August 2012 Bar Bulletin
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Business of the Board

Board Rejects Amendment to Judicial Endorsement Policy



The following are highlights from the King County Bar Association's Board of Trustees meeting held June 20 and convened by outgoing KCBA President Joseph Bringman, who was presiding over his last meeting of the Board.

Court of Appeals Judge Ronald Cox briefed the trustees on his perspective of the proposed changes to the Judicial Endorsement Policy, including his report from the recent breakfast for KCBA and King County Bar Foundation past-presidents, where there was a sense that KCBA should retain the existing policy. The following amendment to the existing policy was then moved by Trustee Frederick Rivera and seconded:

An officer or trustee may endorse or make contributions otherwise prohibited by this policy if they first disclose intent to endorse or contribute, and if they recuse themselves from all matters before the board or Judicial Screening Committee and the Fair Campaign Practices Committee.

Trustees then considered the proposed amendment at length. Among the many points considered were whether there would be an appearance of conflicts of interest under the amendment, and whether modifying the policy would impact the ability of the Board to continue attracting high-caliber trustees in the future. Once the discussion ended, the Board voted 6-4 against the proposed amendment, retaining the current policy.

In other business, Bringman presented highlights from the Annual Dinner celebration the night before and congratulated Judge Cox on receiving the award for Outstanding Judge. He reported that the KCBA Executive Committee met with officers and King County representatives from WSBA's Board of Governors; the main item of discussion was the pending changes resulting from the WSBA's license fee referendum in which members voted to reduce the annual membership fee. Bringman also thanked the trustees who attended the recent swearing-in ceremonies for newly admitted attorneys.

Executive Director Andrew Prazuch reported average, but enthusiastic attendance at the Annual Dinner, with sponsorships slightly down from last year's 125th-anniversary high. He mentioned the membership renewal forms were at the printer and would be arriving in mailboxes by the end of June. He briefed the trustees on judicial election activities, including the status of judicial screenings (ratings), fair campaign practice pledges, and plans for judicial candidate forums with candidates for King County Superior Court and the Washington Supreme Court.

Prazuch also encouraged the trustees to support the Children & Family Justice Center ballot measure (for more on this measure, please see Prazuch's column on page 3 of this issue), and reported that problems with KCBA's Internet provider have been resolved, thus allowing the Association to return to streaming section meetings.

Bringman directed the Board's attention to the draft annual plan and budget, first reviewed by the board at its May meeting. He asked Prazuch to provide highlights. Discussion followed and the Board approved the FY2013 Annual Plan and Budget as presented by voice vote.

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