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Take Our Quiz: Which Type of Legal Volunteer Are You?

There are many available volunteer opportunities at the WSBA. Use this quiz to get some ideas for which roles align with your interests, skills, and professional goals. Please note that certain eligibility requirements may apply for a given volunteer role. To learn more and see all available roles, check WSBA Volunteer Opportunities and read the […]

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A female attorney counseling a senior couple on their estate planning

Philanthropic Giving in Estate Plans

Thirty years ago, I left my position as VP of a bank to become VP of advancement at a liberal arts college. Fast forward to 2021 and, having flunked retirement three times to date, I continue to work some hours in the field of development and specifically planned giving. Through my experience in these roles, I’ve become convinced that individually you, professionals in the legal community, don’t always realize the important role you’ve played in strengthening our communities. Consider that at Northwest Harvest, a nonprofit organization supporting food banks in Washington state, the largest single endowment gift came largely as a result of the recommendation of an allied professional like you.

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Derek Chauvin trial with Judge Tollefson commenting on KING 5

The Derek Chauvin Trial: Early Insights from WSBA President-Elect’s Judicial Perspective

Very little about the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is standard. The mere fact that there is a trial is somewhat unusual. Police-involved deaths rarely result in prosecutions, let alone convictions of the officers involved. (Despite about 1,000 police-involved deaths per year, since 2015 only 121 officers have been arrested on charges of murder or manslaughter resulting in 44 convictions, according to the New York Times.) Few police-involved deaths are as widely well-known as the summer day in 2020 and the now-infamous video showing Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, ending in Floyd’s death. And certainly, never before has such an intensely high-profile criminal case taken place amid the unprecedented courtroom restrictions to amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Law books and a phrenology head

Court of Appeals Issues Rare Decision on Revoking Consent to Conflict Waiver

Earlier this year, Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals issued a decision touching on an area of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) that is rarely litigated: revoking consent to conflict waivers. The decision was “unpublished” under General Rule 14.1, but is instructive nonetheless—both for its illumination of this comparatively “unplumbed” area of conflicts law and as an illustration of the result.

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Our Pandemic Movie Picks for Lawyers

For cinephiles, the past year has been the aphoristic blessing and curse: watch brand new titles from home, but find yourself yearning for the sticky floors caked in overpriced movie-theater foodstuff. Oddly enough for legal professionals, the past year has resulted in a plethora of movies, series, and shows based on the law, the people who practice it, and the lives affected by it. Here are a few of the top recommended things to view, compiled by the WSBA’s resident silver-and small-screen buffs.

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Statewide Electronic Filing is on the Way to Washington Courts

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) will soon begin rolling out a new electronic system for case management and electronic filing (e-filing) for Washington’s district and municipal courts and probation offices. The AOC is trying to spread the word about the e-filing component of its Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Case Management System (CLJ-CMS) project, also known as Odyssey File & Serve (OFS).

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Cover of March 2021 Bar News

A Pandemic Retrospective for Washington Law

It’s almost quaint to think back at how naïve and hopeful many of us were a year ago. As we approach a full year of life during a pandemic, Washington State Bar News is attempting to unpack some of the changes we’ve undergone, the problems we’ve overcome, and the troubles still on the horizon.

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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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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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