2018-2019 BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING
May 9, 2019
The Missouri Bar Center, Jefferson City
Raymond E. Williams, President
Thomas V. Bender, President-Elect
John R. Gunn, Vice-President
Morry S. Cole, Immediate Past President
Betsy AuBuchon, Treasurer
Sebrina A. Barrett, Secretary
Hon. Michael J. Colona
Mark W. Comley
Hon. Joseph Dandurand
Athena M. Dickson
Deborah K. Dodge
J. Brent Dulle
John W. Grimm
Robert E. Jones
Julia Pusateri Lasater
Lauren Tucker McCubbin
Max E. Mitchell
Joseph A. Morrey
Douglass F. Noland
Tricia M. Scaglia
Hon. Jason M. Sengheiser
Joan M. Swartz
Hon. W. Douglas Thomson
Stephan R. Tomlinson
Casey F. Wong
Hon. Eric Wulff
Present by Telephone:
Deanna K. Scott
John E. Price
W. Perry Brandt
Robert J. Buckley
Hon. Charles Curless
Thomas J. Porto
Dr. Tony Simones
Mr. Ray Williams asked for any correction to the minutes, noting that corrected versions of the Executive Committee minutes for March 1 and March 22 had been distributed in advance of this meeting. The minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of February 26, 2019, and the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings of February 26, 2019, March 1, 2019, March 22, 2019, April 1, 2019, and April 19, 2019, were accepted.
A. 2018 Budget Update
Mr. John Grimm reported on key areas of the financial report, including describing Equity/Fund Balances. As of March 31, 2019, receipts were at approximately 72% and disbursements at about 20%, both at the level expected for this time of year. Overall finances are in very good shape, and he credited the staff for their fiscal management. The annual audit was completed on April 8, 2019, and a final report is expected for the July meeting of the Board.
B. Investment Policy
Mr. Grimm reported that the Executive Committee approved a change in the Investment Policy to reflect a staff title change at the Supreme Court of Missouri in late 2018 (“Chief Deputy Clerk” to “Director of Operations”) and the associated authorizing signatures for the withdrawal of Missouri Bar funds.
C. Fiscal Operating Policy
Mr. Grimm reported on proposed changes to the Fiscal Operating Policy. References to staff titles were altered for consistency, and some language was refined, including references to YLS and Missouri Bar reimbursement procedures and per diem expenses for ABA meetings. A redline version was included in the meeting materials. It was moved and seconded to approve the revisions as proposed. The motion was approved.
A. May Appointments
Mr. Douglass Noland reported that the Appointments Committee had met on two occasions to finalize recommendations for May appointments. The committee recommends the reappointment of Mr. John DeMoor to the Missouri Press-Bar Commission; the reappointment of Mr. David Crawford to the Alcoholism Intervention Committee; and the reappointment of Messrs. Steve Hagan and James Broshot to the Fee Dispute Resolution Committee. It was moved and seconded to approve the appointments as recommended. The motion was approved.
Ms. Athena Dickson further reported that the Appointments Committee recommends the reappointment of Dana Tippin Cutler to the past president seat, P. John Brady in the at-large seat, and Jose S. Caldera in the diversity seat as Missouri Bar-appointed members of the ABA House of Delegates. All three are currently serving the remainder of an unexpired term and are being reappointed to their first full term beginning August 2019 and expiring August 2021. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation. The motion was approved.
4. Assessment Committee Report:
A. Annual Review of Open Enrollment Committees
Mr. Brent Dulle reported that the Board Committee/Division Assessment Committee had reviewed 10 open enrollment committees for relevance, and the committee recommends that all 10 remain on active status. Additional attention will be made to better assess how the Missouri Bar committee structure can provide benefit to the Intellectual Property Law Committee, based on concerns raised during the evaluation process. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation as stated in the report provided in the meeting materials. The motion was approved.
B. Member-Proposed Appellate Practice Committee
Mr. Dulle reported that members had submitted an application proposing the creation of a new Appellate Practice Committee. The Board Committee/Division Assessment Committee reviewed the application and confirmed that it fulfilled all of the requirements under the open enrollment committee process, including a justification for the committee in relation to need, duplication or overlap with current committees, support of at least 100 members in good standing, and a commitment from membership for leadership positions within the new committee. Mr. Dulle reported that the Board/Committee Assessment Committee recommends approval of the establishment of an Appellate Practice Committee. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation. The motion was approved.
C. Proposed New Senior Lawyer Committee Survey Results
Mr. Dulle reported that, as directed by the Board of Governors, the Assessment Committee approved and administered a survey of members 55-years and older to gauge need and interest for a Senior Lawyer open enrollment committee. Mr. Dulle reported that 7,745 members were sent the survey, with approximately 21% responding. Approximately 10% of those who were sent the survey indicated that the committee should be created and that they would actively support the committee. It was decided that the Assessment Committee will review the survey results, which also included a significant number of comments, and formulate a recommendation for action by the Board at a future meeting.
5. YLS Bylaw Amendments and Update:
Mr. Stephan Tomlinson reported that the YLS Council drafted a proposed change to the bylaws to clarify the process for filling a vacant district seat before the expiration of a two-year term. The written draft revision to Article III, Section 6 (c) outlined publishing notice of the vacancy in ESQ. to invite nominations from those eligible for election in the relevant district. The Council would vote to fill the vacancy and the new member would serve the balance of the unexpired term. It was moved and seconded to approve the change to the YLS bylaws, as provided in the written draft included in the board packet. The motion was approved.
6. Member Benefits Proposals:
Mr. Jason Paulsmeyer reported that Member Services and Resources Committee had reviewed pending proposals for new member benefits and discounts and recommends that the Board of Governors authorize the Executive Director to negotiate and enter into agreements for 14 member benefits and discounts, as provided in the report included in the meeting materials. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation as stated. The motion was approved.
7. Mailing List Policy
Mr. Scott Robbins reported that President Williams had appointed a board committee to review and provide recommendations on updates for the mailing list policies. The committee had drafted a proposed mailing list policy, included in the meeting materials, and recommends rescinding the current policies and replacing them with the draft policy. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation. An amendment to the motion was proposed, adding to the policy language requiring certification from the member utilizing the mailing list that the list will be permanently erased from the server of the party after the completion of the authorized purpose. The amendment was seconded. Concerns were raised as to whether a lawyer could comply with such certification when technology might retain the mailing list in some form without the knowledge or control of the person required to certify permanent erasure. A motion was made and seconded to lay the question on the table and refer the policy back to the committee for further study of this specific issue and the development of language to address these concerns. The motion was approved.
8. Officers’ Reports:
A. President’s Report
Mr. Ray Williams congratulated Executive Director Sebrina Barrett for her election as secretary of the National Association of Bar Executives. He also introduced and welcomed Jessica Long, the new media writer staff member at The Missouri Bar. He reported on the success of the inaugural Missouri Bar Leader Institute (MOBLI) held in April, recognizing the collaborative effort with BAMSL, KCMBA, SMBA, and many other local leaders to produce the leadership program. He reported that he and Chief Justice Zel Fisher spoke to lawyers in the Joplin area earlier in the week, and Mr. Williams will visit and speak to lawyers in Cape Girardeau next week. He reported on The Missouri Bar’s participation in the ABA Day in Washington D.C., where participants advocated for the funding of Legal Services Corporation and access to justice.
B. President Elect’s Report
Mr. Tom Bender reported that he also attended the ABA Day in Washington, D.C. He further reported that he spoke to the National Association of Legal Secretaries and discussed providing legal services in the more rural parts of the state. Mr. Bender reported that he met with Bill Bay, chair of the ABA House of Delegates, about ways to make the participation of The Missouri Bar and its representatives with the ABA more effective.
C. Vice-President’s Report
Mr. John Gunn reported that he had participated in a Missouri Bar “Is It Legal To” podcast on estate planning. He encouraged participation by other Board members in future podcasts to provide information and resources to the public. He recognized the success of the inaugural Missouri Bar Leadership Institute (MOBLI). He reported that he had attended the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) board retreat and their Law Day event and continues to serve as that organization’s liaison with The Missouri Bar. He is participating on the Annual Meeting planning committee, serving on both plenary and track committees. He commented on the development of lawyer wellness educational programming for this year’s meeting and his hope that the focus in this important area will be ongoing.
D. Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Betsy AuBuchon reported that the Supreme Court of Missouri suspended about 600 lawyers this week for failure to pay enrollment fees or complete their annual MCLE requirements. The Court acted on a request from the Board of Governors to increase the inactive enrollment fee. Effective November 1, 2019, the fee will increase from $50 to $100. The percentage split of these fees between The Missouri Bar and Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (OCDC) will stay the same. The Supreme Court of Missouri is beginning to plan for its bicentennial and indicated that the Court might reach out to The Missouri Bar to partner in providing educational opportunities surrounding the milestone anniversary.
E. Executive Director’s Report
(1) 75th Anniversary Update
Ms. Sebrina Barrett noted that this year’s 75th anniversary of the Missouri Bar allows an opportunity to display the benefits and contributions of a unified bar. Both the Executive Summary and the President’s Page in the Journal of The Missouri Bar focused on these contributions, with her latest column focusing on the staff of The Missouri Bar. The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis Executive Director (BAMSL) has been chosen for the highest honor bestowed by the National Association of Bar Executives, the Bolton Award, with Zoe Linza joining the list of Missouri bar executives to receive the award.
Ms. Barrett introduced Media Relations Director Farrah Fite, who provided an overview of plans underway to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Missouri Bar, including activities at the Spring Committee Meetings, Solo and Small Firm Conference and the Annual Meeting. The Supreme Court of Missouri will present The Missouri Bar with a resolution commemorating the anniversary. An application has been made to the governor, requesting a proclamation to commemorate the anniversary on its specific date, June 16, 2019. Ms. Fite also described an anniversary project to conduct video interviews with legends of Missouri’s legal profession, and she asked members of the Board to suggest individuals who should be interviewed.
(2) Missouri Bar Leadership Institute (MOBLI)
Ms. Barrett reported on the success of the inaugural Missouri Bar Leadership Institute (MOBLI) held in April. She shared some photos from the Institute, as well as some of the feedback received and/or shared via social media. This was a collaborative effort with the three metropolitan bar associations and other key stakeholders throughout the state. She recognized the excellent sponsorship support received, which allowed the conference to be affordable for attendees. The Institute had 30 attendees plus speakers, reaching the goal for attendance established by the planning committee. The 2020 MOBLI dates are set for April 2-3. She thanked the planning committee and all the Board members who participated and/or provided sponsorship support for the event.
(3) Board Elections Update
Ms. Barrett called attention to a report in the meeting materials listing the current petitions filed for the 2019-2020 Board election. She reminded everyone about the June 20 deadline to file a petition.
(4) Social Media Policy
Ms. Barrett called attention to an amended version of The Missouri Bar’s social media policy, noting that the policy was adopted in 2011 and previously updated in 2016. The amended version submitted for approval updates the policy with (1) current social media accounts, (2) current staff titles, and (3) reflects the current employment landscape that provides employees with discretion in the personal use of Missouri Bar platforms. She reported that the Executive Committee has reviewed the amended version and recommends approval. It was moved and seconded to approve the amended policy. The motion was approved.
(5) Leadership Academy Nominations
Ms. Barrett reported that the deadline for nominations to next year’s Leadership Academy will be May 31. She encouraged Board members to identify and nominate lawyers for this opportunity.
(6) Director Spotlight
Dr. Tony Simones, Citizenship Education Director, provided an overview of some of the new and current programs underway in his department. He outlined the implementation of regional training for teachers, noting that programs were held this year in Cape Girardeau, Rolla, Columbia and Springfield, with future training set for Kirksville, Warrensburg, St. Joseph and Springfield. This new approach allows more teachers to take advantage of the educational program.
His department continues to offer the Summer Institute, providing a “constitutional boot camp” for teachers, as well as a Street Law program held in conjunction with the federal district court in St. Louis. He noted that the “Show Me the Constitution” Competition had replaced the “We the People” Program. This year’s competition included a successful remote connection, that allowed more schools to be involved in the program by minimizing the cost and travel funding challenges, which can be an impediment to participation in person.
He reported plans to revamp the department website to make a wide range of resources accessible for use by teachers, as well as a section that will contain presentations for lawyers to access and use when interacting with schools and organizations within their communities. He also reported on a pilot program to connect legal professionals with the Girl Scouts in the Kansas City area.
A. Bill Statistics and Bar-Drafted Legislation
Mr. Eric Jennings reported that, with five legislative days left in the session, approximately 1994 bills have been filed, the General Assembly has passed 40, and three have been signed by the governor and enacted into law. The typical number of bills passed during a session range from 100 to 150. The three Bar-endorsed bills introduced during this session will not pass this year. HB 939 and SB 422, relating to assignments for benefit of creditors (2019-01), were introduced and referred to committee in both the House and Senate. HB 981, relating to qualified spousal trusts, (2019-02), was introduced and withdrawn. With respect to the revised trust decanting statute (2019-03), SB 418 was referred to committee in the Senate, while the House version, HB 1041, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee. Work will begin with committees to position these bills for the next session.
B. Status of Bills of Interest
Ms. Megan Luecke reviewed the report on bills of interest provided in the meeting materials and budget items relating to the Judiciary and the Public Defender System.
10. Strategic Planning
Mr. Tom Bender and Ms. Amanda Ketchum provided an overview of the strategic planning initiative which culminated in the Board approval of a strategic direction in 2017. As part of the ongoing strategic planning process, the Strategic Planning Committee reviews existing and proposed programs and activities and offers recommendations to begin, expand, alter, end or continue such programs and activities. The Strategic Planning Committee reviewed 31 new and existing programs for this year and made recommendations for each in the written report provided in the Board materials. He and Ms. Ketchum briefly reviewed the programs under each goal and provided the recommendations, focusing attention on any programs designated to be altered or ended. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendations of the Strategic Planning Committee as reflected in the written Strategic Planning Committee report. The motion was approved.
9. Member Benefits
Mr. Lucas Boling, Member Benefits and Law Practice Management Director, provided an overview of the wide range of member benefits and discounts available to members of The Missouri Bar, including guidance on how and where to find the resources on the Bar’s website. He also discussed the role of his department as a resource to assist members when they interact with The Missouri Bar, from assisting with member questions to providing dispute resolution services. Mr. Boling outlined the list of member benefits by category and described the specific benefits or services. He introduced a new member of the department, Trevor Mulholland, and described Mr. Mulholland’s role as Member Services Coordinator in enhancing benefit offerings and working with sponsors, vendors, and exhibitors on a global level. Mr. Boling described efforts to build awareness about the member benefits an services.
10. Board Member Engagement
Mr. Williams led a discussion regarding ideas to improve board member engagement and visibility within the membership, noting that Farrah Fite would collect the ideas for implementation. The discussion included establishing and maintaining relationships with legislators within Board districts and communicating such relationships with Government Relations Counsel; ideas for sharing information about Missouri Bar initiatives, resources, and benefits within districts through social activities; ideas for better Board member visibility, participation on local bar meeting agendas, friending constituents on social media, coordinating with other board members in large districts; speaking or arranging visits from the president of The Missouri Bar, inviting the chief justice and judges to speak, with CLE credit being incorporated when possible; expanding informal recognition of members in districts; utilizing connect.MoBar as a communication tool within districts; and tracking and communicating local bar leadership contact information. Additional discussion focused on expanding Board member interaction with committees, including reinstituting Board liaisons for each committee to enhance involvement and foster communication between the Board and committees.
11. Executive Session
It was moved and seconded to go into executive session. The motion was approved.
It was moved and seconded to leave executive session. The motion was approved.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Sebrina A. Barrett, Secretary