State Bar of California California Bar Journal
Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California December2003
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When disaster strikes, lawyers help out
One after another, victims of last month’s devastating Cedar and Paradise fires approached the legal aid table in the Ramona disaster center, where three lawyers waited to hear their stories.

Ed Keller

Attorneys and judges were victims, too
On Ed Keller's fourth visit to his home after it burned to the ground in the Old Fire, he found that the city of San Bernardino had knocked down the red brick chimney he had hoped to salvage.



My State Bar Profile

New member benefit allows dues payment, address changes online
In a nod to modern technology, California attorneys now can pay their State Bar fees online, as well as change their addresses and phone numbers or submit their MCLE compliance card.

Arizona lawyer who wants to vote here loses his appeal
An Arizona lawyer who also belongs to the State Bar of California and wants to run for and vote in its elections lost again last month - for the third time.

July bar exam pass rate dips below 50 percent
Only 49.4 percent of the aspiring lawyers who took the July bar exam passed, the lowest level for the July exam since 1986, when a pass rate of 44.4 percent was posted. The Committee of Bar Examiners announced last month that of the 7,788 people who took the exam, 3,848 passed.

Arbitration and mediation clauses and their effect
on retainer agreements

It is becoming more common to see, in attorney-client retainer agreements, provisions purporting to obligate the client to arbitrate and/or mediate fee disputes. But many such provisions are unenforceable because they conflict with Bus. & Prof. Code §§6200 et seq. — the State Bar Mandatory Fee Arbitration statutes.

Ethics update
Highlights of recent developments in attorney professional responsibility, including new cases, advisory ethics opinions, pending legislation and proposed rule amendments.

2004 membership fee lobbying, optional program deductions
As a requirement of bar membership, California lawyers must pay statutorily mandated membership fees. The fees are used primarily to fund core functions of lawyer discipline and regulation, but a small percentage has also been used to further the State Bar's statutory charge to provide assistance to improve the administration of justice.

2003 Online Exhibit Hall
Welcome to the 2003 Online Exhibit Hall. The businesses and services listed here support the State Bar through various means, most notably as exhibitors at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting. Visit them online or via phone to serve your individual needs.

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