At the Court of Appeals: Satterlee House case arguments

Almost 20 years in Seattle news, and there’s always a first. Today: Our first time in the 1st Division, Washington Court of Appeals, 2nd-highest court in the state, which hears cases at One Union Square downtown. satterleelawn.jpgThe case to be argued within the next hour or so: Satterlee House owner William Conner‘s appeal of a King County Superior Court ruling last October (WSB coverage here) upholding the city decision in April 2008 (WSB coverage here) not to let him proceed with a specific proposal for three 2,000-ish-square-foot homes on the lawn of the Beach Drive house also known as “The Painted Lady” (photo left). We do not have permission to photograph here but can tell you by means of scene-setting: This is homier than the usual courtroom; the gallery where lawyers and spectators are sitting has padded bench seating and windows with natural light. Two cases are on the docket before Conner’s lawyer Richard Hill and city lawyer Judy Barbour – who have been on this case all along – get their turn before the panel of three judges, who are sitting in a raised area reminiscent of City Council chambers. (Both already are here – Hill with Conner – seated, waiting, on opposite sides of the courtroom.) Each side in each case gets 10 minutes for their oral arguments – and there’s no messing around – there’s a digital countdown clock, illuminated in red, in front of where the lawyers stand, and once a lawyer begins, it counts down from 10:00. (Of course, plenty of written casework has been submitted well in advance; this is a supplement to that, and a chance for the judges to ask questions, as we are seeing with the first case under way here this morning.) We’ll report later on what’s said here, and what happens next; the audio from the hearing also should be posted later here. 11 AM UPDATE: Arguments were over by 10:30; full story to come – no rulings today – will be checking on a likely timeframe.

2 Replies to "At the Court of Appeals: Satterlee House case arguments"

  • bridge to somewhere June 10, 2009 (10:56 am)

    thanks for painting the courtroom picture – a digital timer? Seems more game show than courtroom!

  • old timer June 10, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    All of life reduced to sound bites of various lengths.
    What have we become?

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