Apr./May 2022 > Need to Know

News & Information of Interest to WSBA Members

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License Renewal

If any portion of your license fee, Client Protection Fund assessment, or late fee remains unpaid, or if required certifications, including MCLE, have not been filed by 5 p.m. PDT on May 3, 2022, the Washington Supreme Court will enter an order suspending your license to practice law (Admission and Practice Rule 17).


UPDATE

Future Structure of the WSBA Study: Next meeting April 23 

In light of recent constitutional challenges to integrated bar associations across the country, the Washington Supreme Court has asked the WSBA Board of Governors to consider three questions and make a recommendation back:

  1. Does current federal litigation regarding the constitutionality of integrated bars require the WSBA to make a structure change?
  2. Even if the WSBA does not have to alter its structure now, what is the contingency plan if the U.S. Supreme Court does issue a ruling that forces a change?
  3. Litigation aside, what is the ideal structure for the WSBA to accomplish its mission?

The Board of Governors named the study process ETHOS—Examining the Historical Organization and Structure of the Bar. There will be eight full-day meetings between January and August 2022—open to the public via Zoom and in person at the WSBA offices—to gather information and build a common understanding of the issue, to explore other bar structures, and to form a recommendation. Throughout each phase, the Board has committed to gathering wide stakeholder feedback. In addition to specific outreach opportunities and comment periods during meetings, you can send feedback to boardfeedback@wsba.org

ONLINE > For more information—such as the ETHOS charter, meeting dates, and legal background—visit www.wsba.org/about-wsba/who-we-are/board-of-governors/bar-structure-study. 


WSBA NEWS

WSBA Office Space for Sublease

The state Bar is offering space for sublease at its headquarters in the Puget Sound Plaza Building in the heart of downtown Seattle. There is a mix of size and space configurations available with competitive terms. All interested parties should go through broker Adam Chapman at 206-521-2672 or adam.chapman@am.jll.com. The WSBA’s current lease runs through December 2026, and space has become available as many positions have transitioned to remote flexibility. The WSBA’s Long Range Strategic Planning Council is currently investigating the future of the WSBA’s office location beyond 2026.

Engage with WSBA Leaders

The Member Engagement Council, which seeks member input and involvement in decision-making processes, wants to hear from you! The first agenda item of each meeting (the first Thursday of each month from 1-3 p.m. via Zoom) is reserved for member comments. All topics are welcome. Visit the events calendar at www.wsba.org for more information.

Leaders Wanted

The annual WSBA volunteer application and selection cycle opens March 14. The WSBA, the profession, and the legal community greatly benefit from members like you! Join our dedicated, skilled, and knowledgeable volunteer community! More information at: www.wsba.org/connect-serve/volunteer-opportunities.

Comment by April 30: Proposed Amendments to Civil Rules

The Washington Supreme Court has published for comment—with a deadline of April 30—several proposed changes to the Washington Civil Rules, including in the areas of case schedules, pretrial procedures, and discovery. The WSBA Board of Governors submitted these amendments to the court after two task forces and a work group developed recommendations to reduce the cost of civil litigation in Washington courts. For more background information and directions to submit comments to the Court, visit www.wsba.org/Legal-Community/Committees-Boards-and-Other-Groups/Civil-Litigation-Rules.

The WSBA encourages members to actively monitor and provide feedback when the Washington Supreme Court is considering any amendments to its rules. Keep track of opportunities to comment at http://www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/rules-feedback, or visit the court’s website at www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa=court_rules.proposed.

WSBA Board Feedback

Send your feedback to boardfeedback@wsba.orgPlease note that all WSBA emails are subject to public records requests.

Receive Notice of Upcoming Board Meetings

Join the Board meeting notice subscription list to receive WSBA Board of Governors meeting notices straight to your inbox! To join, email barleaders@wsba.org or complete the form at www.wsba.org/about-wsba/who-we-are/board-of-governors.


VOLUNTEER

Volunteer with the Lawyer Discipline System

Learn more about volunteering as an adjunct disciplinary counsel (ADC). ADCs assist as needed in carrying out the functions of the lawyer discipline system pursuant to Rule 2.9 of the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct. An ADC must have been an active lawyer or judicial member of the WSBA for at least seven years at the time of appointment. Appointment is for a five-year term. Visit www.wsba.org/adc-panel or contact rachela@wsba.org to learn more.

Apply to Become Governor at Large and President-Elect

Step off the sidelines and make an impact. Become a Bar leader by applying to serve as President-Elect or on the WSBA Board of Governors in the Governor at Large position. Visit www.wsba.org/board-elections to learn more. Applications due April 15.

Notice of Upcoming Governor at Large Election 

All active WSBA members are eligible to vote in the Governor at Large election. Please watch your inbox for a ballot, May 15–June 1. To learn more visit www.wsba.org/board-elections

Volunteer with the WSBA

Apply to serve on one of the WSBA’s many committees, boards, and councils. The WSBA’s active volunteer community is essential to carrying out the work of the Bar to help protect the public, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice. Take a moment to learn about the various volunteer opportunities and find the one that matches your skills and interests. To learn more, visit www.wsba.org/volunteer. Applications due April 15.

Custodians Needed

The WSBA is seeking interested lawyers as potential volunteer custodians of files and records to protect clients’ interests. Visit www.wsba.org/connect-serve/volunteer-opportunities/act-as-custodian, or contact Darlene Neumann: darlenen@wsba.org, 206-733-5923, 800-945-9722, ext. 5923.

Volunteers Needed as Attorney Advocates

Unique opportunity to assist families or individuals in crisis by serving as a volunteer attorney advocate on the first-ever national advocacy hotline. Work from home or office at times you choose with hotline calls routed there. Resolution is typically achieved in under an hour. The nonprofit Help Now! Advocacy has assisted at no fee over 8,700 clients, mostly in Oregon, over the past 17 years. The organization is expanding its unique services to a national scope through the hotline. Contact LMKahn@HelpNowAdvocacy.org for more information.

Northwest Justice Project Board of Directors

Now accepting applications for one attorney member to serve a three-year term on the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) Board of Directors. Email cover letter and resume to barleaders@wsba.org. Application deadline: May 13.


RESOURCES

Check Out DEI Resource Library

The DEI Resource Library is where WSBA members can learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts. There are compiled resource lists, books, and articles on the criminal legal system, identity and intersectionality, microaggressions/bias, and race. Visit www.wsba.org/about-wsba/equity-and-inclusion/dei-resource-library.

Practice Guides Available

Access two practice guides—”The Law Firm Guide to Document Retention” and “The Law Firm Guide to Disaster Planning and Recovery”—as well as other law firm guides and templates at www.wsba.org/guides.

Career Consultation

Get help with your résumé, networking tips, and more—www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/wellness/consultation—or email wellness@wsba.org.

Free Consultations and Practice-Management Assistance

The WSBA offers free resources and education on practice management issues. For more information, visit www.wsba.org/pma. You can also schedule a free phone consultation with a WSBA practice-management advisor. Visit www.wsba.org/consult to get started.

Lending Library

The WSBA Lending Library is open to members for both in-person and online checkouts. We have made a few changes to be aware of. For more information, visit www.wsba.org/library or email lendinglibrary@wsba.org.

Work at the WSBA

To find out more and apply for the various job openings with the WSBA, please visit www.wsba.org/career-center/work-at-the-wsba.

Special Discount on WSBA Career Center Through June 2022

Nonprofit, government, and small-firm employers can post job openings on the WSBA Career Center, https://jobs.wsba.org, at 50 percent of standard rates. This special discount, offered to prevent pricing from becoming a barrier as the legal community continues to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, has been extended through June 30, 2022. Contact Mike Credit at 727-494-6565 Ext 3332 or michael.credit@communitybrands.com for more information.


ETHICS

Ethics Line

Members facing ethical dilemmas can talk with WSBA professional responsibility counsel for informal guidance. Learn more at www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/ethics/ethics-line or call the Ethics Line at 206-727-8284.

WSBA Advisory Opinions

WSBA advisory opinions are available online at www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/ethics/about-advisory-opinions. For assistance, call the Ethics Line at 206-727-8284.


WSBA MEMBER WELLNESS

Telehealth is Here!

The Member Wellness Program is now offering hi-def, HIPAA-protected video consultations using the telehealth portal Doxy.me. Visit www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/wellness and click “Book Your Initial Consultation” to schedule time with our licensed providers.

Judges Need Help Too

The Judicial Assistance and Services Program (JASP) provides confidential support for judges, or those who are concerned about a judge. Contact Susanna Kanther, Psy.D., at 415-572-3803. Visit www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/wellness/judicial-assistance-service-program.

The ‘Unbar’ Alcoholics Anonymous Group

The Washington Unbar Alcoholics Anonymous group for legal professionals has been meeting weekly for almost 30 years. The group meets Wednesdays, 12:15–1:30 p.m., and Sundays, 7–8 p.m. Currently, the group meets online via Zoom, and attorneys from all over Washington participate. For more information and Zoom credentials contact unbarwa@gmail.com.


WSBA COMMUNITY NETWORKING

Sign Up for Low Bono

The Moderate Means Program connects moderate income clients with family, housing, consumer law, and unemployment cases to legal professionals who offer reduced fees. Family law lawyers and LLLTs are especially needed due to a backlog of cases stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more at www.wsba.org/connect-serve/volunteer-opportunities/mmp or email publicservice@wsba.org.

New Lawyers List Serve

This list serve is a discussion platform for new lawyers of the WSBA. To join, email newmembers@wsba.org.

ALPS Attorney Match

Attorney Match is a free online networking tool made available through the WSBA-endorsed professional liability partner, ALPS. Learn more at www.wsba.org/connect-serve/mentorship/find-your-mentor, or email mentorlink@wsba.org.


QUICK REFERENCE

April 2022 Usury

The usury rate for April 2022 is 12.00%. The auction yield of the March 7, 2022, auction of the six-month Treasury Bill was 0.72%. The interest rate required by RCW 4.56.110(3)(a) and 4.56.115 for April 2022 is 2.72%. The interest rate required by RCW 4.56.110(3)(b) and 4.56.111 for April 2022 is 5.25%. 

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COVID-19 NEWS TO KNOW

Court Emergency Operations & Closures

The Washington Supreme Court has published a COVID-19 response page, which is a compilation of its emergency orders and court modifications: www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.COVID19.

Law Office Reopening Guide

The WSBA Coronavirus Response Task Force compiled recommendations for how to safely reopen a law office. Find the guide “Reopening Safely: A Guide for Washington State Law Offices,” at www.wsba.org/docs/reopen.