much on a workout could–is foreseeable that they might get injured, that they might get strained, or they might pull their back, or whatever may be the case. So this waiver is sort of the gatekeeper in many ways, between the gym owner, the gym management, and their consumers. Now, there are requirements for the waiver of course, the one who signs it has to have capacity, not just age–18 or over, but they have to have capacity to sign, which most people do.

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When Having Child Custody in Washington Really Matters

Custody in Washington state is only a word — in most cases.
As we said in a recent post, when a couple with children divorces the state requires designation of one parent as the custodial parent, mostly so the federal government can determine aid. Both parents can’t claim the child when applying for assistance with food or medical costs, for instance. When the child goes to college, the designated parent will be the one whose income is considered for the purposes of financial aid, as well.
Usually, however, which parent gets custody has little bearing on any aspect of the divorcing couple’s lives or their children’s. The exception: when one of the parents decides to move away, and wants to take the children.
Such a move can be heartbreaking for the non-custodial parent. Worse, it may be detrimental to the child’s best interests — which is why Washington law requires that the custodial parent give 60 days’ advance notice to the noncustodial parent, so the matter can, if needed, be settled by the court.

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Quit Claim Deeds in Spokane Washington

What’s a Quit Claim Deed and how does it work? A Quit Claim Deed is basically saying, “Look, I’m going to transfer to you all of my interest on this property.” The nice thing about it is, the person transferring doesn’t have to state what interest there might be. There may be no interest, there might be just some interest to possession, there might be an interest to be paid back, there might be a right to harvest the property, like timber for example; or there may be nothing.
There might just be litigation; a chance to get at some value somewhere, so a Quit Claim Deed really is saying, “Look, I’m going to give you what I have, but I don’t know what I have, so whatever I have, now it’s yours. It’s not mine anymore, but it’s yours,” so you’re going to go ahead and do it, so that’s what a Quit Claim Deed is.
There is only one thing, one requirement or one, I suppose, guarantee that the person transferring gives, and we call that the Guarantee of Seisin, which is fancy for, “I can’t interfere with it,” so if I give you a Quit Claim Deed on my property and you’re trying to access the property or you take it and you’re trying to execute something on that property, I can go back and block you from doing that.
I would be violating the Quit Claim Deed because that’s exactly what I did; I gave you whatever I had, so now you have it and you take that property interest and you can execute on it anyway you want to and I can just get in the middle of it, so that’s the only thing that is going to stall the transfer. The person who is making the transfer is stopping you from enforcing that vehicle.

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Student Loans and Bankruptcy | Can I Discharge Them?

I get the question often, “Are student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy? What can we do here in Spokane County or the Eastern District of Washington through our bankruptcy courts to address the problems with student loans? Is bankruptcy really an option?”
Well, bankruptcy is in fact an option. Student loans are dischargeable, meaning, lawyers, many other people, information online will tell you that student loans are not dischargeable. That’s really a summary. Student loans are dischargeable, they’re just very hard to discharge.
The laws allow for a presumption that a student loan is non-dischargeable. So when we file your schedules and we list a student loan on your petition and schedules, that loan is presumed to be non-dischargeable unless you make a special filing, a special inquiry as to whether or not the court would like to discharge that loan. So, you can do it.
So how do you make that special request? Well, there’s a process, it’s called an Adversary Proceeding. An Adversary Proceeding very much acts like litigation, a different case within the bankruptcy. So when you file for bankruptcy, I like to think of your filing schedules, you’re filing schedule A to J, so A B C D and the whole way down.
The last option that I mentioned, instead of Chapter 13, is a Chapter 11. Debtors can actually file Chapter 11, this is not just for businesses. A Chapter 11 plan is pretty expensive, ok, and it does require quite a bit of work but it’s long term. You can have this 10 year plan, so it’s going to help you force those companies into negotiating with you and maybe coming to an agreement.

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Landlords: A Strong Lease Can Save Money, A Lot of Money!

Landlords need a strong lease. Too often, they figure that out when it’s too late.
The most laid-back person in the world may regret not having a lease when the person renting his or her house, apartment, or office space stops paying the rent, and there’s no way to evict that person without filing a lawsuit. It could take a year to get the renter to vacate the property.
Even a month-to-month verbal agreement won’t protect the landlord when the tenant moves out and leaves behind a pile of belongings. What to do with the stuff? The law says the landlord has to store it, and give the renter a chance to retrieve it. Without a lease, the landlord may not be able to recoup storage costs.
If the renter trashes the place? Without a lease, good luck getting compensated for the damages. The same goes for a property-condition checklist: the renter has to have one in hand to get his or her damage deposit back, but the landlord needs it, as well, to prove the condition of the property at move-in.

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Can Filing Bankruptcy Save Your House? – Avenues in Spokane Washington

If you’re having trouble making your house payments, your bank might not be the best place to turn for help. Contrary to what many think however, filing bankruptcy may be a possible solution.
A Chapter 13 plan can be an option to save your home from foreclosure in Spokane
First, the banks: It’s not that they can’t help you. Mortgage assistance programs are designed to help people stay in their homes. The Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable program. We take a brief look at this program.
I’ve heard from many frustrated clients who say they’ve spent hours on the phone with banks, especially larger institutions, who seem to be giving them the runaround. They might steer the borrower to the proper paperwork but then, once it’s filed, fail to answer or return follow-up calls. Or they might claim that timely applications were late, and require the lender to start the process all over again. Or they might claim after the fact that something extra was needed to make the claim viable, such as sending by certified mail.

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Immigration Implications of Crimes | Spokane and Kootenai County Bar Associations

The following is a presentation that I did in conjunction with Greg Cunningham from Catholic Charities of Spokane, Refugee and Immigration Services. The purpose of this presentation was to give a primer to criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of crimes committed by non-US citizens. We explain the implications of INA section 212 and 237 for certain crimes. Some crimes render an immigrant deportable and some inadmissible. We look at both circumstances and what defenses maybe available to the defendant to preserve an immigration case or at least preserve the possibility of acquiring a waiver.
 
In this post, you will find a video of the presentation recorded at my office. I have also included pictures taken of the presentation when we were giving the talk at the Spokane County Bar Association. The same presentation was given to the Idaho Kootenai County Bar Association on March 3, 2014.

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Why Bankruptcy Can Be The Solution?

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!
How about many pictures, with motion, and fast-paced music? Probably a lot more!
We put them all together to explain how we feel when we protect consumers. We combat and defend consumers against big corporations and banks from crushing interest rates, late fees, foreclosures, harassment, and more.
We believe that for an epic fight we need an epic presentation.

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What is Separate Property and What is Community Property in Spokane?

The issue of labeling for categorizing property, into either community property or separate property, often arises in divorces in Spokane County. This categorization of property can make a substantial difference on how the court will allocate assets and liabilities to the parties who are seeking a final dissolution or a legal separation from their spouse.
The law in Washington states that all property acquired prior to the marriage, and its rents, issues, and profits, is considered separate property. In addition, property that is acquired during my marriage from gifts, inheritance and its rents, issues, and profits will be considered separate property. The issue with this is that often the parties will commingle community property with separate property. Then would be unable to tell which property or asset is completely 100% separate at the time of the divorce. Community property in Spokane is categorized the same way.
If they are able to show that the character of the property never changed (i.e. a bank account that was never touched), then the asset will continue to be separate property. This often causes issues because typically parties will take their savings and invest into a community investment, and thus most likely commingling the funds and rendering the entire investment a community asset.
One defense to commingling is the direct tracing theory. As noted above, if a party can show, with bank statements, testimony, checks, and or other writings, that the funds were never mixed, that party may be able to keep the asset or the value of the asset from distribution.
To make matters worse, in a Spokane County and the entire state Washington, a Superior Court judge has the ability to the label property (community or separate property) and then distribute the assets in a just and equitable manner. Community property in Spokane thus must be categorized by a Superior Court judge, then divided as the judge deems fair and equitable.

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Why You Shouldn’t Fight Over Custody

Sometimes, a word is just a word.
In Washington State, divorcing couples often end up fighting over the word “custody,” in particular the phrase “designated custodial parent.” In fact, though, for most people, it’s a non-issue — hardly worth even a second thought, let alone a court battle.
Custody, per se, doesn’t really exist in Washington. Here, negotiated parenting plans establish how the child or children’s time will be divided, as well as who will make decisions regarding the children’s education and religion, and other pertinent issues. But when writing that plan, the parents have to decide which of them will be designated as the child’s official “custodial parent.” Too often, this rather meaningless term becomes an unnecessary point of contention.

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