Weekly Words from President Palace: Week of Feb. 24

WSBA President Patrick Palace
Read WSBA President Patrick Palace’s Feb. 24 update.

WSBA President Patrick Palace

There are several recent highlights that I’d like to share.

First, we had our first Future of the Profession Workgroup meeting on Feb. 20. This is such a dynamic group with great depth of expertise. It was truly an honor to sit in a room with each of these experts. Every person brought an important perspective to the table. The meeting was scheduled for four hours, and it flew by. I thank the Governors for making this workgroup possible and thank you Governors Moberg, Haynes and Brady for attending this meeting. I see truly great things coming from this workgroup and will keep you posted as we continue to look for ways to retool our profession.

Second, on Feb. 21, I attended the 28th Annual Goldmark Luncheon.  The lunch was an opportunity to donate to the Campaign for Equal Justice and Chief Justice Madsen, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and I, did our part.

During the ceremony, the Legal Voice was recognized as an award recipient. Legal Voice provides representation to a broad range of individuals and groups such as sexual and domestic violence, marriage equality, reproductive rights, equal pay. You can find out more information here.

Additionally, Justice Steven Gonzalez, Judge Nicole Gaines and Professor Robert Chang were honored with the Charles A. Goldmark Distinguished Service Award for their Race in Criminal Justice Task Force leadership.

Following the Goldmark lunch, I attended a Supreme Court forum. The event was well attended and a welcomed opportunity for citizens and lawyers to openly address the Court.

One of the issues the Court addressed was the transparency and openness in its rules process. As you may recall, this was an important part of our discussion with the Supreme Court when we met in Olympia in January.  At the forum, the Justices were open and candid about their desire to improve communications with the Bar and to make their rule making process more transparent.  It sounds like they are making real efforts to change the GR9 form so that it allows for additional background information and additional substance. They are also looking at ways to make the rules process more open and available to the public. The Court announced that will be providing better notice for these rules meeting so that stakeholders may have an opportunity to attend. I applaud and thank the Supreme Court for listening to our concerns and taking action to improve the rule making process and to improve communication between the Bar and the Supreme Court.

Our next BOG meeting is next week. As with all BOG meetings, they are open to the public. This meeting is being held in Seattle at the WSBA Conference Center is also being webcast. If you can’t join in person, please consider viewing the meeting via webcast.  We begin at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, March 7. Please go to the WSBA website where you will be able the webcast on Friday.

I encourage you to conact me if you have questions, comments or concerns. Follow me on Twitter @Palacelaw.