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Nominations sought for State Bar awards

Nomination guidelines and forms are available online for four categories of State Bar awards given annually to attorneys who demonstrate a strong commitment to access to justice issues. The deadline for nominations is April 22. The following awards will be presented at the bar’s Annual Meeting in September:

  • LOREN MILLER LEGAL SERVICES AWARD - Given annually to a lawyer who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who personally has done significant work in extending legal services to the poor.


  • PRESIDENT’S PRO BONO SERVICE AWARDS - Recognize attorneys who have provided or enabled the direct provision of legal services to poor persons or to organizations whose primary purpose is to provide legal services to the poor, free-of-charge, without expectation of compensation from the client.


  • JACK BERMAN INDIVIDUAL AWARD OF ACHIEVEMENT FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION AND THE PUBLIC - Recognizes the substantial achievements of a young lawyer who has demonstrated outstanding service to the profession and the public, as well as dedication to issues of particular concern to young lawyers.


  • DIVERSITY AWARDS - Recognize outstanding efforts made by a bar association and an individual attorney in promoting diversity in the profession.

Five seats open on State Bar board of governors

April 1 is the last day to file nominating petitions for a seat on the State Bar Board of Governors, where five positions are up for grabs. Five seats also are open on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association.

Any active bar member who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law in a bar district in which there is an opening is eligible to run. The openings are in District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties), District 6 (Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties), District 7 (Los Angeles offices 1 and 2) and District 8 (Orange County).

Lawyer members are elected for a three-year term and will assume office at the conclusion of the bar’s Annual Meeting in September.

The nominating petition and related candidate information are available at the bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov, or by telephone request at 415-538-2274. Additional information is available at that number or by e-mailing billie.sivanov@calbar.ca.gov.

Ballots will be mailed April 29, and votes will be counted by June 30.

LAP seeks board member

The State Bar is seeking applications from physicians interested in serving on the oversight committee of the Lawyer Assistance Program. Deadline for receipt of applications is April 1.

Physicians with knowledge and expertise in the identification and treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse are invited to apply for a four-year term.

The LAPis a State Bar program designed to identify and assist attorneys who suffer from substance abuse or mental illness, offering an alternative to traditional disciplinary sanctions. A 12-member committee oversees the operation of the program and establishes practices and procedures to support its administration.

Interested physicians should apply by letter, with a resume outlining work experience, community activity, educational background and California medical license number to  Richard Carlton, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Questions may be directed to richard.carlton@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2355.

Nominations sought for access to justice award

The California Access to Justice Commission is seeking nominations of a California judge for the Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award. The award honors a judge for his or her efforts to improve access to the judicial system for low- and moderate-income persons. Nominees should be individuals who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to equal access to the courts and who have personally done significant work to improve access.

The deadline for nominations is May 1. For more information, contact Chris Zupanovich at chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2534.

MCLE, dues deadlines pass

State Bar dues payments from all active and inactive California lawyers were due Feb. 1, and members of Compliance Group 3 (last names N-Z) were to submit their MCLE compliance cards by the same date.

Attorneys who missed the dues payment deadline have until March 15 to pay. At that time, a 10 percent penalty on the unpaid amount will be assessed.

A 15 percent penalty will be added May 15 if the dues still are not paid.

Dues can be paid online through the My State Bar Profile feature on the bar’s Web site — calbar.ca.gov. Questions about dues can be addressed to billing@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 415-538-2360.

Members of MCLE Compliance Group 3 also have until March 15 to submit their compliance cards. At that time, a $75 non-compliance fee will be charged.

Members of that group should have completed 25 hours of MCLE credit. Compliance information is available on the Web site. You may now calculate and submit your compliance card through the My State Bar Profile feature.

Questions about MCLE compliance may be addressed to mcle@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 415-538-2130.

Failure to pay bar dues or meet MCLE requirements may result in suspension.

San Francisco fee arb training set for April 28

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a training program in San Francisco sponsored by the State Bar’s Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free training offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics and 1.75 hours of general credit, and is open to San Francisco Bay Area fee arbitrators and lay people and lawyers interested in joining the program.

Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding.

The training will be held April 28, 5 - 8 p.m., at the State Bar offices, 180 Howard St. To reserve a space, contact Anthony Forrette at 415-538-2074 or anthony.forrette@calbar.ca.gov. For additional information, call Jill Sperber, 415-538-2023.

Women lawyers program slated for April 16

The State Bar’s Committee on Women in the Lawwill hold a day-long program entitled “Do You Want to Teach Law?” April 16 at the Santa Clara University School of Law. Topics for the seminar include what to expect teaching at a law school and how to find a teaching job. Attendees can earn one hour of MCLE credit in the elimination of bias.

The $50 cost includes a box lunch and reception. Cost to co-sponsors is $40, and law students and professors may attend for $10. Registration can be completed by mail, fax or online.

Registration details are available by calling 415-538-2508.

Bar sections launch membership drive

Looking for ways to expand your abilities, keep current with developments in your field and raise your law firm’s profile? Are you interested in helping to develop legislation or participate in cutting-edge court matters? Perhaps you want to share your thoughts or expertise with your colleagues by writing an article.

The State Bar’s Council of Sections can help. In an effort to boost their numbers, its 16 sections have launched a membership drive, hoping to attract lawyers with common interests in particular practice areas.

Some sections focus on legal subject areas, including business, intellectual property, taxation, family, criminal, environmental, antitrust and unfair competition, real property, public law, labor and employment, trusts and estates, and workers’ compensation. Others are devoted to issues relating to practicing the craft of lawyering, such as the Solo and Small Firm and Law Practice Management and Technology sections. Still others — the Litigation and International Law sections — have interests that cross discipline or practice types.

Sections are funded exclusively through use of voluntary dues. Members receive benefits that include discounts for educational programs, publications with up-to-date news about your field, “members only” sites on the State Bar’s Web site and discussion boards with other section members.

A representative of each section sits on the Council of Sections, providing members a voice in State Bar matters.

Descriptions of the sections are online.

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. The program is designed to take advantage of the skills, training and experience of retired lawyers.

Attorneys who have been active three out of the past eight years are eligible and are not required to be experienced in the areas for which they are volunteering. Local programs will provide free training.

Although MCLE requirements are not waived for emeritus attorneys, CEB will give “silver passports” to the volunteers, entitling them to free CEB programs.

Interested attorneys may obtain an online application. Questions may be directed to Betty J. Barker at 415-538-2328 or betty.barker@calbar.ca.gov.

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 at calbar.ca.gov. After registering with My State Bar Profile, go to “Account Information” and select “Update my mailing preferences (opt out).”

As an alternative, members may e-mail their opt out request to memrec@calbar.ca.gov. 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.

Kids available in Korean

Kids & the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents is now available in Korean as well as English, Spanish and Chinese. The latest translation brings the number of guides printed in all languages to 1.7 million. To obtain free copies of the guide, e-mail kids@calbar.ca.gov.

A toll-free telephone number — 888-875-LAWS — also has been created to help people obtain information about the State Bar’s consumer education guides and 19 pamphlets, including ordering information.

In addition to Kids, the bar will update and reprint When You Become 18 in May and also offers Seniors & the Law in six languages.

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