Preliminary Results for the Civil Legal Needs Study Now Available

Mayor Introduces New Legislation Requiring Places of Public Accommodation to Designate All-Gender Restrooms

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By Kathryn Robertson | Seattle.gov

Today Mayor Ed Murray introduced legislation that would require all City-controlled and privately operated places of public accommodation to designate existing or future single-occupant restrooms as all-gender facilities. All existing City-controlled single-occupant restrooms (across all City departments, from City Hall to Parks) will be re-signed to conform to this new standard. The proposal was one that was introduced to the City by the Seattle LGBT Commission as part of its ongoing work, and is one of the early recommendations from the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force.

“The transgender community deserves the dignity and respect that most people take for granted,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “That’s why Seattle is building upon our history of being one of the most welcoming cities in the world by ensuring restrooms are available and safe for all.”

Continue reading here.

Volunteer Opportunity with the Washington Court Reports Commission, Application Deadline 7/9

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The WSBA Board of Governors is accepting letters of interest and résumés from members interested serving a four-year term on the Washington Court Reports Commission. The term begins Aug. 2, 2015, and expires Aug. 1, 2019.

The Washington Court Reports Commission is as an advisory body for the Washington Supreme Court, regarding publication of official opinions from the state’s appellate courts. See RCW 2.32.160. The commission is chaired by Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen. Additional members include a Supreme Court justice, a Court of Appeals judge, the state reporter of decisions, the state law librarian, the state code reviser, and two representatives from the WSBA. Members are appointed by the chief justice to serve four-year terms.

The commission is involved in issues, such as the periodic awarding of publishing contracts, publication of official opinions in the Washington Reporter series of books, and electronic publication of opinions. The commission usually meets once annually in the summer in Olympia or SeaTac.

The commission would find it particularly helpful for the Bar’s nominee to have an interest and knowledge in technology issues related to electronic publications of official documents.

For more information about the Washington Court Reports Commission contact Rick Neidhardt, Washington State Reporter of Decisions, at 360-357-2090 or Rick.Neidhardt@courts.wa.gov.

Fair Housing Victory 

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On Thursday, June 25, the Supreme Court ruled that disparate impact can continue to be used as evidence in illegal discrimination cases. Under disparate impact, actions that create discrimination can be found to violate fair housing and fair employment laws, even if those actions do not intend to discriminate. U.S. courts have used disparate impact for decades to assess discrimination charges; the Supreme Court’s ruling means we can continue to take disparate impact into consideration.

Read the full opinion here.

WSBA Board of Governors Accepting Letters of Interest for Judicial Information Systems Committee, Due Tomorrow

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The WSBA Board of Governors is accepting letters of interest and résumés from members interested serving a three-year term on the Judicial Information System Committee (JISC). The term begins Aug. 1, 2015 and expires July 31, 2018.

The JISC is the policy-level steering committee for the court’s automation system. The committee is composed of 12 Bar members, including four members representing each of three areas of the judicial system — appellate court, superior court, and courts of limited jurisdiction. Three at-large committee members from outside the judiciary include a Bar member, a member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and a member of the Washington State Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Learn more about the JISC or contact Pam Payne, senior administrative assistant, at 360-705-5277 or pamela.payne@courts.wa.gov.

Please submit letters of interest and résumés to: WSBA Communications Department, 1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98101-2539, or via email to barleaders@wsba.org.

The Washington Office of Civil Legal Aid Releases Preliminary Results on the 2015 Civil Legal Needs Study

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The Washington State Supreme Court’s Civil Legal Needs Study Update Committee commissioned the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) at Washington State University to conduct a comprehensive update of the 2003 Civil Legal Needs Study.  The survey research was conducted in late 2014.  Publications documenting the research findings are found below.

Continue reading here.

Western States Center Extends Registration for Activists Mobilizing for Power Training 2015

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Western States Center offers training and strategy event at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.  Workshops run from 10 am to 5 pm with a 2-hour lunch break.  Long lunch breaks are designed to give you a chance to network with other attendees and participate in lunch-time meetings. Space is limited.

To register online, click here.