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Anaheim hosts State Bar's 80th Annual Meeting

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No longer known as just the home of Disneyland, the city of Anaheim has grown to become the 10th largest in California with 342,000 residents. Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, it boasts some big-time amenities, including a Major League Baseball team, a National Hockey League team that happens to have won the Stanley Cup this year, the Disneyland Resort and the largest Convention Center on the west coast. 

In short, the place is a resort destination.

And it's where the State Bar will hold its Annual Meeting next month. Several thousand lawyers are expected to attend this year's Sept. 27-30 convention, marking the bar's 80th year.

Highlights include addresses by scientist Dr. Jane Goodall and Newsweek correspondent Eleanor Clift, as well as Chief Justice Ronald George's annual State of the Judiciary address and the inauguration of Jeffrey Bleich as the bar's new president.

New members of the board of governors and the California Young Lawyers Association also will be sworn in, attorneys who perform extraordinary good works will be honored and the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations will hold its annual confab.

Participants can earn up to 20 hours of MCLE credit for a single low price tag, have access to an Internet Cafe in the Annual Meeting Exhibition Hall, and those with an artistic bent will exhibit their work at the 55th annual bench-bar art show. The Bench Bar Biannual Conference will be held simultaneously with the Annual Meeting, bringing together judicial leaders from throughout the state to share their insights on issues affecting the justice system. 

Complete information about meeting events and courses, as well as hotel and travel arrangements, is available at calbar.ca.gov/annual meeting. Early registration ends Aug. 27 and the pre-registration deadline is Sept. 12. A single registration fee entitles participants to entry to everything but ticketed events. Discounted Disneyland tickets also are available to registrants.

The four-day event kicks off Thursday, with a luncheon featuring James Bradley, author of the best-selling Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys. His keynote speech will draw on the stories from his books, as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of America's role in World War II.

A complimentary opening night reception will offer attendees a preview of the exhibit, where scores of vendors will display their products.

The evening wraps up with the always popular California Women Lawyers dinner, this year featuring Eleanor Clift, contributing editor for Newsweek, panelist on the syndicated talk show, "The McLaughlin Group," and author of Founding Sisters. Tickets to the event are $100. Information about reserved seats or tables is available by calling CWL at 916/646-3114.

Friday gets off to an early start with a breakfast, co-sponsored by the bar's Business Law Section, featuring Charles N. Charnas, vice president and deputy general counsel at Hewlett-Packard Co., as the speaker.

The bar luncheon that day features Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs will honor winners of the prestigious Loren Miller Legal Services Awards, the President's Pro Bono Service Awards and the Jack Berman Award at a late afternoon reception.

The day concludes at Disney's California Adventure Park with the President's Bench Bar Reception. The event will be held at the park's Golden Vine Winery and will offer wine tasting and a light supper.

The Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations also will convene Friday at the convention center, where delegates will debate resolutions affecting all areas of law and legal practice in California. The conference meeting runs through Sunday afternoon.

San Francisco lawyer Jeffrey Bleich will be sworn in as the bar's 84th president Saturday morning, and five new members of the bar's board of governors and the new CYLA board members also will begin their terms (see page 6).

Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace, will address the Bench Bar luncheon Saturday, discussing current chimpanzee research at the Gombe National Park in Tanzania as well as programs that conserve the precious forest habitat and improve the lives of those living adjacent to the park. The Diversity Awards will be announced Saturday evening, and the day concludes with the Annual Meeting Supper Club, a dinner and cabaret with the James Pierce Ensemble. The $75 per person reservation includes admission to the Annual Meeting Nightclub, a discotheque open exclusively for meeting convention goers.

For most attendees, MCLE credit is the draw, and the Annual Meeting offers low-cost, one-stop shopping for those in the market. Some 200 courses will be offered, beginning Thursday morning and continuing until noon Sunday. MCLE credit will be offered in all required subfields, and legal specialization credit will be available in appellate, criminal, estate planning, trust and probate, family, immigration, taxation and workers' compensation law.

Attorneys whose last names begin with the letters N-Z might be particularly interested since they face a compliance deadline of Feb. 1, 2008. Offerings cover the full spectrum of legal practice, from child custody to elder abuse, from ethics to rainmaking, from taxes to trusts. There are courses on licensing agreements, immigration, copyright practice, office and time management, technology, attorney's fees, conquering paper clutter and overcoming procrastination. Timely topics like metadata, marriage contracts under Islamic law, doing business in Vietnam and China and the war on terror and the Constitution will be the subject of sessions.

Several seminars are offered as part of the Bench Bar conference and are designed to appeal to both lawyers and judges. Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr and former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan will analyze recent Supreme Court cases and offer strategies for achieving successful results before the Roberts court. Other sessions will touch on e-discovery, dealing with impairment in the courtroom and sentencing in California.

Meetings and classes will be held at both the Anaheim Hilton and the Anaheim Convention Center. A single registration fee admits participants to all educational programs.

Registrants will receive an extra hour of self-study MCLE credit in the substance abuse category through the CD program The Common Pitfalls of Legal Practice, compliments of the bar's Lawyer Assistance Program. The free CD and materials will be available at booth 322 in the Exhibit Hall.

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