News from Councilmember Randy Corman, your Renton City Hall insider. (All views expressed in journal entries are Randy Corman's personal views, and not the official position of the City of Renton or other city employees. Views expressed in reader comments are those of the commenter)

Dan Clawson ordered to pay $829.00 plus interest for his frivolous lawsuit

As readers know, former council member Dan Clawson’s frivolous and politically motivated lawsuit was resoundingly tossed out by King County Superior Court in December.

A few weeks ago, the judge ordered that Dan Clawson pay $829.00 plus 12 % interest for the trouble he caused us.

Some may say it should have been more, but at least it is MORE THAN DOUBLE the maximum fine that could have been collected in a legitimate Open Public Meeting Action against four defendants. And in addition to the $829.00, he also has lost his own billable time (he served as his own attorney) and legal out-of-pocket costs.

I think the Honorable Judge has made it clear to Dan Clawson that the Court and the Open Public Meetings Act are in place for serious business, not for abuse and manipulation in political campaigns.

Here is most of the text from the order (the actual documents are shown below):

CASE NO. 07-2-30322-7
Dan Clawson, Plaintiff vs. Randy Corman; Denis Law; Marcie Palmer; and Don Persson


Judgment Creditors: Randy Corman; Denis Law; Marcie Palmer; and Don Persson
Judgment Debtor: Dan Clawson
Total Judgment: $829.00
Judgment Interest Rate: 12% per annum

THIS MATTER came before the Honorable Mary Yu on December 12. 2008, on Defendants’ motion for Summary Judgement Under the Open Public Meetings Act. On that date, the Court entered an Order Granting Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgement Under the Open Public Meetings Act dismissing the cause of action in its entirety, with prejudice, and provided for entry of a Judgment in the City’s favor; now, therefore,

IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the City is granted judgment against Dan Clawson for statutory attorneys’ fees in the amount of $200.0, and statutory costs in the amount of $629.00.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the interest on the total judgment amount of $829.00 shall accrue at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of entry of this Judgment.

DONE IN OPEN COURT this 16th day of January, 2009.

Signed, Judge Mary Yu

Note that the Honorable Superior Court Judge in this case was voted Washington State Judge of the Year by the Washington chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and is highly respected for her fairness, wisdom, and patience. Read more about Judge Mary Yu here.

(For further background on this case, click on the “dan clawson” tag immediately below)


  1. Anonymous Anonymous
    February 6, 2009    

    in the December 17th post on this subject you wrote:

    “Latest estimates are that Dan cost the city about $43,000 in legal fees alone. We will be able to recover a small fraction of these costs, around $2000, from Dan as a result of the judge’s recent ruling. But the rest is lost funds, unless we find a way to counter-sue him for the waste.”

    So why did the judge only award the City $200 in attorney fees? Will the City be filing a complaint with the State Bar over his filing of a frivolous lawsuit?

  2. February 8, 2009    

    Aside from getting more per the pther comment, does this finally close this saga?

  3. February 10, 2009    

    Just think… that $829 represents over 25 Grover Hand Puppets and 38 quarts of Vaseline that he won’t get to buy. Don’t ask me how I know he buys these things, but I’m still traumatized too this day and I wont walk behind a circus elephant *EVER*

    (Note, this is satire Mr Lawsuit Dan)

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