California Bar Journal
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Deadline June 15 to object to bar support of AB 1138
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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 June 15, 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 June 15, directed to Judy Johnson, Executive Director, State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco CA 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 proposals approved and determined chargeable on April 1 by the Board of Governors for the year 2000 is as follows:

11. Supports in principle AB 1138 (Strom-Martin) which is intended to deter the unlawful practice of law by so-called “living trust mills” which solicit the purchase of estate planning services, obtain personal and financial information, and use that as the basis for marketing financial products.