Brian J. Kelly
is a WSBA
a lawyer and a
Kelly is a principal in the Cheha-
lis law firm Hillier Scheibmeir Vey
& Kelly P.S., where his practice
focuses on business, tax, real
property, probate, and municipal
law, with an emphasis on business
succession and estate planning.
He can be reached at bkelly@
The Board of Governors took up the draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget and proposal to set 2016–17 license fees for initial consideration in July. In its review of the budget and a proposed license fee increase, the Board focused on resources necessary to provide regulatory and other services at reasonable value to our 36,000 members. The table below lists ome of the Bar’s key programs and services.
As reported in prior columns, license
fees are the Bar’s primary source of
funding for programs, services, and
operations. The 2012 referendum
dropped fees from $450 to $325 without regard to the actual cost of providing these functions to members.
Although license fees historically
covered 75 percent of this work, they
covered only 64 percent in FY2014.
Through increased operational efficiencies, reductions, and prudent
use of diminishing reserves, we have
been able to hold license fees at this
level for three years, through 2015.
In order to continue to support
our obligations to the public, to you,
and to the profession, the Board has
concluded that license fees will need
to increase beginning in 2016. The
Board reviewed a proposed license
fee of $385 for 2016 and 2017 at its
July meeting, which is equivalent to
WSBA license fees in 2005–06. The
FY2015 budget and proposed license
fees for 2016 and 2017 will be presented to the Board for approval on
September 18. We will keep you informed of our deliberations. NWL
DISCIPLINE AND DISCIPLINARY SYSTEMS
In 2013, 1 the Bar processed 8,503 Consumer Affairs inquiries; reviewed
2,228 written grievances; dismissed 1,839 grievances; concluded disciplinary proceedings with 94 actions imposed ( 32 disbarments, 30 suspensions,
26 reprimands, and 6 admonitions); concluded 10 disability matters with
transfers to disability inactive status; and diverted from discipline 30 less
MEMBER SERVICES AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
CONFIDEN TIAL ETHICS LINE
Members may obtain free help from our confidential Ethics Line to analyze
ethical issues and make decisions consistent with the Rules of Professional
LEGAL LUNCHBOX SERIES
Members may fulfill their MCLE requirements at no cost by attending this
monthly, free 1.5-credit webcast CLE held the third Tuesday of each month.
NEW LAWYER EDUCATION
New and young lawyers may attend skill-building seminars at reduced rates.
LAW OFFICE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Members may obtain phone, online, and in-person consultations and referrals to resources on technology, marketing, financial management, practice
transition, and other areas to help achieve and maintain a successful practice.
Members have free access to a powerful legal research tool.
Members have 24/7 access to a confidential, statewide wellness benefit that
helps address issues related to mental health and addiction concerns, career
management, family, caregiving, daily living, health and well-being, and more.
WSBA PUBLIC SERVICE PROGRAMS
Members may earn CLE credit while giving back to their community through
the Call to Duty program, which helps address the legal needs of veterans
and their families; and through the Moderate Means Program, through which
lawyers provide legal assistance at a reduced fee to clients whose income is
within 200 to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
HARDSHIP OPTION AND PAYMENT PLAN
This option is available to support members with financial challenges in paying their license fees.
PAPERLESS LICENSE RENEWAL
As part of our organization-wide effort to go “paperless,” WSBA is offering
members the opportunity to opt out of receiving a paper license renewal
packet in the mail and instead renew online.
1Discipline data is collected on a calendar-year basis.