(SEATTLE) — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Board of Governors will hold its next meeting on October 28 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. Sixth District Governor Vernon Harkins, of Tacoma, will welcome the Board to the “City of Destiny.” The public meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. Members of the local bench and bar will be the Board’s guests for lunch. A highlight of the luncheon will be the presentation of the Local Hero Award to Tacoma attorney Lynn Johnson. As the Board of Governors travels around the state, these awards are presented to local attorneys who have made noteworthy contributions to their communities. President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association is Brett Purtzer, and the executive director is Kit Kasner.

The Board is honored to welcome Chief Justice Barbara Madsen to the meeting, who will provide an update on court funding. Under the Washington Constitution, the state must maintain a justice system in which “all cases [are] administered openly, and without unnecessary delay.” The Chief Justice has stated that “the Washington Supreme Court and the independent judicial branch entities remain committed to identifying reductions that can be accomplished without compromising our ability to meet our core constitutional responsibilities.”

Chair of the Board of Governors Diversity Committee, Governor Roger Leishman, of Seattle, will update the Board about the WSBA Membership Study, the Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System, the Judicial Institute Boot Camp, and leadership recruitment.

Also on the agenda are Governors’ and Liaison’s Forums, during which governors and others in attendance may bring non-agenda items to the attention of the Board.

Following lunch, three fellows from the WSBA Leadership Institute (WLI) class of 2011, Twyla Carter, of Seattle, Masako Kanazawa, of Seattle, and Stephen Ssemaala, of Olympia, will present the class’s community-service project. The class of 2011 developed a guide titled Police & Your Community — What You Need to Know to Challenge Actions and Change Policy in Washington State. The purpose of the guide is to encourage individuals to actively participate in their communities and have positive dialogues with law enforcement for greater community empowerment and law enforcement accountability. The fellows are grateful to the ACLU of Washington, Seattle Police Department, Spokane Police Department, and University of Washington Law Library, who provided assistance and input. Judge Marcine Anderson, of Shoreline, and William Garcia, of Seattle, serve as co-chairs of the WLI Advisory Board. The mission of the WLI is to recruit, train, and develop minority and traditionally underrepresented attorneys for future leadership positions in the bar and community.

About the Washington State Bar Association
The WSBA is part of the judicial branch, exercising a governmental function authorized by the Washington State Supreme Court to license the state’s 34,580 lawyers. The WSBA both regulates lawyers under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. As a regulatory agency, the WSBA administers the bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; and administers the lawyer-discipline system. As a professional association, the WSBA provides continuing legal education for attorneys, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities.

The governance of the WSBA is vested in its Board of Governors. There are three governors from the seventh congressional district; one from each of the other eight districts; and three at-large, one of whom represents the Young Lawyers Division. The president is Stephen R. Crossland, of Cashmere. The president-elect is Michele G. Radosevich, of Seattle, and the immediate past-president is Steven G. Toole, of Bellevue. The Board meets regularly (every six weeks) at various locations around the state, and its meetings are open to the public. Much of the work of the Bar is carried out through its numerous standing committees, 27 sections, and a Young Lawyers Division with its many committees.

The Washington State Bar Association’s mission is to serve the public and the members of the Bar, ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.

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