State Bar of California California Bar Journal
Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California December2006
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Courts for the homeless
offer help — and hope

John MacKanin spent years panhandling on San Diego's streets, chasing his next drink and worrying about his legal problems: four outstanding warrants for sleeping on the beach and possessing open containers of alcohol. "I didn't even have bus fare to get to the court," he recalls. "I had absolutely no means to pay any fine, and I was afraid of incarceration."

Aranda Award for Yolo family court judge
Consider the following scenario from a not atypical broken family in California. A father wants to win visitation rights with his son, who has been in the custody of child protective services. The grandparents are seeking probate guardianship of the boy's two sisters. The children's cases land them in three different courts: juvenile dependency, probate and family law, requiring the services of three judges and a raft of social workers, probate investigators and mediators trying to work out an agreement among the parties.

Fee statements mailed to all lawyers Nov. 15;
pay by Feb. 1 to avoid a penalty

State Bar fee statements for 2007 were mailed Nov. 15 to all California attorneys, and all fees must be paid online or postmarked by the statutory due date of Feb. 1. Beginning on Feb. 2, late payments will be assessed a $100 late fee for active attorneys and $30 for inactive members.

Board of governors creates Access & Fairness Council
By a vote of 16-2 last month, the State Bar Board of Governors agreed to create an Access & Fairness Council devoted to increasing diversity in the legal profession.

July bar exam pass rate rises to 51.8 percent
The State Bar Committee of Bar Examiners reported last month that 51.8 percent of the wannabe lawyers who took the July bar exam passed. The results mark a sizeable jump from last year's July results, when only 48.8 percent passed. Of the 8,908 people who took the test, 4,616 were successful.

2007 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.

2006-07 Exhibitor Directory
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.

Joann Remke (right) was sworn in as presiding judge of the State Bar Court by Chief Justice Ronald George and Pat McElroy (left) was sworn in for another term as hearing judge.
Joann Remke (right) was sworn in as presiding judge of the State Bar Court by Chief Justice Ronald George and Pat McElroy (left) was sworn in for another term as hearing judge.
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