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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Civil Practice Tips

October 01, 2009

Civil: Domestic Violence & Wrongful Discharge

In Danny v. Laidlaw Transit Servs., 193 P.3d 128 (Wash. 2008)(en banc), the Washington Supreme Court affirmatively answered the certified question: “Has the State of Washington established a clear mandate of public policy prohibiting an employer from discharging an at-will employee because she experienced domestic violence and took leave from work to take actions to protect herself, her family, and to hold her accuser accountable?”

Civil: Staying Civil Discovery when a Criminal Case is Pending

In Lizarraga v. City of Nogales, No. CV 06-474 TUC DCB, 2008 WL 4079991 (D. Ariz. Aug. 29, 2008), the court stayed a civil case upon motions for stay and protective order brought by the prosecution and the victim, after finding a stay was in the interest of justice, recognizing the limited nature of a criminal defendant’s ability to obtain pretrial discovery, and noting that defendant’s use of such records in the criminal case could circumvent Arizona’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, which guarantees crime victims the right to refuse a defendant’s discovery request. NCVLI has also researched this issue in other jurisdictions and can provide legal research memoranda on the topic.