KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION IS ROLLING IN CASH, YET APPROVES INCREASE IN MEMBERS ANNUAL DUES TO $500 A YEAR!

 

KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION IS ROLLING IN CASH, YET APPROVES INCREASE IN MEMBERS ANNUAL  DUES TO $500 A YEAR.

The Board of governors recently announced that over the next three years, the mandatory dues for each Kentucky lawyer will be raised to $500 a year.  The Board is also substantially raising Pro Hac Vice fees to $270. (Ohio only charges a $100 annual Pro Hac vice fee!)

LawReader strongly supports the KBA taxing its members for any necessary funds required for the orderly operation of the Bar Association.  But one who reviews the recent financial accounting posted on the Bench & Bar site may wonder  how the Board could possibly justify an increase that may approach grossing  over $5,000,000 additional funds per year by 2015.

To view the current financial report of the KBA go to: http://www.kybar.org/documents/membership/audit-report_063011.pdf

The financial reports informs us that the income from mandatory annual dues paid by lawyers in 2011 was $3,895,265.  This is an increase from 2010 when the annual dues collected was $3,807,020, an increase of $88,245.  This seems to indicate that the growth in the number of attorneys provided a nice growth in income under the current dues structure.

The full increase that will be derived from attorneys annual dues by 2015 will increase to $8,500,000.  That is an increase of $4,604,735 over the gross amount derived from member’s dues in 2011.

Perhaps the KBA has some large debts to pay off?  Well we have read the accountants financial statement and it indicates that the KBA has $759,032 in cash on hand.  Further the KBA has $10,074,955 in “investments”.

We concede that some of these assets may include the building that houses the KBA staff.

One might ask, if the KBA has almost $11 million dollars in investments and cash on hand, why is it necessary to raise our dues by almost $5,000,000 a year?

Currently there are 17,000 licensed lawyers in Kentucky.  By 2015 these 17,000 lawyers will be paying annual dues of $500 for a total dues income of $8,500,000.

We note that the cost of “conventions and conferences” in  2011 was $323,352 but the income from these “conventions and conferences” was $484,145.  This suggests  a profit of $160, 793. One vendor
commented, “They make a profit of $160,000 and they don’t even give us a free cup of coffee!”

The KBA web site states the purpose of annual dues:

“Membership dues are used only for expenses properly chargeable to compulsory dues. The KBA does not participate in political or ideological activities that are not reasonably
related to the regulation of the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services.”

We read the KBA press release  announcing  the action of the Board of Governors re: the increase in dues over the next three years.   That report however was devoid of any justification of the dramatic increase in dues.

The 17,000 lawyers licensed in Kentucky finance the KBA but they have been given no explanation for such a large increase in dues?  A little  “P-R” (Public Relations) Jelly would be appreciated before this action is taken!

We believe it is proper for every lawyer in Kentucky to ask their Board members why our dues are being raised by such a large amount.  We would suggest that the Board of Governors tell us why such a large increase is necessary.  Are they planning on erecting a new building?  Are they planning salary increases for BAR employees?   We have never seen a list that shows how many employees the KBA has and what they are being paid.   Such information is available for judges and executive and legislative branches….why not the KBA?

If the KBA would like to comment, LawReader will be glad to publish their response without editing.

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