Aug. 20-21, 2021
The WSBA Board of Governors determines the Bar’s general policies and approves its annual budget.
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TOP MEETING TAKEAWAYS
New WSBA Leadership. Congratulations to new WSBA Treasurer Bryn Peterson (District 9 governor), who began his term at the start of the new fiscal year in October. Also, District 7-South Governor-Elect Serena Sayani was sworn in a month ahead of schedule as Governor Jean Kang resigned to continue to focus on family during the pandemic.
Vaccinations. The Board of Governors passed a COVID-19 policy—applicable to itself and other WSBA volunteers—that requires vaccinations for anyone doing in-person work as a WSBA volunteer or representative, as aligned with the Washington Supreme Court’s recent order. The WSBA executive director is likewise implementing a vaccination requirement for WSBA staff. More details will be available soon about implementation. The Board noted that, with passage of this policy, the WSBA has a duty to continue to provide volunteers with robust options for virtual participation. Read the policy at: https://bit.ly/3yAu4GG.
2023 License Fees. The Board voted to maintain license fees at the current rate for all license types for 2023. The Supreme Court will review the license fee for reasonableness and may modify the license fee if it determines it is not reasonable. The Board voted previously not to increase license fees for 2022.
Free Legal Research Tool. Reminder: The two legal research platforms to which WSBA members have had access as a free member benefit—Casemaker and Fastcase—merged in January under the Fastcase umbrella. As of Oct. 15, Fastcase remains as the free legal research tool available to members. If you have questions about the transition, contact Fastcase at 866-773-2782 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions for the WSBA, contact email@example.com.
The Board also:
- Held a roundtable discussion with the Idaho State Bar Board of Commissioners to talk about topics of mutual interest such as malpractice insurance requirements, federal lawsuits affecting integrated bars, access to justice, governance models, and the need for lawyers in rural areas.
- Looked at the in-progress 2021-22 WSBA budget, to be presented for approval—after another Budget and Audit meeting with updated financial information—at the September Board meeting.
- Approved funding to install secure-access glass doors at the entrance to the public floor at the WSBA offices for the safety of employees, members, and volunteers.
- Heard a high-level report regarding a climate and culture survey of the WSBA’s employees; the Board then focused on one of the recommendations in the report: clarifying its governance operating mode—specifically, agreeing on the roles and responsibilities for the WSBA Board of Governors and its officers.
- Approved the Council on Public Defense’s comment to the Washington Supreme Court supporting proposed amendments to CrR 3.1 and CrR 7.8. The Council believes the proposed rules will result in greater access to justice and assist in the proportionate administration of the public defense function throughout the state.
- Heard a presentation from the WSBA Court Rules and Procedures Committee.
- Heard from a member urging adoption of a policy to require the disclosure of pro tempore judicial service as a potential conflict of interest for those sitting on the WSBA Board of Governors. Such a policy was scheduled to be considered by the Board at its September meeting.
The agenda, materials, and video recording from this Board of Governors meeting, as well as past meetings, are online here: www.wsba.org/about-wsba/who-we-are/board-of-governors.
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The next regular meeting is Nov. 3-4 in Seattle. To subscribe to the Board Meeting Notification list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.