Commencing on January 30, 2018, the National Organization of Bar Counsel (“NOBC”) convened its Mid-Year Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. With approximately 145 regulators, ethics counsel, federal agency representatives and adjudicators in attendance, the conference began with remarks from Grand Chief Edward John who shared with NOBC members the history of the indigenous people of British Columbia and the challenges they have faced, and continue to face, in terms of equality and justice. We then turned to Roll Call during which a member from each jurisdiction represented at the conference provided information about recent issues of significance taking place in their states or agencies.
Programming over the course of the next four days included a survey of recent developments and significant cases from around the country, several programs on lawyer wellness, a discussion of the impact of global regulatory matters, and a very entertaining and interactive presentation on the handling of asylum cases in the U.S. immigration system. Programming also included a session examining the use of professional, as opposed to volunteer, adjudicators, tips for regulation counsel when answering ethics inquiries, record-keeping for dummies, and a thorough look at attorney involvement, sometimes unwitting and sometimes not, in international money laundering. The Mid-Year meeting programming also included a session of live adjudication – a literal peek behind the curtain of how tribunals make their decisions in our cases – and an examination of personal versus professional misconduct under Model Rule 8.4.
Of course, there was time for socializing during our Networking Event at which a delicious dinner of local fare was served, and members were able to let their hair down a bit with dancing and a photo booth complete with many whimsical props. Our health conscious members availed themselves of the many running and walking trails running along Vancouver’s shoreline and in Stanley Park and, while it rained nearly the entire time, that did nothing to dampen our spirits given the majesty of the city of Vancouver, the surrounding harbor and resplendent mountains.
NOBC will next convene for its Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois in early August, 2018. Former NOBC President, and current Director of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, Tracy Kepler, will be presented with the NOBC President’s Award at that time. Programming is well in hand for our Annual Meeting. We welcome any ICLR Members who may be in Chicago in August to come say hello!
Article kindly contributed by Katie Uston, assistant bar counsel at the Virginia State Bar, and president of the NOBC.