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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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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Paula Littlewood

Remembering Paula

The long-serving executive director of the WSBA, Paula C. Littlewood, died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 14. We mourn the terrible loss of a great leader and a loving friend.

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Young woman taking bar exam on computer at home

Washington Prepares for First-Ever Remote Bar Exam

For the first time in its history, the WSBA will administer the bar exam remotely. On Dec. 3, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order authorizing the WSBA “to conduct the February 2021 administration of legal licensing examinations for admission using remote testing software,” citing the “extraordinary barriers” created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.On Dec. 3, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order authorizing the WSBA “to conduct the February 2021 administration of legal licensing examinations for admission using remote testing software,” citing the “extraordinary barriers” created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Legal Scale

The 10 Most-Read NWSidebar Articles of 2020

You probably won’t be surprised by the trend that emerges when one glances through the most-read articles published to NWSidebar in 2020. As of this writing, after about nine months of COVID-19—with a vaccine off-ramp still months out and new spikes in cases resulting in yet another statewide lockdown—much has been learned about, adapted to, and coped with regarding the pandemic that has turned all of daily life upside down … and then spun it a few more times just for good measure.

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Cover of Bar News Nov 2020

Honoring Veterans in Washington State Bar News

Each November we dedicate a day to pause and reflect on our veterans. In the latest issue of Washington State Bar News, we’ve done just that. In recognition of Veterans Day, we’re sharing stories that focus on issues affecting service members, their families, and the legal professionals who make serving veterans their duty. Members of the WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section help explain its origins and what its section members do

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