Legal news and analysis from the largest criminal defense firm in Southwest Washington, Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.

Lawhon wins DV assault trial

Attorney Andrew Lawhon won a trial this week in Clark County District Court for a client accused of domestic violence assault.

To hear the alleged victim’s 911 call, the case seemed solid for the prosecution: The woman sounded as if she was hyperventilating as she hysterically cried for help.

But hearing the whole story, as Lawhon told jurors during closing arguments of the Sept. 24 trial, recalled the idiom, “there’s no use in crying over spilled milk.”

In this case, swap cold coffee for milk.

Yes, the woman called 911 because her husband spilled cold coffee on her. He maintained it was an accident when he gestured with a cup in his hand.

The six-member jury deliberated approximately 30 minutes before returning the not-guilty verdict.

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Liss wins acquittal on reckless endangerment charge

Attorney Stephen Liss won a partial victory this month for a client charged with endangering her child by driving after drinking and getting into an accident.

On Sept. 16, a jury in Clark County District Court found his client not guilty of reckless endangerment following a one-day trial.

The jurors said they could not reach a unanimous decision on a charge of DUI. Jurors did convict the client of hit-and-run, one of the three misdemeanor charges she faced.

The acquittal on reckless endangerment was a key victory, as the client’s arrest on that charge led to a fight to keep custody of her daughter.

The charges stemmed from an incident on March 31, 2019, when the client was driving and rear-ended a truck that had been stopped at a light waiting to make a left turn. The client’s car slid under the truck’s bumper and sustained more damage than the truck.

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COVID-19 update

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 -

Our office remains closed to the public until further notice. If you need to speak to an attorney, please call our office at 360-906-7234. You may also find your attorney's email address if you click on the "clients" heading. Some of our attorneys are working from home but are available by email. 

Clark County Superior Court has issued this emergency order that details significant changes to the courts on pages 3-5. (UPDATE - This March 18, 2020 revised order has a more extensive list of canceled Superior Court dockets.) 

For information about Clark County District Court, read this announcment, which reads, in part, "All out of custody criminal dockets are cancelled. All trials are continued until after April 30, 2020. Defendants will receive notice of their rescheduled court date by mail."

Again, if you have any questions please call our office. 

Thank you,

Barrar Law



COVID-19 closures


Monday, March 16, 2020

Our office is closed to the public until further notice.

If you need to speak to your attorney, please call our office at 360-906-7234. 

Both Clark County District Court and Superior Court have been canceling some dockets. Please check the District Court and Superior Court websites for the latest information.  

If your court date has been canceled, your attorney will let you know when it is rescheduled. Please make sure your attorney has your current contact information. 

Again, please call our office with any questions. 

Thank you,

Barrar Law


Tucker wins acquittal in domestic violence case

Attorney Koji “Ricky” Tucker won a trial last week for a client charged with misdemeanor domestic violence assault and making a false statement.

A deputy prosecuting attorney went ahead with the March 6 trial in Clark County District Court despite the fact only two witnesses, both law enforcement officers, showed up to testify.  

The alleged victim, the client’s wife, didn’t show up.

The charges stemmed from last summer, when one of the couple’s children called 911 and said his father was hitting his mother. Another child, 10, told a responding officer from the Vancouver Police Department that she’d walked by her parents’ closed bedroom door and heard them fighting. She said she’d heard her father hit her mother.

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Kauffman's client acquitted of vehicular assault

Katie Kauffman won a not-guilty verdict this week for a client charged with vehicular assault, a Class B felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Kauffman’s client, who has no criminal history, likely would have received a much shorter sentence had he been convicted but a conviction would have cost him his job as a commercial driver.

While the Clark County Superior Court jury acquitted Kauffman’s client, they returned a guilty verdict for a co-defendant whom Kauffman argued was the one at fault even though he escaped unscathed from the 2018 traffic accident.

Kauffman was assisted at trial by attorney Gregger Highberg. The trial lasted four days. Jurors deliberated approximately three hours before reaching the verdicts on Feb. 13.

The charges stemmed from a Sept. 14, 2018, accident on Interstate 205. Kauffman’s client testified he was driving home from work in his 2003 Acura RSX. When he entered the northbound on-ramp to I-205 from westbound Padden Parkway there was a large red truck – a Dodge Ram 3500 -- following too close.

As he told Washington State Patrol officers who investigated the accident, he told jurors he tapped his brakes twice to try and signal to the truck driver to back off. Witnesses testified that not only did the truck driver not back off, he tried going around the Acura to pass it on the shoulder of the one-lane on-ramp.

Kauffman’s client said he felt as though he was being forced off the road. He lost control of his Acura. His sedan flew through the wooded median onto I-205, where it was hit by a northbound motorcyclist.

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Meyer's client acquitted of assaulting father

Attorney Zeed Meyer won a not-guilty verdict on Jan. 22 in Clark County District Court for a client accused of assaulting his estranged father.

Meyer’s client called 911 on July 18 to report that his father had punched him in the face and broke his nose. Three officers from the Vancouver Police Department responded and determined the client was the aggressor after questioning the client, his father and his father’s long-term girlfriend.

The client was arrested for assault in the fourth degree, domestic violence. The gross misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.

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Anderson gets another "third strike" dismissed

Prosecutors dismissed a potential “third strike” case this month that attorney Neil Anderson had been preparing to take to trial.

A Clark County deputy prosecutor acknowledged at a Jan. 2 pre-trial hearing that she did not have enough evidence to prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt. She dismissed a charge of second-degree kidnapping domestic violence, a felony.

Had Anderson’s client been convicted, he would have faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison under the state’s “three strikes and you’re out” law for serious, violent crimes.

Anderson’s client was arrested by Vancouver police officers on Nov. 1 and booked into the Clark County Jail, where he remained – unable to afford to post bail – for two months until his case was dismissed.

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Spencer wins acquittal in DV assault

Attorney Marina Spencer won a trial this week for a client accused of domestic violence assault.

A jury deliberated approximately 25 minutes before delivering the not-guilty verdict Nov. 6 in Clark County District Court.

Assault in the fourth degree, a gross misdemeanor, is punishable by up to one year in jail.

In May, the alleged victim called 911 and said she’d been assaulted by her boyfriend. She told responding deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office that she and our client got into an argument over a marijuana grinder.

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Anderson wins assault trial

Attorney Neil Anderson won a misdemeanor assault trial this week for a client accused of hitting a stranger with a metal rod.

Jurors deliberated about 30 minutes on Oct. 16 in Clark County District Court before returning the “not guilty” verdict.

The client was convicted of misdemeanor bail jump for missing a scheduled pre-trial hearing. He received credit for the time he spent in jail following his arrest.

Had he been convicted of assault, he faced up to one year in jail.

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Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
Vancouver Defenders