Judicial Council, ABA House need volunteers
The State Bar is seeking applicants for two positions on the Judicial Council
and for five appointments to the ABA House of Delegates, including the young
The Judicial Council appointments begin Sept. 15, 2005, and expire Sept. 14,
2008. Meetings are held six to seven times a year; the annual time commitment
is about 300 hours for meetings and assignments. Members are reimbursed for
approved travel by the Judicial Council. In making the appointments, the bar
board of governors will consider the applicants’ demonstrated leadership
skills and ability to effectively represent the lawyer perspective on the council.
In 2005, the terms of five State Bar delegates to the ABA House of Delegates
expire. One of the five seats is the young lawyer delegate, who must be less
than 35 years old before his or her term begins (i.e., Aug. 9, 2005). The ABA
delegates each serve a two-year term from Aug. 9, 2005, to Aug. 14, 2007.
Each State Bar delegate must be an ABA member in good standing throughout his
or her tenure as a delegate, and each delegate is required to pay their own
travel expenses. State Bar delegates may be reappointed but can serve no more
than three consecutive terms. They are expected to attend the ABA midyear and
annual meetings as well as participate in conference calls. All members are
encouraged to become broadly participant in ABA activities in order to fully
represent the interests of California attorneys. The State Bar seeks applicants
who are knowledgeable about the ABA Board of Governors, who possess leadership
and other skills to be successful delegation members, and/or who have substantial
bar experience, especially with the ABA.
Deadline for applications is Jan. 18.
Applications must be submitted to the State Bar’s Appointments Office,
180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1639, or by fax, 415-538-2255. Further
information is available at the State Bar Web site, calbar.ca.gov; select links
to Committees and Commissions
and to Other Entity Appointments. Applicants may also contact the Appointments
Office at 415-538-2299.
Dues bills mailed Nov. 15
2005 fee statements for all California lawyers — active and inactive
— were mailed Nov. 15. Dues for active lawyers are $390 and the fee for
inactive lawyers is $50. The dues must be paid by Feb. 1.
As in previous years, lawyers have the option of contributing to the Foundation
of the State Bar, the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations
and the California Supreme Court Historical Society. Active attorneys may deduct
$5 from the dues bill for the bar’s lobbying efforts in Sacramento and
$5 for the elimination of bias fund.
Lower income lawyers are eligible for a hardship reduction of their fee by
either 25 or 50 percent, depending on their income.
The dues are authorized by the state legislature and set by the State Bar Board
Dues can be paid online through the My
State Bar Profile feature at calbar.ca.gov. Questions may be addressed to
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling
MCLE compliance — Group 3 is next
Attorneys whose last names begin with N-Z (Group 3) face a Feb. 1 MCLE compliance
deadline. Lawyers in that group must complete 25 hours of continuing education
courses, including four hours of legal ethics, one hour of elimination of bias
and one hour of substance abuse prevention.
Twelve and a half hours may be self-study.
Compliance information is available at calbar.ca.gov
> Attorney Resources > MCLE. You may now calculate and submit your
compliance card through the My State Bar Profile feature on the Web site.
Calling all retired lawyers
Retired California lawyers are invited to join the State Bar’s emeritus
attorney pro bono program, through which active attorney fees are waived in
exchange for work for an approved legal services program.
Approved by the board of governors in 1987, the emeritus program is designed
to take advantage of the skills, training and experience of retired lawyers.
Interested attorneys may obtain an application from Betty J. Barker at 415-538-2328
Those currently enrolled in the program must renew their applications.
Dues waivers extended
Because of the ongoing military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the board
of governors voted recently to extend, on an emergency basis, the waiver of
dues for reservists called to active duty in those countries for 2005 and 2006.
The rule change is out for a 90-day public comment period.
The attorney or a member of their firm or family may submit a copy of the member’s
military orders to apply for the waiver. Materials should be sent to Membership
Billing, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639,
fax to 415-538-2361 or e-mail email@example.com.
Free MCLE for all attorneys
In the interest of educating California attorneys about ways to avoid malpractice
claims, the State Bar’s Committee on Profession-al Liability Insurance
will provide two free MCLE seminars next month.
Topics covered include client intake and selection, conflicts of interest,
independent contracting, ethical obligations of associates and law office technology.
The seminars will be conducted by Anthony E. Davis, an expert on the “law
of lawyering,” and offer four hours of MCLE credit in legal ethics.
The four-hour course will be offered Jan. 18 in San Francisco and Jan. 19 in
Los Angeles. Check the bar Web site, calbar.ca.gov, for specific seminar locations.
Pre-registration is required to guarantee seating.
The seminars are open to all attorneys on a first-come first-served basis.
Those wishing to attend should register in advance at kvi-calbar.com or call
415-538-2201 for more information.
July bar exam pass rate dips to 48.2 percent
Only 48.2 percent of the would-be attorneys who took the July bar exam passed,
continuing a years-long decline in the pass rate.
The Committee of Bar Examiners announced last month that 3,887 of the 8,062
applicants passed. Of those, 68.5 percent were first-time test takers. If the
successful applicants meet other requirements for admission, their numbers will
push State Bar membership over 200,000.
The pass rate for the July bar exam has declined every year since 1997, when
it hit 62.9 percent. Last year, 49.4 percent passed the July exam and in 2002,
50.5 percent succeeded.
The committee also announced that 131 (38.8 percent) of the 338 lawyers who
took the attorneys’ exam passed. That number declined dramatically from
the 45.5 percent who passed in July 2003.
First-time test takers who attended ABA-approved law schools in California
had the highest pass rate — 69.4 percent — and those who went to
ABA-approved schools outside California had a pass rate of 65.8 percent.
Opt out of list sales
Attorneys who wish to remove their names from lists the State Bar provides
to qualified outside entities may do so by logging on to Member
Login on the home page of the State Bar’s
Web site, calbar.ca.gov. After registering with My State Bar Profile, go to
“Account Information” and select “Update my mailing preferences
As an alternative, members may e-mail their opt out request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your bar number.
The bar has a policy under which members’ names are provided at cost
to a restricted list of outside entities that meet certain criteria. The names
are provided for a one-time use to, among others, MCLE providers, the Foundation
of the State Bar, local bars and bar-approved insurance providers.
Toll-free number for consumer pamphlets
A new toll-free telephone number — 888-875-LAWS — has been created
to help people obtain information about the State
Bar’s consumer education guides and pamphlets, including ordering
information. The bar offers three guides and 19 pamphlets.