Board Minutes

Board Minutes - October 1, 2003

Columbia, Missouri

Members Present:
Dale C. Doerhoff, President
William M. Corrigan, Jr., President-Elect
Joe B. Whisler, Vice-President
Teresa L. F. Levings, Past President
Keith A. Birkes, Secretary
C. Ronald Baird
Erik Bergmanis
Richard N. Bien
Joseph C. Blanton, Jr.
P. John Brady
Richard Bresnahan
Thomas M. Burke
Scott Campbell
Thomas J. Casey
Morry S. Cole
Richard J. Collins
Douglas A. Copeland
John Cowherd
Cathy J. Dean
Carol Chazen Friedman
Chad A. Gaddie
Mike Greenwell
Richard F. Halliburton
Charlie J. Harris
Hon. Don M. Henry
Bruce F. Hilton
Vincent F. Igoe, Jr.
John S. Johnston
George E. Kapke
Hon. John F. Kintz
Thomas M. Lang
Mark H. Levison
Karen R. McCarthy
Max E. Mitchell
Jack Peace
Hon. Daniel Pelikan
Daniel A. Raniere
John A. Ruth
Daniel J. Ryan
Wallace Squibb
Richard G. Steele
F. Dianne Taylor
H.A. Skip Walther

Also Present:
Dana Tippin Cutler
Sherry Doctorian
William J. Lasley
Allan D. Seidel
Robert H. Shaw
Eric J. Wulff
Dean Larry Dessem
Scot Boulton
Prof. David English
Robert Blackwell
Millie Aulbur
Catherine Barrie
Cecil Caulkins
Carla Counsil
Wayne Greer
Kent Hopper
Jim Howard
Chris Janku
Dan Lehmen
Stephen Murrell
Linda Oligschlaeger
Delores Shepherd
Robert Stoeckl
Gary Toohey
Jack Wax

1. Minutes:
It was moved and seconded that the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Governors of July 25 and 26 and of the Executive Committee of July 24 and August 24 be approved. The motion was approved.
2. Finance Committee Report:
Mr. Burke reported that the Bar is in good financial shape with 90% of revenues collected and 67% of budgeted expenditures recorded. The Bar is in the process of receiving audit bids from CPA firms. No action was taken.
3. Legislation:
Catherine Barrie reported that three proposals have currently been received for consideration by the Board of Governors for filing as Bar-sponsored bills in the 2004 session of the General Assembly
A. 2004-01, Missouri Trust and Estate Legislation (Probate & Trust Committee):
Scot Boulton and Prof. David English discussed the proposal, which consists of the Missouri Uniform Trust Code and Technical Corrections to the Missouri Principal and Income Act, adopted in 2001. The idea of the UTC is to codify the common law. Among other things, the law would presume that trusts are revocable unless otherwise explicitly stated. 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 the members present and voting.
B. 2004-03, Exempt Property (Commercial Law Committee).
Robert Blackwell explained that changes to the bankruptcy exemption provisions were overdue, as most amounts were set in 1982 and have not been changed since. 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 the members present and voting.
C. 2004-02, Appropriations for Filing Fee Legislation (Delivery of Legal Services Committee).
Mr. Halliburton explained that the filing fee surcharge legislation would require an appropriation bill in order for the money to pass to legal services organizations as envisioned by S.B. 447. 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 the members present and voting.
4. Committee Reports:
A. Law Practice Management Committee.
Chris Stiegemeyer reported that the committee is interested in providing some guidance for lawyers who need to close down a practice, so that the interests of clients are protected. The Professional Liability Fund of the Oregon State Bar has developed a manual entitled Planning Ahead: A Guide to Protecting Your Clients' Interests in the Event of Your Disability or Death, and the LPM Committee is desirous of adapting and reprinting this book for Missouri lawyers. The Oregon Bar and its Professional Liability Fund are agreeable, provided that The Missouri Bar executes an agreement that would, among other things, hold the Oregon entities harmless. It was moved and seconded that Mr. Birkes be authorized to execute the agreement on behalf of the Bar. The motion was approved.
B. Client Security Fund Committee.
Chris Janku reported that the Committee seeks to make two changes to its Regulations and Rules of Procedure: (1) the Committee wishes to include fiduciaries within the scope of the rule, and (2) the Committee wishes to change its operating year to the Bar's fiscal year. It was moved and seconded that the changes be approved, except that guardians ad litem not be included in the "fiduciaries" covered by the Fund. The motion was approved.
C. Court Automation.
Mr. Collins reported that there had been some developments in the electronic filing part of court automation. LexisNexis has a software product that is in use in 9 states and seems to work well. Because of financial constraints, nothing will likely happen soon in Missouri.
D. Alternate Billing Methods.
Mr. Baird discussed the final report of the Committee, provided to Board members. Dean Ken Dean could not be at the Board meeting but will be at the Annual Meeting on Friday for an educational session covering this subject. Mr. Baird requested that the Board continue the Committee to study the feasibility of ideas in the report and to educate lawyers on alternatives to the hourly bill. The Committee should have a report at the January meeting. It was moved and seconded to authorize the continuation of the Committee for the purposes stated. The motion was approved.
E. Conflicts of Interest.
Ms. Levings explained that the Policy Statement included in the Board agenda materials was produced by the Board committee that she chaired and had been tabled at the July meeting for consideration at this meeting. The appointment of the committee and the development of the policy grew out of a sense that the Board did not have a policy or procedure to deal with conflicts of interest nor any standard to be followed by lawyers who might have a conflict. It was moved and seconded that the Policy Statement be adopted. There was considerable discussion of the provisions applicable to the Board and of whether it was sound policy to require Board members to both abstain from voting and to leave the meeting after disclosure of a conflict. It was then moved and seconded that the paragraph relating to the Board of Governors be amended to delete the third and succeeding sentences of that paragraph, beginning with the words "In cases of conflict of interest." It was then moved and seconded that this matter be tabled to the November meeting. The motion was approved. Efforts will be made to provide Ms. Levings with some sense of the Board regarding the provisions of the Policy Statement prior to that meeting.
F. Status of the Tort System.
Mr. Igoe reported that the Committee had met, that a subcommittee had formed, that the subcommittee had met, and that the minutes of the Committee's activities were included with the Board's agenda materials. The Committee will meet further and report again in November.
G. Joint Supreme Court/Missouri Bar Committee on Pro Se Representation.
Lori Levine reported at length to the Board on the creation and appointment of this committee and the charge given to the committee. The committee has extensively surveyed judges, clerks, and pro se litigants to try to learn about the perceptions of each group of the present situation. The committee sought to learn why some persons decide to represent themselves rather than retaining attorneys. The committee's extensive report contains a number of recommendations whose goal is to urge pro se litigants to hire lawyers or to see if help from legal services lawyers would be available. Judges Limbaugh and White are eager to proceed. The Executive Committee recommends that the Board accept the report and authorize the appointment of persons to a feasibility and implementation committee, giving the committee six weeks to work on the report. It was moved and seconded that the recommendation of the Executive Committee be adopted. The motion was approved. Judge Pelikan and Mr. Campbell were recorded as voting "no."
H. YLS Council.
Mr. Cole reported that the YLS still had tickets available for the social activity Thursday evening at the Blue Note in Columbia and urged Board members to attend.
I. Proposed Committee to Look at the Retention of Client's Files.
Mr. Blanton explained his suggestion that the Board look at developing a policy on the retention of closed files. Because closed files are the property of clients, lawyers are required to hold files. Apparently an opinion of OCDC suggests that files must be held permanently, which may not be feasible. Mr. Blanton suggests the appointment of a Board committee to study the issue and report in January. It was moved and seconded that a committee be appointed. The motion was approved. In addition to Mr. Blanton, the committee will include Messrs. Greenwell, Ryan, Squibb, Halliburton, and Lang.
J. Written Committee Reports.
Mr. Doerhoff directed the attention of Board members to the packet of written committee reports included with the agenda materials.
5. Appointments:
A. Client Security Fund Committee.
Mr. Doerhoff advised the Board that the term of member Katharine Bunn was expiring, and she is ineligible for reappointment. It was moved and seconded that Columbia lawyer Phebe Ann La Mar be appointed to fill the position. The motion was approved.
B. Trustees of The Missouri Bar.
Mr. Doerhoff reported that Mark Comley's first term on the Trustees is expiring, and he is eligible for reappointment. It was moved and seconded that Mr. Comley be reappointed. The motion was approved.
C. Board Appointment to the Mid-Missouri Legal Services Board.
Mr. Doerhoff reported that Robert Bailey's term is expiring. Mid-Missouri Legal Services Executive Director Ed Berg has suggested that Gary Tatlow of Moberly would be willing to serve if appointed. It was moved and seconded that Mr. Tatlow be appointed. The motion was approved.
D. Mentoring Committee.
Mr. Doerhoff reported that Mr. Peace's term as Board representative to the Mentoring Committee is expiring. The Executive Committee recommends that Sherry Doctorian be appointed to the vacancy. It was moved and seconded that Ms. Doctorian be appointed. The motion was approved.
6. Officers Report:
A. Executive Director's Report.
Mr. Birkes reported on the activities planned for the Annual Meeting, commencing with a reception Wednesday night. Thursday's activities include three very good plenary sessions in the morning, the address by the Chief Justice at the luncheon, a series of track programs in the afternoon, and the Best of Missouri Reception at the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle in the evening. The YLS social activity at the Blue Note follows this. Friday morning includes both track programs and a plenary session. The dinner Friday night should be very well attended.
Mr. Birkes further reported that the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee has expressed interest in making existing and proposed Rules of Court available at no cost on the Bar's website. The issues involved will be investigated and reported on in November.
Mr. Birkes further reported that Cecil Caulkins will retire about the time of his 65th birthday next July.
B. Vice-President's Report.
Mr. Whisler will report further in November.
C. President-Elect's Report.
1. Corporate Pro Bono.
Mr. Corrigan reported that Ms. McCarthy will be heading this initiative to increase pro bono participation by corporate legal departments. One possibility is the use of a website to help connect volunteer lawyers with legal services organizations.
2. Lewis and Clark.
Mr. Corrigan reported Judge Kintz and Mr. Ryan are working on a variety of projects tied to the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Several ideas involve law-related education.
3. Law School for Legislators.
Mr. Corrigan reported that Mr. Ruth is chairing this program, which will be held in Jefferson City on January 27, 2004 for non-lawyer legislators.
4. Law School Loan Forgiveness.
Mr. Corrigan reported that he will meet with the trustees of The Missouri Bar Foundation on Friday to set up a 501(c)(3) so that lawyers may make a charitable donation to help fund this project.
5. Special Bylaws Review Committee.
Mr. Corrigan explained that it seems appropriate for a special committee to be appointed to review the Bar's bylaws, particularly with regard to the election of officers, and to report to the Board. It was moved and seconded that the appointment of such a committee be authorized. The motion was approved.
D. President's Report.
Mr.Doerhoff referred Board members to his written report covering the 2002-03 Bar year.
E. Other Business.
1. Acknowledgment of Retiring Board Members.
Mr. Doerhoff presented plaques to Ms. Levings, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Cowherd, Ms. Dean, Mr. Peace, and Judge Pelikan honoring them for their service on the Board of Governors.
2. Recognition of Mr. Doerhoff.
Mr. Corrigan presented Mr. Doerhoff with an award honoring his efforts on behalf of legal services in Missouri. Mr. Corrigan also presented Mr. Doerhoff with a gift from members of the Board of Governors honoring him for his year of service as President.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted,
Keith A. Birkes, Secretary