It slipped by just as silently as the ex-parte hearings to quash the Washington State Bar Members rights for referendums, but it happened. (Only took me 5 years to notice!)
In an earlier story I told you about Paula Littlewood and Robin Haynes going into an ex-parte hearing at the Washington State Supreme Court to stop a member referendum. Well there have been quite a few other hearings behind closed doors…
I found documents about the Supreme Court ordering the Washington State Bar Association to pay for two or three organizations. Organizations that the members of the Supreme Court Judges were the leaders of.
The Washington State Bar Association was created via “The Bar Act” as a designated agency to oversee lawyers conduct. The have always operated under the protection of the Washington State Supreme Court.
For years they claimed that they were immune from the Public Records Act because they are a private association, that argument fails because they take public taxpayers monies for their services and committees. (See Clarke V Tri-Cities)
Now the WSBA will cry all day long that they don’t fall into that category, but they do. They do release certain public records so they can avoid the actual lawsuit to make it “official” though.
I think I finally figured out why they dumped their “LLT Board” when the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission decision came out.
The Supreme Court and legislators created a designation of people who could do certain types of legal work without being lawyers called Limited Licensed Technicians, which they handed over to the WSBA to “police” thereby creating a monopoly on legal services. So in order to protect the Supreme Court they dropped the whole board.
Back to the Supreme Court ordering the Bar Association to pay for these groups and committees. The members assume that their monies are going to go to specific activities, and they have a right to be notified of any changes, or any appropriation of funds.
The Supreme Court takes those monies and by court order demands the WSBA spends the money how the Supreme Court see fit. Could you imagine if the Supreme Court drug your business into court and said you had to pay for one of the committees they created and run just because they said so?
They can’t have it all ways, the Bar is either a state agency or a private group. At some point they were trying to drop the word Association from their name, the members nixed that idea.
Professional Association Law and Legal Definition
A professional association is a term used to describe a business that serves a single profession and requires a significant amount of education, training, or experience or a license or certificate from a state or private authority to practice the profession. It is an organization whose members belong to a particular profession that sets requirements for entry into and maintaining membership in that profession.
So why should you care that the Supreme Court is screwing lawyers in this state? Next time you need an attorney and all that is left is big law firms that you couldn’t even afford a 10 minute consultation with you’ll care.
All of these rulings, including trying to make all attorneys purchase malpractice insurance from one main insurer, and raising the Bar fees is designed to eliminate the small firms, and solo practitioners entirely. Otherwise known as the attorneys that common citizens can afford.
The Supreme Court does not in any way care about the citizens, they just want to maintain their absolute power of the state. I wrote them the following letter and the response is on top. I have never received a response from any of them so this is as close as I’ve ever gotten.
Okay so point is, since the earliest ruling that I can find in 2012 where the Supreme Court ordered the WSBA to pay for their committees, they designated the WSBA as a public agency since they can not order a priavte association to spend funds as designated by the Supreme Court unless they were a public agency.