The Washington State Bar Association has appointed three Gonzaga Law community members to committees effective this year. Associate Professor Mark DeForrest has been appointed to the Amicus Curiae Committee, Visiting Associate Professor Kevin Michels has been appointed to the new Ethics and Professional Conduct Advisory Committee, and Program Coordinator for the Center for Professional Development Jennifer Gill has been appointed to the Disciplinary Advisory Round Table.
Recommendations on Amicus Curiae
For the next two years, DeForrest will be serving on the Amicus Curiae Brief Committee. “I volunteered myself for this committee, and the term starts in October,” explains DeForrest.
The standing committee evaluates requests for the WSBA to submit amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs on cases currently working their way through the courts, and makes recommendations to the Board of Governors about those briefs.
Serving an Inaugural Ethics Position
This year, the WSBA instituted a new Ethics and Professional Conduct Advisory Committee. As the author of New Jersey Attorney Ethics and the J. Donald and Va Lena Scarpelli Curran Faculty Chair in Legal Ethics and Professionalism, Michels was tapped to be a member of the inaugural committee.
“I am delighted to serve on Washington’s new Ethics and Professional Conduct Advisory Committee, which clearly aspires to become a national exemplar of how the Bar can help lawyers manage the ethical demands of the profession. Lawyers need clear guidance on legal-ethics issues, given the professional, reputational and economic risks posed by noncompliance,” said Michels. “I look forward to working with the others on the Committee to provide interpretive guidance to practitioners and to assist in advancing the legal-ethics law of Washington State.”
Studying the Disciplinary System
In early April of this year, Gill began serving her term as one of the two non-lawyer volunteer members of the Disciplinary Advisory Round Table. DART is a discussion forum for issues affecting the lawyer disciplinary system in Washington State, including identifying issues or concerns and making recommendations for change.
“Working with DART has been both incredibly interesting and challenging. I am looking forward to the next two years of helping influence attorneys in Washington state.” said Gill.