March 2013 Bar Bulletin
 
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Business of the Board

Board Expresses Concern over Public Defense Plan

 

 

The following are highlights from the KCBA Board of Trustees meeting held on January 16 and convened by KCBA President Richard Mitchell.

Dave Chapman, director of the Office of Public Defense, informed the trustees of the County's proposed creation of a public defense agency within the Executive branch as a result of the Dolan litigation. (Please see page 3.) He specified the County's proposal supports the following core values: (1) independence from political influence; (2) support for a quality workforce and performance; and (3) getting the most value, efficiency and accountability for the public.

Eileen Farley, executive director for the Northwest Defenders Association, presented the association's perspective that the Dolan litigation is not intended to force a change to the independent structure of the current system. She presented the defense agencies' concerns regarding the loss of independence, concerns for handling conflicts of interest, and disruption to the system considering the shortened timeline the County is proposing. After discussion, the Board approved a resolution regarding KCBA's concerns about public defense restructuring by voice vote with four abstentions.

Andrew Maron, chair of KCBA's Public Policy Committee, briefed the trustees on the committee's work and member Karen Murray directed the trustees' attention to a proposed resolution adopted by the committee calling for the abolition of the death penalty. After discussion and amendments to the proposal, the Board by voice vote approved a final resolution calling for the abolition of the death penalty. A copy of the resolution is online at www.kcba.org/deathpenalty.

Executive Director Andrew Prazuch briefed the trustees about a protest that was to be held outside the Seattle Sheraton during the January 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon and discussed planned safety measures. He also encouraged trustees to attend the annual Legal Foundation of Washington's Goldmark Luncheon in February.

Treasurer Pamela Grinter provided an overview of the November 30, 2012 financial statements. Total cash, equivalents, and intra-company transfers are $1.3 million with $111,000 in liabilities; the reserve fund is at $647,000. She also noted revenue for CLE programs and lawyer referral is below projections and that we are beginning an in-depth look into the numbers. Associate Executive Dir­ec­tor Kathleen Jensen gave an overview of membership statistics and Young Lawyers Division Chair David Keenan briefed the trustees on the new mentoring program between the ad hoc BOLD division for senior lawyers and the YLD. He also encouraged trustees to attend the February 7 Winter Blitz event where the YLD presented its Outstand­ing Mentor Awards. (Please see page 24.)

 

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