In addition to our regular general counsel services, please consider the following representative sampling of recent cases involving general municipal issues in which we have served as counsel:
- Fury v. City of North Bend. We successfully upheld the City’s right to conduct a reassessment for certain parcels within a Utility Local Improvement District, after the objecting property owners challenged the validity of the City ordinance creating the ULID and the amount of the assessments imposed on their properties for extension of a gravity sewer system.
- Tukwila School District v. Tukwila, 139 Wn. App. 1011 (2007). We successfully defended Tukwila in a matter challenging the validity of the City’s stormwater utility. Until the Court of Appeals affirmed Tukwila’s position, this case had been widely viewed as a precursor to challenges state-wide to the continued existence of stormwater utilities of many other cities.
- Burns, et al. v. Seattle, et al., 161 Wn.2d 129, 164 P.3d 475 (2007). As lead counsel in superior court and on direct review in the Washington Supreme Court, we successfully defended the cities of Burien and Tukwila, and coordinated the joint defense efforts of all other suburban cities named in the suit, in a class action attempt to invalidate fees paid by Seattle City Light to suburban cities pursuant to a franchise fee agreement. Specifically, the class representatives sought entry of a declaratory judgment that payments made by Seattle City Light to each of the suburban cities pursuant to franchise agreements between them constituted an illegal utility tax and, accordingly, were void and unenforceable, as well as an injunction enjoining any future payments by Seattle City Light to the suburban cities. In August 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in our favor, affirming the Superior Court’s summary judgment order of dismissal.
- Primm v. Medina, 160 Wn.2d 268, 157 P.3d 379 (2007). In another Supreme Court victory for Washington cities, we successfully resisted a challenge to the authority of cities to conduct municipal court services by interlocal agreement.
- New Cingular Wireless Litigation. We represented a consortium of over 20 jurisdictions in Washington State, in an action filed against 132 municipal defendants seeking refunds of utility tax payments. After significant motion practice in federal court, this matter settled on very favorable terms.