Thief steals a purse while witness does nothing.

Are Bystanders Complicit? The Holocaust as Foundation for Crimes of Omission

If you are a bystander and witness a crime, should it be a legal obligation for you to intervene? Or is moral responsibility enough? I have come to view the bystander, who fails to act, as complicit in harm that befalls the victim. This has compelled me to create a workable legal requirement whereby duty can be imposed on the bystander. Relying on the oft-repeated phrase that “people will do the right thing” is appealing and compelling, but the moral obligation model is, for me, tenuous and soft.

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Art. paintings on the walls inside an eclectic home.

Passing Art to Future Generations

When I think of putting together my will, I think of who will get my stuff. You know, the stuff that is all over the walls, jewelry, or knick knacks and paddy whacks. Curiously, wills do not necessarily contain detailed paragraphs about who will inherit each of these things of ours. Items of this nature, […]

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Books on shelves

Top Pandemic Reading Picks for Law Pros

If there’s a shining light from spending a year under lockdown, it does at least provide ample time to read. The following are some of the titles I read during the past year of pandemic life—in no particular order—which members might enjoy.

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Cover of Bar News Feb 2021

History and Remembrances in the New Issue of Bar News

“I have mixed feelings about Black History Month … and I get concerned when people try to compartmentalize the discussions of the African American experience into a single month,” retired University of Washington professor Dr. Quintard Taylor tells Washington State Bar News. “But at the same time, I recognize that celebrating the month is a golden opportunity because for the longest time, that is up until relatively recently, people weren’t recognizing Black history, until it was introduced to them by Black History Month. So that being said, I could understand how it would be important for lawyers, attorneys, judges, along with everyone else to be aware of African American history.

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Winter CLE Sale Graphic

Popular Ethics and Other CLEs Still 50% Off

If there had to be a single moment to exemplify how much has changed in the world of law, it would have to be a distraught lawyer affirming to a district court judge “I’m not a cat.” Yes, just when you think you’ve got this virtual hearing thing down, you find yourself the victim of your kid’s Zoom filter, frantically trying to de-kitty your visage before you argue your case.

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Aerial view of Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia

What the WSBA is Tracking in Washington’s 2021 Legislative Session

The 2021 session of the Washington State Legislature is certainly like none in the history of the state—but so far things are going smoothly. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature like many other government bodies is conducting nearly all of its business virtually during the 105-day session. The first day of session was Jan. 11 and it will continue through April 25. Here’s what we’re watching.

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Winter CLE Sale Graphic

5 On-Demand Seminars You Should Check Out During WSBA’s Winter CLE

Starting today the Washington State Bar Association is offering 50% discounts on more than 500, on-demand CLEs to help WSBA members continue to learn and grow in this new world. The discounts will last through Feb. 16. You might want to start with the CLEs listed below, which have been among the most-popular courses on some of the most significant topics legal professionals are facing today.

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Attorney working in an office at night

Legal Research Companies Casemaker and Fastcase Merge

Legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase today announce their merger and joint building out of legal research and analytics, news, data, and workflow solutions. The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients.

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Police shootout

State Supreme Court Case Could Determine Fate of King County’s Inquest Process

King County is one of the only jurisdictions in the country that requires an inquest every time a police officer kills a community member. But will these inquests continue to be largely pro forma processes that almost always appear to absolve officers of wrongdoing? Or will they become a meaningful tool for police accountability, a truly fair and transparent examination of what happened and why when law enforcement kills a member of the community? Families whose loved ones have been killed by law enforcement hope it is the latter.

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A woman in front of her computer working at home on Zoom.

ABA Issues New Ethics Opinion on Remote Working

The pandemic has forced many lawyers to work remotely. In some instances, that simply means working out of a home office in the same city that the lawyer’s firm is based. In others, however, lawyers have been working from second homes in states in which they are not licensed to practice law. The American Bar Association (ABA) recently addressed this latter aspect of remote work in a new ethics opinion—Formal Opinion 495, issued on Dec. 16.

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Accounting woman in a COVID mask

A Step-by-Step Guide to Year-End Bookkeeping for Law Firms

It’s that time again! Not just for holidays and eggnog, but also taxes, 1099s, and other year-end financial must-dos. And after the year we’ve had – what with PPP loans and unplanned expenses – the process will be more complicated than ever. If we set aside just a few minutes to organize our year-end now, we’ll find ourselves much less stressed when the new year and tax deadlines roll around. This practical, step-by-step guide will set you and your firm up for a year-end win and success in 2021.

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