September 2014 Bar Bulletin
Ten Things You Really Should Know about KCBA
We lawyers inhabit an antediluvian world where we struggle to limbo under the 50-page limit for an appellate brief. Meanwhile, the post-flood planet is moving history 140 characters at a time.
Even venerable print media seek to hang onto their readers with factoids, lists and graphics. Not to worry, our Bar Bulletin will continue to solicit and publish thoughtful, substantive articles. But the dog days of August, as I write this column, seem like the right time to dip a toe into the tweet-us-phere. Accordingly, I asked KCBA's hard-working committee and section chairs to help compile this list of 10 things you might not - but really should - know about our Association.
- Campaign Complaints: The Fair Campaign Practices Committee reviews complaints filed against King County judicial candidates. The Committee investigates and works to positively resolve campaign issues that could reflect poorly on the judiciary. Want to help assure that the public has accurate information and that judicial campaigns are fair and honest? Contact Committee Chair Kinnon Williams to volunteer.
- Land Use and Environmental Section: The Section's business meetings, CLE programs and social events allow members to discuss recent legal developments, provide a "sounding board" for practice-related matters, and - best of all - get to know fellow practitioners. Expand your rolodex - and maybe even get to know law students and younger attorneys who have no clue what a rolodex is. Contact Committee Chair Carly Summers for more information.
- King County Bar Foundation: KCBF President Derek Crick reports that the Foundation had a tremendous year - successfully completing its 125th Anniversary Endowment Campaign ($1.1 million raised); raising $311,000 plus at its Breakfast With Champions (mark your calendar to attend the Breakfast on March 26, 2015, at the Sheraton); and celebrating nine years working with LAW Fund on the combined King County Law Firm Campaign for Equal Justice, which has brought in $560,000 to date. Your generous support ensures equal access to justice and diversity in the legal profession.
- Public Policy: The Public Policy Committee's "Referendum and Initiative Project" has a dozen members studying how our state's ballot measure process is (or maybe is not) working. They've drafted a white paper and are conducting study sessions with experts from across the country, with an eye toward making recommendations for improvements that will be presented to the Board of Trustees in 2015.
- Judicial Conferencing: After being re-booted in 2011, the Judicial Conferencing Committee has provided confidential, individualized feedback to more than half the judges on the King County Superior Court bench. Co-chairs Raegen Rasnic and Kinnon Williams offer heartfelt thanks to their tireless committee members, as well as the hundreds of attorneys who take time to supply the information that allows the Committee to provide this invaluable service to the Court.
- Labor and Employment Law Section: The Section planned and hosted the 47th Annual Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference in May. This two-day conference featured nationally recognized speakers and registered more than 300 attendees from 12 different states. The Section also supports UW and SU law students by funding two summer clerkships and by awarding Mary Ellen Krug Scholarships to three crackerjack students who are planning careers in labor and employment law. Contact Chair Joyce Thomas to get involved.
- Judiciary and Litigation: This Committee conducts an ongoing review of King County Superior Court local rules, providing the Court with recommendations for improvements and clarifications based on KCBA member input. Have ideas? Contact Co-chairs Lafcadio Darling or Brett Hill.
- Paying It Forward: KCBA's Diversity Committee oversees the bar's Minority Law Student Scholarship Program. It is chaired this year by Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi - a past scholarship recipient himself.
- Judicial Candidate Evaluation: With some 90 members overall, our Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee is a whopper. At least 12 panel members evaluate each judicial candidate, conducting on average 60 reference checks before interviewing the candidate for a rating. Whew!
- Doing Good: KCBA continues to be a leader in our state in getting legal services to those who most need them. Our Pro Bono Services Committee monitors more than 40 neighborhood and courthouse legal clinics that KCBA organizes each month, with more than 1,300 volunteer lawyers serving some 10,000 economically disadvantaged county residents each and every year.
And what the heck. If 10 is good, how about No. 11:
- Your Turn: The Bar Bulletin is a great source of information about what is happening in KCBA, plus insightful articles about the law and how it affects KCBA members. The theme for each month is published in advance and we love it when members contribute articles on each theme. Contact Committee Chair Karen Sutherland or Editor Gene Barton for details.
That is just the tip of KCBA's 5,500-member-strong iceberg. Get more out of your association membership by getting involved!
KCBA President Steve Rovig is a principal with Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson P.S. where his practice emphasizes commercial real estate. Rovig can be reached at email@example.com or 206-470-7620.