law and courts | KUOW News and Information

law and courts

Updated on July 25 at 9:21 p.m. ET

The multiple investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race will open a new chapter Wednesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing about foreign agents operating in the U.S. lobbying on behalf of foreign governments — and what some consider the lax enforcement of the federal law that governs their activities.

A Skagit County, Washington, jury found climate activist Ken Ward guilty Wednesday of second degree burglary for turning off an oil pipeline.

Ward, a Corbett, Oregon resident, was one of five activists who took part in the pipeline protest, turning off valves on Oct. 11 to stop the flow of oil from Canada into the U.S. in October. His case was the first to reach a jury verdict.

By day, Don McGahn is a straight-laced lawyer, but by night, he's a long-haired rocker.

File photo. apartment housing apt door
Flickr Photo/Matthew Piatt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke speaks with Jessa Lewis and Sean Flynn about a new lawsuit against the cap on move-in fees that was enacted in Seattle.

Flynn, the board president of landlord group Rental Housing Association that filed the suit, argues that the law harms smaller landlords, the last people in the city keeping housing reasonably affordable.

Lewis, the executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington state, claims that the caps are reasonable and these kinds of laws are all that allow people to still live in the city. 

In a South Dakota court room, ABC News will defend a series of stories it reported five years ago in a defamation law suit. Jury selection started Wednesday.

It's a trial that could prove to be a measure of public attitudes toward the media.

Back in 2012, ABC Correspondent Jim Avila reported on a practice of a South Dakota-based company called Beef Products, Inc.

The state of Ohio has sued five major drug manufacturers for their role in the opioid epidemic. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, state Attorney General Mike DeWine alleges these five companies "helped unleash a health care crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the State of Ohio."

Named in the suit are:

  • Purdue Pharma
  • Endo Health Solutions
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and subsidiary Cephalon
  • Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Housing in the Yesler Terrace area.
KUOW Photo/Dominic Black

A landlord group is suing the city of Seattle over a new law that caps move-in fees and allows renters to pay their deposit in installments over several months.

The ordinance was unanimously passed by the City Council in December and came into effect in January.

More than two dozen former federal prosecutors from western Washington are pushing back against new guidance from the Trump administration.

Attorney Bree Black Horse (left) and Renee Davis' foster sister Danielle Bargala at Davis' home.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

Jurors in an inquest found unanimously that two King County deputies feared for their lives when they shot Muckleshoot tribal member Renee Davis last October. Half of the jurors also found the deputies — upon entering Davis’ bedroom —  were not concerned about her welfare.  

Eli Sanders, Rob McKenna and Mayor Ed Murray participate in KUOW's 'Week in Review' in front of a live audience at the Vera Project on Fri. July 31, 2015.
KUOW File Photo/Gil Aegerter

Attorneys for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have formally answered a lawsuit that accuses Murray of raping an underage teen boy in the mid-1980s.

The documents filed in court this week deny the allegations and request the lawsuit be dismissed.  


Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Trump's controversial travel ban should be kept on hold, maintaining a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks key elements of the executive order from being enforced.

King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle
Flickr Photo/Jimmy Emerson (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/QtLnU

President Donald Trump's budget proposal could have huge implications for King County. The White House wants to redefine what it means to be a "sanctuary jurisdiction."

Updated June 20, 2017, at 2:42 p.m. ET

President Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence chiefs to push back against the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and his presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported Monday evening.

Civil rights advocates and Democrats are celebrating after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature had drawn two congressional districts that amount to unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. Election experts say the decision is likely to boost the prospects for success in similar challenges across the South.

Lawyers for Bill Cosby will get their first glimpse on Monday of potential jurors who will decide the fate of the 79-year-old comedian in his criminal trial on sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania.

Cosby has maintained his innocence in the face of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault over a 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia mansion.

Now, after one and a half years of hearings, the trial is finally about to begin, pitting the story of Andrea Constand against Cosby's defense.

When President Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from six majority-Muslim countries, a 24-year-old mom from suburban Seattle joined several states and immigrants' rights groups in suing to stop it.

Juweiya Ali is fighting to bring her 7-year-old son to the U.S. from Somalia. Ali was born in Somalia but she grew up here, and became a U.S. citizen. In high school, she traveled to Somalia with her mother to reconnect with their culture. That's where she met her future husband, and they had a son.

Jan Jutte was a 30-year employee with the Auditor's office who took over in Troy Kelley's absence.
KUOW Photo/Austin Jenkins

When public officials are under investigation, their employees say office culture can get weird. So how does government keep functioning? Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said this month he had to give up hopes for a second term in order to confront the lawsuit he’s facing and continue to run the city.


Detainees are shown inside a holding cell at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

President Donald Trump is following through on his promise to crack down on illegal immigration.

Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday announced a huge spike in the number of people arrested in the Northwest.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Swedish prosecutors have announced they are dropping the country's rape investigation of Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder, who has long denied the allegation, has been holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid Sweden's extradition request.

On January 25, 1997, Cecil Emile Davis, a “violent offender” on state supervision, broke into the Tacoma home of 65-year-old Yoshiko Couch. Once inside he raped and beat her and then suffocated her by holding a rag soaked in cleaning solvents over her mouth.

Davis was later convicted of aggravated first degree murder and sentenced to death.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

In his first on-camera remarks amid burgeoning scandals engulfing his White House, President Trump denied he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to scuttle an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

"No. No. Next question," Trump responded curtly to a reporter during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday afternoon.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Kim Malcolm talks with reporter George Joseph about how federal immigration officials are able to directly access regional law enforcement databases, including Law Enforcement Information Exchange Northwest, which contains data from the Seattle Police Department.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle’s Ethics and Elections Commission has ruled that a proposed legal-defense fund for Mayor Ed Murray would not comply with the city's ethics code. 

Murray is facing a lawsuit alleging that he raped an underage teen boy in the mid-80s.

At a Seattle courtroom on Monday, in the latest battle in the legal war over President Trump's currently suspended travel ban, lawyers and judges pushed and pulled on the swirling questions over Trump's intentions and the legal limits on executive power.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from lawyers for the U.S. government and the state of Hawaii over the executive order that would block travelers from six majority-Muslim countries.

On Saturday a former Washington state prison inmate will graduate magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. But her criminal record may prevent her from practicing law as a licensed attorney.

In a decision that could have global consequences, an Austrian court ruled on Friday that Facebook must delete postings deemed to be hate speech.

Former Mayor Ed Murray at a press conference in the University District in September 2016.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When Jeff Simpson tried to sue Ed Murray a decade ago alleging sexual abuse, Murray's lawyer wrote back, “Your client is totally untrustworthy and will lie, cheat or steal as necessary to get what he wants.”

Brian Williams was Simpson’s attorney back then. He says the man who is now suing Murray better be prepared for more of that.


Two short poems from Seattle's juvenile jail

May 1, 2017
A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

CHICAGO ON THE SOUTH SIDE

By a young man in juvenile detention, age 15

Everybody should know
that when I was younger
I was at school one day,
I went straight from lunch to recess.
My brother was driving down the street.
Somebody was shooting at his car.
The police said that one of the bullets
went through the window and
hit him in the back of his head.

He lost control of his car
and crashed into the monkey bars.

British Columbia’s government has taken the next step in a long running legal dispute with an Indian tribe in Washington state.

The case dates back to 2009 when Washington resident and defendant Rick Desautel knowingly hunted elk illegally in British Columbia.

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