June 2014 Bar Bulletin
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KCBA Judiciary & Litigation Committee:A Chance To Improve Our Local Courts

By Lafcadio Darling andShawn Larsen-Bright


The Judiciary & Litigation Committee is one of the most active of the KCBA committees and offers a chance for members to get involved and have a tangible impact on trial practice in King County.

The Committee, for which we are co-chairs, works on its own and in conjunction with the various courts in King County to draft and implement rule changes, address problems faced by the bar and assist with the ongoing task of improving our courts. The Committee's work involves not only discussions and recommendations within KCBA, but also includes many opportunities to bring real-world problems and suggestions to judges, court administrators and policy makers.

One of the Committee's distinctive characteristics is its tradition of involving various members in advocacy, bench-bar dialogue and other important committee work. This has the dual effect of giving members a more meaningful experience and spreading the load so committee work does not become burdensome for individual members.

For example, the Committee recently appointed two of its non-chair members to work with the Superior Court judges on their ongoing project to shorten the civil case schedule. Both members who served in this liaison capacity advanced the Committee's work and also got the benefit of working alongside our judges on this project, which they reported as very rewarding.

Other recent projects include suggesting and commenting on changes to the King County Local Rules, spearheading the Early Mediation Pilot Project in Superior Court and taking part in the Superior Court's electronic filing and document management updates. In each respect, Committee members were able to participate in suggesting, implementing or changing reforms to the courts and trial practice in King County.

The Committee is also very responsive to the concerns and views of its members and has a history of taking input and suggestions from all sources. We consider a variety of proposals on a variety of topics and, in fact, welcome diverse suggestions.

If you have a strong view on how we can improve our courts, rules or trial practice, this Committee is a great place to go. Committee members also have opportunities to participate in the annual KCBA Bench-Bar Conference where they work with the judges and serve on conference panels.

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