For those who follow Family Law, there has been a fair amount written lately about “Keeping Kids First”, the group who opposes shared parenting in North Dakota, and how close is their relationship with the North Dakota State Bar Association.
Attorney Robert Franklin reported that those listed on the “Keeping Kids First” Committee didn’t disclose their profession, but with a bit of research, found all but three were practicing divorce attorneys who profit from the existing system in North Dakota. The article also reported the original e-mail address of “Keeping Kids First” was firstname.lastname@example.org with the @sband being the e-mail domain of the State Bar Association of North Dakota. Attorney Franklin called this practice “illegal” in his report, which can be found here.
Similarly, Rachel Alexander penned a piece in Townhall, verifying the reporting by Attorney Franklin, but also showing the makeup of the committee of “Keeping Kids First” included the Executive Director of the State Bar Association. The Townhall piece went on to say the actions of the Nebraska State Bar Association, a mandatory dues organization, were found to be illegal as they used the dues of their members, in violation of their 1st and 14th amendment rights, for political and ideological purposes. The case was tried, and won, by Mountain States Legal Foundation and can be found here. Rachel Alexander also noted, that similar to Nebraska, the North Dakota Bar Association was also a mandatory dues state. Still, no direct correlation had yet been made between the use of Bar Association assets beyond their @sband e-mail domain.
Now, we’ve obtained the sources of funding for “Keeping Kids First” and found they’ve raised $60,000 to date. Further, that funding was sourced from a $40,000 “donation” from the State Bar Association of North Dakota and a $20,000 dollar “donation” from the State Bar Association of North Dakota Family Law Section. Disclosed spending shows $53,000 being spent on a media campaign to Prairie Airways with $7,000 in funds remaining. These disclosures, so far ignored by the North Dakota media, are shown in the screen capture below.
Further, the North Dakota State Bar Association has been asked on four separate occasions (Aug. 12, Aug. 25, Sept. 16, and Sept. 17) to answer two simple questions:
- Are there any instances when the interest of the Public conflict with the interest of the North Dakota Bar Association and its membership, and;
- What procedure or policy exists, if any, when the interest of the North Dakota Bar Association conflict with the Citizenry
The North Dakota State Bar Association has chosen not to respond to these two questions.
The above information has been sent to Mountain States Legal Foundation, The Federalist Society, the North Dakota Supreme Court, the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, and the North Dakota media. LW4SP hopes the media feels obliged to inform the North Dakota public of this information.
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