Shafer v. Lee

Adverse possession dispute between insureds and landowner of unoccupied land (Lee).  Lee filed claims for intentional interference with a contractual relationship, nuisance/trespass, and pro rata taxes.  Lee demanded over $220,000 and presented evidence he had a $400,000 contract to sell the property before insureds filed their adverse possession claim and, as a result, could only get $200,000 after adverse possession claims.  Lee’s claims were dismissed via summary judgment, voluntary dismissal, and a defense verdict at trial.  Prior to trial, we discovered Lee’s attorney had improper contact with his key witness, the prior owner of your insured’s property.  Lee’s attorney paid him after a phone deposition and purported to represent him despite a conflict of interest.  After we brought these issues to the Court’s attention, the Court sanctioned Lee’s attorney $8,526.47 in attorney fees and costs. Insureds prevailed at trial, and were awarded $104,509.60 in attorney fees and costs.

 
  • Three day trial

  • November 2018

  • King County

  • 16-2-21858-0 SEA