COMMITTEESCONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION: The purpose of the CLE Committee is to deliver high quality continuing legal education that imparts knowledge, reaffirms values, and enhances skills - at a fair cost.
The composition of the CLE Committee is composed of members of the bar willing to serve on this committee and will include one standing member each of the Family Law Section, Criminal Law Section, Guardianship Committee, and Young Lawyers Section. It is required that each of the named sections and committees be responsible for putting on a one-half-day CLE each year for the TPCBA with the revenues going directly to the TPCBA. Having standing members from these committees or sections will give continuity to this committee.
This is a committee that needs constant involvement and monitoring by the chair person(s). Meetings usually occur monthly. At the meetings topics for future CLEs and speakers are discussed. The chair must assign a coordinator for each pending CLE. Selecting people to work as a CLE coordinator can be difficult because of having to rely on that person to make sure the CLE is successful. The CLE chair has to assume he or she will be the coordinator of one or more CLEs each year, which includes arranging for speakers, coordinating times to speak, determining if the speaker needs presentation equipment and prompting speakers to get their CLE materials in on time. The CLE chair must be constantly thinking about topics for CLEs and potential speakers and coordinators to put the CLE together. The CLE chair must be comfortable interacting with members of the Bench, as often judges are speakers. After the CLE the chair is responsible to write thank you letters to participants. An estimate of time spent monthly as chair would be fifteen hours.
DISTRICT/MUNICIPAL COURT LIAISON: The District/Municipal Court Liaison Committee works closely with and assists the Pierce County District and Municipal Courts in their continuing effort to provide an efficient and practical system of judicial administration for the mutual benefit of the District and Municipal Court judges, administrators, staff, attorneys, and the public.
The chair of this committee develops topics of interest to all practicing in courts of limited jurisdiction for the committee that includes lawyers, judges, administrators and others interested in the workings of district and municipal courts. The chair procures speakers on these subjects and prepares and distributes agendas, minutes and meeting notices, as well as selecting and obtaining meeting locations and times. The chair also moderates meetings, updates the section membership list, and prepares the annual report for the bar. Approximate time required: 5 hours per month (including attending monthly meetings), three additional hours to prepare annual report.SUPERIOR COURT COMMISSION: The Superior Court Commission is comprised of members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association whose role is to serve as a liaison between the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association and Pierce County Superior Court, Pierce County Council, Pierce County Executive and such other individuals or entities as necessary regarding the operation, administration and function of the Pierce County Superior Court. The commission shall provide a conduit for the exchange of information and a forum for the constructive discussion of issues of the Pierce County Superior Court and its impact on members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar and the citizens of Pierce County. Recommendations, resolutions and findings of the commission shall be provided directly to the President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association and Executive Board of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. All members of this commission serve at the pleasure of the President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association.
BY-LAW/LONG RANGE PLANNING/MEMBERSHIP: The By-Law/Long Range Planning and Membership Committee is chaired annually by the Immediate Past President. The purpose of the committee is three-fold. The By-Law portion answers questions pertaining to interpretations of the by-laws and prepares additions, deletions, and amendments to the by-laws whenever appropriate. The Long Range Planning portion develops and recommends long range plans for the future of the TPCBA, by holding an annual informal planning session. The planning meeting includes such members as the Board of Trustees, Committee Chairs, Section Presidents, and those interested in the long range goals and interests of the Association. The membership portion of this committee works to increase Bar Association membership within Pierce County by planning and coordinating membership recruitment. This committee seeks ways in which the association can be of further service to its members through membership benefits.
GUARDIANSHIP: The Guardianship Committee provides awareness of the guardianship statute 11.88 and the intent of the legislature by serving as a forum for the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association on related legal issues.
The Guardianship Committee meets monthly. The chairperson presides over the meeting, prepares the minutes and agenda, and organizes a presentation for the monthly meeting. The presentation can be a current topic of interest presented by a speaker or informal discussion of issues brought up by the committee members or members of the Pierce County bench. New legislation and new case law are discussed at the monthly meeting also. Periodically the Guardianship Committee works with the Superior Court Bench to comment on proposed court rules and procedures. The chairperson would select and supervise committee members to work on specialty projects.
The December meeting is usually held at the office of the chair and is more collegial than productive. The July and August meetings have been tabled in the past, due to the vacation schedules of all involved.
The chairperson is required to organize a yearly half-day CLE on guardianship issues on behalf of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. The time commitment will average two hours per month.
PROFESSIONAL IMPROVEMENT/LEGAL ASSISTANT COMMITTEE: The purpose of the Professional/Improvement/Legal Assistant Committee is to review applications of legal assistants for Pierce County in accordance with PCLR 0.7, and to assist in making proposed changes to PCLR 0.7 when necessary.
BAR NEWS COMMITTEE: The Bar News Committee functions for the purpose of improving and, if necessary, changing in whole or in part the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar News, the primary publication of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. This involves acting as a sounding board for problems or suggestions voiced by the membership. It also includes soliciting new articles of relevance and interest for the Bar News readers. This committee works directly with the Editorial Board.
Committee members are assigned topics by the committee chair to cover for the Bar News. The committee meets informally approximately once a quarter, usually at the Spar. The committee chair is responsible for keeping apprised of developments and interesting topics within the bar association and legal community and delegating writing assignments.
EDITORIAL BOARD: The Editorial Board shall supervise the publication of The Bar News, the establishment of guidelines for format, content, and editorial policy and the implementation of such guidelines by review and consultation with the editor. Members are selected by the editor.
The TPCBA President serves as editor of The Bar News. The Editorial Board meets monthly on the 4th Friday of the month at 7:30 a.m. Editorial writing assignments are made at the beginning of each year, with each board member (except the editor) writing an article. The editor reviews the submitted editorial writing assignments, conducts informal board meetings and relays any necessary information to the author or TPCBA Executive Director as necessary. The editor is also responsible for reviewing the content of the Bar News. Board members review submissions and attend meetings monthly, in addition to writing one editorial each per year.
JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS: The Judicial Qualifications Committee assists the public and public officials in the appointment or election of exceptionally well qualified members of the judiciary. This committee is guided by the TPCBA By-Laws, and the Judicial Qualifications Rules & Procedures.
The duties of the chair of the Judicial Qualifications Committee involve organizing and chairing all meetings of the committee to conduct ratings of candidates for judicial appointment or election. It is recommended that two chairs be appointed by the president to help distribute the work load. In addition to an initial rating, in an election year the chairs can expect to chair 8 to 10 meetings lasting approximately two hours each. In a non-election year, the chairs can expect to chair 4 to 5 meetings.
In addition, the chair's duties include conducting communications with members of the committee and candidates for judicial office, sending out and receiving candidate questionnaires, organizing reference checks, and managing collateral issues that occasionally arise on a sensitive committee. The chair also prepares minutes for the meeting and press releases. Forms have been provided to the bar by past chairs.
BAR CONVENTION: The purpose of the Convention Committee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association is to plan and implement the annual convention of the association. The convention shall emphasize continuing legal education credits, social activities, and attempt to foster a spirit of goodwill among the membership. The committee shall be headed by the immediate past president of the bar association.
The Bar Convention Committee Chair is responsible for the planning and carrying out of all the details surrounding the Annual Bar Convention. The chair conducts meetings of the Bar Convention Committee and makes assignments and follows up on those assignments to all the committee members. Among the details to be determined by the Bar Convention Committee include:
The committee should meet in December to begin the plans for the next years convention and should meet monthly as soon as possible after new committees are formed in February. The committee will likely meet monthly for the first month or two, then probably every other week until the convention brochures go out in May, then monthly until the convention starts. The committee then meets again after the convention for a follow-up session to review feedback and propose the next year's location. Note: it was proposed at the 10/16/06 Trustees meeting that starting in 2008, the task of planning the convention should shift to the incoming president. It was also suggested that a trustee serve on the committee.
FRIEND: Friendly Response In Event Necessity Dictates. It is the purpose of the TPCBA Friend Committee to assist the Bar in promoting collegiality, courtesy, and a sense of community among the membership by offering moral and emotional support to those in the Pierce County legal community who have experienced events in their lives that challenge their own resources and which should be recognized by our legal family. The function of the committee falls into six primary areas: 1) deaths, 2) weddings, 3) illnesses, 4) retirements, 5) births, 6) congratulatory events. The activities are accomplished by sending: 1) cards, and/or 2) flowers or memorials based upon the Committee's Policies and Procedures.
The FRIEND committee meets once a month, generally on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon, to ensure that the committee has acknowledged any members of the legal community who have had significant events occur during the month. One committee member serves as Friend of the Month each month, and sends an appropriate response pursuant to the committee's policies and procedures.
The chair sends a list of the members who are recognized each month to the TPCBA so it can be publicized in the TPCBA Bar News. The chair also maintains a scrapbook of these important events.
The time commitment for the chair is approximately 1 - hours each month, not including any month the chair is Friend of the month, nor the updating of the scrapbook.
VOLUNTEER LEGAL SERVICES: The Volunteer Legal Services Committee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association is charged with developing programs to provide access to justice for those of limited means by members of the Bar Association.
The official time commitment for this job is a 1-hour meeting per month, however the average minimum time commitment is 1 hour per week; more involvement is welcome depending upon the individual and their connection with the program.
Brown-bag meetings are held monthly, the third Tuesday of each month, from 12-1 at 715 Tacoma Ave. S., every month of the year.
The chair is personally responsible for preparing the minutes and agenda for each monthly meeting and distributing these to the committee, for leading the committee at its monthly meeting in discussion of current and future activities and for providing leadership to the committee and the program. The chair has general overall responsibility for supervising the operation and development of the Volunteer Legal Services Program during their tenure. This includes nominal supervision of the VLS Program Director's position, year-end evaluation of the VLS Program Director, review of annual budget and grant applications, new program development and volunteer recruitment. The chair may create subcommittees or delegate authority as necessary to carry out these responsibilities, in cooperation with the VLS Program Director. In the chair's absence, the vice-chair will take on the responsibilities of the chair. The vice-chair will become chair the year following their tenure as vice-chair.
According to the by-laws of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Foundation, the VLS committee chair will automatically become a member of the Bar Foundation Board in the year following their tenure as VLS committee chair; therefore there is at least a 3-year volunteer commitment involved from vice-chair to chair to Foundation Board.
Responsibilities of the VLS committee chair are also set out in the by-laws of the VLS committee and the agreement signed in 2004 between the TPCBA and the Bar Foundation for management of the VLS Program.
Any member of the TPCBA Board of Trustees or a TPCBA committee who is facing criminal charges of any nature, or is aware that disciplinary action, suspension or disbarment by the Washington State Bar Association will be imposed, shall have an affirmative obligation to disclose such information to the TPCBA President, who shall take it to the Board of Trustees.
After review, the Board of Trustees shall determine whether it is in the best interests of the TPCBA to relieve said member of his or her TPCBA responsibilities pending resolution of the issue.
LAWYERPALOOZA: This fun event is held for the TPCBA membership, their families and friends on a Saturday in August on Martin Duenhoelter's farm in Olalla. Food, activities, music, advertising is planned and organized by the committee for approximately 500 attendees. Click here for 2013 photos.