A diverse group of legal volunteers.

Take It from a WSBA Volunteer: A Q&A with Michele Carney

Meet WSBA volunteer Michele Carney. All this week, the WSBA is joining others around the country during National Volunteer Week to recognize and celebrate the many invaluable volunteers who devote their time and expertise to carry out the WSBA mission of serving the public, ensuring the integrity of the legal profession, and championing justice.

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Image of a neon size that says quiz in all capital letters

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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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 The decision was “unpublished” under General Rule 14.1, but is instructive nonetheless—both for its illumination of this comparatively “unplumbed” area of conflicts law and as an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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Digital law and justice graphic with document, gavel, and scale icons

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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Screen shot from WSBA's first website

Blast from the Past: When the WSBA First Went Online 25 Years Ago

In 1996, “Macarena” was topping the charts, Japanese consumers became the first to purchase a new video format called DVDs, Independence Day blew up both U.S. landmarks and box offices, and the WSBA officially entered cyberspace. Recently, a member of the WSBA Communications Department was searching through old issues of Washington State Bar News and happened upon the following article which details the WSBA’s first website that went live 25 years ago this year.

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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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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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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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