with Gov. Jerry Moberg
Jerry Moberg was elected to the WSBA Board of Governors in September 2012. He represents cities, school districts, and counties
in litigation for Canfield & Associates,
a third-party administrator of several
public risk pools in Ephrata. Prior to
that, Gov. Moberg was a solo practitioner, served as a superior court judge in
Grant County, and practiced at firms
in Spokane and Moses Lake. He is currently on the board of the Samaritan
Hospital Ethics Committee. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees
from Gonzaga University.
1Why did you want to serve on the WSBA Board of Governors?
When I ran for office, the WSBA was at
an important crossroads. The license
fees were significantly reduced by referendum and my sense was that many attorneys were unhappy with the direction
of the WSBA. We faced a large population of citizens with unmet civil litigation needs. As an older and experienced
lawyer, I felt it was the right time to step
in and provide my input. (And I thought
it would be cool to be called “Governor.”)
2 What is the most important lesson you have learned about WSBA
members since you’ve been on the Board?
My time on the board has confirmed my
belief that Washington is blessed with a
large group of talented, honest, and dedicated lawyers with a grand diversity of
opinions. I have learned that there is no
“consensus” of thinking among lawyers.
Lawyers in Washington work hard to
make a living and provide their clients
with the best representation possible.
They want the WSBA to provide them
with practical support that will help them
better serve their clients.
3 What decision or accomplishment are you the most proud of from
your service on the Board?
I am most proud of the work the Board
has done in an effort to implement the
LLLT program and the preliminary
work we are doing on reducing the cost
of civil litigation. While I recognize
that many lawyers do not support the
LLLT program and even feel threat-
ened by it, the program has great
value. It will provide some affordable
and providing new, lower-cost means to
resolve disputes are an important step
in the right direction.
4 What has been the most difficult decision you had to make as a
governor, and why?
I would not consider any decision I have
made during my term as difficult. We
generally have a lot of background information on the issues and the discussions
among the governors are usually informative. I think some decisions have been
unpopular, but not difficult. The Board
represents a large body of thoughtful
lawyers with varying view points and, as
a governor, it is important to avoid taking positions on issues that are primarily
political or do not directly involve the administration of justice.
5 Can you share one thing we may not know about you?
I attend a Cross-Fit training class at 5
a.m., four days a week, and I love doo-wop music. NWL
Take 5 lets you learn a little more about
your Board of Governors. If you have further questions for Gov. Jerry Mobert, he
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
representation to citizens who cannot
afford an attorney. I have two paralegals in my office who are in the LLLT
program. LLLT is simply one step in
dealing with the large population of
citizens with unmet civil legal needs.
I am also proud of the work that the
Board has done investigating new strategies for delivery of legal services in the
future. It is estimated that nearly 80% of
citizens with civil legal needs are unrepresented or underrepresented. As
lawyers, we need to change our thinking and create strategies that will allow
us to serve this segment of the public
in ways that make economic sense. The
use of LLLTs, unbundled legal services,
low-bono law firms, and the streamlining of court procedures are needed re-forms. Frankly, the practice of charging
clients fees they cannot afford and then
kicking them out the door when they
can no longer pay is a poor business
model. The Board needs to press forward and assist lawyers in developing
new strategies in the future that will allow them to meet the needs of the public
while still making a decent living. If we
don’t, non-lawyer services like Legal
Zoom and Rocket Lawyer will slowly replace lawyers in a large number of markets. Reducing the cost of civil litigation
Left to right: Gov. Jerry Moberg, with sister, Judy, and late brother, Greg, on a hike in the Cinque Terre
region of Italy.