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The Well-Being Pledge: A National Effort to Help Attorneys

Earlier this year the American Bar Association, in collaboration with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, conducted the first ever national study on lawyer impairment. This landmark study discovered that more than 20% of attorneys have consistent problematic drinking, nearly one-third report some level of depression, and 11% of attorneys have contemplated suicide at some point in their legal careers. These are terrifying but all too real statistics. Could a cultural shift help reduce the prevalence of substance abuse and mental health issues in the legal community? The American Bar Association’s Working Group to Advance Well Being in the Legal Profession hopes so.

This year, the ABA organized a compelling initiative to promote the mental health of attorneys working at law firms and establish best practices for a healthy law firm culture that prioritizes attorney mental health. Twenty-one national firms have already signed on, including Seattle-based Perkins Coie, and a Washington State effort to communicate these ideas to local firms is already underway. (See the list of firms who have pledged.)

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Seahawks vs. 49ers

Are You Ready for Some Football (Law)?

An Interview with Seahawks SVP, General Counsel and Government Affairs Ed Goines

Even if you’re not a football fan, anyone within a roughly 3-million-mile radius of Seattle can recognize the telltale signs of football season as the colors begin their autumnal shift to blue and green.

For many, the Seahawks are a way of life; a Friday dress code; and, for at least one lawyer, a 9–5. As SVP, General Counsel and Government Affairs for the Seahawks and First & Goal Inc., Ed Goines is now in his fifth season with the iconic franchise. Prior to the Seahawks, Goines was assistant chief counsel for Disney Interactive/The Walt Disney Company; general counsel and vice president of business affairs for the San Francisco 49ers from 2001-2007, including one year as a legal consultant to the 49ers; and he worked in entertainment and sports fields, serving as in-house legal counsel for Major League Soccer, Ticketmaster, and Mattel.

Goines was kind enough to answer a few questions about the life of an NFL lawyer. So, without further ado, let’s kick it off.

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Reminder note on a computer monitor

Reminder: License Renewal Season Is Approaching

License Renewal for WSBA members will begin in November and must be completed by Feb. 1, 2019. Below is important information about license renewal and items to consider as we begin a new fiscal year
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Cover of NWLawyer

Meet the New WSBA President in the Latest Issue of NWLawyer

In the latest issue of NWLawyer, you’ll formally meet the freshly sworn-in WSBA President Bill Pickett and find out why he thinks trust, relationship, and service will be integral to WSBA in the coming year. Plus many more interesting reads.
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Recent Articles

8
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How Perkins Coie Makes Pro Bono Happen

"Two groups of people approaching each other over a chasm, ready to shake hands."
The biggest issue most people deal with is figuring out how to incorporate pro bono legal service into an already busy schedule.

"Two groups of people approaching each other over a chasm, ready to shake hands."The October issue of NWLawyer is dedicated to a celebration of 50 years of civil legal aid in Washington. Along with Pro Bono Week in October, NWSidebar is highlighting stories of some of the amazing pro bono work Washington State Bar Association members provide.

To learn more about the Amazon Justice League, check out our previous blog post, “Amazon Justice League Prime for Pro Bono” and “How Amazon’s Legal Team Provided Pro Bono Legal Expertise to the Innocence Project Northwest.” Read more »

4
Oct

Demystifying the Qui Tam Process: There’s No Such Thing as an Average False Claims Case

Defendants in qui tam lawsuits—in which a whistleblower accuses someone, usually a corporation, of fraud against the government—often don’t realize they’ve been targeted until months, or sometimes years, past the original filing date.

This is deliberate: The federal False Claims Act (FCA) requires whistleblowers to file complaints under seal so that they don’t jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation, and so prosecutors can decide whether to intervene and throw their weight behind the civil complaint. The initial seal period is 60 days, but it’s often extended at the government’s request. Few U.S. Attorney’s offices are ready to act on cases—especially meritorious cases—after a scant two months. Read more »

3
Oct

Congratulations to Our 2018 APEX Awards Winners!

The Washington State Bar Association recently presented APEX (Acknowledging Professional EXcellence) awards to 11 people and organizations, representing the pinnacle of the legal profession in Washington state. Read more »

26
Sep

How Amazon’s Legal Team Provided Pro Bono Legal Expertise to the Innocence Project Northwest

A meeting of people for Amazon Freedom FridayThe October issue of NWLawyer is dedicated to a celebration of 50 years of civil legal aid in Washington. Along with Pro Bono Week in October, NWSidebar is highlighting stories of some of the amazing pro bono work WSBA members have provided.

To learn more about the Amazon Justice League, check out our previous blog post, “Amazon Justice League Prime for Pro Bono.” Read more »

24
Sep

Amazon Justice League Prime for Pro Bono

Kathy Sheehan and John Stone

Kathy Sheehan and John Stone of the the Amazon Justice League.

Fifty years ago, low-income Washington residents were on their own if they needed legal help for a civil matter.

That all changed with the Economic Opportunity Act, federal funding to help poor people in the U.S. that ultimately led to the development of the first Office of Economic Opportunity legal services in Washington. Today, civil legal aid is given to thousands of Washingtonians, providing justice to people who’ve lost their jobs, protecting victims of domestic abuse, preventing people from losing their housing, and so much more. Read more »