Firm History

As noted within our home page, Hubbard Law Office, P.C, is a direct successor to first law office in Waitsburg, established when it was a part of the Washington Territory and granted its Charter on February 4, 1888, under which it still operates under to this day.

Joining the Waitsburg lawyers that followed was Vaughn Hubbard in 1950, who remained a member of the Bar until his death in 1999. His was a long and distinguished career with a wide range of substantial clients, such as serving as general counsel for U & I Sugar, Inc, and the successful pursuit of many substantial transactions and matters brought to court. He travelled extensively in his profession, across the United States and to foreign countries, including Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. He served in the State House of Representatives in Olympia, WA and on the Washington State Transportation Commission, with four terms as its chairman.

Today Michael V. Hubbard maintains a busy and diverse practice at 145 Main Street in Waitsburg, Washington.

HLO Facade

Today and over the years since joining the practice Michael Hubbard has successfully handled client transactions both large and small but none are ever treated as routine and been to trial in many cases, both civil and criminal over the thirty plus years he has served the community. Read more below to learn about some of the landmark legal actions that Attorney Michael Hubbard has resolved favorably for his clients.

CIVIL MATTERS

Michael V. Hubbard represented over 100 farmers in the collapse of Pacific Coast Soybean, Touchet Valley Grain Growers, Inc. in the collapse of a huge, newly constructed grain storage facility (the Flat-house) and Columbia Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc in the WPPSS litigation and its exit from Pacific Northwest Generating Company. Michael organized new businesses and reorganized existing ones into more advantageous structures, including dividing Mercer Ranch, Inc between its succeeding shareholders by forming and merging with new corporations, Mercer Ranch Vineyard, being one of them.

Michael has represented plaintiffs in many memorable civil trials. One such case for an owner was an engineering malpractice case brought over what was to have been a turn-key multi-million dollar reconstruction of a large, potato processing plant turned out to be an assemblage of multi-million collection defects.

PillowBlockBearingIn the third month of that trial, still in plaintiff’s case, Mike had the plaintiff ‘s maintenance foreman on the stand for two weeks straight, testifying from thousands of pages of down time logs to problems in that plant from receiving, to rock traps, steam-peelers and a self-destructing spiral freeze tunnel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In another, a board member of Touchet Valley Grain Growers looked out his kitchen window at breakfast one morning to see the south wall of the company’s new flat-house, being filled with grain for the first time, had burst and the structure in a state of collapse.

flat house

Above is the Flat-House as it stands today after litigation with the builders and insurance companies and being rebuilt and braced by Haskins Steel.

CRIMINAL REPRESENTATION

In criminal matters the cases and issues are as broad and diverse as humanity. Often, Michael has been called upon to represent an individual who, with no criminal history or intent to commit a crime who suddenly finds him or herself charged with a felony with the whole weight and force of the government on him, dead-set on making innocent behavior a serious crime. For example, Mike obtained a not guilty on all charges for a farmer accused of felonies for disciplining his son and assaulting the officer, who came to arrest him in his home.

In 2012, he obtained a not guilty verdict for a senior citizen in a vehicular homicide case. This client, driving to Walla Walla—no alcohol, drugs or speeding involved—struck and killed a bicyclist on one of our narrow, country roads. It was a terrible accident, but it was an accident nontheless and not a crime; and the jury agreed.

mvhwaitingforverdict

In 2012 Michael was brought in as counsel for John Saul, Owner of The New York Store in Walla Walla, Washington. On May 4th, 2012 Mr. Saul, who resides in his store, heard someone breaking into his place of business and residence. After confronting the suspect, identified as Cesar Chavira. inside his business the suspect fled outside whereupon Mr Saul fired a weapon, hitting the suspect who died at the scene of the crime. The difficult twist in the case came because the suspect was outside of the business at the moment of the shooting. As a member of the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network (#7065) Michael advised Mr. Saul throughout the ordeal. The end result was the county prosecuting attorney and an inquest jury of Saul's peers determined that no criminal or wrongful death charges would be filed in the case. The questions that arise in a case like this - the right of a citizen to protect him or herself and property in the face of criminal activity.

APPEALS

The Hubbard Law Office and Michael have been engaged in many cases in our Washington State Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court. The following are excerpts from the decisions in only a few of those appellate cases:

Representing Private Individual - Seller of Stock, sued by Brokerage

Where there is a unilateral mistake, courts will not invoke their equitable powers to aid the party who was the sole cause of his misfortune, Appleway Leasing, Inc. v. Tomlinson Dairy Farms, Inc., 22 Wash.App. 781, 784, 591 P.2d 1220 (1979) (credit for truck trade-in); Seattle-First Nat'l Bank v. Earl, 17 Wash.App. 830, 835-36, 565 P.2d 1215 (1977) (rent escalation related to nonexistent cost-of-living index). The rule is contra if the other party knows of the mistake or is charged with knowledge of it. See Puget Sound Nat'l Bank v. Selivanoff, 9 Wash.App. 676, 681, 514 P.2d 175 (1973), and cases cited therein. There is no showing in this case that Keene knew of the broker's mistake, and there are no facts to charge Keene with such knowledge.

Loeb Rhoades, Hornblower & Co. v. Keene, 28 Wn.App. 499, 500, 624 P.2d 742, 743 (1981)

Paternity, back child-support and the statute of limitations

While RCW 26.24.160, in effect at the time of Scott's birth, provided that a statutory paternity action must be commenced within 2 years of the child's birth, that statute has been repealed and replaced by the Uniform Parentage Act, RCW 26.26.010 et seq. This act does not limit the time for commencing a paternity action,[FN1] nor does it revive a cause of action previously barred by RCW 26.24.160. State v. Douty, 92 Wash.2d 930, 935, 603 P.2d 373 (1979). Nevertheless, the statutory paternity procedure is not exclusive because an illegitimate child has a common law right to support from his or her parents, Kaur v. Chawla, 11 Wash.App. 362, 364, 522 P.2d 1198, review denied, 84 Wash.2d 1011 (1974), and may bring an action on his or **510 her own *608 behalf to establish paternity. State v. Douty, supra at 938. Thus, this paternity action could be brought by Scott regardless of an authorizing state statute.

Nettles v. Beckley, 32 Wn.App. 606, 607-608, 648 P.2d 508, 509 - 510 (1982)

Piercing the Corporate Veil—recovery for farmers

Creditors of dissolved corporation brought suit seeking recovery of preferential payment. The Superior Court, Walla Walla County, Yancey Reser, J., entered judgment in favor of creditors, and defendants appealed. The Court of Appeals, Green, J., held that: (1) the creditors had standing to bring the action in light of court order assigning all causes of action existing in liquidating trustee to and for the benefit of the creditors, and (2) since judgment was favorable to non-joined creditors, it would be a waste of judicial time to remand matter back to trial court for joinder of other creditors and an injustice to dismiss the action.

Geroux v. Fleck, 33 Wn.App. 424, 655 P.2d 254 (1982)

Washington Public Power Supply System—Cost Overruns—Who Pays?*

The doctrine of commercial frustration may be summarized as follows: Where the assumed possibility of a desired object or effect to be attained by either party to a contract forms the basis on which both parties enter into it, and this object or effect is or surely will be frustrated, a promisor who is without fault in causing the frustration, and who is harmed thereby, is discharged from the duty of performing his promise unless a contrary intention appears.

To finance, build or terminate these plants, the municipality and PUD participants were vital. Their share of the projects represents approximately 70 percent of the total obligation. Our decision in Chemical Bank I excused these obligations. As the remaining participants [electric cooperatives among them] did not in any way contribute to this frustration of purpose, we believe contractual release of their obligation is required.

Chemical Bank v. Washington Public Power Supply System, 102 Wn .2d 874, 898, 691 P.2d 524, 538 (Wash.,1984)

[*In association with Helsell-Fetterman, David Jurca, and the attorneys for the twelve dissenting electric cooperatives, who ultimately prevailed and were known as the “Dirty Dozen”—and are still to this day.]

Landowner not paid on timber contract, recoverery of judgment

Next, Alpine argued that the language of the contract and supplement making payments due prior to commencing with harvesting creates an option. The contractual language Alpine relies upon is inapposite. It is more fairly read to link the timing of the payment to Alpine's progress in harvesting. Most likely, Syrovy did not want timber removed from his land prior to the receipt of payment. This does not mean, however, that payment was optional. As Syrovy points out, “surely a contract with provisions for payments at installment points in the overall job does not create mere options in favor of the buyer”.

Syrovy v. Alpine Resources, Inc., 122 Wn.2d 544, 550, 859 P.2d 51, 54 (1993)