California Bar Journal
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


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Front Page - August 2001
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News / News Briefs
MCLE deadline for Group 3 (last names N-Z) is Feb. 1
Judicial Council launches online self-help center
California lawyers honored for work for homeless, minorities and children
Coy about her future, Reno focuses on women's issues
No bias found against solos
Governor signs two-year fee bill
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Ethics update...
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Trials Digest
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From the President - Bar targets unauthorized practice
Microsoft ruling: Foundation to settle
MJP is more than alphabet soup
Letters to the Editor
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Legal Tech - A look back at six years of technology news
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You Need to Know
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MCLE Self-Study
A word from our sponsors
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Ethics Byte - Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how
Recovering alcoholic may get to recover his license
Attorney Discipline
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Public Comment
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Disneyland welcomes Annual Meeting
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Continued from Page 1
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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 arly registration ends Aug. 7, and the pre-registration deadline is Aug. 23. For more information, call 415/538-2508.

David BaldacciMaster Michael McKenzie"It's 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 former attorneys.

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 one."

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 credit.

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 916/441-3703.

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 dinner.

The calories can be burned on Sunday by participating in the 5K Santa Ana River Fun Run or 2K Power Walk.