The following are highlights from the KCBA Board of Trustees meetings held March 21 and April 18, and convened by KCBA President Joseph Bringman.
Bringman discussed his trip to Olympia with Executive Director Andy Prazuch and their meeting with Chief Justice Barbara Madsen regarding access to justice and civil legal aid issues; gave an overview of a KCBA book-signing event with author Ray Bonner; and reported on meetings regarding the Children and Family Justice Center. In addition, he noted that he was raising donations to support the votingforjudges.org website that KCBA helped launch under past President John Ruhl.
Prazuch gave an update on the KCBA elections, including the election for second vice president, and noting that no petitions were received to challenge the nominated candidates for any of the additional open positions, thus eliminating the need for elections for the trustee positions.
Prazuch also provided trustees with the membership report, which showed a final total of 5,462 KCBA members at the end of the March; new members for the remainder of the fiscal year are counted toward next year's totals.
Prazuch briefed the Board on his meetings with county officials regarding the plans for the proposed Children and Family Justice Center. Many observers believe the sales tax measure in 2010 to fund a new juvenile facility failed due to other unrelated items in the funding package. The county is now proposing a stand-alone ballot measure that has bipartisan support. By voice vote, the Board approved support for building a new Children and Family Justice Center.
Robert Wayne, Judiciary & Litigation Committee co-chair, directed the trustees to a proposed change in General Rule 30 dealing with electronic service by parties. After general discussion, the Board approved recommending to the Supreme Court that the rule be amended to allow for electronic service when electronic filing is required.
John Vaughey, Lawyer Referral Committee chair, and Christine Dreps, Lawyer Referral Service manager, briefed the trustees on the remaining recommendations outlined in the Lawyer Referral Task Force Report. Vaughey discussed changes made to the program rules and procedures, improvements in staff training, and the re-allocation of the marketing funds. Dreps reported on the staff's outreach to determine client and panel member satisfaction, the continued challenges with the database system, and future recommendations for staff support.
After discussion regarding the LRS fee-share structure, including comparison to comparable bars and the potential for attrition of panel members if an increase was proposed, the Board approved the Lawyer Referral Service Committee's recommendations to increase the fee share to 14% for all cases with net fees over $999 beginning July 1.
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