Judge Mary Yu hears calendar at law school

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu will hear her motion calendar at Seattle University School of Law's Courtroom Friday, Feb. 13, starting at 9 a.m. Students are encouraged to attend.

The following three matters are presently scheduled to be heard during Judge Yu's motion calendar. This list will be updated with the times of each hearing, as well as any further matters that may be heard. Students should read Judge Yu's memorandum regarding courtroom decorum prior to attending the hearings.


9 a.m. Fisher v. Wash. State Dept. of Employment Security;
No. 08-2-21976-3 SEA
10:30 a.m. Grey v. Leach;
No. 07-2-29393-1 SEA
1:30 p.m. Equity Residential v. ACE American Insurance, et al.;
No. 08-2-15092-5 SEA

Fisher v. Wash. State Dept. of Employment Security

This case involves the agency termination of a school district employee's unemployment benefits. Petitioner Ms. Fisher was an employee of the Seattle School District who was terminated in November 2007 for allegedly aiding and abetting a non-Seattle School District family in attempting to defraud the District. After a hearing with the Employment Security Department (ESD) that set aside Ms. Fisher's unemployment benefits, she filed an appeal, which was consequently denied. Ms. Fisher is now seeking an order to reinstate her unemployment benefits and require ESD to pay all retroactive benefits.

Grey v. Leach

The defendants in this property damages case are moving for partial summary judgment as to plaintiffs' claims based on the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). Plaintiffs Mark and Kristina Grey became the owners of a home bought from defendants James and Sue Leach in 2000. The Greys sued the Leaches after discovering an oil leak on the property. According to the Leaches, the oil leak was the result of pipe corrosion that occurred prior to their purchase of the home in 1966. The defendants claim that they were "innocent purchasers," that is, that they had no knowledge of the release of hazardous substances and that they made reasonable inquiries about the condition of the property while they retained ownership. As innocent purchasers, the Leaches allege that the Greys' MTCA claims are invalid because of a statutory exemption, and thus, that partial summary judgment as to these claims is appropriate.

Equity Residential v. ACE American Insurance, et al.

This case involves the defendant insurance company's alleged duty to defend the plaintiff, a residential properties trust, against suit by homeowners at four condominiums. Plaintiff Equity Residential has moved for partial summary judgment as to defendant ACE American Insurance Company, requesting that the court issue an order that ACE has a duty to defend Equity Residential from the underlying lawsuits on the basis of ACE's liability insurance policy. At issue in this motion for partial summary judgment is whether (1) ACE's policy insures Equity Residential, (2) the underlying lawsuits are covered, (3) ACE has a duty to pay Equity Residential's defense costs only beyond a retained limit, and (4) an exclusion applies exempting ACE from any potential duty to defend.

Courtroom Etiquette/Protocol

To: Students Observing Civil Hearings
From: Judge Mary Yu

On February 13, 2009, Judge Mary Yu will be presiding over a number of civil hearings in the Fred H. Dore Courtroom located in your law school. The calendar includes motions for summary judgment and an administrative law review, which are argued to the bench.

Judge Yu's presence at your law school is part of our Court's ongoing effort to support your education and training and to bring the work of the courts into the local community.

It is important for you to know that the cases are not mock cases and this is not moot court. The hearings involve "real" controversies between parties filed as a cause of action in the State of Washington, County of King. Thus, you are advised that once the hearings begin, your law school courtroom becomes an official courtroom of the State of Washington subject to the judge's control. Please note the following rules of etiquette shall apply to the courtroom:

  1. No food may be consumed in the courtroom while the court is in session. Because chewing gum and unwrapping candy is noisy and a distraction, no gum chewing or consumption of candy shall be allowed.
  2. If you are consuming liquids, please open the container (cans) outside of the courtroom.
  3. No hat may be worn inside the courtroom while court is in session.
  4. You are asked to wear appropriate attire (no shorts or cutoffs will be permitted).
  5. You must turn off the ringer/beeper on your cell phones and pagers before entering the courtroom.
  6. If you wish to take notes on a laptop computer, you must turn off the sound system or speaker. If your keyboard becomes a distraction to the court or counsel, you may be asked to turn your computer off.
  7. You are not permitted to ask the judge any questions about the case until the judge either decides the matter or gives you express permission to approach him about the case. Judge Yu may be available afterwards so that you can ask questions about the arguments and/or decision.
  8. You may approach counsel while in recess and if they wish to talk with you about the case you may proceed to have the discussion provided it is not in the judge's presence.

Please make an extra effort to come and go as quietly as you can so not to distract from counsels' presentation.

Thank you for your interest in pre-trial practice. We hope that you will benefit from the opportunity to observe your state court in action.