All posts by Beth Lord

Seiniger Works with Coalition for BCSD Accountability to Combat Overcharges

Breck Seiniger donates time to help Coalition for BCSD Accountability fight excessive charges

Breck Seiniger is credited for helping the Coalition for BCSD (Blaine County School District) Accountability address excessive fees they were charged by the School District for a records request. The District charged the Coalition $3,210 for 704 public emails which was more than allowed by law. Seiniger is mentioned in a Mountain Express newspaper article by Madelyn Beck, published Feb 15, 2017.Find Beck’s article here.

Seiniger Law did about half of the work pro-bono, helping this small group of citizens reduce the expenses they incurred to make the School District follow state law regarding making public records available to the public.

Seiniger Law Adds Civil Litigation Mediation Services to Personal Injury Practice

Civil Litigation Mediation Services – A Better Path to Resolution

Seiniger Law has opened a civil litigation mediation services center in Downtown  Boise, Idaho.  Seiniger is an experienced litigator who is also trained in mediation.  The mediation center helps clients find alternative solutions for peaceful resolution of their civil cases.

Mediation Services
There are many pathways to resolving your case. We work with you to find the best path for your situation.

Seiniger Responds to West Ada Class Fees Issue

Breck Seiniger Responds to Unconstitutional Class Fee Charges

William Breck Seiniger, general counsel for West Ada School District in Boise, Idaho, recently weighed in on the issue of charging students for class fees in courses that count toward graduation.

The fees were ruled unconstitutional last November by a district judge during a 3-year old lawsuit brought by Russell Joki.

Seiniger is quoted as saying, “Though the ruling didn’t order the district to slash the fees, the intent of the law is clear.”

The school board voted 4-1 to eliminate the fees.

Read more in the Meridian Press.

 

 

Seiniger Explains 2014 ISC Candidacy

From the Seiniger for Idaho Supreme Court website – this is a letter sent following the Feb 26, 2014 Seiniger for ISC campaign announcement 

Dear Fellow Idahoan,

I am running to succeed Joel Horton on the Idaho Supreme Court. The election is on May 20, 2014. I am a solo practitioner who has represented Idaho’s private citizens for over three decades. I have the highest rating for legal ability and integrity awarded to lawyers, and have bee listed for many years in Best Lawyers in America. My solo law practice has a Tier 1 listing in US News Best Law Firms in America. My wife is also an attorney. We have three grown children, all born in Nampa, and a twelve-year old daughter whom we adopted from China. You can obtain information on my background by clicking on my website www.seinigerlaw.com or my LinkedIn profile.

Balance must be restored on the Idaho Supreme Court
Seiniger for ISC
Campaign Ad for Seiniger for ISC 2014

For a long time, I have been concerned that the political appointment process has resulted in a lack of balance on Idaho’s Supreme Court. I believe that the perspective of Idaho’s Supreme Court does not include the full spectrum of Idaho’s talented Bar or the vast majority of lawyers who represent the vast majority of clients. Achieving balance in the composition of the Idaho Supreme Court is the primary issue upon which I am basing my campaign.

Justice Horton and “Advocacy for Special Interests”

Justice Horton issued a news release last week announcing that he is running for re-election. He stated, “The Idaho Supreme Court is no place for self-appointed advocates for special interests.” Indeed, I agree that advocacy for special interests, or even the appearance of it, must not be tolerated on the Idaho Supreme Court. Justice Horton went on to claim that he has a 20-year history of impartiality as a judge. Since Justice Horton has chosen to make impartiality an issue in this race, let me share with you Greg Obendorf’s story. In 2008, Idaho Supreme Court Just Joel Horton was in another very tight race for re-election. (Justice Horton ultimately won that race by a razor thin (.02%) margin of 253 votes). During this time, the Idaho Supreme court deliberated on an appeal filed by J.R. Simplot, Co. to overturn a Canyon County jury’s $2,435,906 verdict in favor of a group of Idaho farmers, including Mr. Obendorf, and against Simplot. While the Obendorf case was under deliberation, Justice Horton appointed one of Simplot’s in-house attorneys as his political treasurer. After doing so, not only did Justice Horton fully participate in the Idaho Supreme Court deliberations on this case, he wrote the opinion which resulted in all of the damages by the jury were taken away, and the case being sent back for re-trial. Justice Horton’s opinion in favor of Simplot was issued on May 1, 2008 and Justice Horton was re-elected on May 20, 2008. Our justice system only succeeds when people have full confidence in the impartiality and fairness of the judges.” A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety.”  (See, Idaho Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 2 and comments.) By participating in the deliberations on this case AND writing the majority decision, Horton gave the appearance that the integrity of the Idaho Supreme Court was severely compromised. Justices are expected to identify any conflict of interest — or the appearance of any conflict of interest — that may cause them to be biased — or appear biased — while deciding a case and voluntarily recuse themselves from the case.

Why this election is so important

At a time when justices of the Idaho Supreme Court are trading accusations of “scurrilous and unfounded personal attacks,” lying, falsification of the record, lacking integrity, and deciding cases based on who they want to win, it is more important than ever to have Supreme Court Justices who honor and respect fairness and impartiality, and who conduct themselves with the highest levels of integrity. I believe that the Obendorf case shows just how out-of-touch a career government employee/judge like Justice Horton can get. Either Justice Horton did not even recognize the appearance of impropriety, or he simply chose to disregard the rule requiring him to withdraw from participating in deciding the case.

ITLA Roasts Seiniger

IMG_3579ITLA Celebrates Breck Seiniger at Annual Affair

This year’s ITLA, Idaho Trial Lawyers Association dinner celebrates the dedication, service and excellence of one of Boise’s top trial stars, Breck Seiniger.

The Yin Yang Affair, held February 22, 2013, in Downtown Boise featured a “roast” of two of the ITLA’s favorite trial lawyers, Nick Crawford and Breck Seiniger.

Surrounded by his peers, both Breck and Nick enjoyed the ribbing and fun as well as the more serious moments of praise and affection that were handed down during the celebration.

 

Seiniger Recognized by “Best Lawyers in America”

Industry Award Goes to Breck Seiniger

As published in the Idaho Statesman on Saturday, September 23, 2006 recognizing him within the Boise business community.

Publisher “Best Lawyers in America” has selected William Breck Seiniger, Jr for its biennial listings. The referral guide to the legal profession announced that Seiniger has been chosen by his fellow attorneys in the category of employee benefits law.

Seiniger has been practicing employment, personal injury, and workers’ compensation law in Idaho since 1979. He is an honors graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Idaho College of Law. He previously received the highest peer-review rating from industry leader Martindale-Hubbell, and is a recipient of the Idaho State Bar’s award for outstanding service to the profession.

Criticizing Judiciary

Seiniger Weighs in on Criticizing Judiciary

Attorney’s Should be Allowed to Freely Criticize Judiciary

This article was an editorial submission to the Idaho Stateman published on Friday, February 7, 2003

Judicial independence has become a hot topic in Idaho and across the nation. Respecting the free speech rights of lawyers and adopting rules for the disqualification of justices who appear to lack impartiality are the surest means of reinforcing judicial independence.

The US Supreme Court recently held that rules prohibiting judicial candidates from announcing positions on issues they might decide as judges violated the First Amendment. That decision, the skyrocketing cost of campaigns, the growing influence of soft money promoting candidates linked to issues, and the inherent sensationalism of electronic media combine to pressure judicial candidates to pander to the agendas of special interest groups.

The remedy some suggest, public judicial campaign financing, is unlikely to be effective. Public financing will not keep pace with private financing, and it is unlikely that a candidate could receive funds without the eventual imposition of some form of content-based censorship.

Fortunately, the judiciary is in a unique position to neutralize this threat to its independence. Unlike the executive and legislative branches, the judiciary has a means of preserving actual and perceived impartiality. Idaho’s Constitution speaks of the disqualification of members of the Supreme Court, though it has no procedural rules for disqualification by parties. Even federal judges appointed for life are required by statute to disqualify themselves when there is an appearance of lack of impartiality.

Just as parties have a right to disqualify a trial judge to ensure impartiality, parties on appeal should have the right to disqualify appellate justices if 1) a justice has made an extra-judicial statement of position on an issue in the case before him or her, or 2) if a justice was supported publicly, directly or indirectly, in a bid for office by an issue-focused group or media campaign suggesting that the justice would be likely to vote in favor of a particular position. Then special interest and issue-focused media campaigns would elect only justices destined to be disqualified on cases involving that issue. Judicial candidates who pander to special interests by making statements evidencing a lack of neutrality would simply be disqualified. The Idaho Supreme Court should quickly adopt rules for the automatic disqualification of justices under circumstances linking them to special interests and issues.

Our judiciary also needs to grant lawyers the same right of free speech regarding judicial candidates enjoyed by other citizens. An Idaho Supreme Court decision essentially keeps lawyers from stating opinions as to the political motivations of a judge unless such motivation has been admitted.

A layer was sanctioned for stating he believed that two judges’ decisions differed from another since one “wasn’t worried about the political ramifications.”

That was held to insinuate that the lawyer had knowledge of facts in the two cases and that one judge based his decision on “completely irrelevant and improper considerations,” – thereby impugning the judge’s integrity. The court held that the statement was false and not protected by the First Amendment, since it was agreed that the judge would have denied the charge under oath, and the lawyer had no proof to the contrary.

The public deserves to hear the candid opinions of lawyers familiar with judicial candidates concerning matters of character as well as legal scholarship. At present, lawyers who publicly draw such inferences risk their license. That flies in the face of common sense. If we truly believed that judges were capable of deciding cases without consideration the political ramifications, there would not be a nation-wide debate on judicial independence, or the debates that surround US Supreme Court appointments.

Automatic disqualification of judicial candidates who allow themselves to be linked to special interests and unmuzzling their most knowledgeable critics is the surest road to an independent judiciary.

Seiniger Named Preeminent Lawyer

Marindale-Hubbell Gives Seiniger Top AV Rating

Breck Seiniger received an AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review by members of the Bar. Identified as having very high to preeminent legal ability, Mr. Seiniger was recognized for his expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence.