law and courts | KUOW News and Information

law and courts

The Syrian war is winding down after seven brutal years, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and neighborhoods in smoking ruins. President Bashar Assad is on course to win, with help from powerful allies Russia and Iran.

Now, activists who lost the challenge to Assad's rule on the streets of Syria are waging a new fight — in European courts.

"We will catch them no matter how much they hide. There is no safe place to run," says Anwar al-Bunni, a prominent Syrian human rights lawyer who fled to Germany in 2014.

FLICKR PHOTO/J. Stephen Conn (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/94zgb4

People with outstanding warrants and traffic fines in Seattle will have an opportunity to get them resolved on Thursday.

Van Turner has a secret: He knows the whereabouts of the controversial Confederate statues removed last year from two parks in Memphis, Tenn.

"They have to be kept in a secretive location," said Turner on a recent afternoon, standing in a park overlooking the Mississippi River where one of the statues — of Confederate President Jefferson Davis — once stood. "For fear of someone trying to go in and get them."

You got an awesome burrito from Chipotle. They got your credit card info.
Flickr Photo (CC BY 2.0) howtostartablogonline.net

You know not to open suspicious attachments in your email. But these hackers developed a way to work around your skepticism. 

One of the halls at juvenile detention in Seattle. There are 212 beds but less than a quarter of those beds are used.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

King County wants your feedback on its efforts to jail fewer young people.

Flickr Photo/Brian Turner (CC BY 2.0)/ http://bit.ly/1QiDCKB

King County District Judge Lisa Paglisotti presides over a unique community court in Redmond. Instead of  sitting high up, looking down on a defendent, she's at eye level.

Natasha Weled was present for the walk-through of her apartment after she moved out. That proved vital for winning her case against her landlord, Allied Residential, because she was able to show the discrepancy between the form she received after the walk
Courtesy of Natasha Weled

Natasha Weled was told she would get back the security deposit she put down on a two-bedroom apartment in Bellevue. Instead she got a letter from a debt collections agency. 

Weled sued her former landlord, Allied Residential, and won. These are her tips for tenant success.

Tenants should not pay for normal wear and tear when they move out of rental housing. Attorney Scott Crain of Northwest Justice Project recommends documenting when, for example, a stove stops working as a result of normal use. Keep photos and send written notice to your landlord, he said.  

Natasha and Brent Weled outside the courthouse in Issaquah, where they presented a case against Allied Residential, their former landlord.
KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Natasha Weled was on guard.

It was February, and she was moving out of her two-bedroom apartment in Bellevue, and the property manager had stood her up for the final walk-through — twice.


Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

President Trump lashed out at his former lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday after Cohen released a tape on which the two discuss buying the story of a woman who said she had an affair with Trump. His current lawyer denies that payment took place.

"What kind of lawyer would tape a client?" Trump asked in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state in 2012 resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of people sentenced for marijuana-related felonies, according to an analysis conducted for public radio by the Washington State Caseload Forecast Council.

Legal marijuana sales exceeded $1.3 billion in Washington state in fiscal year 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Do people getting their marijuana convictions vacated by the City of Seattle need to be notified? Are they entitled to legal counsel, and to reimbursement for the fines and fees they paid?

Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET

The European Commission has fined Google $5 billion for violating the European Union's antitrust rules — specifically, by forcing manufacturers of Android phones to install the Google search app and the Chrome Web browser.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. "These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits."

The past eight months have been a whirlwind of victories for Tarra Simmons—an honors law school graduate with a criminal past.

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay nearly $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who say asbestos found in the company's talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer.

The St. Louis Circuit Court jury awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiffs, who said the company failed to warn about the cancer risks.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Kim Malcolm talks with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray about her opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Over a dozen years as a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Brett Kavanaugh has weighed in on controversial cases involving guns, abortion, health care and religious liberty.

But after Kavanaugh emerged on President Trump's shortlist for the Supreme Court, a suggestion the judge made in a 2009 law review article swiftly took center stage:

"Provide sitting presidents with a temporary deferral of civil suits and of criminal prosecutions and investigations," Kavanaugh proposed.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

With just hours to go before the official announcement, President Trump has made a decision on his pick for the next Supreme Court justice, a source close to the decision-making process tells NPR's Mara Liasson.

But there is still no indication which of the four finalists it will be.

As of Monday morning, Trump was still deciding among Judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

The internal White House debate over who should replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court reflects the broader political split within the Republican Party — and the mistrust that is nursed by outside-the-Beltway social conservatives about the more establishment and business-oriented wing of the party.

So it is perhaps no surprise that a quintessentially Washingtonian fight has erupted between the supporters of the two leading candidates for the nomination, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Two men each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, representing the three dozen people who perished in the 2016 Oakland, Calif. warehouse fire, pleaded no contest on Tuesday, in a deal letting them avoid trial and possibly lengthy prison terms.

Maria Cantwell
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Justice Anthony Kennedy is set to retire at the end of July. President Trump is expected to name his nominee next week, but Senator Maria Cantwell said the process shouldn't be rushed.

This story has been updated

Calling former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley a "patriot," but also someone who took actions that "were wrong and were criminal," a U.S. District Court judge on Friday sentenced him to one year and one day in prison and one year of supervised release. 

A federal employee walks past cribs inside of the barracks of a family detention center in Artesia, New Mexico, for those crossing the border. This photo is from 2014, when attorney Danielle Rosché volunteered there.
AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File

Family detention — two words that still haunt Danielle Rosché, an immigration attorney.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, setting the stage for what promises to be an epic political battle over his replacement.

A Trump nominee is likely to be far more conservative than Kennedy, who, though appointed by President Ronald Reagan, voted with the court's liberals in some key cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Wednesday ruling to prohibit mandatory union dues for public employees could affect more than 400,000 workers in Oregon and Washington.

The widely anticipated 5-4 decision is a big setback for the public employee unions that are major political forces in the two states. The decision could lead to a decline in the number of workers who pay dues and in campaign spending by organized labor.

Pamela and Afshin Raghebi relax together. The couple has been separated since Afshin left the US to seek permanent legal status and has not been permitted to return home.
Courtesy of Pamela Raghebi

Seattle resident Pamela Raghebi is separated from her husband Afshin, who's orginally from Iran. After leaving the country in March to acquire legal status, Afshin has been unable to return to the United States.

The Supreme Court ruling upholding President Trump's travel ban means that Afshin may not be able to return home.


Maru Mora, right, smiles with Murphy Mitchel before her ICE hearing on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, outside of the Immigration Court building on 2nd Avenue in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A Seattle immigration judge has granted a continuance in the deportation case of immigration rights activist Maru Mora-Villalpando. A large crowd gathered outside of the Immigration Court building on 2nd Avenue Tuesday afternoon to stand in solidarity with Mora-Villalpando.

FILE: Therese Macisaac of Seattle joins a protest against the travel ban outside the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Seattle in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s latest travel ban that barred people entering the U.S. from five majority Muslim countries as well as North Korea and Venezuela.

In the 5-4 decision, the majority opinion stated that the ban fell "squarely within the scope of Presidential authority.”

Calling former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley "as unrepentant as any defendant in memory," federal prosecutors are asking that a judge sentence him to more than seven years in federal prison when he is sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Updated at 11:26 a.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a lower court decision upholding a California law requiring anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to more fully disclose what they are.

Pages