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Nominations sought for legal services awards

The State Bar is seeking nominations for a series of awards presented to attorneys who perform outstanding legal services for the poor. Nomination forms and supporting material must be postmarked by March 15; no e-mails or faxes will be accepted. The awards are:

  • Loren Miller Legal Services Award, presented annually to a lawyer who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor. The bar’s highest honor, it is considered a lifetime achievement award.
  • President’s Pro Bono Service Awards recognize attorneys who have provided or enabled the direct provision of legal services to individuals or to legal aid organizations. Awards are given in eight categories.
  • Jack Berman Award of Achievement is presented to a young lawyer for public service.
  • Diversity Awards recognize efforts by a bar association and an individual lawyer to promote diversity in the legal profession.

Nomination packets are available online — go to calbar.ca.gov>About the Bar>Awards. Questions may be addressed to Frank Monti at frank.monti@calbar.ca.gov.

The awards will be presented at the State Bar Annual Meeting in September.

Petitions available for five seats on State Bar board

Nomination petitions for openings on the State Bar Board of Governors are available. Five seats are open in four bar districts: District 4, Marin and San Francisco counties; District 6, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; District 7, Los Angeles (two seats); and District 8, Orange County.

Any active member of the State Bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law within the State Bar district in which there is a vacancy is eligible to run for a seat on the board. Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume office at the conclusion of the 2008 Annual Meeting.

The same districts also have openings for seats on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association.

Nominating petitions, at calbar.ca.gov, must be submitted by April 1.

Delinquent fee payments

California attorneys who did not pay their annual State Bar dues by the Feb. 1 statutory deadline will be notified this month that they face possible suspension from practice. (See story on p.1.)

Active attorneys who missed the February deadline must pay a $100 late penalty fee; inactive lawyers who did not pay face a $30 late fee.

Those in MCLE compliance group 3 (last names N-Z) who did not complete compliance by Feb. 1 will have to pay a $75 late fee.

The bar will mail a final delinquent notice March 15. The board of governors will send to the Supreme Court in May the names of attorneys who do not pay their fees and suspension of those lawyers will take effect July 1.

Once suspended, lawyers will have to pay a reinstatement fee to regain their licenses.

Administrative suspensions are part of an attorney’s membership record, which is posted on the bar’s Web site. Such suspensions remain on the record for a minimum of seven years.

Legal services boards seek volunteers

Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC), California Indian Legal Services (CILS) and California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) are seeking volunteers to serve on their boards of directors.

LSNC has 10 openings on its board in the following regions: Shasta (1), Mother Lode (1), Sacramento (3), Redwood (2), Solano (1) and Yolo (2) as well as two at large positions available to applicants who live in any of the counties served by the program.

LSNC provides legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times annually. The term of office is three years and the application deadline is March 18.

CRLA has a two-year position that will open in June and additional positions later in the year. Its 45-member board meets four times a year; the program provides legal assistance to the rural poor. The deadline for applications is March 27.

CILS, which provides legal assistance to the rural poor, has one three-year position open, beginning Sept. 1. The application deadline is May 15. Its 13-member board meets four times a year.

Applications should include a resume and be submitted to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Questions may be directed to 415-538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov.

Include your bar number.

Legal services conference scheduled for June 5-7

The 2008 Pathways to Justice Conference, an annual statewide legal services gathering, will be held June 5-7 in Los Angeles. The conference will offer numerous practical MCLE trainings for legal services staff, board members and volunteers. It is co-sponsored by the State Bar’s Office of Legal Services and the Legal Aid Association of California.

Updated ‘18’ will be published in May

The State Bar’s popular When You Become 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers will be up-dated and published again this spring. The guide will be available May 1. To pre-order the revised version, e-mail 18@calbar.ca.gov. State the number of copies desired, the English or Spanish edition, and provide a full name and complete mailing address.

LA courts reach out to community with Web site

The Los Angeles Superior Court has launched a community outreach Web site to provide information about its programs and tell community members how to participate in events with judges. According to Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger, the activities are designed to improve communications between the courts and those they serve.

Community members can contact the court with the click of a mouse. For example, a group looking for a speaker through the court’s Speakers Bureau may click on the link on the Web page and submit a request. School personnel can learn about opportunities for student involvement with judges and the courts.

The site is at www.lasuperiorcourt.org/OUTREACH.

MCLE in England

The State Bar Litigation Section will offer attorneys an opportunity to discover new insights into law from the English perspective by attending “A Week in Legal London” from June 29 - July 4.

Participants will experience the inner workings of the English legal system, expand litigation skills and engage in thought-provoking discussions with distinguished members of the London legal community. They will attend sessions at the Royal Courts of Justice, Old Bailey and the High Court of Justice, and luncheons at the historic Inns of Court generally exclusive to members of the British legal community.

As an adjunct to the London program, the Litigation Section will offer an Oxford University Summer Program the following week, July 6 -10. Participants will live and study at Oxford.

Attorneys can choose to attend one or both programs; although still under development, they typically offer 25 hours of continuing education credit. Check the Litigation Section Web site at calbar.ca.gov/litigation for additional information about the programs, registration fees and travel arrangements. Call 415-538-2546 for further information.

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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