WisBar News: Board discusses State Bar policy positions and takes other action at June 8 meeting:

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  • Board discusses State Bar policy positions and takes other action at June 8 meeting

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    Frank Remington

    Dist. 9 Gov. Frank Remington, a member of a subcommittee on State Bar public policy, reviews notes before making recommendations to the board.

    Nicole Standback and Colleen Ball

    Nicole Standback (left), liaison to the Wis. Association of African-American Lawyers, Wis. Asian Bar Assoc. Liaison Robin Dalton (center), and Dist. 2 Gov. Colleen Ball (right) listen to debate on action items.

    Patricia Struck and Catherine Zimmerman

    Dist. 9 Gov. Patricia Struck (right), the board’s incoming board chair, takes a break to chat with nonlawyer representative Catherine Zimmerman.

    June 9, 2011 – The State Bar Board of Governors (board) approved measures to let the board respond more quickly to legislation, and elected members to the 2012 Executive Committee, among other business at its June 8 meeting.

    Convening at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells for its final FY 2011 meeting, the board also heard updates on legislative activity, and granted a request for funding by the Access to Justice Commission.

    Board approves motions on policy positions 

    The board’s Policy Committee recommended, and the board approved, several actions regarding State Bar public policy positions, including a measure that will give the Executive Committee more power to respond quickly to legislative activity.

    Specifically, the board approved recommendations to improve “procedures relating to the mechanics of how it articulates public policies.”

    Board members now will annually review the board’s public policy positions, and assist government relations staff to ensure policy positions are clear, concise, and unambiguous. The board also approved a motion that will allow it to identify “core legislative priorities” that most closely mirror the mission of the bar.

    The board also approved a measure that will give the acting Executive Committee the power to take a public policy position (on the board’s behalf) on future legislation that relates to “core legislative priorities” (once identified) in the event in board is not able to act in a timely manner.

    Finally, the board gave the Executive Committee specific power to take a public policy position if the board cannot timely act on a draft immigration bill.

    The draft bill (LRB-1116/1), as its stands, would require “a law enforcement officer to determine whether a person who is arrested for or charged with a crime or civil violation is lawfully present in the state if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is not lawfully present.”

    Board members would be notified and would have the opportunity to provide input on a policy position in the event that action by the Executive Committee was advised. 

    Board approves budget and Access to Justice funding request 

    The board unanimously approved the FY 2012 budget, which restores funding to several committees and divisions – including the Senior Lawyers, Young Lawyers Division, and Government Lawyers divisions – that appealed a budget proposed in April. In this budget, dues remain at the same level for the eighth consecutive year. The board also unanimously approved revisions to the State Bar’s reserve policy.

    Upon request by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, the board also approved a grant of approximately $85,000 from the State Bar’s Access to Justice (ATJ) Project Fund for its direct expenses and staff time. The fund provides access to civil legal services to low-income residents.

    Board fills chair, Executive Committee, and ATJ Commission positions

    Doug Kammer Past-president Doug Kammer voices his opinion on the Finance Committee’s proposed budget, which the board approved.

    The board unanimously approved Patricia Struck as the FY 2012 chairperson of the board. Struck, of the Wisconsin Financial Institutions Division of Securities, replaces outgoing chairperson Susan Collins on July 1.

    The board also elected six board members to the Executive Committee for FY 2012. Those board members are: William Curran, Samuel Benedict, Margaret Hickey, Kelly Nickel, Robert Gagan, and Susan Collins.

    At the request of outgoing President Jim Boll, the board the approved the reappointment of Hannah Dugan as one of the board’s four appointees to the Access to Justice Commission.

    Approval of policy regarding exhibit space 

    The board approved a policy on the use of exhibit space at State Bar events as drafted by the CLE Committee. The policy gives the State Bar the power to determine which goods and services are of interest to its members for purposes of showcasing at State Bar programs, including programs produced by State Bar PINNACLE.