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Shirley Hochhausen is helping victims of  predatory lending.

Attorneys fight rising number of predatory loans
One loan salesman boasted that to close the deal on a high-cost home loan, he once got down on his knees and prayed with the family in their kitchen. "And they signed on the dotted line," said East Palo Alto attorney Shirley Hochhausen, recalling the former salesman's account.

Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove

Court funding poses 'scary' scenario
The reliance of California's courts on state funding for its operations must be dramatically reduced if the courts are to continue to serve as an independent third branch of government, a state senator told the board of governors last month.

Fee waiver for lawyers called to Iraq active duty
On a unanimous vote, the State Bar Board of Governors last month waived the 2003 membership fee for California lawyers who were called to active duty to serve in the military in the Iraqi war.

Bar exam pass rate goes up slightly to 37.3 percent
Although only 37.3 percent of the applicants who took the February bar examination passed, the number was up nearly four percentage points from last year's February exam.

Helen Karr, who served as a consultant for 'Seniors & the Law', offers advice in San Francisco to Catherine Seghetti, 81.

Seniors take precedence on Law Day
An elderly man complained that his local bank required him to put one of his kids' names on his checking account before he could do business with them.



Bar aims for better insurance program
In the midst of an insurance cycle that has seen skyrocketing attorney malpractice premiums for more than a year, the State Bar is exploring ways to provide an expanded range of professional liability options to its members while at the same time raising funds to pay for its legislatively mandated program for alcoholic and drug-addicted lawyers.

3 Trevor lawyers suspended
Three Beverly Hills attorneys who filed thousands of lawsuits against small business owners under the Unfair Competition Law were suspended from practice last month by a State Bar Court judge who ruled they pose a threat of harm to the public.

24 groups win foundation grants
Twenty-four community organizations and four State Bar entities have received grants totaling more than $164,000 from the Foundation of the State Bar.

State Bar observes 75th anniversary
The achievements of pioneers in the practice of law in the state, as well as a look at how the legal profession has changed over the years, are chronicled in a special section commemorating the 75th anniversary of the State Bar of California.

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