Lots of interest building for the Arizona bar’s board of governors election kicking off this Wednesday, May 7th. Some of the candidates are trolling for votes. Others are hustling for endorsements from the various voluntary bars.
Still others are running their own slates. To the latter candidates, I say more power to you. One of the latest I’ve seen is reproduced below and while it is different from the recommendations I made, the lawyers on the list merit serious consideration.
Indeed, three are on my recommendation list: Dave Derickson, Richard Coffinger and Melissa Ho. The other two, Alex Lane and Bob McWhirter, didn’t speak to the issues driving this year’s election when they had a chance to in their candidate statements.
The central issues driving lawyer concerns this time include: the dues increase; the board and bar’s lack of transparency; the board’s insularity/non-communication and the future direction of the bar. But better late than never.
I heartily applaud the issues they support.
Here’s their post:
“VOTE FOR DERICKSON, COFFINGER, HO, LANE AND McWHIRTER
“YOUR MOST IMPORTANT BOARD OF GOVERNORS VOTE EVER!
“The recent dues increase resulted from the Bar president breaking A TIE VOTE. Richard Coffinger, Dave Derickson and Melissa Ho all voted AGAINST the dues increase, after successfully lobbying for opening Bar finances to all Members and soliciting the hundreds of comments from you. We are a single vote away from a Bar that controls its expenses, listens to its Members and is a partner in steering through troubled economic waters. We urge you to re-elect Coffinger, Derickson and Ho and elect two teammates—Alex Lane and Bob McWhirter—who pledge to give the Bar back to its Members.
“Voting for us means that five of the nine Governors from Maricopa County will be criminal defense attorneys with an unbeatable background of small business knowledge and service to the profession. The Bar president appoints the Committee that makes all of the appointments to the Merit Selection Commissions, including the City Advisory Boards. The President, as head of the Executive Committee (SCOPE) directs the agenda for the Board. The last president and the next two presidents each had or have long careers as prosecutors. We need to restore balance to the Board of Governors as we work toward providing our Members with the tools for being successful in a difficult profession during difficult times.
· Treating our Members as we would treat clients, and their dues money as a trust fund for their benefit
· Reducing costs while expanding the Bar’s value to Members efficiently
· Insisting that the Board encourage open communication—in both directions—with the Membership
· Disciplinary Oversight to screen out bar complaints (charges) that are unlikely to merit a formal complaint
· Expanding the ethics hotline to educate and assist lawyers in avoiding sanctionable mistakes
· Continuing provision of FASTCASE free to Members
· Free website-supported law office management assistance and practice transition planning guidance
“Our profession is at a turning point economically and politically. Like the dues increase vote, EVERY SINGLE VOTE will be necessary to restore the Bar to serving its Members.
“For the May 7, 2014 election, you will receive an email from the Bar, providing your personalized log in and password for your ballot.
“VOTE FOR DERICKSON, COFFINGER, HO,
LANE AND McWHIRTER”