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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LRS roundtable scheduled Aug. 14

Participants in California's certified lawyer referral services are invited to a day-long roundtable Aug. 14 at which issues facing their programs will be addressed. Among the topics under discussion will be the survival of lawyer referral services, the impact of the internet, Business & Professions Code 6155, enforcement, unbundling and modest means programs.

In addition, there will be an open forum where all issues relating to LRS's may be discussed. State Bar staff from the offices of program development and certification, as well as attorneys from the bar's general counsel office, will be present to answer any questions. 

The State Bar-sponsored roundtable is free. Lunch will be served, so attendees are asked to contact the office of program development for planning purposes.

The roundtable will be held at the bar's Los Angeles office, 1149 South Hill St., with a possible video conference connection in San Francisco. For more information or to RSVP, contact Rodney Low at 415/538-2219 or e-mail him at:

LLP annual report due

Limited Liability Partnerships' annual reports were mailed Aug. 1. If your LLP was certified by the State Bar prior to Oct. 1, 2000, you will receive an annual report.

To maintain your LLP status with the State Bar, it is necessary to complete the annual report form and mail it to the State Bar before the deadline of Oct. 1, 2001. 

If you have any questions about LLPs or have not received the annual report by mid-August, please call 415/538-2142.

Special masters sought

The State Bar is seeking to boost its roster of special masters who assist courts in specific searches authorized by warrant. The special master accompanies peace officers in searching for documentary evidence under the control of attorneys, physicians, psychotherapists and clergy members.

Any attorney who is in good standing with the State Bar, has practiced for at least five years and does not have a criminal law practice is eligible. Participants receive one hour of MCLE credit from an instructional audio tape.

Interested persons should contact Brandie Burroughs at 415/538-2117 for an application.

Last chance to pay dues

Active attorneys who have not paid their State Bar dues are subject to suspension from practice, beginning Sept. 1.

The bar sent final delinquent notices May 25 to 6,794 members who had not paid their dues. The final payment deadline is Aug. 31, but after July 30, payment must be made in certified funds (cashiers checks, money orders or cash).

For most active attorneys subject to the $345 fee, a 25 percent penalty is due if the fee has not been paid, bringing the total owed to $431.25.

At its July meeting, the board of governors was to recommend that those who have not paid be suspended, and the final step is a suspension order from the Supreme Court.

Attorneys who still owe their dues may direct questions to 415/538-2360.

CRLA offers one board seat

State Bar members interested in serving on the board of directors of California Rural Legal Assistance are invited to submit an application for one open seat. The 45-member board meets four times a year to make policy decisions about the organization, which provides legal help to the rural poor. The term is for two years.

Interested lawyers should submit a letter of application and a resume by Oct. 1 to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105. Questions may be directed to 415/538-2534.

Oct. 11 fee arb training

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at an Oct. 18 fee arbitrator training program in Merced sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free training, which offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, will take place from 5 - 8 p.m. in the staff dining room at Merced College, 3600 M Street.

Arbitrators for the Merced and Stanislaus County bar associations are invited to the training, as well as interested attorneys from Madera, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding.

To register, call the Merced bar's fee arbitration committee at 209/723-4633 or 209/723-2137; e- mail For more information, call the State Bar's fee arbitration office at 415/538-2023.

Kids & The Law reprinted

Due to overwhelming demand, Kids & The Law - An A-to-Z Guide for Parents was reprinted last month for distribution to schools, law enforcement agencies and community groups.

The 16-page guide, which was included in May issues of the California Bar Journal, offers parents a resource for discussions of the law with their children, touching on areas such as drugs, curfew, skateboarding and fighting.

All orders for schools are being handled by the California PTA, 930 George St., Los Angeles CA 90015-1322; 213/620-1100; or

All other orders can be filled by e-mailing or contacting the State Bar's Office of Communications, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. The guide also is available online at

Board election ends Aug. 17

Attorneys eligible to vote in one of the five State Bar districts with an open seat on the board of governors must return their ballots by Aug. 17.

Nine candidates are running for the board, but only two districts have a contested election. Candidates in the remaining three districts are deemed elected since they were unopposed. The districts with a contested election are District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties) and District 7 (Los Angeles, office 1).

Candidates in District 2 (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, Tuolomne and Yolo counties); District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties); and District 7, office 2 (Los Angeles) were elected.

Aug. 17 also is the deadline to vote for candidates for the board of the California Young Lawyers Association. Seats are open in the same five districts, with contested elections in districts 4 and 7.

Members of each board serve three-year terms and will assume their seats at the conclusion of the bar's 2001 annual meeting next month.

Profiles of the candidates and details about their positions on bar issues are available at the bar's website,

Foundation is accepting grant applications

The Foundation of the State Bar of California is accepting applications for the 2002 calendar until Sept. 7.

Grants are made to support law and justice-related projects. 501c3 nonprofit organizations and bar association entities are eligible to apply. Application forms and grant criteria may be downloaded from the foundation's website at Click on "Programs."

Call the foundation office at 415/538-2168 for more information.

Task force seeks comment

A set of civil jury instructions designed to be both understandable and accurate is being circulated among California judges, bar associations, law school professors and other interested parties. The instructions were prepared by the Judicial Council's Task Force on Jury Instructions and include 304 pages of civil jury instructions. It is available online at

Comments should be sent by Aug. 15 to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Attn. Camilla Kieliger, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco 94103.