July 2013 Bar Bulletin
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Business of the Board

Board Adopts Resolution on Advice Regarding Legal Marijuana



The following are highlights from the KCBA Board of Trustees' meetings held on April 17 and May 15, and convened by KCBA President Richard Mitchell.

American Bar Association Delegate Thomas Fitzpatrick presented a resolution to be submitted for consideration by the ABA House of Delegates that addresses the ethical and disciplinary issues for lawyers who are called upon to assist clients and governments to implement legal marijuana changes in states such as Washington where the use of marijuana has been legalized. After discussion, the Board approved the following resolution by voice vote with one abstention:

Resolved that the American Bar Association urges lawyer disciplinary agencies not to take disciplinary action against lawyers for counseling and assisting clients to comply with state and territorial laws legalizing the possession and use of marijuana.

Fitzpatrick will transmit the KCBA proposed resolution to various ABA entities and the Washington State Bar Association with the goal of gaining supporters before the August ABA Annual Meeting.

Trustee Kaustuv M. Das directed the trustees' attention to the proposed changes for the Judicial Screening Committee Rules and Procedures. Additionally, he reported on the feedback he had received from board members and co-chairs Aaron Rocke and Erin Overbey. By voice vote, with two abstentions, the Board approved the revisions to the Rules and Procedures and the change of the committee's name to the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee. Please see the June issue of the Bar Bulletin for more details - "KCBA Strengthens Judicial Candidate Evaluation Rules," page 19; https://www.kcba.org/newsevents/barbulletin/BView.aspx?Month=06&Year=2013&AID=article18.htm.

Karen Orehoski, KCBA Membership Committee chair, presented the committee's recommendation for an increase in the annual membership dues for regular and associate members. She reported that since KCBA's last dues increase in 2010, membership revenues have remained consistent but non-dues revenue has continued to be inconsistent or has declined.

She explained that more consistent revenue is needed to provide continued investment in important KCBA programs such as pro bono services, diversity efforts and young lawyer support. Orehoski reviewed the Membership Committee's analysis in support of the increase, including an evaluation of comparable metropolitan bar dues and specialty bar dues in Washington. After discussion regarding the proposal, the Board approved a new regular dues rate of $235, effective with the 2013–14 membership year.

Executive Director Andrew Prazuch gave an overview of the proposed FY2014 Annual Plan and Budget. Key areas of the work plan include:

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