Year In Review

Dickson v. State, Department of Natural Resources

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Dickson v. State, Department of Natural Resources,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that RS 2477 rights of travel allow for public access to federal land intended for non-public use.  In 1958, Benjamin Cowart homesteaded 160 acres, across the southern part of which his neighbor built Homestead Road without permission.  The public began using Continue Reading »

Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H.

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In the Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H.[1] the supreme court held that an adoption decree is voidable when based on material misrepresentation.  Two young siblings, Simon and Ellie,[2] were removed from their parents’ home and placed with a foster family, but maintained a relationship with their maternal grandparents.  While Simon and Ellie Continue Reading »

Patterson v. Walker

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Patterson v. Walker,[1] the supreme court held that prisoners may not use a civil suit for damages to attack the validity of their criminal convictions or sentences.  After trial, Patterson was convicted of seven counts of possession of child pornography.  Two years later, Patterson filed a 121-page civil complaint alleging that various state actors Continue Reading »

Atkins v. Intel Transportation & Taxi Service, Inc.

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Atkins v. Intel Transportation & Taxi Service, Inc.,[1] the supreme court held a claimant who fails to obtain written approval from his employer or the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Benefits Guaranty Fund (“The Fund”) before settling a personal-injury claim against a third party, as required by Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act, cannot seek workers’ compensation.  In Continue Reading »

Sleeper v. URS Midwest

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Sleeper v. URS Midwest,[1] the district court held that the Alaska Wage and Hour Act (AWHA) is not preempted by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Sleeper was employed by URS as a truck driver.  Sleeper claimed that during his employment, URS failed to pay him overtime and illegally deducted pay he earned.  As Continue Reading »

Griswold v. Homer City Council

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Griswold v. Homer City Council,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that the attorney-client and work-product privileges are state law exceptions to section 40.25.120 of the Alaska Statutes (the Alaska Public Records Act), and that communications between members of quasi-judicial bodies and their supporting staff are protected by deliberative process privilege.  After a decision by Continue Reading »

Geldermann v. Geldermann

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Geldermann v. Geldermann,[1] the supreme court held that a superior court may sua sponte modify child support and custody agreements without a formal motion on the matter so long as both parties have sufficient opportunity to be heard and actual notice that modification may be at issue.  After divorcing in 2011, Darcy and Matthew Continue Reading »

Mat-Su Valley Medical Center, LLC v. Bolinger

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Mat-Su Valley Medical Center, LLC v. Bolinger,[1] the Supreme Court held that the medical peer review privilege of section 18.23.030 of the Alaska Statutes protects complaint-related materials contained in peer review committee files, even if the materials originated outside the peer review process.[2]  A hospital invoked the peer review privilege in two separate actions, Continue Reading »

Lum v. Koles

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Lum v. Koles,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that in opposing a motion for summary judgment, a plaintiff may overcome the defense of qualified immunity, under section 09.65.070(d)(2) of the Alaska Statutes, when the record contains at least some objective evidence capable of supporting an inference of malice.  Qualified immunity grants municipal employees Continue Reading »

City of Kodiak v. Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corp.

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In City of Kodiak v. Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corp.,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that courts may not award full attorneys’ fees under section 09.60.0101 of the Alaska Statutes unless a claimant raises a constitutional issue in their complaint or similar claim for relief.  In September 2015, the Kodiak Police Department reportedly used excessive Continue Reading »

Year In Review

Dickson v. State, Department of Natural Resources

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Dickson v. State, Department of Natural Resources,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that RS 2477 rights of travel allow for public access to federal land intended for non-public use.  In 1958, Benjamin Cowart homesteaded 160 acres, across the southern part of which his neighbor built Homestead Road without permission.  The public began using Continue Reading »

Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H.

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In the Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H.[1] the supreme court held that an adoption decree is voidable when based on material misrepresentation.  Two young siblings, Simon and Ellie,[2] were removed from their parents’ home and placed with a foster family, but maintained a relationship with their maternal grandparents.  While Simon and Ellie Continue Reading »

Patterson v. Walker

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Patterson v. Walker,[1] the supreme court held that prisoners may not use a civil suit for damages to attack the validity of their criminal convictions or sentences.  After trial, Patterson was convicted of seven counts of possession of child pornography.  Two years later, Patterson filed a 121-page civil complaint alleging that various state actors Continue Reading »

Atkins v. Intel Transportation & Taxi Service, Inc.

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Atkins v. Intel Transportation & Taxi Service, Inc.,[1] the supreme court held a claimant who fails to obtain written approval from his employer or the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Benefits Guaranty Fund (“The Fund”) before settling a personal-injury claim against a third party, as required by Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act, cannot seek workers’ compensation.  In Continue Reading »

Sleeper v. URS Midwest

Posted on March 20th, 2019

In Sleeper v. URS Midwest,[1] the district court held that the Alaska Wage and Hour Act (AWHA) is not preempted by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Sleeper was employed by URS as a truck driver.  Sleeper claimed that during his employment, URS failed to pay him overtime and illegally deducted pay he earned.  As Continue Reading »

Griswold v. Homer City Council

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Griswold v. Homer City Council,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that the attorney-client and work-product privileges are state law exceptions to section 40.25.120 of the Alaska Statutes (the Alaska Public Records Act), and that communications between members of quasi-judicial bodies and their supporting staff are protected by deliberative process privilege.  After a decision by Continue Reading »

Geldermann v. Geldermann

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Geldermann v. Geldermann,[1] the supreme court held that a superior court may sua sponte modify child support and custody agreements without a formal motion on the matter so long as both parties have sufficient opportunity to be heard and actual notice that modification may be at issue.  After divorcing in 2011, Darcy and Matthew Continue Reading »

Mat-Su Valley Medical Center, LLC v. Bolinger

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Mat-Su Valley Medical Center, LLC v. Bolinger,[1] the Supreme Court held that the medical peer review privilege of section 18.23.030 of the Alaska Statutes protects complaint-related materials contained in peer review committee files, even if the materials originated outside the peer review process.[2]  A hospital invoked the peer review privilege in two separate actions, Continue Reading »

Lum v. Koles

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In Lum v. Koles,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that in opposing a motion for summary judgment, a plaintiff may overcome the defense of qualified immunity, under section 09.65.070(d)(2) of the Alaska Statutes, when the record contains at least some objective evidence capable of supporting an inference of malice.  Qualified immunity grants municipal employees Continue Reading »

City of Kodiak v. Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corp.

Posted on February 27th, 2019

In City of Kodiak v. Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corp.,[1] the Supreme Court of Alaska held that courts may not award full attorneys’ fees under section 09.60.0101 of the Alaska Statutes unless a claimant raises a constitutional issue in their complaint or similar claim for relief.  In September 2015, the Kodiak Police Department reportedly used excessive Continue Reading »