State Bar's Annual Meeting in Anaheim and sign
copies of his novels, including his sixth and latest bestseller,
"Wish You Well."
Baldacci is one of several featured speakers at
the annual confab, where participants can earn up to 20 hours of MCLE
credit for a single low price tag. The Sept. 6-9 meeting,
headquartered at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel, also includes swearing-in
ceremonies for a new State Bar president and board members,
presentation of awards honoring attorneys who perform extraordinary
good works, and the Conference of Delegates' yearly meeting.
Complete information about meeting events and
courses, as well as hotel and travel arrangements, is available at www.calbar.org.
arly registration ends Aug. 7, and the pre-registration deadline is
Aug. 23. For more information, call 415/538-2508.
nice to be around a bunch of lawyers, my former colleagues," said
Baldacci. "(But) it can be intimidating - I don't want to get
served when I walk through the door. I'm also prepared for people to
try to slip manuscripts to me - that happens a lot."
With the success of "Absolute Power," a
political thriller that spent 17 weeks on the New York Times
bestseller list and was adapted into a film starring Clint Eastwood
and Gene Hackman, Baldacci suddenly found his name being used
alongside hugely popular novelists Tom Clancy and John Grisham, also
Baldacci had recently been picked as a partner at
the high-powered law firm of Holland and Knight, but he found working
for a large practice rather impersonal.
"I had been David, then I became lawyer No.
484. It was good but it was so big," he said. "The business had
changed; I was really burned out on the constant need to bring in new
business. Even when I won a trial I wasn't euphoric anymore, I was
concerned about the next one . . . (that) there might not be a next
Baldacci's first book contract
didn't come overnight - he says he was
writing for 14 years before "Absolute Power" was published. At the
Friday bar luncheon, he will discuss his evolution from attorney to
author. "I'm not saying lawyers can't do it, but if you look at
the numbers, like anything else, it's a long shot."
Keep your day job
Aspiring authors can heed Baldacci's warning
and focus on their current careers by taking advantage of more than
200 MCLE seminars offered at the meeting - especially those with
last names from N to Z, whose deadline to complete 25 hours of
coursework is Feb. 1, 2002.
The MCLE offerings cater to just about every
predilection. For the specialist, there's "The Bankruptcy Abuse
and Consumer Protection Act of 2001." For the generalist, "Really
Interesting Lawyer Stuff" offers two MCLE hours, a double-dose of
Optimists can check out "Resil-ience: Surviving
the Practice of Law without Drugs, Divorce or Disability";
pessimists can mitigate their fears by learning "How to Prepare for
the Unforseen: Death, Illness and Inactive Enrollment."
Want to improve cocktail-party conversation? Try
the topical, "Cyber Space Crimes: The New Frontier for Prosecution
in California." Want to have an inner dialogue? There's the
touchy-feely, "Transform Stress into Growth and Change."
Rub elbows with Reno
This year's meeting offers a rare opportunity
to rub elbows with former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno at the
California Women Lawyers Annual Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 7:30
p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $95 per person; for reservations, contact
the California Women Lawyers' executive office in Sacramento at
Reno, who is busy appearing at speaking
engagements around the nation, will discuss access-to-justice issues
as well as how women lawyers can climb up the ladder in the
male-dominated legal profession.
Meet the new president
The Annual Meeting begins with an international
flair at a Thursday luncheon featuring Master Michael McKenzie of the
Royal Courts of Justice in England and Wales. McKenzie will give an
overview of law in the Crown Courts and compare some of England's
practices with law in the United States - beyond barristers' use
of powdered wigs. Tickets are $35.
In the evening, outgoing State Bar President
Palmer Madden and incoming President-elect Karen Nobumoto will host an
opening-night reception in the exhibit hall, enhanced with Sonoma
County wines from St. Francis Winery and Vineyards. The event and the
wine-tasting, is complimentary.
Nobumoto, a Los Angeles deputy district attorney,
will be the first minority woman to lead the 176,000-member bar. She
will be sworn in Saturday by California Chief Justice Ronald George.
George will swear in new members of the board of governors and the
California Young Lawyers Association, and the Conference of
Delegates' new executive committee will also have their turn. But
first, George will deliver the annual State of the Judiciary address
at 11 a.m.
Praise the worthy
The 2001 State Bar President's Pro Bono Service
Awards will be presented by bar President Palmer Madden at a Friday
ceremony beginning at 5:45 p.m. in the Hilton. Nine attorneys will
receive awards in separate service categories. The event is free.
Other awards to be presented during the Annual
Meeting are the Loren Miller Legal Services Award, which honors an
attorney who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to legal services
and performed significant work in extending legal services to the
poor, and the Jack Berman Individual Award of Achievement.
Romp, run or walk
On Saturday, the State Bar returns to Disneyland
for an all-day romp in the park. Passes are $65 per adult and $50 for
children ages 3 to 11 and are good from 9 a.m. to midnight. Bar
members can ship the family off to the park while they tend to their
MCLE needs, then meet up at 6 p.m in Frontierland for a barbecue
The calories can be burned on Sunday by
participating in the 5K Santa Ana River Fun Run or 2K Power Walk.