Board Minutes - May 14, 2010
Capital Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City, Missouri
H.A. “Skip” Walther, President
John S. Johnston, President-Elect
Lynn Whaley Vogel, Vice-President
Thomas M. Burke, Past President
Keith A. Birkes, Secretary
Suzanne B. Bradley
P. John Brady
Thomas J. Casey
Mark W. Comley
Hon. Charles D. Curless
Dana Tippin Cutler
Genevieve M. Frank
Alan B. Gallas
Richard F. Halliburton
Paul G. Henry
Vincent F. Igoe, Jr.
Jennifer M. Joyce
Marie A. Kenyon
Hon. John F. Kintz
Neil F. Maune, Jr.
Hon. Karen King Mitchell
Max E. Mitchell
Nancy R. Mogab
Hon. Mark H. Neill
Douglass F. Noland
Megan E. Phillips
Joseph P. Rice, III
Brett W. Roubal
Deanna K. Scott
Allan D. Seidel
Patricia A. Sexton
Patrick B. Starke
Hon. David L. Vincent
Raymond E. Williams
Eric J. Wulff
Members by telephone:
Carol Chazen Friedman
John R. Gunn
W. Edward Reeves
Stephen R. Bough
Hon. Richard Bresnahan
Edward J. Hershewe
Walter R. Simpson
It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Governors of January 22, 2010 and April 8, 2010 and of the Executive Committee meetings of January 21, February 16, March 22, March 29, April 26 and May 3, 2010 be approved. The motion was approved.
2. Finance Committee Report:
Mr. Erik Bergmanis reported that the The Missouri Bar’s finances are in good shape and tracking as expected. He reported that the dues revenue is at projected levels and CLE revenue is coming in as anticipated. He noted that CLE revenue is anticipated to increase as the MCLE reporting deadline nears. He further reported that interest income is a little less than projected. He noted that as of May, the Bar has disbursed $408,400 in pass through funds to Legal Aid, the majority of these funds were generated by the $20 portion of enrollment fee earmarked for this purpose. He noted that about $34,000 of these funds came from pro hac vice fees. It was moved and seconded that the financial report be approved. The motion passed.
3. Committee Report
A. Client Security Fund Report
Mr. Chris Janku reported that the Client Security Fund Committee met on April 30 and is recommending the payment of 18 claims for a total of $29,250 and the denial of eight claims. He noted that the annual fund appropriation is $200,000, so the payment recommendation is well below the cap established by Article 2.10 of the Regulations and Rules of Procedure that govern the Fund. He reported that the Client Security Fund contained $411,420.87 as of March 31. A motion was made and seconded to approve payment and denial of the claims as reported. The motion was approved.
Messrs. Alan Pratzel and Scott Robbins reported on a proposal to amend the Client Security Fund Committee’s Regulation and Rules of Procedure to permit the payment of claims for cases involving lawyers who have voluntarily withdrawn from the practice of law due to mental or physical incapacitation. Mr. Pratzel reported that OCDC has allowed lawyers to withdraw from practice without pursuing suspension or disbarment under these circumstances. And he noted that these attorneys have not had a history of disciplinary complaints or problems. Under the proposed amendment, injured clients would be able to make claims under Article 2.2(d), when such an attorney is unable to make restitution directly. Mr. Pratzel noted that there are currently very few cases of this type, but it is anticipated that such claims may become more prevalent as more “baby boomers” begin reaching the end of their careers. It was moved and seconded to approve the amendment to the rule. The motion was approved.
B. Missouri Bar Criminal Justice Task Force
Mr. Skip Walther submitted the final report of the Missouri Bar Criminal Justice Task Force. He reported that the Task Force included representatives from the prosecutors, public defenders, private bar and judiciary and was created to review and address the issues related to the adequate funding and resources available within the system as a whole.
He noted that the report contains a recommendation to the Board of Governors to appoint an Executive Committee or Council of the current Criminal Law Committee. He explained that this executive component would include representatives from across the entire criminal justice spectrum and their purpose would be to engage in the ongoing study and discussion of issues affecting the system as a whole, including guiding the Bar, courts and legislature on potential solutions.
Mr. Walther further noted that consensus does not currently exist as to the issues, problems and solutions, so this executive group would expect a
In response to questions regarding the appointment process for this executive group, it was moved and seconded that the report would be accepted and that the President would consult with the existing members of the task force to develop a protocol for appointing an Executive Committee/Council, ensuring that the group represents a balanced composition of those interested in and affected by issues and problems of the system. The motion was approved.
Ms. Catherine Barrie reported on the current status of bar-drafted legislation. She reported that two bar-drafted bills were truly agreed to and finally passed during the current session. She reported that both measures came from the Commercial Law Committee and both dealt with correcting the unintended consequences of legislation passed last year related to the protection of social security numbers in court proceedings and documents.
Ms. Barrie reported that several other bar-drafted bills were not passed in this session. These included a third bill drafted by the Commercial Law Committee dealing with property that is exempt from attachment and execution.
She further reported that the Family Law Section’s Uniform Interstate Family Support Act was included in an omnibus bill, which ultimately did not receive legislative approval. She noted that this bill is likely to receive more positive attention when changes are made to the Hague Convention, which relate to these issues. These changes would negatively impact federal funding to states that have not adopted the Act. She also reported that the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act did not pass. She indicated that issues surrounding the potential impact of enforceability standards on economically disadvantaged spouses became an issue with this measure. Ms. Barrie also provided a list of bills that have been truly agreed upon.
A. May Appointments
(1) Fee Dispute Resolution Committee
Mr. Keith Birkes reported that the terms of two members – Mr. Dave Macoubrie and Ms. Anna Marie Wingron – are expiring and that neither is eligible for reappointment. He reported that the committee is in the process of identifying two members to fill these positions. He reported that with the Board’s permission, the two members identified will be submitted to the Executive Committee for appointment.
(2) ABA House of Delegates
Mr. Birkes reported that the terms of four delegates to the ABA House of Delegates are expiring. He reported that Doreen Dodson has held a long-term appointment and that she is willing to continue in that role. It was recommended that Doreen Dodson be approved for the long-term appointment and Tom Burke, C. Ronald Baird and Charlie Harris be appointed to serve two-year terms traditionally filled by past presidents of The Missouri Bar. It was moved and seconded to make these appointments. The motion was approved.
(3) Alcoholism Intervention Committee
Mr. Birkes reported that the second term of Mr. Jeffrey Thomsen is expiring and he eligible for reappointment. It was moved and seconded to approve the reappointment of Mr. Jeffrey Thomsen. The motion was approved.
B. July Appointments
There are no July appointments.
6. Young Lawyers Section Report:
Mr. John Gunn reported that the YLS had a winter meeting in February. He reported that three judges from Jackson County presented a program on navigating the non-partisan judicial selection process. An additional presentation focused on attacks on the non-partisan process. The YLS met again this morning. Among the items discussed included the new YLS website, outreach to YLS groups within affiliate bars, and a publications task force, which will focus on creating a new coloring book, as well as an updated young lawyer survival guide.
7. 2010 Strategic Plan:
Mr. Keith Birkes reported that the product of the January board meeting strategic planning session was included in the board packet. He noted that the draft reflects the reaffirmation of the five strategic planning categories with new updated items added. He also reported that the draft includes a proposed sixth category dealing specifically with the integrity and adequate funding of the judiciary. Mr. Birkes noted that the line items related to the integrity and adequate funding of the judiciary, which were previously listed in one of the five original categories, were moved under the new sixth category. He reported that board members are encouraged to review and discuss the proposed draft and it will be submitted for action at the July board meeting.
8. Officers Reports:
The Board went into executive session to discuss legal and personnel matters.
Following Executive Committee discussions, the Board reopened its meeting and it was moved, seconded and unanimously approved that The Missouri Bar would do everything possible to preserve an independent and impartial judiciary in the face of attacks on the Non-Partisan Court Plan.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Keith A. Birkes, Secretary