California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 2000
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

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Front Page - February 2000
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News Briefs
Appeal court denies bar's petition to reverse Brosterhous
Fee bill introduced
Bar fee arb program gears up
David Bryson, Loren Miller recipient, dies at 58
Board to name one to Judicial Council
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You Need to Know
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Opinion
From the President - For our system to work, we need to be involved
Let's let public lawyers take a seat at the table
The illusion of a cosmetic fix
Letters to the Editor
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MCLE Self-Study
The Supreme Court and the ADA
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Appointments
Access commission seeks members for 2 positions
Apply to serve on a bar committee
Bar seeks applicants for ABA delegates
Judge evaluation positions open
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Discipline
Ethics Byte - 'Rampant' conflicts in a new economy
Attorney suspected of soliciting murder of bar prosecutor
Attorney Discipline
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Legal Tech - If the hype is right, ASPs are H-O-T
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Public Comment

Discipline fund monitor’s term extended by court

The retired judge appointed by the state Supreme Court in 1998 to oversee a special assessment for the State Bar’s discipline fund has received a time extension.

In an order issued last month, the court extended indefinitely the term of former appellate Justice Elwood Lui “in order to ensure that the funds collected are used exclusively for the purpose of maintaining and operating the attorney discipline system.”

The court also ordered that any unspent fees collected as part of the special assessment must continue to be segregated from other bar monies and kept in a separate account.

Lui was appointed in December 1998 when the court ordered all active California lawyers to pay a special assessment of $173 to support the bar’s discipline operation. The order came in the wake of former Gov. Pete Wilson’s veto of the bar’s fee bill in 1997, which left the bar without funds and forced the layoffs of more than 500 workers.

Lui said the extension was the result of a mutual agreement by him, bar executives and the court. Several discipline, technological and financial issues need to be resolved, he said.

The bar collected $23.6 million in special assessment fees. Of that, $9.2 million went to the discipline system, almost $3 million went to the State Bar Court, and another $672,000 was spent to upgrade discipline-related technology. Just over $4.5 million remains in the fund.

Lui said he expects to complete his work this year.

He plans to bring to the bar a computer expert from Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, where he is a partner, to help ensure that the bar takes full advantage of recent technological upgrades.

He said he remains concerned about fiscal constraints placed on the bar, particularly obtaining an annual fee bill from the legislature, which he believes “becomes an arduous process.” Lui said he will recommend changes in how the bar is funded, but he declined to offer specifics.

There are several million dollars left in the special assessment fund.

Bar mid-year meeting slated in San Francisco

“New Times, New Rules and New Relationships” is the theme for the State Bar’s Midyear Meeting 2000, which will be held March 31 - April 2 at the Holiday Inn Financial District in San Francisco.

Bar leaders, legal services providers and other interested members of the bar will discuss topics ranging from fundraising on the Internet to multidisciplinary practice and recent legal case law developments in employment discrimination.

The conference is sponsored by the bar’s board of governors and numerous other organizations.

For further information, contact Theresa Raglen in the office of program development at 415/538-2219 or e-mail traglen@pacbell.net.

Law corp. reports due

The State Bar’s 1999 Law Corporation Annual Report/

2000 Renewal will be mailed to all law corporations certified before Dec. 1, 1999.

Reports are due on or before March 31, and a $110 late penalty attaches if the report is received after that date.

Questions about the annual report may be addressed to the office of certification at 415/538-2100.

Annual ethics symposium

Cutting edge ethical issues, ranging from multidisiplinary practice to ADR ethics, will be the focus of the Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium in June.

The day-long event is co-sponsored by the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) and Western State University in Fullerton. It is scheduled for June 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the university in Fullerton.

The symposium will feature plenary sessions and smaller panels and offers participants six hours of continuing education credit in ethics.

For further information, contact Randall Difuntorum at 415/538-2161.

ATTENTION, ATTORNEYS Last Names H — M:

If you are members of MCLE Compliance Group 2 (last names beginning with H — M) and not part of an exempt group, you were required to complete 36 hours of continuing legal education by the compliance deadline of January 31, 1997. Now, following the Supreme Court ruling in the Warden case and the new Fee Bill legislation, those attorneys in Group 2 who did comply must complete 25 hours of MCLE study by January 31, 2001. Those attorneys who did not comply must complete 61 hours by January 31, 2001.