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For those of you that don't know me I'd like to take a few words to let you understand where I've been and where I am today so that you can fully appreciate what I hope to provide you in future columns.

My history in Credit Union Land began 30 years ago as a neophyte attorney fresh out of Georgetown University Law School and into the National Credit Union Administration General Counsel's Office. After 12 years at NCUA and rising to the level of Assistant General Counsel, I departed the agency for a career in private practice representing credit unions.

Over the years I have seen and been a part of many controversial issues affecting large numbers of CUs and the industry in general. My approach has typically been to take on authority, powerful players, and "popular" issues when I believed the good of the credit union industry and the welfare of credit union members was at risk.

In writing this column, I plan on continuing this same approach-tackling issues such as credit union conversions to savings banks; the bankers' challenge to credit union taxation and field of membership expansions; and the effect of "courtesy pay" on members and CUs. And more importantly, I want to provide a platform for you, the readers and leaders in the credit union industry, to have an outlet to seek answers and opinions on issues of concern to you and your credit unions. I encourage all of you to write, e-mail or telephone me with your questions so that I might address them and share them.

This column will deal with legal matters in the news including insights into new NCUA regulations and other newly enacted regulations and laws affecting credit unions as well as recently decided court cases involving or impacting credit unions. I will attempt to demystify the law and sometimes be "in your face" and "politically incorrect" when I tackle the more controversial issues. I look forward to being "your credit union counsel"-but of course, with the standard disclaimers, that my writings are for "informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create any attorney-client relationship of any kind."

To submit a question to Steve Bisker, e-mail bisker erols.com or call 703-329-9035.

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