For those of you who don’t know or understand: This is a long read but it is vitally important that you pay close attention. The things going on right this moment could effectively destroy any hope of the citizens of this state ever having a “Justice System” it should also help you understand that our state is a “Pay to Play” state because of the monopoly the Bar has on our courts, judges, prosecutors and lawyers. As it stands now, there is no justice for you or I, and God forbid you find a lawyer who will actually fight the system, they are usually destroyed for doing so.
Here is a refresher course on the biggest “special interest” operation in the state.
The Lawyers, The Prosecutors, The Judges
Are all under the the control of the Washington State Bar Association
Under the “Protection” of The Washington Supreme Court
The Washington State Bar Association is supposed to “police” all the arenas of the legal system. Unfortunately it is nothing more then a mean girls and boys club. It’s original two main functions were to regulate and discipline lawyers.
Evidently there was a “Lawyer Dues War” I completely missed while I was running around with my head up someone else’s keister. Whereby the WSBA tried to convince members that the sky would indeed fall if they didn’t get more money from all of the state’s attorneys.
In 2013 there was a referendum vote to lower the WSBA attorney dues. It caused a quite the commotion within the Bar.
There are several attorneys who spearhead these referendums. One in particular I wrote about several years ago, he was a former prosecutor named Angus Lee. I thought it very strange that the Bar would go after any prosecutor, because in their entire history they have only gone after one other one ever
The WSBA has so many committees and boards that have been created who rely on those dues that at some point the Board of Governors again decided to raise the fees. Now remember the Bar was created solely for the licensing, regulation, and discipline of lawyers. Not for the 100’s of committees and boards they have created to give everyone a piece of the pie.
License fees are the main source of funding for WSBA programs, services, and operations. As fiduciaries, the Board must set license fees at a level that enables the Bar to continue to meet our regulatory obligations, advance our mission, provide value to our members at reasonable cost, and preserve a prudent level of reserves. License fees were $450 in 2010-12, when a referendum reduced fees to $325 (the 2001-2002 level) without regard to the cost of doing business. In response, we made extensive adjustments, cutting staff, space, and programs, while maintaining our regulatory obligations. Based on the needs of our members, we also introduced or enhanced a variety of free services, including CLEs such as the monthly Legal Lunchbox series, new lawyer education, legal research tools, job search resources, mentoring and low cost resources, ethics line, pro bono practice opportunities, law practice management tools, and lawyer assistance resources.
As the cost of business continued to rise, we used reserves built up from program cuts made before the referendum in order to cover the shortfall caused by reduced license fee revenue. In doing so, we were able to keep fees at $325 through 2015. We set fees at $385 in 2016 and 2017 in order to slow down use of reserves; however, this approach was not sustainable. In order to maintain prudent operating reserves of $2 million, we needed to increase fees beginning in 2018. On September 29, following extensive examination this year of historical, current, and projected revenues, expenses, license fees, and reserves, the Board adopted lawyer licenses fees for the period 2018-2020 at the following levels: $449 in 2018, $453 in 2019, and $458 in 2020. These levels reflect the Board’s deep commitment to support WSBA as an integrated bar, while preserving minimum operating reserves of $2 million.
Enlarge or download bar graph and chart in PDF
Find the license fee information starting on page 108 of the September Board meeting public materials.
For additional background and information on the development of the budget and license fees, see the WSBA Treasurer Reports, including the July/August 2016 issue of NWLawyer.
It seems that some other attorneys started a new referendum to once again reduce the fees, they went as far as to introduce a bill to ensure that the members had some voice in the matter.
The members did manage to get enough votes on a referendum to once again stop the Board of Governor’s from raising the rates… or so they thought.
In January of 2017 the Board of Governor’s, namely Paula Littlewood and Robin Haynes went into the Supreme Court and got an ex-parte order denying the referendum in violation of the Washington State Bar Act (It should be noted the Bil 5721 was introduced after this supreme court ruling in response to it)
Now we understand WHY AND WHEN she was at Justice Fairhurts house getting drunk with Justice Stephens. It should also be noted in the decision that Madsen states that this was a unanimous decision yet she is the only one who signed the order.
Now we also know why she loves Justice Yu so much as well. Even though her endorsements of Yu were clearly against WSBA rules, but we know that the rules are made for others…
It seems that the Board of Governors had planned on raising rates some time ago. They understood the backlash that raising yearly dues by 141% might bring so they came up with this nifty new rule to placate Solo Practitioners letting them have virtual offices.
Maybe if they didn’t spend 30K fighting to prevent the state from accessing their records they might have a little more
Keep in mind that new attorneys, or solo practitioners are usually the only ones the average citizen can afford to go to, or that will give you or me the time of day. They are usually also fresh out of law school and have enormous school loan debt, so these types of rate hikes are designed to kill off the “little guy” thereby increasing the power and reach of the big law firms.
What I don’t know if the attorneys in this state understand is this: The Bar is also looking to make it mandatory for every attorney to carry malpractice insurance. This would effectively end the small firms or solo practitioner for good.
As you read above, the Bar is trying to convince it’s members that it must need more money for all of it’s committees and other activities but the Supreme Court is 1/2 the reason they need so much more. Seems they ordered the Bar to support several other 3 and four letter agencies activities and administration to be supported by the Bar. (Page 5)
It seems that the Bar understood that they would eventually be called out to the mat for their illegal activities so they simply just changed their By-Laws
There are several other attorneys who are coming after the Bar but so far they have been shot down at every turn and the gist of their argument is that the Bar is no longer the agency as defined in the original Washington State Bar Act.
This part I do not understand so I’m just going to include the documents and if you get it, please, for the love of everything holy email me or comment down below. All I know is that it has something to do with the ‘North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission’ decision.
There are two other developments that should be noted.
As most of you should realize by now lawyers do not have the same 1st Amendment rights as anyone else in this country and the WSBA will destroy any lawyer who speaks out or against one of their club buddies. There is a United States Supreme Court case that may change that and if it does you will hear the biggest uproar this state has ever heard.
There is also something new on the horizon that is causing quite the uproar going on in California:
History was made today in California. Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 36, unprecedented legislation that required painstaking effort the past two years to realize. Bar reform failed in 2016 but this time was different. The legislation sailed through both legislative chambers.
SB 36 increases the California State Bar’s focus on its core regulatory functions — public protection, admissions, licensing and lawyer discipline. It accomplishes this by requiring the California Bar to transfer its 16 specialty sections (with more than 60,000 members) and the California Young Lawyers Association (with its 48,000 members) to create what becomes the nation’s second largest voluntary association of lawyers after the American Bar Association.