PRACTICE AREAS
  • Clean Water
  • Land Use, Planning and Zoning (GMA, LUPA, SMA, SEPA/NEPA)
  • Water Law (Water rights permitting, water quality issues)
  • Federal Indian law and Tribal Natural Resources
  • Wineries, Vineyards, Food & Beverage Industry
  • Public Lands, Wildlife, & Forestry
  • Foreclosure Defense & Consumer Protection
  • Environmental Law 
  • Real Estate Services
    • Purchase and Sale Agreements, residential and commercial
    • Land Development, including land use, permitting and lease up
    • Lease Negotiations and drafting 

OF INTEREST

The WA Supreme Court recently issued a decision inFriends of the Columbia River Gorge v. State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council Case No. 88089-1 (August 29, 2013).  The Supreme Court upheld EFSEC's recommendation and the governor's acceptance and approval of the WREP project.  Click here to read the court's decision

A federal district court judge recently struck down the Richland, UT land use plan proposed by the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Interior.  The land use plan failed to take into account protection of the environment in areas that allowed ORV use.  Read the decision here: SUWA v. Dept. of Interior 12CV00257.pdf
RECENT FORECLOSURE CASES:
 
 
King County, WA:
May, 2011: Defeated a Motion to Dismiss brought by a major bank on numerous grounds, including Consumer Protection Act, wrongful foreclosure, violation of the Deed of Trust Act, and other claims.  
May, 2013: Settled two cases with major banks on Consumer Protection Act claims and other violations of state laws. 
Lewis County, WA:
November, 2011: Defeated a Motion to Dismiss brought by Nationstar Bank and Quality Loan Services on numerous grounds, including wrongful foreclosure and Consumer Protection Act.
August, 2012: Stayed a case in Superior Court based on wrongful foreclosure and MERS issues.
Mason County, WA:
April, 2014: Defeated a Motion to Dismiss brought by MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.  Court found MERS, Inc. and MERSCORP Holdings were alter ego corporations and would not allow MERSCORP to be dismissed from the case because it was an indispensible party as the parent company of MERS, Inc.
Pierce County, WA:
May, 2011: Defeated a Motion to Dismiss brought by Chase and Quality Loan Services on numerous grounds, including wrongful foreclosure.
Snohomish County, WA:
February, 2012: Filing of pre-emptory offensive lawsuit successfully stayed an unlawful detainer (eviction) case after a foreclosure sale was held, where fraudulent activity by FNMA was recorded in the County Recorder's office.  Court agreed and is allowing offensive lawsuit to go forward.
June, 2013: Settled case with lender after obtaining better terms on a HAMP loan modification.
Stevens County WA:
March, 2014 : Superior Court denied summary judgment to MERS and JP Morgan Chase and set case for trial on Consumer Protection Act and Deed of Trust Act claims.
U.S. District Court, W. WA:
July, 2011: After bank's Motion to Dismiss was denied, now in settlement negotiations with lender and foreclosure trustee.
August, 2013: Obtained federal injunction to halt a trustee's sale where the lender and trustee scheduled a trustee's sale without permission from the court.  Here is the court's decision.
July, 2014: Court issued decision ruling largely in favor of homeowners and against a major financial institution and MERS denying defendants' motion for summary judgment on key issues.  Trial date set.
July, 2014: Court granted homeowner's motion to remand to Snohomish County Superior Court.  Found that Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. was not just a "nominal" defendant.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Seattle, WA:
August, 2013: Argued for reversal and remand of district court decision dismissing Consumer Protection Act, Deed of Trust Act, and fraud claims.
July, 2014: Settled a Ninth Circuit appeal with excellent loan modification terms for homeowner.

Listen to Jill Smith's interview on AM 1090 on the Tina and Drew Show that aired on August 11, 2012. Jill discusses the impact of MERS on deeds of trust in Washington, and gives advice on what to do if you are facing foreclosure. Don't miss this live interview!

Download here: http://cbsseattle.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/jill-smith-segment.mp3