2013-2014 BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 -1:30 p.m.
Kansas City Sheraton Crown Center Hotel
P. John Brady, President
Reuben A. Shelton, President-Elect
Erik A. Bergmanis, Vice-President
Patrick B. Starke, Immediate Past President
Sebrina A. Barrett, Secretary
Bevy A. Beimdiek
Thomas V. Bender
Suzanne B. Bradley
Robert J. Buckley
Rod T. Chapel, Jr.
Morry S. Cole
Mark W. Comley
Hon. Charles Curless
Dana Tippin Cutler
Joel R. Elmer
Genevieve M. Frank
Michael E. Gardner
John W. Grimm
James H. Guest
John R. Gunn
Edward J. Hershewe
Hon. John F. Kintz
J. B. Lasater
Gregg F. Lombardi
Lauren Tucker McCubbin
Max E. Mitchell
Nancy R. Mogab
Douglass F. Noland
Joseph P. Rice, III
Brett W. Roubal
Tricia M. Scaglia
Deanna K. Scott
Walter R. Simpson
Joan M. Swartz
Zachary R. Thompson
W. Douglas Thomson
Raymond E. Williams
Eric J. Wulff
Mark H. Levison
Neil F. Maune, Jr.
1. Welcome and Introduction of New Board Members:
Mr. Jack Brady welcomed the newly elected members of the Board of Governor who will be taking their seats at the conclusion of this meeting: J. Brent Dulle, Robert Kenney, Amanda Ketchum, James McConnell, Jason Paulsmeyer, Jason Rew and John Price. He also welcomed all of the bar members and guests present.
It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of July 18, 2014 and the Executive Committee minutes of July 17 and July 24, 2014 be approved. The motion was approved.
Mr. Doug Thomson reported the financial position of The Missouri Bar is in very good shape and on track for the current bar year. He reported that investments are performing as expected and the cash position of the Bar is approximately $2.15 million ahead of last year, noting that this position is a result of the additional revenue from the enrollment fee increase. He reported that approximately 90% of budgeted receipts have been received and budgeted disbursements stand at approximately 49%, virtually identical to where expenses stood at this time last year. He reported the financial position is where it should be at this point in the year with the expenses for the Annual Meeting yet to be recorded. It was moved and seconded to approve the financial report as presented. The motion was approved.
A. September Appointments
(1) Press-Bar Commission
Mr. Brady reported that Ms. Theresa Levings’ term on the Press-Bar Commission is expiring and she is eligible for reappointment. It was moved and seconded to reappoint Ms. Levings for another term. The motion was approved.
(2) Trustees of The Missouri Bar
Mr. Brady reported that Mr. Fred Drakesmith’s term on the Trustees of The Missouri Bar is expiring and he is not eligible for appointment. Messrs. Robert P. Blackwell and Thomas M. Burke were nominated to fill the vacancy. Ballots were circulated. Mr. Burke received a majority of votes and was appointed.
(3) JPE Committee Appointment – 22nd Circuit (City of St. Louis)
Mr. Brady reported that a non-lawyer vacancy exists within the 22nd Judicial Circuit (City of St. Louis) to fill the remainder of a term expiring on December 1, 2016. He noted that the new appointee would then be eligible for a full six-year term. It was moved and seconded to appoint Ms. Kathi Hadley to fill this vacancy. The motion was approved.
(4) Legal Services of Southern Missouri Board of Directors
Mr. Brady reported that a vacancy has occurred on the board of Legal Services of Southern Missouri (LSSM) due to the sudden death of Jim McLeod and that the Board of Governors has traditionally fulfilled the LSSM requirement that LSSM board appointments are approved by a general bar association. It was moved and seconded to appoint Mr. Fred Hall to fill this vacancy. The motion was approved. Deanna Scott abstained.
B. November Appointments
(1) Client Security Fund Committee
Mr Brady noted that Mr. Max Mitchell’s second term is expiring and he is not eligible for reappointment. He encouraged members of the board to make nominations to fill this vacancy, noting that this appointment will be on the board agenda as an action item in November.
Mr. Brady noted that a Missouri Bar board appointment to the IOLTA board will also be on the Board of Governors agenda for action in November.
5. Officers’ Reports:
A. President’s Report
(1) Supreme Court and Missouri Bar Joint Task Force on the Future of the Profession
Mr. Brady reported that Chief Justice Mary Russell expressed an interest in appointing a Joint Task Force of the Supreme Court of Missouri and The Missouri Bar to address the future of the profession. He noted that the task force structure would be similar to those in the past in which the Supreme Court and The Missouri Bar would make an equal number of appointments and each would appoint a co-chair. He reported that the work of the task force could include, but not be limited to, studying issues related to the aging of the profession, employment challenges faced by new lawyers as well as student loan debt burdens of law students and young lawyers. He noted that Chief Justice Russell will address her vision for this task force during her speech at the Opening Luncheon. He also noted that such a task force fits into the relevance initiatives of The Missouri Bar. It was moved and seconded to approve Missouri Bar participation in such a joint task force. The motion was approved.
Mr. Brady encouraged everyone to attend the Best of Missouri reception at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday evening.
B. President-Elect’s Report
Mr. Reuben Shelton reported that he attended the new board orientation at the Missouri Bar Center, noting that the orientation incorporated a new format this year which included a guest speaker. He reported that the new format was very successful and is expected to be repeated in the future. He further reported that he attended the Family Law Conference; served on panel program at the Committee on Minority Issues Committee Diversity Summit with National Bar Association President Pamela Meanes; and has continued his outreach initiative to corporate counsel, noting that he recently met with the corporate counsel for Emerson Electric and that he and Sebrina Barrett met with corporate counsel from Shelter Insurance.
Mr. Shelton encouraged members of the board to stop by the registration desk to pick up one of the “Proud to be a Missouri Lawyer” buttons and asked board members to proudly wear the button during the conference to kick-off what will be a theme for the rest of the meeting and the next bar year.
Mr. Shelton encouraged members of the board to nominate individuals for appointments to the Community Advisory Panel, noting that he has already received some good suggestions from some board members.
He also invited everyone to stop by his suite on Thursday night for a reception organized by Nicole Colbert-Botchway to commemorate his election as the next president of The Missouri Bar. He reported that the reception will begin at 9:30 or 10 p.m. Mr. Brady reported that his suite will also be open for hospitality and encouraged members of the board to participate.
C. Vice-President’s Report
Mr. Erik Bergmanis reported that he attended the Bar Leaders Institute in Boston where a number of programs focused on the topic of an aging profession and the issues that older lawyers are, and will be, facing in the coming years. He noted that the areas of focus for the future of the profession task force proposed by Chief Justice Russell will include these issues and he is considering these challenges as he identifies the overall focus for his upcoming term as president.
Mr. Bergmanis also reported that he gave a presentation at the Christian County Bar Association which focused on the value of membership in The Missouri Bar. He noted that he used a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Farrah Fite and encouraged other members to consider using this PowerPoint when speaking to bar associations in their communities.
He further reported that he was joined by a number of board members and other lawyers for a meeting with Congressman Billy Long regarding legislative support for the funding of Legal Services.
Mr. Bergmanis reported that he also attended the Board of Governors orientation and will be attending the Southern Bar Conference meeting.
He expressed his appreciation to everyone involved in developing the new practice oriented podcasts, noting that the committee working on this initiative has been producing about one podcast per month. He further noted that there is a need for new subject matter ideas and content to produce additional podcasts and encouraged members of the board to participate in this initiative. He further reported that the Bar’s website has been enhanced as part of the relevancy initiative and the newly updated version of the website was launched last week.
Mr. Brady also encouraged members of the board to participate in the podcast initiative. Mr. Ray Williams reported that a wide range of content can be used in podcasts. He noted that the podcast resources are typically about five to 15 minutes in length. He reported that the process to produce a podcast requires that an individual develop a PowerPoint outlining the subject area and develop an accompanying script. Mr. Williams further reported that in addition to these practice related podcasts, the committee hopes to develop additional podcasts featuring “legends of the bar” that will talk about a particular practice challenge, share a story illustrating the challenge and offer a solution. He explained that this series would serve the dual purpose of offering valuable practice advice while documenting and preserving a link to legendary lawyers who have been members of the bar.
D. Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Sebrina Barrett called attention to the updated Missouri Bar website and introduced The Missouri Bar’s new website for the public. She reported that the new website for public contains a wide range of resources which include The Missouri Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service and Lawyer Search. She further reported that the Executive Committee approved a proposal from the Access to Justice Committee to include “limited scope representation in family matters” within the practice areas featured in Lawyer Search. In addition, information is provided on the website which explains what is meant by limited scope representation to educate the public about this legal service option and help to enhance access to justice for individuals of low income and modest means. She explained the overall goal is to make the website for the public the first place that citizens of Missouri turn to when they want information on a legal issue or need a lawyer.
Ms. Barrett also called attention to mid-year reports and statistics for The Missouri Bar’s Fee Dispute Resolution and Complaint Resolution programs, noting that the open cases in the Fee Dispute Resolution program increased from about 80 per year to approximately 120 per year in 2013 when The Missouri Bar absorbed the St. Louis area fee dispute matters.
Designated Health Care Decision-Maker Act
Mr. Michael Magliari introduced Ms. Debra Schuster to provide an informational overview of proposed legislation relating to health care decision making, endorsed by the Elder Law Committee and Probate and Trust Law Committee. A recent redraft was distributed to Board members at the meeting. Ms. Schuster reported that Missouri law does not currently provide for a health care decision maker if an incapacitated person does not have a guardian or health care agent appointed at the time of incapacity. The proposed legislation is intended to bridge this gap. The current draft is patterned after the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act which has been adopted by all but six states. Ms. Schuster explained that the legislation has been vetted within Missouri Bar committees including Probate & Trust, Elder and Health and Hospital Law; with other organizations in the legal community; with members of the medical community, including medical ethicists, and with interested groups such as Right to Life organizations. Suggested changes have been incorporated as a result of this vetting and the latest redline version is being circulated for review. It is anticipated that a final version of the proposed legislation will be presented for action by the Board of Governors at its November meeting.
Clarification and Standardization of Missouri Commercial Receivership Law and Practice
Mr. Eric Johnson, incoming co-chair of the Commercial Law Committee, introduced Mr. Eric Peterson, chair of the Commercial Law Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial Receivership, to provide an overview of proposed legislation related to receivership practice. Mr. Peterson reported that the proposed legislation was the result of discussion and debate that took place over the course of fifteen months and thirty-nine subcommittee meetings. The subcommittee consisted of representation from a broad cross section of insolvency practitioners and the legislation has been vetted with the state government, the courts, bankruptcy trustees, law professors as well as banks and financial institution, title companies and other stakeholders. Mr. Peterson further reported that the proposed legislation is comprehensive and includes clarification and standardization intended to provide structure and clarity for receivership judges and practitioners; improve consistency in these matters; offer protection of assets and ongoing viability of an insolvent, but operating company; improve bidding and collection prospects in receivership sales; standardize protections for receivers and professionals assisting courts in these cases; and assure due process protections are observed in receivership administrations. President Brady indicated that action by the Board would be deferred to the November meeting, in order to allow the drafting committee to consider possible revisions in response to comments that were received.
C. Bankruptcy Exemption for Burial Expenses
Ms. Vicki Dempsey, a member of the Commercial Law Committee, reported that this proposed legislation would allow debtors in bankruptcy an allowance out of life insurance proceeds in order to bury their loved ones. She reported that Missouri law, unlike the law of all other states, lacks an exemption for matured life insurance policies. She reported that the proposed amendment is intended to balance the rights of creditors and debtors by allowing up to $15,000 of a matured life insurance contract to be used for reasonable funeral expenses when the deceased is the spouse, child or parent of the beneficiary. The draft was unanimously approved by the Commercial Law Committee. This provision has no impact on taxpayers of Missouri and provides no windfall to debtors. It was moved and seconded that the proposed legislation was within scope. The motion was approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting. It was then moved and seconded that the proposal be approved for filing. The motion was approved by two-thirds of members present and voting.
D. Amendment to R.S. MO Section 578.007(6), Relating to Destruction of an Animal
Ms. Dana Apple, chair of the Animal Law Committee, reported on proposed legislation approved by that Committee designed to clarify the methods an owner may use to kill an owned animal by inserting the word “humane” before the word “killing.” It was moved and seconded that the proposed legislation was not within scope. The motion was approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting.
7. Report of the Missouri Bar Foundation:
Ms. Dana Tippin Cutler reported that the Missouri Bar Foundation officers attended the National Conference of Bar Foundations. She further reported the Missouri Bar Foundation will host a reception for the Fellows starting with next year’s Annual Meeting. Ms. Cutler reported that the Foundation has plans to enhance communication regarding its grants and will be requiring recipients to provide a report which includes a description of the program(s) funded as well as information regarding the program’s success and impact. The Foundation will also produce a biannual newsletter, which will also disseminate this and other information related to grant funding. She noted that efforts will be initiated to revitalize participation on the Foundation Board by instituting a transitioning system. She also reported that the Foundation will make changes to its fundraising efforts, which will be reflected in the printed materials produced by the organization and in revisions made to the organization’s website. She reported that the goal is to raise more revenue, so the Foundation will be able to provide more funding for projects that will make a positive impact on the bar and the state of Missouri.
8. Acknowledgement of Retiring Board Members and the Outgoing President:
Mr. Brady offered comments and presented plaques honoring the retiring Board members for their service on the Board of Governors and offered further remarks regarding the retirement of one of the longest serving members of the Board of Governors, Mark Levison. The following Board members were recognized:
Brian K. Francka
Michael E. Gardner
Mark H. Levison
Neil F. Maune, Jr.
Brett W. Roubal
Patrick B. Starke
Zachary R. Thompson
Mr. Reuben Shelton recognized Missouri Bar President P. John (Jack) Brady for his leadership during the 2013-2014 bar year.
9. Executive Session:
The Board went into Executive Session to discuss matters relating to confidential contract negotiations.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Sebrina A. Barrett, Secretary