Tag: Spokane

Mid-Summer Immigration Notes … part one

We never envisioned a time when immigration would be in the news on a 24/7 basis. In one form or the other, it’s immigration this, immigration that, immigration now, immigration next week, immigration next month, next year, next election, every moment of every day. Sometimes, it’s just about impossible to keep up …. sometimes the […]

Puritans, Washington Irving, and Christmas

Christmas. Greeting cards, decorations, ornaments, tinsel, lights, Christmas trees, nativity scenes, carols, poems, food, candy, candy canes, Santa Claus & Saint Nicholas, ribbons, presents, wrapping paper … almost everything you can conjure up about how we celebrate Christmas came about because of immigrants. Perhaps no other holiday that has been so influenced, so shaped, so […]

New Staff in the Office

The office has been booming and just over the past year, the staff has almost tripled after moving to their new location at 505 North Argonne Road, Suite 109-B in Spokane Valley. Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, is winning more and more cases each month and was in need of more help around the office.

Introducing newly hired Jennyfer Lopez and Marie Sorensen, two women eager to learn and help around the office.

Jennyfer’s first day on the job was August 8th, 2016, and her role is an administrative assistant. Jennyfer is in charge of organizing and filing the correspondence, mail, and other paperwork that gets filtered into the office from both the staff and clients. She also occasionally fills in for Amy Gilliam at the front desk. Jennyfer Lopez has Hispanic heritage and is fluent in both English and Spanish, which is ideal since Quiroga Law Office PLLC is both an English and Spanish speaking law firm. In addition to being bilingual, Jennyfer has four years of experience as the manager of her family’s business with Imelda, of which she helped delegate new clients and scheduled appointments.

What is Separate Property and What is Community Property in Spokane?

The issue of labeling for categorizing property, into either community property or separate property, often arises in divorces in Spokane County. This categorization of property can make a substantial difference on how the court will allocate assets and liabilities to the parties who are seeking a final dissolution or a legal separation from their spouse.

The law in Washington states that all property acquired prior to the marriage, and its rents, issues, and profits, is considered separate property. In addition, property that is acquired during my marriage from gifts, inheritance and its rents, issues, and profits will be considered separate property. The issue with this is that often the parties will commingle community property with separate property. Then would be unable to tell which property or asset is completely 100% separate at the time of the divorce. Community property in Spokane is categorized the same way.

If they are able to show that the character of the property never changed (i.e. a bank account that was never touched), then the asset will continue to be separate property. This often causes issues because typically parties will take their savings and invest into a community investment, and thus most likely commingling the funds and rendering the entire investment a community asset.

One defense to commingling is the direct tracing theory. As noted above, if a party can show, with bank statements, testimony, checks, and or other writings, that the funds were never mixed, that party may be able to keep the asset or the value of the asset from distribution.

To make matters worse, in a Spokane County and the entire state Washington, a Superior Court judge has the ability to the label property (community or separate property) and then distribute the assets in a just and equitable manner. Community property in Spokane thus must be categorized by a Superior Court judge, then divided as the judge deems fair and equitable.

Non-compete and non-solicit clauses in Spokane: Let the worker beware

Washington is a “right to work” state, but that doesn’t necessarily give you the right to work anywhere you choose — especially not today, it seems.

In these tough economic times, the job market really is a buyer’s market. With a glut of labor trying to fill relatively few open positions, employers seem to be demanding more from the workers they hire — such as requiring them to sign “non-compete” and/or “non-solitication” agreements.

Spokane Washington Non Compete Agreements
Agreement and clauses not to compete are enforceable

These agreements, often buried in the employment contract, should wave a red flag in the face of anyone asked to sign them. They protect the employer, but can actually harm the employee.

Signing a non-compete agreement or a contract containing one means that you, the employee, cannot compete against your employer for a period of time after leaving the company where you work.

These clauses can not only prevent you from opening a competing business, but also may stop you from accepting a job with a company deemed to be in competition with your employer. If you work as a bank teller with Bank A, you might not be able to take that manager’s job at Bank B.

Clauses like these do offer the employer some protection against company secrets’ being divulged to the competition. Non-compete clauses are quite common in sales, for obvious reasons: Salespeople with inside knowledge of a company’s products as well as upcoming promotions, information the employer deems confidential. Having a sales representative take a job with a competitor increases the likelihood that the competing company will gain access to information that could hurt the original employer.