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Vancouver Washington Legal Blog

Understanding the concept of executory contracts

Many Washington state businesses that file bankruptcy petitions have ongoing legal relationships with other parties. Some contracts, such as a real estate lease, may be beneficial to the debtor, while others, such as a contract with a supplier, may be burdensome. The United States Bankruptcy Code refers to such agreements as "executory contracts," and it vests in the trustee important powers with respect to such contracts.

The bankruptcy code does not define the term "executory contract," but federal courts generally agree that an executory contract is an agreement that is binding on both parties and where the obligations of the parties are so far unperformed that a failure of performance would constitute a material breach of the agreement. Upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition, executory contracts become the property of the bankruptcy estate.

Allegedly drunk driver faces DUI, child endangerment charges

Drunk driving is often viewed by Vancouver residents as a "victimless" offense - unless and until a drunk driver causes injury to another person. A recent drunk driving accident in Northeast Vancouver involving young children shows how quickly a DUI can snowball into far more serious charges.

According to Washington State Police, a westbound car on Fourth Plain Road allegedly failed to obey a traffic signal while attempting a left turn into southbound 157th Avenue. According to police, the westbound vehicle failed to obey a traffic signal and crashed into a vehicle traveling east on Fourth Plain Road. The only person injured in the crash was the driver of the turning vehicle. Her medical condition was not available.

Who is required to use ignition interlock devices in Washington?

An ignition interlock device can be required by the Washington State Department of Licensing for drivers who have been convicted of a drunk driving offense but who need to be able to drive their vehicle for work or other approved purposes. The law operates in two basic ways: the Department can require the use of an ignition interlock device for anyone convicted of a drunk driving offense, or a person convicted of a drunk driving offense can ask permission to use the device in order to continue driving.

An ignition interlock device is a breath-tester that prevents an ignition switch from starting the engine unless the driver breathes into the device and demonstrates a blood alcohol content lower than .025 percent. The state can require the installation of an ignition interlock device if a person has been convicted for a DUI, some convictions of reckless or negligent driving or any other reason deemed by the court to necessitate the use of the device. The driver must pay for the installation and removal of the device.

Alcohol may have played role in head-on collision in Portland

Alcohol often causes a driver to lose control of his vehicle or fail to remain in the proper lane. A recent head-on car accident in Portland appears to have been caused by one driver losing control of his vehicle, and police suspect that alcohol was involved.

According to officers at the scene, a BMW was traveling southbound on Capitol Highway. As the car approached the Freeman Street intersection, it drifted into the northbound lanes of Capitol Highway and collided with a northbound Subaru. A male passenger in the BMW suffered serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. A female passenger in the Subaru was also injured in the collision, but her injuries were deemed to be non-life-threatening.

Protecting yourself against construction defects

Building a home or purchasing a new construction home is an exciting time for your Washington family. However, the process of building or buying is a complex and major financial and legal step, and you would be wise to know how to protect your interests in case complications arise, such as construction defects.

It is not unusual for there to be small errors or issues with a newly constructed home. However, there is a big difference between a simple fix and a major complication that compromises your investment and the integrity of the home. As the homeowner, it is prudent to know how to react and how you can protect your interests if you find yourself in this situation.

DUI suspect tries to escape in car missing a front tire

When a driver is pulled over by the police, one of the first impulses might be to flee, especially if the driver is aware that he or she is drunk. Most drivers resist the impulse to escape, but, on occasion, a drunk driver will make the situation worse by trying to speed away from the police.

Clark County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped a man after noticing that his car was missing the front tire on the passenger side. A deputy was inspecting the vehicle and trying to determine if the vehicle had been in an accident or if the driver needed assistance when the driver sped away from the police and traveled at a high speed north on Northeast Chkalov. One of the deputies alleged that the driver was driving north in the southbound lanes. Police were allegedly able to track the car because they could see sparks made where the wheel with no tire struck concrete. Police also alleged that the suspect attempted to evade their use of a "PIT maneuver," a technique used by police vehicles to catch and disable fleeing vehicles.

The automatic stay in bankruptcy - how it helps debtors

People in Vancouver who are having financial difficulty often look to the United States Bankruptcy Code for help in getting back on their feet. One of the most powerful remedies provided by the Bankruptcy Code is the "automatic stay," a provision that gives instant - albeit temporary - relief from the pressure of creditors trying to collect on bills.

The automatic stay is an order that issues automatically from the court in which the bankruptcy petition is filed. Every debtor who files a petition for bankruptcy protection, whether under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, is required to provide the court with a list of the names and addresses of all creditors to whom the debtor owes money. The filing of the petition generates the stay without any action by the court or the debtor. When the stay issues, the clerk of bankruptcy court sends a notice to each of the creditors listed by the debtor.

Head-on crash kills 2

Portland police are trying to untangle the course of events that led to a catastrophic head-on collision that killed two people, including a 12-year-old girl. The preliminary police report says that alcohol and excessive speed probably played a role in causing this violent car accident.

According to police, a Toyota Camry was traveling west on N.E. Lombard Street when it crashed into a Ford 350 pickup truck. Police say that the Camry was traveling at an excessive speed when the collision occurred. Damage to both vehicles was described as "catastrophic." Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, including a 12-year-old girl who had been riding in the pickup truck. The other fatality has not been identified. One survivor of the crash appears to have been the girl's aunt. One witness said that she sat on the curb begging people to reassure her that her niece was okay. A person who has lived nearby for more than 20 years said that he had seen many accidents at this spot and that this crash was the worst of them all.

Understanding the uses of living wills in Washington

Most Washingtonians understand the need for a will that will dispose of their assets at their death. Less well understood is the living will. Many people are aware of the term but do not understand it. In this post, the uses of living wills will be explained.

A living will is not a traditional testamentary will that disposes of the maker's assets. Instead, a living will provides direction to health care providers about prolonging the maker's life and the conditions under which life support can be withdrawn. By executing a living will, a person can make decisions about end-of-life treatment while he or she is still able to make an informed and well-considered choice.

Plan in the present for your health care in the future

No one knows the health care needs that he or she could have in the future. Since it is impossible to predict what will happen, it can be useful to go ahead and put certain things into place to ensure that your health care needs and wishes are secure and known.

Many find it beneficial to include a health care directive and a living will as part of their estate plan. Through these documents, you may be able to express your wishes regarding your health care in case you are not able to speak for yourself because of illness or injury. Simply having these things in place can provide a measure of peace of mind for yourself and for your Washington family.

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