In his inaugural column in Washington Lawyer he asked, “What can we do to continue to produce leaders who personify the best of our profession?” With his guidance, the D.C. Bar has made substantial progress toward answering President Sandman’s question. By expanding and cultivating its membership and renewing its commitment to public service, the D.C. Bar has demonstrated this dedication to excellence and leadership throughout the 2006–2007 year.
On August 1, 2006, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals approved amendments to the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, which became effective on February 1, 2007. Under great time constraints, D.C. Bar staff from the offices of Regulation Counsel and Communications produced a red-line version of the current rules to the amended rules. This version has been available on the Bar’s Web site since October 2006.
The rules changes concern all D.C. lawyers, and the Continuing Legal Education Program (CLE) quickly launched high-quality courses exclusively dedicated to explaining the amendments and how they implicate different practice types: government attorneys, in-house counsel, large and small firms, and solo practitioners. Current and former members of the Rules Review Committee assisted with course preparation and served as panelists. More than 500 attorneys attended these sessions, which were offered free of charge.
In addition to live instruction, the CLE Program made its foray into digital education. The courses focusing on the new ethics rules have been made available for purchase as audio recorded DVDs; additional materials also are available through the Bar’s Web site. Online versions of the ethics courses are in development.
The CLE Program also continued to offer a broad spectrum of educational opportunities, including more than 100 courses satisfying the MCLE requirements of all 41 jurisdictions having such obligations. More than 3,600 attorneys attended the 12 sessions of the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice. Additionally, thanks to funding from the Bar’s Litigation Section, frontline poverty lawyers have received significant discounts on their CLE fees.
The Sections cosponsored more than 100 individual CLE courses with the D.C. Bar or outside organizations and collectively held more than 200 individual educational programs this year. These events, which featured prominent speakers from the government and private sectors, included topics such as the federal sentencing guidelines, enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and environmental and employment law. Other Sections events honored judges, public interest lawyers, and other local and federal officials. The 16th edition of the District of Columbia Practice Manual included substantial revisions, with alterations to two-thirds of the text. More than 100 Sections members participated in the editing, research, and writing.
Member Services and Initiatives
The 2007 D.C. Bar Conference, which was held March 26 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, offered serious education in a lighthearted fashion. “Ethics Blues: A Musical Ethics Experience” discussed the amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct through the medium of blues music.
During the conference’s opening luncheon, James H. Thessin, principal deputy legal adviser at the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, received the 2007 Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service. The judicial reception at the end of the conference honored judges who retired or assumed senior status during the previous year. Diane Weinroth, special counsel at the Children’s Law Center and practitioner-in-residence at the American University Washington College of Law, was presented with the D.C. Bar Foundation’s 2007 Jerrold Scoutt Prize.
The D.C. Bar Foundation launched a new project this year, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program. This program, funded in part by seed money from the Litigation Section, will help lawyers working full time on behalf of the poor and underserved by providing monthly assistance paying their student debt.
Fiscal year 2005–2006 saw the greatest number of admissions to the D.C. Bar—3,557 new members. The current fiscal year, 2006–2007, is on track to meet or exceed that record. As of the end of April 2007, the Bar had gained 3,217 new members. The D.C. Bar Sections also have seen an increase in membership. As of March 2007, there were approximately 27,000 memberships and almost 23,000 individual Sections members.
The D.C. Bar Lawyer Counseling Program and Lawyer Counseling Committee have new names: the D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program and Lawyer Assistance Committee. This name change better represents the breadth of services provided by the program and is consistent with similar programs in other bar associations around the country. The D.C. Bar Board of Governors approved the change at its May 2007 meeting; the new titles will take effect at the beginning of fiscal year 2007–2008.
On October 10, 2006, the D.C. Bar Board of Governors approved the Report and Recommendations on Proposed Changes in the Disciplinary System of the District of Columbia by the Disciplinary System Study Committee. This committee spent three years making an exhaustive analysis of certain aspects of the disciplinary system and Rule XI of the D.C. Court of Appeals Governing the Bar. Its recommendations are pending with the D.C. Court of Appeals.
The D.C. Bar Board of Governors called for a special member meeting to be held during the 2007 Bar Conference for all attending active D.C. Bar members. At the meeting, the members gave unanimous approval to a resolution authorizing the Board of Governors and Bar officers to make public statements in support of funding for civil legal services initiatives as proposed by the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission. This authorization is effective for five years, with annual review.
Individual D.C. Bar Sections also have been active in the field of access to justice by issuing public statements on behalf of their membership on issues including the preservation of attorney–client privilege and the proposed limitation on peremptory challenges allowed in D.C. jury trials.
Lawyers interested in performing pro bono work have a dazzling array of options, thanks to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program. The Community Economic Development (CED) Project helps organizations serving needy or low-income communities by providing necessary legal assistance. This year the CED Project began offering new services to these organizations, including client alerts and expanded training sessions. In addition, it has placed a record number of nonprofit and small business clients, and launched a Small Business Initiative. This new program has been named the 2007 Best Bar Project.
Another pro bono effort making great strides is the Senior Lawyer Public Interest Project. This program links experienced attorneys approaching retirement age with pro bono opportunities complementing their wisdom and abilities. On February 1, the Pro Bono Program hosted a roundtable for managing partners from the 20 largest law offices in the District to discuss this program and their own in-house efforts. The D.C. Bar’s Web site offers expanded information on the project and serves as an information clearinghouse. The Senior Lawyer Public Interest Project also is being recognized this year, receiving the 2007 Frederick B. Abramson Award.
The Pro Bono Program’s mainstay, the Law Firm Clinic, continues placing critical poverty law cases. The Affordable Housing Preservation Project, which works to maintain the dwindling affordable housing stock in the District, has placed numerous tenant associations with attorneys providing transactional and litigation assistance.
Taking the successful Landlord Tenant Resource Center as a model, this year the Pro Bono Program launched a pilot Probate Resource Center at the District of Columbia Superior Court Probate Division. Likewise, it coordinated the opening of a Small Claims Resource Center at the D.C. Superior Court.
Finally, as an expansion of the Pro Bono Initiative, a working group, chaired by outgoing Bar President James J. Sandman with Vice Chair John W. Nields Jr., has been convened. The goal of the working group is to double the number of law firms participating in the Pro Bono Initiative. A breakfast meeting with the managing partners of more than 50 law firms, convening with the four chief judges of the local and federal courts in the District, has been set for June 19.
The D.C. Bar Sections have lived up to their extensive commitment to pro bono by staffing the Advice and Referral Clinics and making financial pledges to the Pro Bono Program to fund training sessions for volunteer attorneys and other projects. Sections members also remain active in the community, reaching out particularly to young people.
The Sections’ signature event, the 2007 Annual Youth Law Fair, was again very successful with nearly 200 high school students participating. The theme of this year’s event, “Internet Vulnerability: Teens at Risk,” dealt with the potential perils of online activity and social networking sites, and piqued the interest of both the students and volunteers. This event was cosponsored by 18 Sections, which provided volunteers, assisting high school students and acting as attorneys, judges, and jurors during the fair’s mock trials.
Another event focused on high school students. The Benjamin Banneker Academic High School Science Fair saw nearly 30 Sections members judging science projects and selecting winners and runners-up. Other ongoing projects include training Sections members to help law students make presentations to D.C. high school students on fundamental topics in their practice areas, such as labor and employment. Additionally, Sections members have assisted D.C. residents in the preparation and filing of their tax returns and judged area law school moot court and mock trial competitions.
The Clients’ Security Fund of the D.C. Bar (CSF) provides financial restitution to individuals who have lost money through the dishonest conduct of D.C. Bar members, up to $75,000 per client. In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2006–2007, the CSF trustees approved more than $279,000 in reimbursements to former clients whose attorneys had stolen legal fees, settlement funds, and funds from trusts and estates. The misconduct of one attorney was responsible for 18 of the 38 approved claims, totaling $60,280. Another attorney was responsible for two claims, totaling $150,000.
These accomplishments offer a glimpse into another productive year at the D.C. Bar. Our organization once again has risen to the challenge of continued excellence, leadership, and public service. Under President Sandman’s leadership, ongoing initiatives have thrived and new programs have been placed on a solid foundation. The D.C. Bar’s undiminished commitment to the highest ideals of the legal profession points toward even more impressive future achievements.
2006–2007 BOARD OF GOVERNORS
James J. Sanman
Arnold & Porter LLP
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Seward & Kissel LLP
Elizabeth A. Scully
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Rita M. Bank
Ain & Bank, P.C.
Johnine P. Barnes
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Felicia L. Chambers
U.S. Department of Justice
Paulette E. Chapman
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis
John C. Cruden
U.S. Department of Justice
La Verne Fletcher
Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
Ronald S. Flagg
Sidley Austin LLP
Nathalie F.P. Gilfoyle
American Psychological Association
Sharon M. Harris
Baach Robinson & Lewis PLLC
Antonia B. Ianniello
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Ellen M. Jakovic
White & Case LLP
Kim M. Keenan
Jack H. Olender & Associates, P.C.
Esther H. Lim
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow,
Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P.
Charles R. Lowery Jr.
Center for Responsible Lending
Barry C. Mills
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
William H. Ng
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Laura A. Possessky
Gura & Possessky, P.L.L.C.
DeMaurice F. Smith
Latham & Watkins LLP
Paul M. Smith
Jenner & Block LLP
D.C. BAR COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES 2006-07
Attorney/Client Arbitration Board
Blanca E. Torres, Chair
Carol P. Stuart, Vice Chair
Melvin White, Chair
Community Economic Development
Stephen I. Glover, Chair
Susan R. Jones, Vice Chair
Continuing Legal Education
Virginia A. McArthur, Chair
Paul D. Manca, Program Chair
Carolyn B. Lamm, Chair
Disciplinary System Study
John Payton, Chair
Joan L. Goldfrank, Vice Chair
Mark Fajfar, Chair
James J. Sandman, Chair
Family Law Representation
Margaret Martin Barry, Cochair
Armin U. Kuder, Cochair
John C. Cruden, Chair
Governance Integration Advisory
George W. Jones Jr., Chair
Mark J. Rochon, Chair
Kim Keenan, Chair
David J. Taylor, Chair
Laurens Ayvazian, Vice Chair
Geoffrey M. Klineberg, Chair
Hamilton P. Fox III, Vice Chair
Nicholas H. Cobbs, Chair
Charles K. Kerby III, Vice Chair
James J. Sandman, Chair
Lorelie S. Masters, Chair
John C. Cruden, Chair
James J. Sandman, Chair
Practice Management Assistance
Christopher G. Hoge, Chair
John W. Nields Jr., Chair
H. Guy Collier, Vice Chair
Pro Bono by Small and Mid-Sized Firms
Richard H. Rowe, Chair
Jacquelyn V. Helm, Vice Chair
Don A. Resnikoff, Chair
Theodore Hirt, Vice Chair
Eileen Sobeck, Chair
Rules of Professional Conduct Review
Leah Wortham, Chair
Eric L. Hirschhorn, Vice Chair
Felicia L. Chambers, Chair
Study Committee on the Access to Justice Commission’s Publicly
Nathalie F.P. Gilfoyle, Chair
D.C. BAR SECTIONS
Council on Sections
Robert W. McKeon Jr., Chair
Edward G. Varrone, Vice Chair
Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section
Jon M. Lipshultz, Chair
Meredith Fuchs, Vice Chair
Antitrust and Consumer Law Section
Sondra L. Mills, Cochair
Maribeth Petrizzi, Cochair
Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section
Aoi Nawashiro, Cochair
Janet Fries, Cochair
Computer and Telecommunications Law Section
Kathleen M. Grillo, Chair
Ryan G. Wallach, Vice Chair
Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section
Karen A. Caplan, Chair
Daniel J. Hurson, Vice Chair
Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section
Frederick V. Mulhauser, Cochair
Michael J. Zoeller, Cochair
Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section
Kelli C. McTaggart, Cochair
Marlon C. Griffith, Cochair
District of Columbia Affairs Section
Jon S. Bouker Jr., Cochair
Tonya A. Sapp, Cochair
Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section
Sheila D. Jones, Cochair
Karen M. Wardzinski, Cochair
Estates, Trusts and Probate Law Section
Kimberly Martin Turner, Cochair
Anne Meister, Cochair
Family Law Section
Laurie S. Kohn, Cochair
Darryl A. Feldman, Cochair
Government Contracts and Litigation Section
Harold D. Lester Jr., Cochair
Warren J. Nash, Cochair
Health Law Section
Jane Hyatt Thorpe, Cochair
Alan S. Goldberg, Cochair
Intellectual Property Law Section
Barbara I. Berschler, Cochair
Richard C. Litman, Cochair
Darrell G. Motley, Cochair
International Law Section
Mary Patricia Michel, Chair
Jonathan G. Cederbaum, Vice Chair
Labor and Employment Law Section
Bruce I. Waxman, Cochair
Deirdre E. Hamilton, Cochair
Law Practice Management Section
James E. Rocap III, Cochair
Conrad J. Jacoby, Vice Chair
Eric S. Angel, Cochair
Bruce V. Spiva, Cochair
Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section
David A. Rosen, Chair
Roy L. Kaufmann, Vice Chair
John P. Barrie, Chair
James P. Joseph, Vice Chair
Tort Law Section
Steven H. Kaminski, Cochair
Christopher M. Mitchell, Cochair
Board on Professional Responsibility
Martin R. Baach, Chair
Roger A. Klein, Vice Chair
Clients’ Security Fund
Richard L. Cys, Chair
Kathleen A. Carey, Vice Chair
District of Columbia Bar Foundation
Robert N. Weiner, President
Joan H. Strand, Vice President
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BAR AND AFFILIATEConsolidated Statements of Activities
Years ended June 30, 2005 and 2004
|Admissions and registrations||1,692,626||1,454,815|
|Books and publication sales||190,592||184,719|
|Other fees and services||22,710||18,632|
|Net assets released from restrictions||—||—|
|Board on Professional Responsibility||$4,844,842||$4,633,834|
|Conference and Annual Meeting||408,155||203,111|
|Continuing Legal Education||1,784,016||1,828,925|
|Clients Security Fund||51,846||314,889|
|Pro Bono Program||1,398,710||1,318,293|
|Total program services||$13,176,330||$12,824,511|
|Administration and Finance||$4,449,718||$4,445,834|
|Total supporting services||5,273,064||5,273,377|
|Changes in net assets||1,837,468||701,782|
|Net assets, beginning of year||6,679,320||5,977,538|
|Net assets, end of year||$8,516,788||$6,679,320|
Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
Years ended June 30, 2005 and 2004
|Investments: Clients Security Trust Fund||783,566||457,225|
|Due from (to) funds||—||—|
|Receivables, net of allowance||114,295||125,395|
|Deposits and prepaid expenses||389,082||293,827|
|Furniture, equipment and leasehold improvements, net||631,101||656,262|
|Liabilities and Net Assets|
|Accounts payable and accrued liabilities||$2,290,555||$2,331,333|
|Mandatory dues purposes||$3,241,093||$2,336,939|
|Clients Security Trust Fund||783,062||456,722|
|Pro Bono Program||2,372,263||1,979,601|
|Continuing Legal Education||58,664||21,463|
|Total net assets||$8,516,788||$6,679,320|
The above financial reports represent the District of Columbia Bar’s Consolidated Statements of Position and Consolidated Statements of Activities for the years ended June 30, 2006 and 2005. Any member who wishes to receive a full copy of the Bar’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Schedule may request a copy by calling 202-737-4700, extension 241.