obstacle now is — having become law —
finding attorneys who are willing to con-
tact former juvenile offenders to let them
know the law has changed.
The lawyer, with good reason, has
been called the “quintessential fiduciary”
and the attorney-client relationship the
“archetype for the fiduciary obligation.” 4
The fundamental definition of a fiduciary is a “person having a duty …to act
primarily for another’s benefit in matters
connected with [an] undertaking…,” one
who is “willing to subsume his or her
own interests to those of another.” 5 This
is where I believe the colloquial rubber
meets the road.
As members of the Bar, we have all
been participants in what the Supreme
Court calls a “broken LFO system,” 6 so
we have some responsibility to fix it.
Or as Colin Powell said, “If you break
it, you own it.” We may not have broken our state’s LFO system, but only
by taking ownership can we really
ever fix it. How far will the legal profession go to let people know they may
be eligible to get out from under legal
debt, seal juvenile records, and unlock
barriers to employment, housing, and
post-secondary education? NWL
a staff at-
Legal Services. She represents low-
income, at-risk homeless and foster
children and youth. Outside of the
courtroom, Madsen serves her cli-
ents in administrative and legisla-
tive forums. She can be reached at
1. Damron v. Herzog, 67 F.3d 211, 214 (9th
2. In re Marriage of Wixom & Wixom, 182
Wn. App. 881, 908, 332 P.3d 1063 (2014).
3. Robert H. Aronson, “An Overview of the
Law of Professional Responsibility: The
Rules of Professional Conduct Annotated
and Analyzed,” 61 Wash. L. Rev. 823, 901
4. Sande Buhai, “Lawyers As Fiduciaries,”
53 St. Louis U. L.J. 553, 554 (2009).
5. Paula A. Monopoli, “Teaching Lawyers
to Be More Than Zealous Advocates,”
2001 Wis. L. Rev. 1159, 1167 (2001) (cit-
We will dearly miss one of our
founding Shareholders and
great friend, Pat Middleton.
April 30, 1956—September 3, 2015
ing Black’s Law Dictionary 625 (6th ed.
6. State v. Blazina, 182 Wn. 2d 827, 835, 344
P.3d 680 (2015).