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Openings on Judicial Council; ABA delegation

The State Bar is seeking applicants for one position on the Judicial Council and for five appointments to the ABA House of Delegates. The Judicial Council appointment begins Sept. 15, 2007, and expires Sept. 14, 2010. 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 board of governors will consider the applicants' demonstrated leadership skills and ability to effectively represent the lawyer perspective on the council.

In 2007, the terms of five State Bar delegates, including the Young Lawyer delegate, to the ABA House of Delegates expire. Delegates each serve a two-year term from August 2007 to August 2009. Each State Bar delegate must be an ABA member in good standing throughout his or her tenure as a delegate and is required to pay his/her own travel expenses. State Bar Delegates may serve up to three consecutive terms. Delegates are expected to attend the ABA midyear and annual meetings as well as participate in conference calls. All are encouraged to participate broadly 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. Eligible incumbents may apply for reappointment.

Deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

Applications must be submitted to the State Bar's Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639, or by fax (415-538-2255). Further information is available at the bar's Web site, calbar.ca. gov — select the bottom left-menu link, under Olio, to Appointments Application. Applicants may also contact the Appointments Office at 415-538-2299.

Volunteers sought for State Bar committees

The State Bar is recruiting applicants for approximately 175 positions on more than three dozen committees, boards and commissions. Groups with open positions include committees dealing with reviewing and commenting on proposed changes in civil procedure and court rules; section executive committees focused on particular areas of the law; a committee addressing questions of professional responsibility and conduct; and a newly created Council on Access & Fairness.

Most of the appointments carry a three-year term, and the application deadline for most is Feb. 1. Applicants can apply to a maximum of three committees but can only be appointed to one. The State Bar Board of Governors will make the appointments next May and July and committee terms begin Sept. 30.

The application and information on the individual committees are available at the State Bar's Web site at calbar.ca.gov (select bottom left-menu link, under Olio, to Appointments Application). Or request an application from the bar's appointments office by phone (415-538-2299) or fax (415-538-2255).

Bar wants public comment on nonprofit ruling

The State Bar recently launched a study of nonprofit legal practice in California, responding to the Supreme Court's directive in Frye v. Tenderloin Housing Clinic Inc. Following the study, the bar is to report back as to whether regulation is warranted for nonprofit legal service providers such as legal aid societies, public interest organizations and membership organizations like unions. Survey questionnaires are posted on the Public Comment page of the State Bar's Web site, calbar.ca.gov. The surveys also will be distributed to interested parties and must be returned by Jan. 31. Public hearings on the issue will be held Dec. 8 and 9.

In California, law corporations must register with the State Bar if they represent clients. In Frye, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC), a nonprofit public interest organization representing San Francisco tenants, was found by the lower court to be representing clients without registering as a nonprofit law corporation. The Supreme Court reversed and found that there was constitutional protection for nonprofit entities like THC to do what it was doing. The Supreme Court asked the State Bar, however, to study nonprofit legal practice in California and determine if greater regulation in this area was necessary to protect California legal consumers.

Comments may be provided to Robert A. Hawley, Deputy Executive Director, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; Robert.Hawley@calbar.ca.gov; 415-538-2277; 415-538-2305 (fax).

Fee arb training scheduled

A refresher course for volunteer attorneys who serve local and State Bar mandatory fee arbitration programs, as well as instruction for new volunteers, will be offered at a Jan. 11 training session in Woodland Hills. The San Fernando Valley Bar Association is recruiting fee arbitrators to join its revived program.

The free training offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of ethics and 1.75 hours of general credit. It will take place from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building Auditorium of Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. To reserve a space, contact Liz Post at 818-227-0490 or epost@sfvba.org.

For additional information (not RSVP), contact Jill Sperber at 415-538-2023.

Want to avoid malpractice?

In the interest of educating California attorneys about ways to avoid malpractice claims, the State Bar's Committee on Professional Liability Insurance will provide three MCLE seminars next month.

Conducted by Anthony E. Davis, a leading national expert on the "law of lawyering," the course offers four hours of MCLE credit in legal ethics. In addition, two hours of self-study materials will be provided in the areas of elimination of bias and substance abuse.

The course will be held Jan. 9 in Los Angeles, Jan. 10 in San Francisco and Jan. 11 in San Jose. Pre-registration is required to guarantee seating. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m., and the course lasts from noon until 4:30 pm.

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. For specific seminar locations, visit the State Bar Web site, calbar.ca.gov.

To learn more about the State Bar's approved Lawyers Professional Liability Program or other insurance programs offered through the bar, call 415-538-2201.

(Due to an editing error in the print version of the California Bar Journal, the MCLE seminars listed above were incorrectly listed as "free." There is a charge for the seminars.)

Legal services board has one open position

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California are invited to submit an application to the State Bar. One three-year position in the Sacramento region is open.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 19.

LSNC is a non-profit Legal Services Corp.-funded program that provides legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times a year to make policy decisions governing the program's operations.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and a resume, including their bar number, to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. Questions may be directed to her at 415-538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov.

Council on Access & Fairness seeks members

The State Bar is seeking applicants for the newly created Council on Access & Fairness. Composed of 25 attorneys and public members, the council will be appointed by the board of governors. Membership will consist of individuals representing a wide range of constituencies engaged in programs and initiatives focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession.

The council will advise the board on strategies to enhance diversity opportunities for entry into and advancement in the legal profession. The full pipeline continuum will be addressed, including a focus on the education pipeline initiative to educate students about the law and career opportunities in the law. The new group also will screen candidates for the annual Diversity Awards.

The deadline for application is Feb. 1. (See box on previous page for application details or contact Pat Lee, 415-538-2240, patricia.lee@calbar.ca.gov, for information.)

Like the State Bar's diversity program, the council will be funded by voluntary contributions. No mandatory State Bar licensing fees are used to fund these activities.

Free self-study MCLE

The Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) is offering a free self-study package approved for one hour of MCLE credit in the prevention of substance abuse. Send an e-mail to LAP@calbar.ca.gov.

Sen. Joe Dunn receives new Stanley Mosk award

Sen. Joseph Dunn (D-Garden Grove) received the first annual Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award last month for his work to strengthen the independence of the California court system.

Presented by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the new award is named after the longtime judge and Supreme Court justice who also served as California attorney general.

"Sen. Dunn's commitment to insuring that the courts' ability to meet their obligation to administer fair and consistent justice for all Californians has been unshakeable, and his contributions immeasurable," George said.

Dunn has chaired the Senate judiciary committee for the past two years and has worked to call attention to the importance of an independent and accountable judicial branch. He also chaired the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee, which is responsible in the Senate for judicial branch and trial court budgets.

Sign up for e-briefs

The State Bar offers "e-briefs," a short summary of recent news developments or announcements of interest to lawyers. The electronic mailings are provided on a timely basis, usually twice a month. To subscribe, go to "e-briefs" listed under "News" on the home page of the State Bar's Web site, calbar.ca.gov.

Judicial Council honors judge, court administrators

Justice Richard D. Aldrich of the Second District Court of Appeal was honored as Jurist of the Year by the Judicial Council for his work to improve the access of self-represented litigants and persons with disabilities to the courts. The award is presented to a judge for extraordinary dedication to the principles of the administration of justice.

Aldrich also has been instrumental in establishing complex litigation courts in California.

Recipients of the Judicial Administration Award were Tressa Sloan Kentner, executive officer of the San Bernardino County courts, and Patricia M. Yerian, director of information services of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

John Hancock, president of the public affairs television network California Channel, received the Bernard E. Witkin Award.

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)." Members also may e-mail their opt out request to memrec@calbar.ca.gov. Include your bar number.

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