2007 Year End Program: "Lawyers For Warriors"

This is a working page … for developing a program. Expect it to change frequently and emphasis content over beauty.

  • Title: "Lawyers for Warriors"
  • Sponsor: Washington State Bar Association's Section on World Peace Through Law, produced in cooperation with the WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section
  • Date/Time: December 27, noon - 5pm
  • Location: Washington State Bar Association, 1325 Fourth Ave., Ste. 600 Seattle, WA 98101-2539
  • Purpose: Prepare lawyers to deal with issues affect troops, veterans and their families. (Throughout this document, we may say“veterans” for short, but we mean all: currently serving, formerly serving, and family Regular, National Guard, Reserve or other.)
  • Target Audience: 50-70 local lawyers seeking Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. While we hope most will be lawyers seeking information to better serve veterans who are their clients, frankly some will come to get inexpensive credit before year-end. We hope to convert the latter into the former! We usually get a few members of the public as well.
  • Sign up: The event is free to members of either Section; membership available online or at the door. Online signup for event recommended to ensure seating: https://pro.wsba.org/forms/cle/M81227.asp Membership available online or at the door. Speakers should feel free to bring guests; let us know if possible so we get a good headcount.
  • CLE Credit: Approved for 4 general credits. WSBA/MCLE ID 192500


  • CLE: This is a continuing legal education (CLE) program; it's first purpose is to provide legal education to lawyers seeking better to serve clients who are troops, veterans or their families. This doesn't mean speakers need to be lawyers or teachers; to the contrary: veterans, social workers and others with direct experience of the subject matter can give essential information. The organizer takes primary responsibility to work out a program that meets CLE requirements; often speakers work together on a panel to achieve the educational purpose.
  • Networking & Future Projects: Section events traditionally help members and speakers network for future collaboration. This event is intended to feed into continuing, long-term efforts to veterans needing legal services. Some will be motivated by compassion, some by patriotism, and some by self-interest (such as better service to their clients, or free CLE).
  • Recording: We plan to record the event for the sake of those unable to attend. To encourage free discussion, we honor any speakers' requests to trim their remarks
  • Goal: The best, most informative possible program that would help civilian lawyers better address these issues.

Agenda (in development)


General Introduction (Jay Hastings)

  • A few numbers: how many veterans, how many issues
  • Putting faces on it: veteran describe post-service life (Julia Sheriden & co.)

Scoping the Problem

  • When a veteran walks in the door, what questions do you ask? (Dawn Barrett and company?)

What Officialdom Will and Won't Do

  • JAG: its services and limits
  • VA: services and limitations; initial claims; appeals (Ernie Butler and his Senior Veteran Service Officer)

In the Civil Justice System

  • USERRA, SCRA and other protections (Steve Fredrickson?)
  • Family law problems (John Morgan?)

Next Steps

  • Legislation proposed (Can Ernie talk about his lobbying? Also, I'm checking with our Federal reps to see if they can send a speaker)
  • Pro Bono, Clinics, and Self-Help (perhaps Moni or someone from"Access To Justice" on forthcoming "Warriors for Lawyers" clinics etc.)
  • The Law Clerk challenge: can veterans become lawyers serving veterans? (I think I can find a Rule 6 Law Clerk to talk about this; I'd like to challenge every large law firm in the state to hire at least 1 vet/law clerk. Remember "Don't Forget, Hire a Vet"?)

Organizing Committee

  • Event Moderator Jay Hastings
  • WPTL Chair Randall Winn
  • WPTL Chair Elect Darryl Vhugen


  • Ernie Butler
  • Dawn Barrett
  • Dennis Brown
  • Jerry Towne
  • Garry Hodgson
  • John Morgan
  • Julia Sheriden
  • Mike Dedrick
  • Steve Fredrickson
  • David Miner

About the Speakers

  • Dawn Barrett is from the King County Veterans' Program. http://www.metrokc.gov/dchs/csd/veteran/
  • Dennis Brown and Garry Hodgson are with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA)
  • Ernie Butler is the Executive Director of Paralyzed Veteran of America Executive Director and a veteran issues lobbyist. http://www.nwpva.org/
  • Mike Dedrick and Former US Marine Corps Sergeant Julia Sheriden are from the GI Rights Hotline
  • Steve Fredrickson, Northwest Justice Project Advocacy Coordinator, on renter, homeowner, and consumer rights under the SCRA. http://www.nwjustice.org/
  • John Morgan is an attorney with Liebert Morgan & Fleischbein PS
  • Our final segment (perhaps 4:30-5pm) will include highly specific information on legal clinics and other opportunities for providing pro bono or other low-cost services, as well as networking facilities, e.g. newsletter or listserve signup, for lawyers unable provide pro bono but still interested in this subject matter area (…perhaps the easiest way would be to join the LAMP section…) and charting out a course of action for identifying the scope of the unmet legal need and meeting it

Information for Speakers

  • The speakers collectively are helping work out the precise order and subject matter of the panels. We plan to end on an "up" note, with practical resources or projects for lawyers to work on in 2008.
  • If you have AV needs (e.g. web access or powerpoint) let us know early in December so we can reserve equipment.
  • A handout for the audience will be prepared; we would like to include in the handout a brief outline of each presentation, no more than one page if you wish. Please feel free to include information about your organization! The outline can be sent to Randy Winn by e-mail, preferably by December 21.
  • Speakers should feel free to mention nonpartisan activities, such as legal clinics for which they need volunteers or legislation that they wish considered. Networking is an important part of education and (as long as we're nonpartisan) highly encouraged.
  • Speakers who are members of the WSBA may be eligible for "Speaker Credit" of up to 10 hours of CLE credit per hour of speaking.
  • Your help with educating the legal community is very much appreciated!


  • Speakers must be free to speak on what they want and on which they are experts.
  • This event focuses on domestic law concerning members of the military, veterans and their family arising out of the use of our military abroad.
  • We would like to avoid topics such as the legality of wars in general or in particular. While these are important issues, they are for another event.
  • This is an educational event, and completely nonpartisan.
  • In discussing laws (both enacted and proposed) it is impossible to avoid opinions; we just have to do our best.
  • We'll invite as broad a variety of speakers as we can.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do This?

This may seem an odd subject matter for the "World Peace Through Law" Section. But to the contrary: among those who have been hardest hit by recent failures in bringing peace through law are our troops, veterans and their families; we owe it to them and to ourselves to learn what we can do about their legal needs. Few, if any, of us will ever practice before the ICC or the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, but nearly every lawyer in active practice will encounter veterans and can benefit from understanding their issues.

It is impossible to study the legal issues around peace and war without studying the legal impacts on the peacekeepers and warfighters.

This program is in the tradition of the first Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to Jean Henry Dunant for his work creating the Red Cross and the first Geneva Conventions, to ameliorate the suffering of those wounded in wars. And, of course, several American veterans have won later Nobel Peace Prizes: Theodore Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, Ralph Bunche, George C. Marshall, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore (and many of the members of the IPCC).

Doesn't this overlap with the Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section?

Yes, but not completely. It often happens that WPTL's subject matter overlaps with that of other WSBA groups, e.g. International Practice Section, Civil Rights Committee or Health Law Section. This is a good thing; it facilitates networking and information sharing.

In the particular case of this event, the subject matter will be new to most event attendees because (a) there is very little membership overlap between LAMP and WPTL, so it'll be new to attending WPTL members, and (b) many attendees of WPTL's Year-End CLE are non-section members seeking to pick of last-minute credit; most LAMP members would have done so at LAMP's November training so we anticipate reaching an entirely new population of lawyers.

What If I Can't Come?

TVW plans to record this event for convenient replay from its website.


  • WSBA Bar News (Dec issue)
  • WSBA website at http://wsba.org/lawyers/groups/worldpeace/wptl.htm (note this also links to online registration)
  • WSBA broadcast emai: requested in 1st week of December for broadcast in 2nd week, to all lawyers in King County, and Section members.
  • WPTL Section newsletters. Brief mention in November; detail in December newsletter. Deadline for latter: Dec 7.
  • Listserves for WPTL, LAMP, WYLD

More Information:


  • This is a working page and may change rapidly as we learn more. Feel free to update it; it's a wiki!
  • No-one mentioned on this page is necessarily responsible for its content.
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