California Bar Journal
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Deadline Aug. 17 for objections
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Under State Bar procedures, members of the bar may file a specific objection to challenge the accuracy of any of the determinations by the board of governors that a legislative position is chargeable to the annual membership fee under Keller v. State Bar (1990) 496 U.S. 1.

A challenge by a member to any of the legislative positions listed below must be made individually and in writing. The written challenge must include the challenger’s name, address, telephone number and bar membership number and should identify the challenged legislative position.

A challenger must sign the challenge, postmarked on or before Aug. 17, which is the 45th day following the publication date of this issue of the California Bar Journal, or delivered in person to the State Bar’s San Francisco office by 5 p.m. on or before Aug. 17, directed to Judy Johnson, Executive Director, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105-1639.

Challengers are still required to submit payment of the 2000 membership fee less only the $5 lobbying deduction. Failure to timely submit a challenge shall constitute a waiver of any right to object to a particular legislative position within this notice.

Objections properly filed within the deadline will be considered by the board of governors at its next regularly scheduled meeting following the deadline or as soon thereafter as the matter may be considered. The board shall decide whether to give a pro rata refund to the challenger or to submit the dispute for expeditious arbitration before an impartial arbitrator according to procedures described in the January 2000 California Bar Journal.

If the dispute is submitted to arbitration, the arbitration process will determine whether the challenged positions are within the scope of permissible activities for which mandatory fees may be used under applicable constitutional law. Upon receipt of a properly submitted and timely challenge, the State Bar will place the disputed amount of the challenger’s fee in an interest-bearing escrow account.

The list of legislative positions approved and determined chargeable on June 10, 2000, by the board of governors for the year 2000 is as follows:

1. Supports AB 1858 (Romero) relating to immigration consultants, if it is amended as proposed, including requiring immigration consultants to include in all advertising a statement that the consultant is not an attorney and deleting the provision which would have required attorneys to place State Bar numbers on all advertisements, letterhead and business cards.

2. Opposes AB 2107 (Scott) relating to elder abuse, unless it is amended (1) to specify that a compensated referral arrangement between a lawyer and a financial services agent is not per se prohibited, but only if such arrangement fails to comply with the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct, and (2) to move this provision of general applicability to attorneys from the article of the Insurance Code relating to senior insurance to an article of general applicability or limit its applicability only to compensated referral arrangements involving seniors.

3. With respect to SB 1782 (Morrow) regarding reciprocal admission to practice in California, recommends, based upon significant questions of public policy and the complexity of the issues of reciprocal admission to practice law in California, that a study be conducted by the Supreme Court and the State Bar to consider the implications of changing the way in which the practice of law is regulated.

4. Supports SB 1988 (Speier) relating to insurance fraud, if it is amended (1) to resolve concerns about vague, uncertain and inaccurate terms in proposed legislative intent language concerning attorney discipline based on insurance fraud, and (2) to eliminate proposed blanket mandate for the State Bar to commence disciplinary action against an attorney without waiting for the outcome of a criminal proceeding involving insurance fraud.

5. Supports proposal to remove the sunset on the Out-of-State Attorney Arbitration Council Program.

6. Authorized the Committee of Bar Examiners to take its own position on AB 1042 (Cedillo) relating to the First Year Law Students’ Examination.