There is a saying amongst warriors who are going into a battle they can’t win or where chances are slim to none for their survival HOKA HEY! It is a good day to die… It is not a death wish, it is more a feeling of peace in knowing that you are going into a battle worth dying for.
Mr Smith wrote an 11 page letter to the Courts and it outlines every reason that anyone in this state gets railroaded and or framed, the reason why the malicious prosecution runs rampant in this state, and the reason so many innocent law abiding, tax paying, citizens are made into criminals
Scott Smith must’ve thought the same thing or he’s insane…
November 9, 2015
Washington Supreme Court Justices Washington Supreme Court
Temple of Justice P.O. Box 40929
Olympia, WA 98504-0929
Re: Practice of Law Board Resignations Dear Justices:
Last month, nearly the entire Practice of Law Board resigned along with several former or prospective Board members who had been nominated and were awaiting appointment or reappointment to the Board.
We are a group of dedicated volunteers with decades of experience serving on a wide variety of professional and community boards and organizations. We have a deep commitment to and long track record of increasing access to justice.
The Board’s mission is laudable and we could have accomplished much to help increase the availability of legal services to the public if we had been allowed to do our job.
Instead of advancing our mission during the past two years, we have spent more time and energy responding to and fending off the Washington State Bar Association’s efforts to undermine and eliminate our Board.
While it was a great honor and privilege to be appointed by the Supreme Court to serve the public on the Practice of Law Board, it became increasingly clear that, even after our Board was reinstated by the Court and told we could move forward, we would continue to be frustrated in our efforts to further our core mission of advancing access to justice for low- and moderate-income people.
The Practice of Law Board’s mission is to:
• Promote expanded access to affordable and reliable legal and law-related services,
• Expand public confidence in the administration of justice,
• Make recommendations regarding the circumstances under which nonlawyers may be involved in the delivery of certain types of legal and law-related services,
• Enforce rules prohibiting individuals and organizations from engaging in unauthorized legal and law-related services that pose a threat to the general public, and
• Ensure that those engaged in the delivery of legal services in the State of Washington have the requisite skills and competencies necessary to serve the public.
1 The only Board members who did not resign were the three who were subject to term limits when their second three-year terms ended on September 30, 2015.
General Rule 25(a). When the Board was created in 2001, the Court adopted General Rule 24 which defined the practice of law and set forth a number of exceptions. In 2004, the Court adopted detailed regulations and procedures for the Board.
To carry out the foregoing mission, the Practice of Law Board has engaged in three primary functions:
• Investigate alleged unauthorized practice of law (UPL) violations,
• Issue advisory opinions, and
• Recommend ways to increase access to justice by expanding the role of nonlawyers in providing legal and law-related services.
The Practice of Law Board was created at the urging of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) after more than a decade of study, analysis, and lobbying by scores of bar leaders, judges, and members of the public. Under the Supreme Court’s leadership, the WSBA and the Access to Justice Board collaborated to ensure that, among other things, the forthcoming definition of the practice of law was not overly broad and that the mission of the board under consideration did not simply protect the legal profession’s monopoly but would serve the interests of the general public.
The end result was the creation of a board and adoption of a definition of the practice of law that are national models because they make the consumer’s interests paramount in any discussion about when and under what circumstances a nonlawyer can provide legal and law-related services. In its 13 years, the Practice of Law Board played a significant role in protecting the public and enhancing access to justice.
The Practice of Law Board’s mission is simple to state but complex to implement. To serve the best interests of clients, many of whom cannot afford desperately needed legal help, a balance must be struck between the need to make legal services more affordable and the need to ensure that the nonlawyers permitted to do so are sufficiently competent and ethical.
The Practice of Law Board was created as an independent board of the Court. Independence from the Washington State Bar Association was necessary to ensure that the Board’s mission could be advanced free from undue influence by the state’s largest trade association of lawyers. Independence also avoided antitrust concerns.
The medical profession has given other professionals (who are not medical doctors) a meaningful role in providing health care services.
The legal profession lags far behind and remains the biggest obstacle to expanding the role of nonlawyers. As a result, few people can afford a lawyer.
The Board’s ability to advance its mission will be crippled if the Washington State Bar Association can dictate the composition, leadership, policies, and direction of the Board.
The Washington State Bar Association has a long record of opposing efforts that threaten to undermine its monopoly on the delivery of legal services.
In cases involving alleged unauthorized practice of law, the WSBA usually files an amicus brief arguing that the nonlawyer service provider is engaged in the illegal unauthorized practice of law and should be stopped.
In a rare exception, the WSBA helped create the Limited Practice Officer rule2 which has saved homeowners significant money by allowing nonlawyer escrow officers to close real estate transactions.
More recently, the Washington State Bar Association opposed the Limited License Legal Technician Rule which grants a limited license to a new class of legal professionals in narrowly defined practice areas.
The Legal Technician Rule was formally proposed by the Practice of Law Board in 2008 and was finally adopted by the Supreme Court in 2012 despite strong opposition from the Board of Governors.
On May 12, 2012, the Board of Governors voted unanimously to seek the elimination of the Practice of Law Board and the WSBA’s funding of the Board with membership license fees. While funding was not cut, it was reduced.
Since then, the Executive Director of the WSBA has pursued a campaign to eliminate the Practice of Law Board. The first effort was to encourage the Board to voluntarily scale back its mission by no longer enforcing the laws against the unauthorized practice of law. The Board declined to do so because its members believed in the importance of protecting the public from being victimized by unscrupulous and untrained legal service providers.
In early 2014, the Executive Director created a study group to consider the future of the Practice of Law Board and its mission. She chaired the group and argued that the Practice of Law Board costs too much money and is ineffectual.
The group met twice for a few hours. Even though the study group included a plurality of WSBA staff members and others hand-picked by the Executive Director, the group supported the Practice of Law Board’s mission, including its enforcement of the rules against the unauthorized practice of law.
The Executive Director’s next move was to have the Washington State Bar Association’s General Counsel, Jean McElroy, argue that the Practice of Law Board should stop all unauthorized practice of law enforcement and policy development.
During a Board meeting on May 22, 2014, the General Counsel phoned in to say she was worried about antitrust liability based on a 13-month-old Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case in which the Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust charges against the North Carolina Dental Board for trying to stop non-dentists from whitening teeth. She urged us to stop investigating unauthorized practice of law complaints and to stop updating or issuing advisory opinions.
The General Counsel’s request had not been put on the Board’s agenda and the Board was not given any advance notice she was going to raise this issue. The General Counsel did not provide any written materials or legal analysis in support of her request. In the absence of any legal analysis, the Board was not in a position to evaluate the merits of her
2 Admission to Practice Rule 12 was adopted by the Supreme Court in January 1983.
3 Ms. Littlewood repeatedly made the fallacious argument that the Board’s entire budget through
the years was in pursuit of a singular goal and measure of success: the number of unauthorized practice of law prosecutions obtained through the Board’s work.
recommendation. The Board did, however, agree to retain independent antitrust counsel and review the issue at its next regularly scheduled meeting on July 11, 2014.
The WSBA Executive Director and General Counsel were unwilling to wait. They came, uninvited, to the Practice of Law Board’s annual meeting with the Supreme Court on June 4, 2014, and, joined by the WSBA-assigned Practice of Law Board Administrator, openly criticized the Board and argued that the Court should shut down the Board’s unauthorized practice of law enforcement for antitrust reasons which the General Counsel again declined to articulate. We felt sabotaged. The issue was not on our agenda and we were not given notice it would be raised.
The Supreme Court agreed to consider the issue at its July 2014 en banc meeting. When the Court met in July, it did not direct the Practice of Law Board to stop engaging in UPL activities. Prior to the en banc meeting, at the Court’s request, the Practice of Law Board submitted a detailed memo with its analysis of the antitrust issues. WSBA staff did not submit a memo or written analysis.
In simple terms, the antitrust argument is that a board controlled by “active market participants” and not actively supervised by a state’s legislature or supreme court should not be permitted to limit competition. Any arguable concern about the Practice of Law Board was overblown because only two of our Board members were active market participants and any of our proposed policies or other actions restricting nonlawyer competition could first be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Bar staff never provided any written analysis to support their legal position, would not authorize the Practice of Law Board to retain antitrust counsel to provide an analysis, and even refused to hire independent counsel. Although the Chief Justice directed the WSBA to work with the Practice of Law Board in hiring an outside attorney, the WSBA unilaterally hired its own attorney.
Because their attorney never put his conclusions in a memo shared with us, we assume he concluded that the antitrust liability was minimal or could be avoided with some simple fixes such as additional Supreme Court oversight or formalizing the current status quo which was to have few active market participants on the Board.
The dubious antitrust argument ultimately revealed itself to be nothing other than a convenient way to sunset the Practice of Law Board. Fortunately, a majority of the Court did not go along. But, ignoring the Board and the Court (neither of which agreed with the Bar’s request that the Board should stop its UPL activities), in September 2014, the WSBA Board of Governors met in a secret executive session to direct WSBA staff to stop issuing any “cease and desist” letters in UPL cases.
In other words, the Practice of Law Board’s assigned staff was ordered to stop much of their work for us.
Ironically, the WSBA’s concerted efforts to control the policies and dictate the composition of the Board are exactly the type of control by a self-interested trade organization that the antitrust laws are designed to prevent.
Frustrated that the Practice of Law Board wouldn’t go along with her agenda, the Executive Director then tried to change the composition of the Board. For the first time in memory, on September 18, 2014, the WSBA Board of Governors was asked by WSBA staff to approve a competing slate of candidates to replace several current Board members eligible for reappointment, including Scott Smith who had served the prior two years as the Board’s Chair.
The Practice of Law Board fought the move by lobbying individual Governors and attending the Board of Governors meeting. We were successful. The Board of Governors rejected the Executive Director’s attempt to pack our Board with her candidates and to oust the Board’s chair. The Executive Director still hoped to take control of the Board by appealing to the Chief Justice since she retained the power to appoint the Board members.
All the while, senior staff of the WSBA continued to pick fights with the Practice of Law Board and then complain to the Chief Justice that the Board was being difficult and problematic. For example, following the Board’s June 4, 2014, annual meeting with the Supreme Court, the Board’s assigned “support” staff person, WSBA Assistant General Counsel Julie Shankland, sent the Court a lengthy memo dated August 1, 2014, which catalogued every conceivable grievance, attacked the Board and its chair, and even went so far as to say some Board members lied to the Court at the recent annual meeting. The memo quoted remarks by Board members during the executive session held on the same day the Board passed a motion reaffirming that executive session discussions were to remain confidential.
The Executive Director approved the extraordinarily unusual and highly provocative memo and directed that it be sent to the Chief Justice.
The Bar staff’s deliberate escalation of tension brings to mind the schoolyard bully who picks a fight and then runs to her teacher claiming to be the victim. It doesn’t help when the bully is the teacher’s pet and the teacher never asks to hear the victim’s side of the story.
The Executive Director has rebuffed several overtures to make peace and work together more cooperatively.
Some of the tension might have initially been due to a genuine disagreement about the WSBA’s proper role in administering the Supreme Court’s independent Boards, an issue that should have been put to rest in 2007 when the Court adopted General Rule 12.2. The version of the rule adopted by the Court rejected the Bar’s attempt to be given a policy- making role in all of the Court’s independent boards.
With the Executive Director’s recently attempts to assert expanded authority over the Practice of Law Board and Access to Justice Board, the Chief Justice first said in 2014 that she’d look into GR 12.2 and the WSBA’s role in administering the Court’s independent boards. We have repeated this request several times but no action has been taken and the Executive Director’s assertion of control goes unchecked.
With the Executive Director urging termination of the Practice of Law Board, the Supreme Court scheduled a vote on November 5, 2014, whether to do so. Concerned that the threat was real given the Executive Director’s influence with the Chief Justice, the Board launched a letter-writing campaign even though the proposed elimination of the Board was not publicized for public comment. Over 40 people wrote letters unanimously urging the Court to retain the Board. The letters came from numerous past WSBA Presidents and Governors, the WSBA’s former General Counsel, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and other law enforcement officials, and the executive directors of several community and legal aid organizations such as Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Legal Voice (f/k/a the Northwest Women’s Law Center).
When the vote was taken on November 5, the Supreme Court did not terminate the Board but instead suspended its operations so that a group of stakeholders could study and then make recommendations to the Court about the future of the Board.
Justice Steve González agreed to chair the work group. After six months of impartial study and based on input from dozens of individuals and organizations, the work group unanimously recommended the Practice of Law Board continue.
WSBA staff and its representatives attended and participated in all the meetings and was the only organization to testify or argue against the Practice of Law Board or urge its elimination.In fact, the work group scheduled an additional special meeting for the sole purpose of letting the WSBA state its views.
The Supreme Court voted to reinstate the Practice of Law Board in early June 2015, yet a month passed before the Board was informed of the decision. Our relief that we could finally get on with our mission of serving the public was quickly dashed when it became clear that the WSBA’s senior staff intended to continue its long-running campaign to undermine the Board with the eventual goal of eliminating the Board.
The WSBA posted a notice that it was seeking applicants for 11 of the 13 seats on the Board. Because 11 seats were not open, WSBA staff tried to get rid of some current members by making specious arguments questioning whether the two judges on our Board were eligible to serve, one because he was on judicial status (not active status as a practicing attorney) and working temporarily out of state and the other because she retired from the bench and was on inactive status.
The staff also suggested another Board member might have a conflict because she worked for the Administrative Office of the Courts. If the Board’s regulations supported any such argument―they clearly did not―the obvious and helpful solution would have been to propose a simple amendment to the Board’s regulations, not reinterpret them to replace respected members simply because they did not support the Executive Director’s goal of eliminating the Board they served on.
Sure enough, a day or two before the Board of Governors’ last meeting on September 17‒ 18, 2015, the Governors received a WSBA Nominations Committee memo authored by incoming President Bill Hyslop. It sought to replace several current Board members.
The WSBA also opposed appointment of any of the series of three Board members we had nominated for Chair and Vice-Chair and instead urged the Court to appoint Paul Bastine, an outgoing WSBA Governor, to the Board and immediately elevate him to the position of Chair.
Because the Nominating Committee’s unprecedented request was placed on the Board of Governors’ consent calendar, it slipped through as planned, with little discussion and unanimous approval.
Two other upsetting developments have taken place over the past two years. First, the campaign to eliminate the Practice of Law Board has been conducted primarily behind the scenes. The Board of Governors has had numerous discussions in executive session with the Bar’s Executive Director, General Counsel, and the Practice of Law Board’s assigned Administrator. The Chief Justice has also participated in numerous discussions with the WSBA about the Practice of Law Board.
The Practice of Law Board was not informed of these discussions, invited to participate, or given an opportunity to respond to the arguments being made against the Board and the attacks on its members.
For example, the Court’s Work Group Chair, Justice González, repeatedly informed the WSBA representatives that his work group would like input from the Board of Governors. At the January 9, 2015, meeting, Governor Paul Bastine (who attended all six work group meetings) responded that he assumed the issue would be on the Board of Governors’ agenda when it met in two weeks.
Mr. Smith followed up with an email to President Anthony Gipe asking for the opportunity to appear and submit materials. President Gipe responded that it wasn’t on the Governors’ next meeting’s agenda. He said the Board of Governors had all the materials it needed and that they’d rely on Governor Bastine “for history, context, etc.” Without indicating what information the Governors had actually received or that we intended to provide, he added, “However, if we find ourselves in need of more information we will also let you know.”
Governor Bastine was copied on this email exchange because he was the Board of Governors’ assigned liaison with the Practice of Law Board. The Practice of Law Board was not on the agenda for the Board of Governors’ next two meetings so it came as a surprise when President Gipe attended the Work Group’s final meeting on April 10, 2015, to distribute a formal letter saying the Board of Governors had reached a “consensus” to eliminate the Practice of Law Board.
Neither President Gipe nor Governor Bastine had informed the Practice of Law Board of the Governors’ discussion or sought our input. Because this discussion and decision was not on the Governors’ meeting agenda and is not reflected in any of its meeting minutes, WSBA members and community representatives have also been kept in the dark and prevented from weighing in on an issue many care deeply about.
This was not the first time the WSBA staff had refused our request to distribute materials to the Board of Governors or had excluded us from meetings about the future of our Board and its mission.
For example, when the Board of Governors decided in executive session to tell staff to stop issuing cease and desist letters, the Practice of Law Board was not invited to participate in the Governors’ discussion or even informed that it would take place.
When the Governors considered the issue, they were not given the Practice of Law Board’s antitrust memo or any other written materials or legal analysis.
Exclusion of the Practice of Law Board from these discussions was not only disrespectful, it prevented us from ensuring that the decisions made about our future were fair and informed.
In contrast, when the Supreme Court’s work group conducted its meetings openly and transparently, we were confident we could persuade the work group members and other stakeholders of the value of the Practice of Law Board and our mission.
The second major obstacle we’ve dealt with in the past two years has been the WSBA’s failure to provide the Board with adequate staff support as required by Board Regulation 3(E) and General Rule 12.2.
While the WSBA’s Assistant General Counsel, Julie Shankland, was assigned the role of Board Administrator, her loyalties were to the WSBA, not the Board. She and her immediate supervisor, General Counsel Jean McElroy, and Ms. McElroy’s immediate supervisor, Executive Director Paula Littlewood, have been affirmatively working against our Board and its ability to function.
The Board lost trust that the assigned Board Administrator would support the Board, its members, or mission. In addition to being disloyal and someone we repeatedly learned we could not trust to work with us, our Board Administrator was disrespectful, hostile, insubordinate, lacked initiative, and was unreliable to the point of being willfully incompetent.
Although her conduct was approved and encouraged by her supervisors, she bore much responsibility for her attitude and poor job performance. Anyone acting like that in the private sector would have been terminated for cause long ago.
The Board voted at our August 28, 2015, meeting to ask the WSBA Executive Director to assign a new Board Administrator, one who would work with and support the Practice of Law Board and not support the WSBA’s goal of undermining our work.
Though we understand the Supreme Court would be reluctant to get involved in WSBA personnel matters, we hoped that if the Court or its Chief Justice weighed in, they would support our request because the current adverse relationship jeopardizes the independence and continued existence of the Court’s Practice of Law Board.
We believed replacement of the current Board Administrator was a better and more effective way to address the issue than the WSBA’s solution―replacing nearly every member of the Practice of Law Board. To our disappointment, the Board’s request for a different Board Administrator was rejected by the Executive Director and by the Chief Justice without any inquiry into the validity or seriousness of the Board’s concerns or the reasons we made what we recognize was a very extraordinary request.
The Board members who resigned or withdrew their name from consideration for appointment or reappointment have decades of community and professional service. Their leadership roles include service as: President of the King County Bar Association; Chair of the Access to Justice Board; Chair of the Equal Justice Coalition; a Congressional Fellow; Justice on the Colville Tribal Court of Appeals; Chair of the Greater Access and Assistance Project; Presidents of the Young Lawyers Divisions of the King County and Spokane County Bar Associations; President of the Olympic Peninsula Kidney Foundation; President and Chairman of the Board of the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington; President of the Washington State Council of Chapters, Military Officers Association of America; Area Chair of AFS Intercultural Programs & Exchanges; President of the Ateneo Alumni Association of Washington; President of the Military Officers Association of America (Olympia Chapter); President of Business and Professional Women (local chapter); President of the Peninsula Community Health Services Board; and Director of Washington State Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.
We have also served as members of the following Boards: King County Bar Foundation; Board for Judicial Administration; Miles Memorial Charity Fund; Pine Bluff Boys & Girls Club; Interested Citizens for Voter Registration; International Drop-In Center; Highline Community College Paralegal Program Advisory Board; Rally/Point ; Advisory Board of the Northeast Washington Legal Aid Program; Filipino American Political Action Group of Washington; Legal Foundation of Washington Board; Washington District and Municipal Court Judges Association Board of Governors; Legal Aid for Washington Fund (LAW Fund) Board; and American Arbitration Association Northwest Regional Advisory Council.
To further document the problems with our Board Administrator in this letter would unnecessarily embarrass her. If any members of the Court or the Board of Governors doubt the seriousness of the problems or want the details, we will provide them.
The resigning Board members have received dozens of awards for their volunteer service and leadership. We have worked cooperatively and collegially on scores of boards and organizations with a wide range of different executive directors and support staff. None of us have never encountered a similarly difficult staff member―certainly not one assigned the role of administrator or the senior support role. Any suggestion that the Practice of Law Board members and leadership team were difficult or disrespectful is a fabrication.
The Board first asked the Chief Justice to reappoint Scott Smith as Chair for a third year but he had clashed too many times with the Executive Director and her subordinates over the need to protect the public through vigorous enforcement of the prohibition against unauthorized practice of law, our mission to advance access to justice by expanding the role of nonlawyers in the delivery of legal and law-related services, and―most significantly―the future of the Practice of Law Board and whether it would be controlled by the Executive Director or remain an independent board of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Smith withdrew his name from consideration as Chair when the Chief Justice declined to reappoint him as Chair and failed to act on his reappointment to a second term on the Board.
The Board next unanimously nominated Shirley Bondon to serve as Chair. Ms. Bondon is also a strong leader and passionate about serving the public. She is also willing to stand up to abuses of authority and do the right thing despite the personal consequences. She was the recipient of the WSBA’s Courageous Award in 2014 but was rejected as Chair less than a year later.
Instead, the Chief Justice appointed Nick Berning as interim Chair even though he did not want the position, supported the Board’s leadership choices, and was going off the Board on September 30 because he was subject to term limits.
On September 30, 2015, the Chief Justice appointed outgoing WSBA Governor Paul Bastine to the Board and designated him to take over the position of Chair, even though he had not even submitted an application to the Practice of Law Board or even informed us that he would like to be considered for appointment.
Rather than fill the nine vacancies—four of which have been empty for over 13 months— the Chief Justice extended for two months the terms of two of four Board’s nominees eligible for reappointment.
She also informed the three Board members subject to term limits on September 30 that they would remain on the Board for potentially two more months. They were not even asked if they wanted to continue serving so at present, in light of the mass resignations, the Board consists of four people: the newly appointed Board Chair (Paul Bastine) and the three Board members whose terms were temporarily extended even though they were subject to term limits. The Chief Justice did not designate GR 25(b) provides that “no member may serve more than 2 consecutive full 3-year terms.”
Shirley Bondon, Eileen Schock, or anyone else as Vice-Chair. The position remains vacant.
Many of us have worked with Paul Bastine and find him to be a delightful person. However, despite his past efforts during the years it took to get the Legal Technician Rule adopted by the Supreme Court, Mr. Bastine is now perceived as comfortable with the status quo and not someone expected to make any controversial changes to advance access to justice, particularly not if they run counter to the Bar’s trade interests.
He has already served his maximum two terms on the Practice of Law Board, yet the Chief Justice saw this as no impediment to his now serving as its Chair. He attended all of the Court’s Work Group meetings as well as the two meetings of the Executive Director’s study group. Yet during all those meetings, he never defended the Board or advocated on its behalf. Without inquiring into the serious problems the Board had experienced with its assigned Administrator, Mr. Bastine spoke against the motion to request a replacement.
As someone who just finished serving three years on the WSBA Board of Governors, Mr. Bastine is now clearly a trusted bar association insider and a natural choice of the Executive Director to take over the Practice of Law Board―certainly giving the appearance he has been hand- picked to do her bidding.
The treatment of the Practice of Law Board over the last three years is a textbook study on how to discourage and disempower a board comprised of volunteers: oppose their mission; cut their budget; withhold meaningful staff support; personally attack and seek to oust the volunteers who disagree with you; conduct secret meetings to discuss the future of the group without informing its volunteer members or inviting them to participate; dismiss or reject out of hand the volunteers’ concerns; and replace the group’s members and leadership team. There is no surer way to demoralize a group of volunteers and undermine their good intentions.
The biggest casualty of the ongoing strife has not been the Board members who were driven to resign, but the public.
The Board had been an effective voice―some say the only voice in the state―to combat unauthorized practice of law. The Board was also working on policy positions and other proposals to advance the interests of clients who cannot afford legal help.
When the Washington State Bar Association escalated its efforts to undermine the Board after it was reinstated, we foresaw another year of wasted effort battling the WSBA instead of advancing our mission.
Following a losing effort to retain the integrity and independence of the Board through the appointment process, the new Board would likely spend a few meetings getting its new members up to speed before turning its attention to formation of yet another group of stakeholders to take another fresh look at the future of the Board.
While there is no reason to think a third group of stakeholders (if impartial) would reach a conclusion different from the previous two study groups, its report would provide opponents of the Board and its mission with another opportunity to advocate termination the Board. A Board comprised of members selected by the WSBA would more likely go along especially the very people who have worked so hard to obstruct the Board and divert our energy from our mission will no doubt be the first to argue that the Board should be terminated because we haven’t done anything in the year since our reinstatement.
The Court has already voted at least twice to not terminate the Practice of Law Board.
since its new Chair presumably supported the Board of Governors’ secretly reached “consensus” to terminate the Board.
With regret, we have concluded that we simply do not have the resources or resolve to keep fighting with the WSBA’s Executive Director, especially when she has the support and blessing of the Chief Justice.
We would have resigned a long time ago if we didn’t care so much about the Board’s mission and the promise it held to improve the way legal services are delivered.
By resigning, the Board members will now devote our time and talent to positive outlets where we can productively serve the public and advance access to justice, the primary reason why each of us joined the Board in the first place.
Very Truly Yours, Scott A. Smith
Chair, Practice of Law Board, 2012‒14
Juan Pablo “JP” Paredes
Member, Practice of Law Board, 2012‒15
Hon. Rebecca M. Baker (ret.)
Member, Practice of Law Board, 2014‒15
Hon. Mark Han-Ku Kim
Member, Practice of Law Board, 2014‒15
cc: WSBA Officers and Board of Governors Paula Littlewood, WSBA Executive Director
Hon. Paul Bastine (ret.), Chair, Practice of Law Board Current and former members of the Practice of Law Board
7 In the unauthorized practice of law cases the Supreme Court has decided since the Chief Justice joined the Court in January 1993, she has dissented from the majority opinion when it expands the role of nonlawyers in providing legal and law-related services. E.g., Perkins v. CTX Mortgage Co., 137 Wn.2d 93, 969 P.2d 93 (1999).
So the WSBA tried to shut down the Practice of Law Board by citing and by violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Priceless…
So this makes 78 good lawyers out of 46,000 so far… Now just imagine if all of the good ones got together and filed a Sherman Anit-Trust Lawsuit against the Bar.
Imagine a state where the public gets justice and an attorney is not afraid to fight for your rights. Trust me all of these attorneys are going to be suspended, admonished or disbarred.
I have seen an attorney they didn’t like get disbarred for 37 cents, not being 37 cents short but not showing up in the accounting somewhere in the middle even though it was all perfect.
They will use this opportunity to get their foot in the door to go through these people’s files and trump up false charges against them and the Supremes will make sure they are destroyed unless they strike first.
It is official Scott Smith has the biggest cajones, north of the border