Equal Justice NewsletterApril 1999
It is fitting in this issue of Equal Justice that we specially recognize the pioneering activities of two lawyers, now deceased, who were among the founders of the Loren Miller Bar Association: Philip L. Burton of Seattle and Carl Maxey of Spokane.
Philip L. Burton was born in Topeka, Kansas on October 15, 1915. He graduated from Kansas University in 1939 and from Washburn College of Law (Kansas) in 1948. He served as an officer in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. While in Topeka, Kansas and while still a law student, he brought suit against the City of Topeka for discrimination in city-owned movie theatres and a suit to desegregate the city's public swimming pools. Because of his fair complexion, he was not easily identified as African American, but throughout his lifetime passionately devoted his legal talents to gaining access to public facilities for all African Americans.
Moving to Seattle in 1949, he became a member of the Washington State Bar and was married to Octavia "Toby" Walker, who survives him with their daughter, Linda, and their son, Kenneth, a Seattle lawyer who practiced with his father from 1982 to 1990 when his father retired.
Philip L. Burton in his early practice maintained law offices in the Central Area of Seattle with Charles M. Stokes (later Judge), another Washburn Law School graduate, they being two of only five African American lawyers practicing in the city at that time. A highly regarded and successful attorney, he had a general practice, but specialized in civil rights and equal opportunity employment law.
Of his many successful cases, Philip L. Burton was most proud of lawsuits he initiated in 1962, as an attorney representing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, against the Seattle Public Schools for desegregation of its schools to achieve racial parity. Another lawsuit was filed in 1966 on behalf of thirty African American students which was followed by a successful school boycott. Still another lawsuit was filed in 1977, which ultimately resulted in a consent decree in the United States District Court in 1979 under which the School Board (which had instituted a "voluntary" desegregation plan in 1963) adopted a city-wide mandatory desegregation plan--the first and largest metropolitan school district in the nation to abolish public school segregation without a direct order from the federal courts.
With intense opposition from a segment of the larger community to mandatory desegregation, a local well-organized group, Citizens Against Mandatory Busing, obtained an order from the King County Superior Court in 1971 which "invalidated" the action by the School Board and delayed implementation of the desegregation plan by one year.
The voices of reason (and the power of the federal courts) nevertheless prevailed. Also supporting Philip L. Burton in his desegregation effort were a cross-section of the religious community, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Seattle Urban League, and persons of good will from all racial groups in Seattle.
An extremely modest man, Philip L. Burton was the recipient of many honors and awards. He was a dedicated advocate of minorities, the poor, and anyone, regardless of race, gender, religion or creed, who was being denied the rights and privileges our society promises to all people. His colleagues, friends and family describe him as caring and compassionate, soft-spoken and low-key, dignified and courageous. In his quiet, but persistent way he was a guiding force who set an example for the rest of us who believed, as he did, in the good will of citizens of all backgrounds and in the ultimate fairness of our democratic systems.
When Carl Maxey, a celebrated attorney in Spokane, Washington, died at age 73 on July 17, 1997, we mourned the loss of a true giant in the legal and secular communities.
Carl Maxey was a proud African American who was born in Tacoma, brought by his adoptive parents to Spokane as an infant, orphaned at an early age and spent his formative years in an "orphan home" in Spokane. He was mentored by a favorite Jesuit priest and by his boxing coach, Joey August, and became a collegiate light-heavyweight champion while attending Gonzaga Law School. He was known as "a remarkable athlete, a boxer of power and grace and surprising temperament."
An accomplished athlete, Carl Maxey earlier attended Gonzaga Prep, earning letters in football, basketball and track. When he graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1951, he was its first African American graduate. Without reference to his race, it is commonly accepted that he was one of the law school's most outstanding graduates.
A striking and imposing man, he was the center of attention when he entered a room or a courtroom. A brilliant man of great intellect, he had a phenomenal command of language and was a persuasive advocate who fought hard for the interests of his clients. Following his death, typical remarks about him were those of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Donohue that "he consistently occupied the moral high ground in all his work . . . and he cared much more about the law than about the law business." In 1988 Mr. Maxey was on the Governor's "short list" for possible appointment to a vacancy on the Washington State Supreme Court.
Writing in the Spokesman-Review (Spokane) on July 18, 1997, staff writer Adam Lynn said Carl Maxey "made his mark as a lawyer by representing the underdog and the underclass. . . [a]nd he did it, judges and attorneys said. . . , with an integrity and compassion that impressed adversaries and friends alike." Covering Mr. Maxey's 46-year legal career, Mr. Lynn further noted that Mr. Maxey "took on cases most other Spokane attorneys wouldn't touch. In the 1950s and 1960s, he represented blacks suing local businesses that refused to serve them food or hire them for jobs" under his assertion that "the judicial system is where we have to demand and insist on fair treatment."
Adam Lynn further wrote "in one of his first cases, [Carl Maxey] helped a black man named Eugene Breckenridge get a job as a teacher on the all-white Spokane School District 81 faculty. [He] manufactured an out-of-court settlement that led to the 1951 hiring of Breckenridge, who later became head of the Washington Education Association. "Maxey also was instrumental in abolishing state laws that allowed bars, taverns and social clubs to refuse to serve blacks. In 1970, he represented the Seattle 7,' a dissident group accused of conspiring to destroy public property and overthrow the government in protest of the Vietnam War. The case ended in a mistrial after a riot between the defendants, prosecutors, defense attorneys and spectators. It took nearly 50 U. S. marshals to restore order. Federal Judge George Boldt threatened to cite all the lawyers with contempt, except Maxey, whom he praised for his professionalism and integrity.
"Throughout his career, Maxey represented people who most of society believed deserved no representation at all. He stood up for drug-crazed killers, Hells Angels and dope pushers. He won some cases, lost others.
"In one of his most high-profile cases, he defended Ruth Coe in 1987 against charges of solicitation of murder. . . . In the 1960s, Maxey helped a man who had escaped a Georgia jail on the eve of his execution and fled to Washington. Maxey convinced then-Washington Gov. Albert Rosellini that Charlie Will Cauthen was railroaded by Georgia authorities. Rosellini refused to sign extradition papers that would have sent Cauthen back to Georgia. . . .
"Maxey's work for the oppressed garnered the respect of civil rights attorneys across the country, said Richard Kayne, Spokane County Bar Association president."
Active in the political arena, a platform from which he addressed the concerns of the poor and powerless, Carl Maxey in 1970 unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate against incumbent Henry M. Jackson; in 1976 he ran as a candidate for Vice President of the United States with independent presidential candidate Senator Eugene McCarthy; in 1988 he was a convention delegate for Reverend Jesse Jackson. He was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, largely because of the disproportionate number of minorities drafted and killed, while college deferments were liberally granted middle-class whites.
The life of Carl Maxey has challenged all of us to use the courts to achieve justice for all persons. His sons, William and Bevan, who practice law in Spokane, are following in their father's footsteps. His wife, Lou, is similarly dedicated to furthering her husband's mission.
José E. Gaitán, a Seattle lawyer, is serving a second year as chairman of the American Bar Association's Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession.
A principal in the Seattle law firm, The Gaitán Group, Mr. Gaitán has a national commercial litigation practice and oversees the ABA commission's work of studying issues faced by minority lawyers and minority bar associations, as well as increasing opportunities for minorities in the profession.
At the time of Mr. Gaitán's initial appointment in August 1997, then ABA President Jerome J. Shestack stated "The entire Association joins the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession in working to achieve a multi-ethnic profession, conscious of differences and blind to prejudice. I am pleased that José E. Gaitán can serve as the leader of this important commission. His experience and professional standards in this field are exemplary. He will make a valuable contribution to the ABA and to the legal profession in this role."
A member of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, Mr. Gaitán also served as finance chairperson for the Tenth Annual/Anniversary meeting of the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts which met in Seattle June 7-9, 1998. He is a recent past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and a member of the International Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. He co-founded and served as chair of the Washington State Hispanic Bar Association. He has been a member of the International Law Section of the ABA and the Washington State Bar Association for more than 20 years. He is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
José E. Gaitán has served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for King County and an assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington. He has served as a judge pro tempore for the Seattle District Court and the King County Superior Court. In his private practice, he has supervised the litigation of some of the largest corporate lawsuits in the world.
Having served for 12 years as a professor of trial advocacy at the University of Washington Law School, Mr. Gaitán regularly teaches trial skills at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He serves as an officer of the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a trustee of Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon) and of the Linfield Physics Research Institute. He is a former trustee of Seattle Central Community College. He has served as president of the University of Washington Law School Alumni Association and vice chair of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of Linfield College and the University of Washington Law School, Mr. Gaitán is admitted to practice in the State of Washington, the United States District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The 16-person Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession was created in conjunction with the passage of ABA Goal IX -- "To create full and equal participation in the legal profession by minorities and women." The Commission is mandated to implement seven recommendations proposed by the Task Force on Minorities in the Legal Profession, and has endeavored to achieve this by actively developing programs, publications, reports, and services.
Programs of the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities include the following:
Minority Counsel Program (formerly the Minority Counsel Demonstration Program). The first national program to demonstrate that corporate America is willing to assign legal work to minority lawyers.
Conference of Minority Partners. The primary goal is to address the unique circumstances and needs of minority partners who practice in majority firms. The Conference serves as a natural support and education network for those partners.
Multicultural Women Attorneys Network (MWAN). Focuses on issues facing minority women lawyers in the profession. Jointly sponsored with the ABA Commission on Women. MWAN recently produced two video primers on Civil Rights and Employment and Immigration Law. Its publications, including "The Burdens of Both, The Privileges of Neither: A Report on the Experiences of Native American Women Lawyers" serve as a catalyst for the ABA to reconfirm its commitment to multicultural women attorneys and to make concerted efforts to develop and implement solutions to the unique challenges they face.
Minority In-House Counsel Group. This group is a national network of minority lawyers who work in corporations and government agencies. It develops programs and projects addressing issues and concerns of lawyers of color in corporate law departments.
Spirit of Excellence Awards. Held during the ABA Midyear Meeting, this awards luncheon celebrates the achievements of minority lawyers and judges. The award recognizes their contributions to the legal profession and society. These awards are presented to those who excel in their professional settings, and who personify excellence on either the national, state or local level.
In addition, the Commission seeks to achieve its mandate by investigating and reporting on issues that affect lawyers of color. To this end, the Commission recently released the report "Miles to Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession." This report has been widely distributed throughout the legal community, and is the first step in tracking the progress of minority lawyers on a nationwide, systematic basis. The report is based on a comprehensive review of academic, government, professional, and popular data sources. It focuses on the progress of minorities in the profession since 1986.
Adapted by permission from American Bar Association News.
Throughout the state of Washington minority lawyers are having a positive impact on their communities. There are ten minority bar associations in Washington. The law schools in this state also have a wide variety of law student organizations for students of color. All of these organizations are involved in outreach to the community, including educational projects, pro-bono activities and social events. In this edition of Equal Justice, I will report on the activities of several of these organizations.
The Pierce County Minority Bar Association (PCMBA) sponsored a fundraiser for Judge Sergio Armijo of the Pierce County Superior Court. Judge Sergio Armijo, one of only two minority judges on the Pierce County Superior Court, was subject to election for a short term and for a full term. He was successful. Judge Armijo serves on the Minority and Justice Commission. The president of PCMBA is Tacoma attorney Ms. Carolyn Coleman Mitchell.
The president of the Northwest Indian Bar Association is Clifford Lyle Marshall, an Associate Justice with the Northwest Intertribal Court. The Northwest Indian Bar Association has co-sponsored several events including Affirmative Action CLE (with the King County Bar Association) and the Minority Pre-Law Conference in Yakima (with the Minority Lawyers Association of Eastern Washington). Its Frederick Paul Scholarship is awarded to a worthy Native American law student each year. The scholarship helps to defray the costs of attending law school.
The Loren Miller Bar Association is an organization of African American attorneys headed by its outgoing president, James F. Williams. Effective May 1999, Ms. Sherri Jefferson from the Stoel Rives Law Firm will be the new president. The LMBA annually conducts a Thanksgiving Food Drive. It also holds a reception each year to honor new bar admittees and recent law school graduates. The LMBA also publicly announces its concern over significant community crises involving human rights and the rule of law.
The Minority Lawyers Association of Eastern Washington annually conducts a Pre-Law Student Leadership conference (co-sponsored by the Washington Young Lawyers Association and other groups). They also conduct an "Equality in Practice" seminar for lawyers.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is headquartered in Sacramento, California. Its local affiliate is the Asian Bar Association of Washington (ABAW). The ABAW started a Pro-Bono advice clinic in Seattle's International District. The clinic is co-sponsored by the King County Bar Association. Office space is provided by the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. More than thirty-five lawyers have volunteered for this endeavor. The ABAW also recently concluded an eight-week Community Law Program in the International District. Volunteer lawyers taught substantive law topics to community members one night a week.
Law students of color throughout the state are also very active. The University of Washington has six organizations. One of those student groups is the UW Minority Law Students Association. The MLSA offers several events each year. The focus is on issues that impact students of color, but all MLSA events are open to the entire law school community. For the past few years the MLSA has offered a pre-orientation for incoming first-year law students. The goal is to ease the transition into law school, but students also have the opportunity to meet and hear prominent attorneys of color in the Seattle community. MLSA sponsors workshops on résumé and cover letter writing, interviewing "do's" and "don'ts" and substantive topics such as "Women, Violence and the Law" (co-sponsored with the UW Law Women's Caucus and the UW International Law Society). There have also been diversity forums on "Starting the Dialogue" (response to a particular racial incident that occurred at the law school) and on "Affirmative Action." Another program explored the "Changing Profile of Law Employment" and the limitation of job opportunities for students of color.
The Diversity Council at Seattle University Law School regularly conducts forums featuring prominent guest speakers such as Supreme Court Justice Charles Z. Smith, King County Superior Court Judge Richard A. Jones, Professor Derrick A. Bell and Professor Cruz Reynoso.
These reported activities are only a sampling of what minority lawyers are doing in this state. There is also a Hispanic Bar Association of Washington, a Korean American Bar Association of Washington, the Filipino American Legal Association of Washington, as well as law student organizations at Gonzaga University School of Law. Their activities have not been profiled in this issue of Equal Justice. We hope to report on these activities in future issues.
Michele E. Jones, a graduate of Gonzaga University Law School, is a professor at the University of Washington Law School. She directs the Child Advocacy Clinic there.
For the past five years, the Asian Bar Association of Washington (ABAW) has directed a large portion of its outreach efforts through the International District Legal Clinic, a joint project of ABAW, the King County Bar Association's Neighborhood Legal Clinics Program and the Newcomers Resource project. The ID Clinic provides free legal advice and referral to the Pan-Asian communities in the Seattle area. Every Wednesday evening, at least three Asian American attorneys are available to offer pro bono legal advice on a variety of topics, including family law, landlord-tenant disputes, employment law issues and immigration.
Earlier this year, the ID Clinic relocated in Seattle's International District to the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), a culturally diverse multi-service agency, which has been serving the community for over twenty-five years. Working from the organizational and demographic strengths of this new location, ABAW expects that 1999 will see increasing accessibility of the ID Clinic, a consequent extension of our legal services and advice to a broader audience, and a much higher number of clients.
Co-location, in and of itself, with ACRS has already made the ID Clinic more visible and accessible to a more diverse group of potential clients. Given ACRS's long-standing presence among the Asian-Pacific Islander communities, and given, also, that it offers, from a fairly centralized location, a broad array of services (with programs addressing such issues as employment placement, health care and English as a Second Language (ESL)), a simple cross-over effect virtually guarantees that the ID Clinic will reach more people.
But beyond the simple cross-over effect, the fact that ACRS is an umbrella agency has simplified that task of identifying potential clients who might benefit most from Clinic services. Furthermore, co-location within the larger and more culturally diverse ACRS has lowered language and cultural barriers that previously made the Clinic inaccessible to immigrant clients. Working within this context, the ID Clinic is making efforts to recruit more volunteers from the ABAW and the King County Bar Association, as well as local university chapters of the Asian Pacific Islander Law Student Associations, in order to make interpreters even more widely available in an even wider array of languages.
With potential clients identified, and cultural and language barriers lowered, the Clinic can proceed with its community education programs. The Clinic is in the process of developing plans to provide education programs through which attorneys volunteer to speak to social service providers and community members on relevant legal topics. Also in the works are monthly single-subject seminars, so that clients may receive from attorneys advice on specialized areas of law such as family law, small claims law, or landlord/renter laws.
Of course, the ID Clinic does not presume to know on its own the legal service and advice needs of the entire Pan-Asian Community. As much as the Clinic may be putting on seminars and presentations, it will be just as much listening, and collecting what data must be had to assess the needs for affordable legal programs for the community it serves. The members of ABAW are excited at this new opportunity to provide pro bono legal services to the community.
Dean S. Lum is a judge of the King County Superior Court and a member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington. Henry Nguyen is an attorney and a member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington.
The Loren Miller Bar Association is the Washington affiliate of the National Bar Association (NBA), the oldest minority bar and the largest organization of African American attorneys and judges in the United States. Formed in 1925, the NBA was created when the American Bar Association (ABA) was racially segregated and did not accept persons of color. Although the ABA changed its membership policies several decades later, the NBA continues to address social, economic and legal issues unique to the African American community.
The history of the Loren Miller Bar Association (LMBA) reflects the birth, growth and maturation of the African American legal community in the State of Washington. Beginning as the Loren Miller Bar Club, the organization was founded in Seattle on August 14, 1968 by Philip L. Burton, Gary D. Gayton, Archie M. Greenlee, Donald D. Haley (later Judge), Lembhard G. Howell, Charles V. Johnson (later Judge), William F. Lockett, Carl Maxey, James E. McIver, Charles M. Stokes (later Judge), Edwin S. Stone, Jack E. Tanner (later Judge) and Andrew J. Young. The organization was named for Loren Miller, a noted Los Angeles civil rights lawyer (later Judge) who successfully argued Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U. S. 1, 68 S. Ct. 836, 92 L. Ed. 1161 (1948), which struck down race-based restrictive covenants in housing.
On October 14, 1978 the members officially changed the name from Club to Association and, in 1997, created the Philip L. Burton Memorial Foundation as a non-profit corporation to administer the Association's scholarship fund for law students at the University of Washington, Seattle University and Gonzaga University. The organization has grown from its 13 founders to a current membership of over 250 attorneys throughout the state.
At its core, the LMBA is first and foremost a civil rights organization. From its infancy it has adopted a vigorous platform of confronting institutionalized racism and the myriad of social and economic disparities affecting the African American community. In the 1960s and 1970s, its members attacked discrimination in employment, housing, education, public contracting and disparate treatment of African American athletes at the University of Washington. In the 1980s and 1990s it maintained its civil rights agenda, but expanded its sphere of influence within Washington's majority bar and among other African American attorneys nationwide. Examples of this is the LMBA's screening of judicial candidates, its co-founding of the Northwest Minority Job Fair, its membership on standing committees of the Washington State Bar Association and the King County Bar Association, and its hosting of the annual convention of the National Bar Association in 1984 and 1994.
During the past 30 years, the Loren Miller Bar Association has spearheaded or been intimately involved with a number of significant historical events such as defending unpopular African American students and organization during "uprisings" at Franklin High School and the University of Washington (late 1960s); forcing labor unions and the construction industry to allow participation by African Americans (1960s and 1970s); challenging affiliation by the Washington State Bar Association with the then racially restricted College Club (1969); ensuring equal treatment of African American athletes at the University of Washington (1960s and 1970s); actively supporting candidacy of Judge Charles T. Wright for the Washington State Supreme Court in 1972 (he won by only 5,000 votes); preserving the selective certification/ affirmative action program for under- represented women and minorities in the Seattle Fire Department (1976); obtaining financial assistance from the organized bar for African American law students (1970s); providing instruction to African American law students preparing for the Washington State Bar examination (1970s); creating employment opportunities for African American law students through the Northwest Minority Job Fair (1980s to date); and reaching across the state to Spokane's African American community and law students at Gonzaga University.
The trend towards dynamic leadership in the Loren Miller Bar Association has continued with election of its current president, James F. Williams of the Perkins Coie Law Firm in Seattle. A graduate of the Citadel (Military College of South Carolina), he served on active duty in the United States Air Force and holds the rank of Captain in the Reserves. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School. Under his leadership during the past year the Loren Miller Bar Association has accomplished the following:
Co-sponsored Youth and the Law Forum at First AME Church as community outreach to inner-city youth; held its Annual Scholarship Dinner at the Westin Seattle Hotel with guest speaker Professor Derrick Bell, honoring retiring Superior Court Judge Charles V. Johnson and retiring Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, Mount Zion Baptist Church, and donating $6,000.00 in scholarships to minority students taking the bar examination; published Loren Miller Bar Association Directory 1998-1999 (with history of organization and listing member attorneys and judges); second annual visit to Spokane to support minority students at Gonzaga University Law School and hosted Continuing Legal Education panels; actively supported "NO 200" campaign against Initiative 200; sponsored Minority Youth Forums in the Seattle Public Schools; sponsored Minority Law Student reception at the University of Washington; co-sponsored Seattle Area Law Recruiters' Association reception; co-sponsored Northwest Minority Job Fair; conducted Young Lawyer Orientation Committee seminar; hosted the first Puget Sound Black Professionals reception (joining the African American Accountants and Healthcare Professionals); actively participated with the Central Area Motivation Program in its Holiday Food Drive, providing complete Christmas dinners for ten needy families in the Central Area of Seattle; and, through its Judicial Evaluation Committee, rated over 30 candidates for the Washington Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the King County District and Superior Courts, the Pierce County Superior Court and the Seattle Municipal Court.
Sherri Lynn Jefferson is president-elect of the Loren Miller Bar Association, an organization of African American attorneys. She is an associate in the Stoel Rives Law Firm.
"We, the members of the Northwest Indian Bar Association, come together to use our collective education to protect and promote the sovereignty of Indian communities: teach our Native American youth by example, instruction and guidance; to encourage our youth to pursue higher education in service to our Native communities; and to bring respect, honor and pride to our traditions and culture (Preamble to the Bylaws of the Northwest Indian Bar Association.)
The purposes and goals of the Northwest Indian Bar Association (NIBA) are: (1) to represent and foster the education and welfare of Native American attorneys, paralegals and tribal court personnel of the Pacific Northwest; (2) to provide role models and mentors in the legal profession for Indian people, particularly Native American youth and law students; and (3) to encourage and promote the active participation in the Association of Native American Attorneys, paralegals and tribal court personnel throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Membership. The NIBA consists of three classes of members: (1) A Regular Member must be recognized by any Native American community as being an Indian, Eskimo or Aleut and must also be either an attorney, judge, law school graduate, law school student, or a full or part-time employee in an Indian tribal court. (2) An Associate Member is a person not eligible for regular membership but who is a tribal judge or otherwise is engaged primarily in the practice or study of Indian Law. (3) An Honorary Member is any other person invited for or requesting honorary membership by majority vote of the Governing Council, upon written nomination of any regular member.
Annual Meeting. An annual meeting of the general membership is held on the first day of the Annual University of Washington Law School's Indian Law Symposium, usually held in September of each year.
Current Goals/Projects. The NIBA is presently working toward fulfilling the following goals: (1) to produce an Indian Law Directory containing the names and contact numbers of attorneys practicing in the area of Indian law; (2) to recruit new members to the organization; (3) to assist the University of Washington's Native American Law Student Association lobbying efforts with the Law School's Admissions Board to accept more Native students; (4) to provide scholarships for Native law students; and (5) to assist the University of Washington with the development of an Indian Law Center.
Information about NIBA can be obtained from C. Lyle Marshall, President, at (425) 774-5808, or Tim Reynon, Secretary, at (253) 573-7876.
Tim Reynon is an attorney and Secretary of the Northwest Indian Bar Association.
The Washington State Hispanic Bar Association is a statewide organization whose purpose is to represent the concerns and goals of Hispanic/Latino attorneys and the Hispanic people of the State of Washington. The organization encourages and promotes active participation of all Hispanic attorneys throughout the state and seeks involvement of Hispanic political, governmental, educational and business leaders.
Our members participate in pro bono clinics providing services to the Spanish- speaking community. Efforts are made to encourage and assist Hispanic students. Specifically, we award scholarships to law students in the state. Additionally, many of our members are mentors to law students. We also participate in the Northwest Minority Job Fair which provides students an opportunity to interview with potential employers.
We seek to recognize the need and voice concern for Hispanic judicial appointments; encourage respect for the integrity of the judicial system; and promote the pursuit of fairness, justice, and equality. In this regard, the association has a judicial review committee which interviews and rates judicial candidates. This committee places a great emphasis on the candidates' responses to racial, ethnic, and gender issues which arise in the courts. The organization also actively seeks out from its membership individuals who are ideal candidates for vacancies on the bench. We encourage those persons to become judicial candidates.
In sum, the organization continues its goals and looks forward to meeting the needs of its community.
Sandra Veliz is president of the Washington State Hispanic Bar Association. She is an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board.
The Pierce County Minority Bar Association (PCMBA) is an independent, nonprofit membership association of judges, court commissioners, lawyers and law students who care about the impact of the law on the minority experience. This year's PCMBA members are a highly motivated group of professionals who intend to make a difference in the Pierce County legal community and the minority communities we represent.
In 1999, the PCMBA will focus its attention on the juvenile justice system. Accordingly, the membership has formed a Juvenile System Committee whose purpose is to promote dialogue between youth, parents, schools and the legal community concerning the treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system. The Chair of the Juvenile System Committee is Henry Wiggins, III, Law Offices of Monte E. Hester.
The Juvenile System Committee will spend the next few months visiting various schools, churches, and community organizations that serve juveniles, gathering information for the PCMBA's First Annual Youth and Law Forum. The Forum is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 1999. The agenda will include student role-plays, debates, and a thought-provoking panel discussion of the impact of race on decision- making in the juvenile justice system. Participants will represent a variety of viewpoints, including members of the prosecutor's office, the police department, the defense bar, parents, youth, religious leaders, and other community groups. As part of our community outreach effort, we are also collaborating with the Young Lawyer's Division of the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association to staff community booths at local libraries throughout Law Week, May 3 - 7, 1999.
The PCMBA's focus on juveniles is further enhanced by our immediate plans to develop and promote direct mentorship of minority law students and urban high school students. We have already begun the active recruitment of minority law students from Seattle University Law School, offered individual assistance with law school exam preparation, and plan to act as judges and coaches for moot court and mock trial competitions. On the high school level, the PCMBA plans to sponsor mock trial events at local schools. Several of our members participated in the Spanaway Lake High School Career Fair on March 23, 1999. The Chair of our Mentorship Committee is Frank Cuthbertson, Law Office of Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson and Daheim, who is also the 1999 Vice-President of the PCMBA.
The PCMBA was formed to serve as a vehicle to facilitate professional growth, development, and relationships among the various minority attorneys who reside or practice in Pierce County; to foster diversity in the legal community; and to serve as the conscience of the Pierce County minority communities on legal issues and laws affecting those communities.
The PCMBA membership is open to licensed attorneys, judges, court commissioners, law school graduates and law school students who reside or practice law in Pierce County. Annual Dues are $50.00 per year for attorneys, judges and commissioners, and $10 per year for law students. Meetings are held at 12:15 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Pierce County Courthouse, Room 211A. Meetings end promptly at 1:00 p.m. to allow time for networking among members.
If you wish to contact Carol Coleman Mitchell, 1999 PCMBA President, you may e-mail her at email@example.com, or write her at the following address: PCMBA, P.O. Box 1513, Tacoma, WA 98401-1513.
Carol Coleman Mitchell is an associate at Bonneville, Viert, Morton and McGoldrick focusing on employment and civil rights discrimination and consumer protection issues.
Webster's Dictionary defines education as: "the development of intellectual or moral growth." The role of the Education Sub-committee of the Minority and Justice Commission is to stimulate that process through a variety of opportunities designed to meet the needs of the judiciary.
On February 5, 1999 the Education Sub-committee met by conference call to discuss goals and implementation plans for the ensuing fiscal year. Chaired by Court of Appeals Judge Ronald E. Cox, the sub-committee balances educational needs with the challenge of creating learning opportunities designed to meet the demands of adult learners.
The Washington State 1999 Judicial College hosted 43 newly elected and appointed judges from all jurisdictions. This program covered essential judicial skills such as Role of the Judge, Judicial Ethics, Sentencing, Search and Seizure, Family Law, Domestic Violence/Unlawful Harassment, and Jury Selection. Among the topics considered worthy of their attention during this week of orientation was the Diversity in the Courts Workshop, presented by Ms. Benita R. Horn and Ms. Peggy A. Nagae. The objective of the course was to increase the judges' awareness of cultural differences and demonstrated strategies and options for identifying, understanding, and working through cultural collisions.
The presenters, Ms. Horn and Ms. Nagae, focused the judges' attention on aligning intent and impact in the context of effective cross-cultural communication. They explored common sources of cross-cultural misunderstanding rooted in communication filters such as stereotypes and cultural norms. Judges also spent time exploring the role of speaking and listening; and practiced those skills with a mind to achieving cross-cultural communication using composite scenarios of actual court experiences. Finally, judges concluded the session by developing a specific personal course of action to value diversity, identify and change behaviors, and to enlist support from their colleagues.
The judges appreciated the faculty and the program, noting the following in their evaluations:
But perhaps the real impact of the session was best summarized by one judge, who
Paramount to the sub-committee's work is the successful development of a master education consultants' list of qualified instructors and education contractors. Commission Executive Director Ms. Donna V. McConnell-Adams is working with the sub-committee to identify instructors qualified to develop education in a variety of areas such as cultural awareness, workforce diversity, and diversity in the courtroom. One question raised during a recent sub-committee discussion was "who is the audience?" Should education programs be extended to Administrative Law Judges, law enforcement officers, probation officers and guardians ad litem? The sub-committee agreed to submit the question to the Executive Committee of the Commission for further discussion.
The sub-committee renewed interest in developing video vignettes to use as an educational tool. Judge Cox asked members of the sub-committee to forward names of possible video specialist contractors to Ms. McConnell-Adams. The sub-committee indicated its interest in using a variety of technological education alternatives such as Compact Disc programs to reach a broader audience.
Future events include cultural diversity education programs scheduled for District Court Clerks and the Court Support Orientation program scheduled for early summer or next fall.
Mary Campbell McQueen is the Administrator for the Courts and serves on the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission.
Chaired by Judge Deborah D. Fleck, the Work Force Diversity Sub-committee sponsored How to be a Good Employer: Tackling the Tough Issue (Implications for Work Force Diversity) for Juvenile Court Administrators on March 3, 1999 in Olympia. Commission Co-chairperson Justice Charles Z. Smith spoke about the history and mission of the Minority and Justice Commission. Commission member Madelyn Botta spoke about the employment program which had been presented to the Superior Court Judges Conference last spring. She introduced the faculty: King County Deputy Prosecutors Ms. Mary I. Yu, Ms. Karen A. Pool Norby, and Ms. Susie N. Slonecker. All three are employment law specialists.
The faculty presented an excellent program about the Washington State Civil Rights Act (Initiative 200), Moving Toward Diversity, and General Principles of Employment Law. This was an interactive program with lots of questions, suggested resolutions and instructions on the law.
The program was very well received and will be offered to the District and Municipal Court Managers on May 5, 1999 and District and Municipal Court Judges on May 18, 1999. A request has been made that we offer this program to mid-managers in the court system. The sub-committee will address that at their next meeting.
Madelyn Botta is Court Administrator, Kitsap County Superior Court and serves on the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission.
The Washington State Minority and Justice Commission believes that creative art can express more than "a thousand words." In consequence, we have commissioned artists to create and execute original paintings: "Equal Justice" (Sekio Matsumoto), "Justice and Women of Color" (Nubia W. Owens), and "Justice is all inclusive" (Tori). We have reproduced these (and "The Jury," a batik by Catherine Conoley) in various forms as report covers, posters and note cards.
With permission from the artists, we have granted limited publication rights to their work to the National Consortium of Task Forces and Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts and the National Center for State Courts.
Our posters and note cards are not published at State expense, but through generous donations from the private sector: US WEST Foundation, Kazama Ski Company and the Eli Lilly Company. Available at nominal cost, these items may be obtained through our executive director, Ms. Donna V. McConnell-Adams, who can provide specific information concerning acquisition.
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