Dues Increase Effective 2015
After considering the State Bar's proposal, the Arizona Supreme Court has approved a fee increase for most members of our Bar. The Court's order also includes a budget reduction for the Bar and directs a new financial review process. The Court's Administrative Order is available here. A letter from Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch transmitting the order is available here. Here's a summary of the Court's decision.
- Increase fees for active members admitted three or more years by $15 each year
for four years beginning in 2015 (for a total of $60 by 2018)
- Increase fees for active members admitted fewer than three years by $10 each year
for four years beginning in 2015 (for a total of $40 by 2018)
- Increase fees for judicial members by $15 each year for four years beginning in 2015
(for a total of $60 by 2018)
- Increase fees for In-House Counsel by $11 (by rule they pay 75% of the 3+ active member
fee in addition to bar dues in their home state) beginning in 2015
- Pro Hac Vice fees will increase in amounts equal to 3+ active members beginning in 2015
In addition to the above changes, the board also recommended a 33% increase in late fees beginning in 2015 for:
- Late dues payment
- MCLE late compliance
- MCLE late filing
Client Protection Fund
The Court did not approve the proposed reallocation of Client Protection Funds.
The Bar will also make a permanent $300,000 cut from its 2015 budget. This is in addition to cuts already made to the 2014 budget.
In addition to the $300,000, the Bar wll need to make additional cuts to maintain a balanced budget through 2018. The total reduction should fall between $400,000 and $500,000.
While the Board of Governors instituted a three-year review process for all programs, the Court has also directed the Bar to complete a financial assessment no less than every five years. These two measures will ensure that the Bar continues to use your dues effectively.
The Court directed the Bar to create a reserve policy. This will limit the use of cash reserves in the future to, among other things, reduce the need for increases to dues and other fees.
In an effort to answer most of your questions, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions. View them here.
Last summer, Board President Whitney Cunningham appointed a five-member committee to review non-mandated programs. Currently, programs mandated by court rule (such as lawyer regulation, MCLE, Conservatorships, etc.) account for $350 of a member’s $460 dues. The goal of the committee was to determine if existing non-mandatory programs could be eliminated or reduced. You can read more about the Program Review Committee’s purpose and methods here.
The Program Review Committee reported its recommendations to the board in October. You can read the report here. Each non-mandatory program was scored using a variety of factors ranging from member impact to cost to how closely it aligns with the Bar’s mission. You can see the score sheets here. It’s important to point out the notes for each score sheet that give additional information which could not be included in the scoring structure. You can see the combined scores which allow you to compare how each program rated, here. To see the combined scores for committees click here, and for sections click here.
At the December meeting, the Board of Governors passed the 2014 budget. You can see the full budget and previous year audits here.