Washington Lawyer

D.C. Bar 2011–2012 Annual Report

From Washington Lawyer, July/August 2012

40 Years of Growth, Challenges, and Success
The D.C. Bar marked its 40th anniversary in April with a sense of pride in its past and anticipation for its future. Created by the D.C. Court of Appeals two years after the enactment of the D.C. Court Reorganization Act of 1970, the Bar since has endeavored to carry out its unique purposes as set forth in the D.C. Court of Appeals Rules Governing the Bar in a manner that consistently demonstrates the highest levels of service, integrity, and leadership to the courts, to individual Bar members, and also to the public. Throughout its history, the Bar has evolved to meet emerging needs and to find new ways to improve the legal system and the administration of justice.

As it concludes its 2011–2012 fiscal year, the Bar takes a look at some of its accomplishments since its founding in 1972, from zero membership on its first day to becoming the second–largest mandatory bar in the nation today, from building a highly respected pro bono program to implementing its first strategic plan, and from relying on a one–way communication channel to establishing a social media presence.

Improving the Legal Profession
While it’s no surprise that the D.C. Bar has grown in size since it was created in April 1972, the statistics are a bit startling. Three months after its starting point, the Bar had 10,925 members; as of March 2012 there were 97,493 Bar members—a 900 percent increase.

Membership is not the only thing that changed the past 40 years. Prior to the creation of the Bar by the D.C. Court of Appeals, there was no centralized system to protect the public from lawyers whose practices fell short of the ethical standards required of members of the legal profession. Today the Bar has a comprehensive disciplinary system that includes the prosecutors in the Office of Bar Counsel and adjudicators serving on the Board on Professional Responsibility and its hearing committees.

The Bar also has a variety of nondisciplinary regulatory programs designed to serve the membership as well as the public. The Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee provides ongoing guidance concerning the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct; the Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee works to ensure the rules are current and relevant; the Practice Management Advisory Service runs the popular “Basic Training and Beyond” course that teaches attorneys how to build and run their own law practices; and the Lawyer Assistance Program assists attorneys, judges, and law students dealing with substance abuse or mental health problems.

The Bar’s role extends beyond its membership as well. Its Attorney/Client Arbitration Board facilitates a prompt and efficient process for the resolution of fee disputes, and its Clients’ Security Fund Trustees provide a process to reimburse individuals who have sustained losses as a result of dishonest conduct of Bar members. That particular fund, which is replenished annually to maintain a $750,000 minimum balance, paid 96 claims totaling almost $570,000 in the past year.

Empowering Lawyers to Achieve Excellence
It wasn’t until 1990 that the D.C. Bar established its own structured program of continuing legal education for members. Since then the Bar’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program has rapidly grown both in size and popularity, offering some of the best ethics and practice area courses in the country.

Last year the CLE Program offered 141 classes focused on ethics issues and various other areas of the law, and it held 12 sessions of the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice. In fiscal year 2011–12 the program served more than 10,000 course registrants.

Since its CLE offerings are accredited in all 45 states with mandatory CLE requirements, the Bar also processed more than 8,600 attorney accreditation forms for program attendees in the past year.

Professional advancement is also available through membership in the Bar’s sections. In 1974 the Bar formed 16 “divisions” to provide members with opportunities to convene around areas of legal expertise and interest. Those divisions have evolved into the Bar’s current 20 sections that host hundreds of educational and networking opportunities each year for more than 22,000 members.

In the last fiscal year the Bar formed a Leadership Development Committee tasked to create a program that would identify, train, and develop current and potential leaders in the legal profession. This year the Bar continued those efforts, designing a leadership program for future leaders to be launched next year and another designed for current D.C. Bar leaders being implemented this year.

Enhancing Access to Justice
Today it’s hard to imagine the D.C. Bar without its much-lauded Pro Bono Program, but until 1976 the Bar had no infrastructure in place to assist members in fulfilling their pro bono obligations.

Since its creation the Pro Bono Program has worked continuously to strengthen and enhance its offerings, as well as to nurture the pro bono commitment of the District’s legal community. Last year the Pro Bono Program provided legal information, advice, and/or representation to more than 20,000 individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses in the District.

This fiscal year the Pro Bono Program’s Community Economic Development Project trained 325 community–based organizations in the District on the new D.C. Nonprofit Corporation Act, which governs local nonprofits and has been substantially revised for the first time since 1962. The Pro Bono Program also experienced a significant transition following the retirement of its longtime executive director, Maureen Thornton Syracuse, after 19 years of service. Taking over the helm of the Pro Bono Program is Monika Kalra Varma, former director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights.

In line with its commitment to access to justice, the Bar created the D.C. Bar Foundation in 1977 to help secure much-needed funding for legal services organizations that provide free civil legal services to low–income and underserved District residents. Last year, through the generous support of law firms and with earnings from the D.C. Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program, the foundation distributed $3 million to 17 local legal services providers. Since its inception the foundation has awarded more than $36 million in grants to legal services organizations in the District.

As in years past, the Bar joined the D.C. Access to Justice Commission in early 2012 to advocate for continued public funding for civil legal services by the D.C. Council.

Keeping Up With Technology
In its early years, communication between the D.C. Bar and its members was limited to published periodicals, starting with the Bar Report, followed by District Lawyer, and, finally, Washington Lawyer. While Washington Lawyer remains the Bar’s flagship publication, the organization has embraced new technology to reach out to members, such as through e-mail, the Bar’s Web site, and the monthly electronic newsletter E-Brief.

Throughout his term, Bar President Darrell G. Mottley focused on utilizing technology to make the Bar more accessible to members and to establish reciprocal channels of communication. A Strategic Information Technology Plan was established through a new standing technology committee of the Bar to pursue these efforts, which include a redesign of the Bar’s Web site for easier use. In January the Bar also launched its leadership blog, D.C. Bar Voices at http://dcbarvoices.typepad.com/dcbar, as an avenue for the exchange of ideas and information. While it has already established its presence on

LinkedIn, the Bar took further steps into the world of social media, joining Twitter and Facebook in early 2012 to engage members.

Looking to the Future
Throughout its 40–year history, the D.C. Bar has done its best to adjust to the changing needs of its members by undertaking new initiatives and programs. But while the Bar’s planning was thoughtful and intentional, it lacked a long–range vision. This changed at the end of 2009 when the Board of Governors approved the Bar’s first strategic plan, which provides guidelines for the organization’s future and helps to ensure that any decisions made are consistent with the overall direction of the Bar.

Guided with the strategic plan, the Bar is able to move strategically and deliberately toward its goals and “an envisioned future” of being recognized as the national leader in the legal profession for professional excellence, preeminent programs, and exemplary public service. By focusing its energies on specific goal areas and underlying strategic objectives, the Bar is able to make the best use of its limited resources as it continues to serve its members and the community.

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BAR AND AFFILIATE
Consolidated Statements of Activities and Financial Position • Years Ended June 30, 2011 and 2010
Revenue 2011 2010
Members’ dues $21,092,214 $19,627,406
Admissions and Registrations 1,857,475 2,027,877
Advertising 278,095 403,944
Books and Publication Sales 158,404 184,422
Contributions 1,983,039 1,945,390
In–kind Contributions 3,153,880 2,646,045
Investment Income (Loss) 2,683,986 1,052,142
Mailing List 36,534 34,129
Miscellaneous 70,455 46,495
Other Fees and Services 11,890 10,936
Rental Income 20,271 13,515
Royalties 268,098 250,429
Total Revenue $31,614,341 $28,242,730

Expenses
 
 
Program Services:    
Board on Professional Responsibility $7,032,356 $6,985,793
Regulation Counsel 2,253,306 2,033,817
Conference and Annual Meeting 153,854 440,218
Continuing Legal Education 3,112,132 2,815,131
Sections 1,361,735 1,312,013
Clients’ Security Trust Fund 568,565 379,121
Publications 2,076,931 2,076,247
Pro Bono Program 1,794,938 1,728,736
Total Program Services $18,353,817 $17,771,076

Supporting Services:

Administration & Finance—D.C. Bar $7,555,145 $7,415,819
Administration & Finance—Pro Bono 272,122 242,595
Executive Office 1,222,870 1,183,420
Fundraising Pro Bono 225,946 183,031
Total Supporting Services 9,276,083 9,024,865
Total Expenses 27,629,900 26,795,941
Changes in net assets 3,984,441 1,446,789
Net Assets Beginning of Year 9,107,896 7,661,107
Net Assets End of Year $13,092,337 $9,107,896

Assets 2011 2010
Cash and Cash Equivalent $10,204,544 $9,071,382
Investments: Clients’ Security Trust Fund 750,001 700,001
Investments 16,537,255 13,338,096
Receivables, Net of Allowance for Doubtful Accounts 244,531 199,248
Other Assets 491,112 421,220
Property and Leasehold Improvements, Net 5,813,417 6,527,537
Total Assets $34,040,860 $30,257,484

Liabilities and Net Assets    
Liabilities:    
Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities $3,604,260 $3,470,476
Deferred Revenue 12,732,946 13,011,207
Landlord Improvement Allowance 3,567,726 3,927,496
Deferred Rent Liability 994,346 713,929
Other Liabilities 49,245 26,480
Total Liabilities $20,948,523 $21,149,588

Net Assets Designated:    
Mandatory Dues Purposes $6,663,968 $3,681,101
Clients’ Security Trust Fund 750,001 700,001
Pro Bono Program 2,862,678 2,561,732
Sections 1,043,950 724,800
Continuing Legal Education 316,647 203,740
Undesignated 1,455,093 1,236,522
Total Net Assets $13,092,337 $9,107,896
Total Liabilities and Net Assets $34,040,860 $30,257,484

The above financial reports represent the District of Columbia Bar’s Consolidated Statements of Activities and the Consolidated Statements of Financial Position for the years ended June 30, 2011 and 2010. Any member who wishes to receive a full copy of the Bar’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Schedules may request one by calling 202-737-4700, ext. 3343.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS 2011–2012

President
Darrell G. Mottley
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.

President–Elect
Thomas S. Williamson Jr.
Covington & Burling LLP

Secretary
Marianela Peralta
Walmart Stores, Inc.
 
Treasurer
Jeffrey S. Gutman
The George Washington University
Law School

Members
Johnine P. Barnes
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Brigida Benitez
Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Amy L. Bess
Vedder Price P.C.

Paulette E. Chapman
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

H. Guy Collier
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Sabine S. Curto
Jenner & Block LLP

Judy Deason
King & Spalding LLP

Andrea C. Ferster
Law Offices of Andrea Ferster

Ronald S. Flagg
Sidley Austin LLP

Stephen I. Glover
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Glenn F. Ivey
Venable LLP

Bridget Bailey Lipscomb
U.S. Department of Justice
 
Lorelie S. Masters
Jenner & Block LLP

Barry C. Mills

Robert D. Okun
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

James W. Rubin
SNR Denton
 
Javier G. Salinas
Grant Thornton LLP

R. Justin Smith
U.S. Department of Justice

Annamaria Steward
University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law

D.C. BAR COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES

Attorney/Client Arbitration Board
Malcolm M. Pritzker, Chair
Brian L. Blonder, Vice Chair

Audit
Ronald S. Flagg, Chair

Budget
Thomas S. Williamson Jr., Chair

Community Economic Development Pro Bono Project Advisory                     
Prof. Susan Bennett, Chair
Richard Marks, Vice Chair

Compensation
Darrell G. Mottley, Chair

Continuing Legal Education          
Catherine D. Bertram, Chair
Luke Reynolds, Vice Chair

Court Funding        
Carolyn B. Lamm, Chair

Disaster Practice Issues Working Group  
Richard B. Nettler, Chair

Election Board         
Darnell L. Henderson, Chair

Executive      
Darrell G. Mottley, Chair

Family Law Task Force     
Rita M. Bank, Cochair
Margaret J. McKinney, Cochair

Finance         
Ronald S. Flagg, Chair

Judicial Evaluation 
Thomas C. Papson, Chair

Lawyer Assistance Program
Ellen L. Stefani-Pyle, Chair
Clarence F. Stanback, Vice Chair

Leadership Development    
Philip A. Lacovara, Cochair
Eileen Sobeck, Cochair

Legal Ethics 
Thomas M. Mason, Chair
Albert W. Turnbull, Vice Chair

Membership 
Marilyn T. Lynch, Chair
James T. Langford, Vice Chair

Nominations 
Patrick McGlone, Chair

Pension
Ronald S. Flagg, Chair

Practice Management Service        
Natalie Marie Koss, Chair
Michelle C. Thomas, Vice Chair

Pro Bono
James J. Sandman, Chair
Ann K. Ford, Vice Chair

Publications
Don A. Resnikoff, Chair
Elizabeth T. Simon, Vice Chair

Regulations/Rules/Board Procedures        
Ankur J. Goel, Chair

Rules of Professional Conduct Review     
George R. Clark, Chair
Peggy Love, Vice Chair

Screening     
James W. Rubin, Chair

Senior Lawyer Project Working Group   
Marc L. Fleischker, Chair

Technology  
Laura A. Possessky

D.C. BAR SECTIONS
Council on Sections
Katherine C. Gehringer, Chair
Thomas C. Mugavero, Vice Chair

Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section
Jonathan G. Cedarbaum, Cochair
Michael L. Stern, Cochair

Antitrust and Consumer Law Section
Nadine Jones, Cochair                                  
Don A. Resnikoff, Cochair

Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section
Andrew T. Mirsky, Cochair
Lita T. Rosario, Cochair                                                        

Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section
Felicia C. Battista, Chair
Keir D. Gumbs, Vice Chair

Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section
Frederick V. Mulhauser, Cochair
Sean C. Staples, Cochair

Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section
Patricia A. Cresta-Savage, Cochair
Geneva G. Vanderhorst, Cochair

District of Columbia Affairs Section
David L. Goldblatt, Cochair
Edward J. Rich, Cochair

Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section
Bicky Corman, Cochair
Kelly A. Johnson, Cochair

Estates, Trusts and Probate Law Section
James Larry Frazier, Cochair
Katherine M. Wiedmann, Cochair

Family Law Section
Nancy E. Drane, Cochair
Rebecca C. Shankman, Cochair

Government Contracts and Litigation Section
Keith D. Coleman, Cochair
Kevin J. Maynard, Cochair

Health Law Section
Tearyn J. Loving, Cochair
Cathy Zeman Scheineson, Cochair

Intellectual Property Law Section
Leigh Ann Lindquist, Cochair
Sidney A. Rosenzweig, Cochair

International Law Section
Geoffrey M. Goodale, Chair
Penny Wakefield, Vice Chair

Labor and Employment Law Section
H. David Kelly Jr., Cochair
Joyce E. Taber, Cochair

Law Practice Management Section
Anne E. Collier, Chair
William C. Paxton, Vice Chair                     
Litigation Section
Michael D. Kass, Cochair
Lucy E. Newton, Cochair

Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section
David H. Cox, Cochair
Steven L. Dube, Cochair

Taxation Section
Serena G. Simons, Chair
George A. Hani, Vice Chair

Tort Law Section
Kelly J. Fisher, Cochair
Denis C. Mitchell, Cochair

AFFILIATED PROGRAMS

Board on Professional Responsibility
Ray S. Bolze, Chair
Deborah J. Jeffrey, Vice Chair

Clients’ Security Fund Study
Geoffrey M. Klineberg, Chair
Nathalie F. P. Gilfoyle, Vice Chair

District of Columbia Bar Foundation
Emilio W. Cividanes, President
Marna S. Tucker, Vice President