Organization of Bar Investigators (OBI) was born from the enthusiasm for the exchange of ideas and practices among investigators and paralegals that assist in the regulation of lawyer discipline. Since its inception, the organization has grown into an international association of more than 250 investigators in United States and Canada providing mutual support to foster excellence in bar investigation techniques.
The organization held its first annual training conference in 2004 – hosted by the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation in Denver. At this meeting, the OBI was formalized as an organization, and its structure developed to provide a framework for operations and subsequent training. The Denver meeting was attended by approximately 50 investigators and led to the election of officers, committee organization and planning for future training.
The OBI by-laws were finalized and the organization was incorporated in Illinois in February 2005. In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service issued a letter determining that the OBI was exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3).
The OBI is governed by a board of directors comprised of: the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and two Directors at Large, and the Immediate Past President. The board members are elected by the membership at the annual conference.
Resources provided by the OBI
First and foremost, OBI is an organization focused on providing resources to members. The membership’s exchange of ideas, and willingness to serve the investigator community as a whole, has contributed to OBI’s vibrancy and productivity.
Each year, the OBI holds an annual multi-day training conference. This conference typically occurs in the first week of October and has become an important venue for exchange of ideas. A meet and greet is held the day prior to the commencement of the conference to allow attendees to meet their fellow investigators and exchange ideas. The theme of networking to exchange ideas about attorney discipline and develop relationships with other jurisdictions is prominent at the conferences.
Conferences have been held in: Los Angeles, CA. in 2005; Washington, DC in 2006; Atlanta, GA in 2007; Toronto, Canada in 2008; Kansas City, MO in 2009; Seattle, WA in 2010, Chicago, IL in 2011; New Orleans, LA in 2012; Las Vegas, NV in 2013; Washington DC in 2014; Denver, CO in 2015; Des Moines, IA in 2016 and Orlando, FL in 2017.
OBI also cherishes the support of the investigators’ employing agencies, other regulatory agencies (both State and Federal) and the recognition from the National Organization of Bar Counsel. These agencies have provided speakers or attendees at our conferences that have provided invaluable information for our investigators. The support of these organizations has increased OBI’s high regard and facilitated our rapid expansion.