Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
20 years in practice, focus on QDROs (Qualified Domestic Relations Orders) and data protection/breach consulting.
- Intellectual Property
- Communications & Internet Law
Additional Practice Area
- QDROs (Qualified Domestic Relations Orders)
- Free Consultation
Free initial consultation for QDROs only
- Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- South Carolina
- Principal Attorney
- Marjorie Simmons, Esq.
- - Current
- University of South Carolina
- South Carolina State Bar
- Washington State Bar Association
- Skagit County Bar Assn
Websites & Blogs
38 Questions Answered
- Q. Is my wife in titled to half of my pension after only 4 years of marriage.
- A: Money earned from employment during marriage is community property in Washington, including deferred compensation like pensions and 401ks. Non-community property states often consider money earned during marriage to belong to both parties too. The part of a retirement account that is divisible at divorce is the part that was earned during marriage. So if a marriage is short, the divisible part will be smaller than if the marriage is long. Most retirement plans require qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) to divide retirement assets, and that process should be addressed in divorce proceedings. If your divorce lawyer tells you they "don't do QDROs", then ask them for a referral to a lawyer who does. Lawyers who focus on QDROs usually charge a flat fee rather than by the hour.
- Q. My ex husband is retiring from his job to avoid paying maintenance. If he gets another job is he still retired?
- A: If your decree orders maintenance he is required to pay it, and voluntary unemployment will not exempt him from that obligation. Do you have a QDRO (order for dividing retirement assets) already made? If not, you should do this right away, because your options are severely limited if he retires before you have a QDRO in place.
- Q. I hired a mover to move me from OR to WA. He disappeared and took my $600 deposit. Where can I file a lawsuit?
- A: How vexing an experience for you that must be. You'll want to read the UTC's page on movers at: http://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/movers/Pages/default.aspx. Movers must be licensed. Call them to make a complaint at 888-333-WUTC (9882) and see their moving publications at http://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/Pages/moverpublications.aspx.
- Q. Can my neighbor claim adverse possession to 6 in of land inside my property line, but on the outside of a fence I built?
- A: The state law governing adverse possession is at RCW 7.38 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.28&full=true). Generally, to make such a claim they must have been actually possessing the land in an open, notorious fashion, in good faith, under a claim of right for a period of 7 years, while paying taxes on it and making permanent improvements. If you start your fence move and they sue under a claim of adverse possession, you'll need an attorney who has a practice in real property law. Call your county bar association and ask for a referral to a local lawyer who practices real property law.
- Q. What is the statute of, definition of and other limitations around legal malpractice in WA State?
- A: There is no statute of limitation on legal malpractice. The definition can depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of your case, but there are things you can expect from your lawyer, at minimum, like working within the confines of the legal ethics rules. See the section on what to expect from your lawyer in the pamphlet at http://www.wsba.org/~/media/Files/News_Events/Publications/Consumer%20Info%20Pamphlets/Consulting%20a%20Lawyer%200211.ashx, and call the Washington State Bar Association at (206) 443-WSBA for more information.
- Q. School van stopping at railroad crossings.
- A: The state superintendent of public instruction adopts and enforces rules not inconsistent with the state statutes to govern the design, marking, and mode of operation of all school buses owned and operated by any school district or privately owned and operated under contract or otherwise with any school district in Washington for the transportation of school children. (RCW 46.61.380) The Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicles Division has the Commercial Vehicle Guide at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/EE2D33C7-E6A0-4C58-9BD9-AE05C003B327/0/VehicleGuide.pdf. The State Patrol can also quote the law they will cite when writing a ticket for violations, and probably will tell you which one, for free. They also have an informative video on school bus stop rules for other drivers at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moK9MZVSIQY.
- Q. No will. One of the three children has passed. Does the spouse or her 2 adult children get her part?
- A: Generally, in Washington the spouse will inherit things before adult children, but not always. If there are financial accounts that are of the "payable on death" (POD) type, those accounts will have a directive to pay a particular person on the death of the account holder, and the same for life insurance beneficiaries, without regard to a will. You can find some general information at the King County Law Library online site: http://www.kcll.org/guides/probate-law-guide, and at Washington Law Help: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/aging-elder-law/wills-probate-other-advanced-directives
- Q. Can Rainbow pattern dice be copyrighted?
- A: A copyright springs into being automatically when a work is created in a tangible form, however, registering the copyright with the U.S. Copyright office gives the copyright holder more rights to pursue a remedy if the copyright is infringed by others. You may want to read the general FAQ (frequently asked questions) about copyrights: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html.
- Q. A collection agency tried to coerce me into acknowledging a debt when I requested validation. Do I have any recourse?
- A: You may benefit by reading the article on debtors' rights re collections at the Washington Law Help website: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/debtors-rights-dealing-with-collection-agenci. The website also has other articles on debtors' rights.
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