News & Insights2021-01-06T16:47:04-08:00

News & Insights

Frank Chmelik & Jon Sitkin selected to 2021 WA Super Lawyers list

Over the past thirty-seven years, from their offices in Bellingham the lawyers of Chmelik Sitkin & Davis have quietly built a reputation for responsiveness, professionalism, and quality service for business and government clients throughout Washington. The firm looks back with great pride at the team of skilled lawyers that [...]

July 16th, 2021|

Peter Ruffatto joins Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S. as a Principal

Peter Ruffatto is joining the Bellingham law firm, Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S., as a principal. Peter is a well-known municipal lawyer having worked as the Bellingham City Attorney since July 2012. Peter joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2003, where he worked in the areas of Labor and [...]

March 25th, 2021|

CSD Spotlight

Chmelik Sitkin and Davis P.S. is pleased to announce that Todd Egland has become a Principal, and Tim Schermetzler and Matt Paxton have become Senior Associates. Todd represents creditors in bankruptcy and collections matters, condominium and homeowner’s associations, and various clients in general business litigation. Todd practiced for thirteen [...]

March 2nd, 2021|

Comings and Goings

~New Position Attorney Les Reardanz (R. Adm. Naval JAG Reserve) has recently made the decision to move on from practicing law at Chmelik Sitkin & Davis (“CSD”) to take on the role of General Manager of the Whatcom Transportation Authority.  This change will allow Les to continue his career in [...]

January 4th, 2021|

Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S. Welcomes Attorney Sara Frase

Ms. Frase is a recent graduate of the University of Washington School of Law where she was the Associate Editor in Chief of the Washington Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. Ms. Frase received her undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University where she graduated with the cum laude distinction. During law [...]

September 21st, 2020|

Comings and Goings

~Retirement It is with excitement, gratitude, and blended feelings that we announce the retirement of one of our most tenured and devoted employees. Jenny Brumfield has been a Legal Assistant and now Paralegal for over twenty years with our firm. Jenny has decided that the time to retire has arrived. [...]

September 10th, 2020|

Updated Mask Requirements for Large Outdoor Events

On Monday, September 13, 2021, the State Secretary of Health has issued Order 20-03.5 which adds the requirement for people to wear face coverings when at outdoor events or gatherings attended by 500 or more people regardless of vaccination status. The Department of Health also strongly recommends that everyone [...]

September 14th, 2021|

The Mask Mandate is Back and Vaccinations Will be Required for Education and Childcare Providers – Will this Impact your Government Agency or Business?

Masks: On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Governor Inslee announced a new statewide indoor mask mandate in response to the rising COVID19 hospitalization rates across the state. The mandate applies to everyone regardless of their vaccination status. The mandate will take effect Monday, August 23, 2021. The mask mandate will [...]

August 18th, 2021|

An End of the Eviction Moratorium is Near But More New Rules are on the Horizon for Landlords

After more than a year of operating under the Governor’s Evictions and Related Housing Practices Proclamation 20—19 et seq. (the “Governor’s Proclamation”), which significantly restricted residential landlords’ ability to raise rent, enforce rules, remove tenants, and collect delinquent rent and fees, there is some light at the end of [...]

May 20th, 2021|

My Commercial Tenant has Filed for Bankruptcy. Now What?

As we are all now too aware, circumstances, whether health or financial, can change rapidly. In addition to impacting our personal lives, global events can impact drastically what was an otherwise productive business relationship. One example of the turmoil that can result from such an upheaval for a commercial landlord [...]

April 3rd, 2020|

Updates to the Industrial Stormwater General Permit

When the usual grey Washington weather turns to dry summertime in July and August, stormwater is likely the last thing on anyone’s mind.  That could become a problem for companies holding a newly updated Industrial Stormwater General Permit (“ISGP”). ISGPs are issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) [...]

July 28th, 2020|

BREAKING NEWS: SBA MODIFYING PPP RULES

On Monday, June 8, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a statement that they will be modifying the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to align with Congress’ amendments in the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. Take away:  The bottom line is that SBA will be issuing rules and guidance, a [...]

June 9th, 2020|

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Audits

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), under which certain businesses could apply for loans, a portion of which is eligible for forgiveness through the Small Business Administration. As part of the application for the PPP funds, the borrower makes a [...]

June 8th, 2020|

BREAKING NEWS: REOPENING RESOURCE FOR BUSINESSES

The Association of Washington Business (AWB) in partnership with the State of Washington has established a AWB Rebound and Recovery website (https://www.reboundandrecovery.org/) to help Washington businesses reopen smoothly. The website has two main lines of effort: Reopening Tool Kit: AWB has developed customizable materials to support a business’ reopening by [...]

June 2nd, 2020|

BREAKING NEWS: PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN FORGIVENESS APPLICATION IS OUT

On Friday, May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application.  The link to the form/instructions is provided below. Background:  The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible [...]

May 18th, 2020|

Checklist for Business Restart under Washington SafeStart Phase 1 and 2 

All Washingtonians are anxious to “Re-start” our lives. Businesses small and large will be on the forefront of re-opening Washington subject to certain requirements imposed by the SafeStart order.    SafeStart Washington Phase 1 begins on May 5, 2020 and allows the following businesses to operate: essential businesses already open, existing [...]

May 5th, 2020|

Long Term View on Short Term Rentals

Short term internet-based vacation rentals, such as AirBNB, and VRBO, are more popular than ever. Given the growing popularity of these short-term rentals, communities in Washington State with active tourism markets have been addressing how to regulate this emerging industry. Earlier this year, Washington State legislature enacted Chapter 64.37 [...]

December 18th, 2019|

Construction Law Update: Binding Subcontractors to Terms of a Prime Contract

A recent Washington court case indicates that contractors should take additional proactive steps to ensure that subcontracts are bound to the terms of prime contracts incorporated by reference in a subcontract.  Earlier this year, the Washington Court of Appeals for Division 1 issued an unpublished opinion in Edifice Construction Company, [...]

July 31st, 2020|

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination *Updated April 8, 2021 With COVID-19 vaccination becoming more widely available, employers have started asking whether they can require employees to be vaccinated.  The answer is yes, with certain limitations.  For example, the employer may need to provide reasonable accommodations in the case of a disability or [...]

February 1st, 2021|

Managing Employees Return to Work After COVID-19 Pandemic – Food for Thought

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released additional guidance for employers on what they can do when employees begin returning to work to balance a safe work environment with employment laws.  The publication can be found at: https://www.eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-updates-covid-19-technical-assistance-publication The publication, entitled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and [...]

May 8th, 2020|

Remote Working During COVID-19 Pandemic

Under Proclamation 20-05, employees who work for an essential business may continue to perform their duties at their normal worksite.  Even so, there may be prudent business reasons, or in some cases legal requirements (e.g., with high-risk workers) to have some employees perform their work remotely.   Businesses that have not [...]

May 6th, 2020|

Paycheck Protection Program Rules Need Monitoring

Late last week the IRS issued a rule that no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security [...]

May 4th, 2020|

Proclamation 20-46: High-risk Employee – Workers’ Rights

On April 13, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-46 giving high-risk employees’ rights and protections related to the COVID-19 disease. High-risk employees are those identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, including those over 65 years of [...]

April 17th, 2020|

Updates to the Industrial Stormwater General Permit

When the usual grey Washington weather turns to dry summertime in July and August, stormwater is likely the last thing on anyone’s mind.  That could become a problem for companies holding a newly updated Industrial Stormwater General Permit (“ISGP”). ISGPs are issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) [...]

July 28th, 2020|

Division One Court of Appeals Finds that Wood Waste is a Hazardous Substance Under the Model Toxics Control Act that Could Require Contribution of Remediation Costs

By Brian Nadler of Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S. – September 2019 On August 19, 2019, the Division One Court of Appeals decided Port of Anacortes v. Frontier Industries, Inc., — P.3d —-, 2019 WL 3887412 (Div. 1 2019).  Chmelik Sitkin & Davis successfully represented the plaintiff, Port of [...]

September 11th, 2019|

Updating your Estate Planning During COVID-19

The COVID-19 has unsettled all of our lives. We are dealing with monumental change and uncertainty daily.   Many of our clients are calling to ask how they can update their estate plan during this public health crisis or how they can implement new estate planning that they have put off.    [...]

April 2nd, 2020|

Business Interruption Insurance for COVID-19 Claims

So, your business has shut down because it does not fall into one of the “essential” categories described by the State of Washington as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Your company has business interruption insurance but your broker has told you that it will not cover your lost business [...]

April 21st, 2020|

CDC Eviction Order

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued an order which temporarily halts residential evictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The order is effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The CDC’s order applies only after the tenant provides their landlord with an executed declaration under [...]

September 14th, 2020|

Division One Court of Appeals Finds that Wood Waste is a Hazardous Substance Under the Model Toxics Control Act that Could Require Contribution of Remediation Costs

By Brian Nadler of Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S. – September 2019 On August 19, 2019, the Division One Court of Appeals decided Port of Anacortes v. Frontier Industries, Inc., — P.3d —-, 2019 WL 3887412 (Div. 1 2019).  Chmelik Sitkin & Davis successfully represented the plaintiff, Port of [...]

September 11th, 2019|

Knowing the Waters – Interlocal Cooperation Agreements

By Frank Chmelik With COVID-19 case counts beginning to subside, more businesses and governments are starting to operate as usual. This return to “normal” activity has inspired this month’s column on “interlocal cooperation agreements.”  Washington law (chapter 39.34 RCW) allows governments to use this powerful tool to join to [...]

October 7th, 2021|

Updated Mask Requirements for Large Outdoor Events

On Monday, September 13, 2021, the State Secretary of Health has issued Order 20-03.5 which adds the requirement for people to wear face coverings when at outdoor events or gatherings attended by 500 or more people regardless of vaccination status. The Department of Health also strongly recommends that everyone [...]

September 14th, 2021|

Knowing the Waters – Commissioner Compensation

By Frank Chmelik This month we look at the port commissioner compensation and the 2020 amendment to commissioner compensation statute - RCW 53.12.260. We think this amendment requires a close look and perhaps a resolution before year end.[1] I freely admit I am a paid paranoid. Now that I [...]

September 14th, 2021|

The Mask Mandate is Back and Vaccinations Will be Required for Education and Childcare Providers – Will this Impact your Government Agency or Business?

Masks: On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Governor Inslee announced a new statewide indoor mask mandate in response to the rising COVID19 hospitalization rates across the state. The mandate applies to everyone regardless of their vaccination status. The mandate will take effect Monday, August 23, 2021. The mask mandate will [...]

August 18th, 2021|

Knowing the Waters – Interlocal Cooperation Agreements

By Frank Chmelik With COVID-19 case counts beginning to subside, more businesses and governments are starting to operate as usual. This return to “normal” activity has inspired this month’s column on “interlocal cooperation agreements.”  Washington law (chapter 39.34 RCW) allows governments to use this powerful tool to join to [...]

October 7th, 2021|

Updated Mask Requirements for Large Outdoor Events

On Monday, September 13, 2021, the State Secretary of Health has issued Order 20-03.5 which adds the requirement for people to wear face coverings when at outdoor events or gatherings attended by 500 or more people regardless of vaccination status. The Department of Health also strongly recommends that everyone [...]

September 14th, 2021|

Knowing the Waters – Commissioner Compensation

By Frank Chmelik This month we look at the port commissioner compensation and the 2020 amendment to commissioner compensation statute - RCW 53.12.260. We think this amendment requires a close look and perhaps a resolution before year end.[1] I freely admit I am a paid paranoid. Now that I [...]

September 14th, 2021|

Knowing the Waters – Elections and Public Facilities

By Frank Chmelik, Peter Ruffatto and Allison Beard Well, it’s that time of year – you are thinking summertime, boating and barbeques – we lawyers are thinking election season. As the election season is upon us, local government officials and employees are regularly faced with making decisions about election-related [...]

July 6th, 2021|

An End of the Eviction Moratorium is Near But More New Rules are on the Horizon for Landlords

After more than a year of operating under the Governor’s Evictions and Related Housing Practices Proclamation 20—19 et seq. (the “Governor’s Proclamation”), which significantly restricted residential landlords’ ability to raise rent, enforce rules, remove tenants, and collect delinquent rent and fees, there is some light at the end of [...]

May 20th, 2021|

CDC Eviction Order

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued an order which temporarily halts residential evictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The order is effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The CDC’s order applies only after the tenant provides their landlord with an executed declaration under [...]

September 14th, 2020|

More Changes in Store for Residential Landlord Tenant Laws July 2020

A year after the legislature overhauled the Washington Residential Landlord Tenant Act (RLTA), Chapter 59.18 RCW, the legislature has again imposed new regulations impacting Washington residential landlord tenant laws. [For a summary of the July 2019 changes, see Article: Important Changes to Washington Residential Landlord Tenant Law].  The new 2020 [...]

July 2nd, 2020|

Long Term View on Short Term Rentals

Short term internet-based vacation rentals, such as AirBNB, and VRBO, are more popular than ever. Given the growing popularity of these short-term rentals, communities in Washington State with active tourism markets have been addressing how to regulate this emerging industry. Earlier this year, Washington State legislature enacted Chapter 64.37 [...]

December 18th, 2019|
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