California Bar Journal
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Election schedule set for bar board, CYLA vacancies

Nominating petitions for five seats on the State Bar Board of Governors and five seats on the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) Board of Directors will be available May 19.

Open seats for both boards are in District 1 (Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties), District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties), District 5 (Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mari-posa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tulare counties), District 7 (Los Angeles County) and District 9 (Imperial and San Diego counties).

Any active attorney whose place of business is in one of the represented counties is eligible to run for a three-year term.

Nominating petitions must be submitted by June 16 and ballots will be mailed July 7. New board members will take their seats at the bar’s annual meeting in September.

Petitions for the board of governors are available from Billie Sivanov, 415/538-2274. CYLA petitions are available from Sharon Ngim, 415/538-2267.

State Bar’s annual ethics symposium scheduled

Cutting edge ethical issues, ranging from multidisciplinary practice to ADR ethics, will be the focus of the Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium next month.

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.

Three CLE programs produced by ABA

The American Bar Association has produced three new audio and video instructional programs exploring key issues facing attorneys and offering insights from seasoned professionals.

“Expert Witnesses: Selecting, Retaining, Deposing and Examining Experts” is a four-part program featuring strategies and techniques for dealing with expert witnesses. “Valuing Diversity: Law Firms and Leadership in the 21st Century,” focuses on what steps law firms should take to overcome barriers to a diverse workplace. Both are available in both audio and videotape format.

A three-tape audio program, “So Little Time, So Much Paper,” offers suggestions and techniques for more effective time management and ways to keep track of work.

For more information or to order the programs, contact Patty Brown at 312/988-6193, or e-mail A brochure about the products is available at or by calling the ABA-CLE FaxInfo service at 800/995-1253.

3 more MCLE hearings slated this month

Three public hearings on the future of the State Bar’s minimum continuing legal education program are scheduled this month.

The hearings give attorneys an opportunity to give their thoughts about MCLE to members of a special commission scrutinizing the program.

The hearings will be held:

May 9, noon - 2 p.m., Los Angeles County Bar Association offices, Suite 300, 261 South Figueroa St.; May 16, noon - 2 p.m., State Bar offices, Rooms B and C, seventh floor, 180 Howard St., San Francisco; and May 25, noon - 2 p.m., Court of Appeal, 2525 Capitol, Fresno.

Individuals wishing to testify do not need to provide advance notice.

Summer fellowship with bar foundation

College students entering their junior year are eligible to apply for a summer fellowship with the Foundation of the State Bar in San Francisco.

The internship, which pays $1,300, will provide work experience for a student interested in a career in non-profit work. It runs from May 22 to Aug. 11.

For information, contact foundation executive director James Pfeiffer, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105; 415/538-2505. The application deadline is May 12.

15 win scholarships to help pay for bar exam

Fifteen California law school students were awarded $179 scholarships by the Foundation of the State Bar to defray half the cost of the annual bar exam.

The recipients attend nine different law schools.

The awards were given through the Imelda Rosenthal Memorial Scholarship, established in memory of the late wife of Herbert Rosenthal, executive director emeritus of the bar.

Scholarships are available for first-time test-takers who demonstrate a long-term commitment to public service.

Federal court offers notice of judgments

Attorneys admitted to the U.S. District Court’s central district may enroll in a free program which permits them to receive immediate faxed or e-mailed copies of judgments and orders.

The optical scanning program is available now in the district’s western (Los Angeles) and southern (Santa Ana) divisions, and is expected to start up in the eastern (Riverside) division shortly.

Attorneys who enroll in the program receive copies of judgments and orders, including notice of entry of these documents, via fax or e-mail for all cases pending in the central district court, including cases filed in the future, in which the attorney is counsel of record.

The program is available to lawyers admitted to the central district as well as out-of-state attorneys.

Enrollment forms are available at or by calling 213/894-5474.

Interstate Insurance new bar carrier in July

The State Bar’s professional liability insurance program will get a new look in July, when the Interstate Insurance Group becomes the insurance carrier for the plan, succeeding Reliance National Insurance Co. The change was recommended by the bar’s Standing Committee on Professional Liability Insurance and approved by the board of governors in March.

According to committee co-chair John Hurley, the decision was based on Interstate’s excellent financial strength ratings of A++XV from A.M. Best Co., the highest possible rating, as well as its proposal for new coverage features and a long-term commitment to the bar.

“With so many carriers coming and going,” Hurley said, “the committee concluded that the members of the State Bar would be well-served by a financially strong carrier with a commitment to offer a stable market.”

Hurley said the change is expected to be effective about July 1 for current policyholders whose coverage expires after that date, subject to Insurance Department approval of new policy features. No policy cancellations are expected; instead, as Reliance National policies expire, members will be offered renewal coverage through Interstate with the new coverage features.

Bar members who have questions may contact Kirke-Van Orsdel Inc. at 1-800/343-0132, or Cathie Hastings, the bar’s manager of insurance programs, at 415/538-2276.