California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 2001
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

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Front Page - November 2001
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News / News Briefs
Two new judges named to bar court; Stovitz to preside
New protections for consumers
Court approves disclosure of some private disciplines
Board member Erica Yew named to Santa Clara bench
40 receive Foundation scholarships
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Trials Digest
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Opinion
From the President - Intentional UPL should be a felony
International law in a post-Sept. 11 world
Lawyers' response: First, do no harm
Delicate balance between liberty and security
Con artists single out immigrants
Letters to the Editor
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MCLE Self-Study
Restructuring a bankrupt global company
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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You Need to Know
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Public Comment
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Discipline
Ethics Byte - New decision may subject lawyers to suits
Trust fund scam leads to summary disbarment
Attorney Discipline

YOU NEED TO KNOW

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State Bar of CaliforniaJNE, other bar groups, seek volunteer members

The State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), which investigates and evaluates judicial candidates for the governor, is currently seeking new volunteers to serve as commissioners. Attorneys and other members of the public who are interested in volunteering for a position on the 2002-2003 JNE Commission should submit an application no later than Jan. 22.

Applicants must be willing to volunteer at least 35 hours a month, splitting their time between monthly meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and candidate assignments. A commissioner's workload includes sending out 250-600 evaluation forms for each candidate assignment, reviewing completed forms, contacting respondents who provide "not qualified" ratings, and preparing for interviews with candidates. The JNE Commission's 2002-2003 term will begin June 1.

Appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors, the commission - which represents a broad cross-section of California's legal profession and general population - cannot nominate or appoint judges. It does, however, investigate all candidates who are under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor.

For those seeking different ways of making a contribution, the State Bar also is recruiting applicants for approximately 200 positions on more than three dozen other committees, boards and commissions next year. Most of these appointments carry a three-year term. The committees and commissions with available positions range from committees dealing with access and fairness issues, to executive committees focused on particular areas of the law, to a committee addressing questions of professional responsibility and conduct, to the Committee of Bar Examiners.

The application deadline for most committees is Feb. 1, 2002. Applicants can apply to a maximum of three committees but can only be appointed to one. The State Bar Board of Governors will make its appointments in August, with the committee terms beginning in mid-October.

For an application and more information on the JNE Commission and other State Bar committees and commissions, visit the State Bar's web site at www.calbar.org. Or, request an application from the State Bar's appointments office by phone 415/538-2299, fax 415/538-2255 or e-mail (karen.hagelund@calsb.org).

Register your law corp.

Under Business and Professions Code 6160, law corporations must be registered with the State Bar and have a current certificate of registration.

If your firm is not registered, please go to www.calbar.org, click on the Office of Certification's web site and print out an application. For more information, call 415/538-2100.

Money earmarked for diversity projects

The State Bar's Labor and Employment Law Section has set aside $30,000 to fund projects or events which encourage the representation of women and persons of color in the areas of labor and employment law.

Through its diversity subcommittee, the section seeks to provide both economic and professional support by co-sponsoring events or projects. Recent recipients include the Black Women Lawyers Association, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, Philippine American Bar Association and the Asian Bar Association of Sacramento.

For more information, contact Toni J. Jaramilla, chair of the section's diversity outreach committee, at 310/551-3020 or tonij@earthlink.net.

Applicants sought for legal services board

The State Bar of California is seeking applications from attorneys interested in serving a three-year term on the 36-member board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC).

Positions are open in four areas: Mother Lode Region (Placer, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada and Sierra counties); Redwood Region (Humboldt, Del Norte, Lake and Mendocino counties); Butte Region (Butte, Plumas, Glenn, Tehama and Colusa counties); and Yolo County. Applications are due Jan. 4.

LSNC is a non-profit Legal Services Corporation-funded program created to provide legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The board meets five times a year.

Interested attorneys should include a resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background with their application. Materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Questions may be directed to 415/538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calsb.org.

Fee arbitrators needed

The State Bar seeks fee arbitrators for its mandatory fee arbitration program. Arbitrators serve for a minimum term of two years. Attorney applicants must be active members in good standing of the State Bar of California for a minimum of five years.

Criminal lawyers are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Jill Sperber, Director, Office of Mandatory Fee Arbitration, at 415/538-2023.

MCLE deadline for Group 3 (last names N-Z) is Feb. 1

Attorneys who are members of MCLE Compliance Group 3 (last names beginning N-Z) must complete 25 hours of continuing education by the compliance deadline of Feb. 1, 2002. Those who did not complete the previously required 36 hours by Feb. 1, 1999, have until Feb. 1, 2002, to complete a total of 61 hours.

A late fee of $75 will be assessed March 15 for those who have not complied.

Compliance cards will be mailed at the end of December.

Questions about MCLE compliance may be directed to 415/538-2100.

Unpublished opinions now posted online

Unpublished opinions of the state Courts of Appeal are now posted on the web site of the California courts, www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub.htm.

Under the state Constitution, the Supreme Court has the authority to decide which appellate opinions may be published in Official Reports. The Rules of Court provide that the opinions may be published only if they satisfy one or more of a prescribed set of "standards of publication."

Rule 977 also provides that unpublished opinions may not be cited or relied upon by other courts or parties, except in specified circumstances. This rule will be noted at the beginning of each unpublished opinion on the web site.

Chief Justice Ronald George said the policy that unpublished opinions may not be cited remains in place, but "their availability on the web site will afford the public and the legal community an important information resource."

Sample fee agreements available for purchase

The State Bar offers sample fee agreement forms for $5 per set. Each set contains two sample hourly agreements (one for litigation matters and one for non-litigation matters) and one sample for contingent matters. In addition, the set contains samples of 11 other clauses that may be of interest.

You may purchase these by sending a check for $5, payable to State Bar of California, for each set requested to: State Bar of California, Mandatory Fee Arbitration, 180 Howard Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105-1639.

AOC launches new web site on families and courts

The Administrative Office of the Courts' Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) has launched a new web site that provides both court professionals and court users a valuable source for information on family and juvenile law and the legal process. The site is located at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc. Primary audiences of the new site are judicial officers, attorneys and court professionals. Information includes juvenile case law summaries, training opportunities, grant applications, publications and other research materials.

The site also addresses the concerns of family members, children and others involved in court proceedings. For example, site users can learn about court services; visit the FAQs section; view an interactive activity booklet that teaches children about the court system; or download online publications on topics such as foster parenting, juvenile dependency and divorce.

Volunteers sought for access committees

Lawyers, former judges and members of the public are invited to submit an application for appointment to one or more of the State Bar's five access and fairness committees. They include the standing committees on Ethnic Minority Relations (EMRC), Legal Professionals with Disabilities (CLPD), Senior Lawyers (SCSL), Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination (CSOGID), and Women in the Law (CWIL).

The committees were created by the bar's board of governors to increase participation in administering bar programs and activities by attorneys who have been under-represented. The committees identify and encourage members of their constituencies to become active participants in the bar.

They also produce MCLE programs and materials, advise the board on policy affecting their specific areas, collaborate jointly on projects, and provide input on legislation or court rules relating to access issues or discrimination within the legal profession or judicial system.

In making appointments, consideration is given to geographic location, practice setting, areas of expertise and related external activities. Committee members serve three-year terms and meet approximately four to six times per year. Application forms and information about each committee, qualifications necessary for service and time commitments are available at www.calbar.org. Deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

For information concerning CWIL or EMRC, contact Rhonda Lunsford, 415/538-2173 or Rhonda.Lunsford@calsb.org.; about CLPD or CSOGID, contact Martin Morales, 415/538-2316 or Martin.Morales@calsb.org.; or about senior lawyers, contact Rodney Low, 415/538-2219 or Rodney.Low@calsb.org.

7th printing for pamphlet: When You Become 18

When You Become 18, a booklet designed to help teenagers understand the consequences of breaking the law, has been updated in a seventh printing.

Produced by California Law Advocates, this survival guide for young adults is provided to schools at the request of teachers and has reached more than 2 million high school students.

The updated version includes a new section on road rage and expanded information about sexual harassment, and also covers such areas as voting, jury duty, marriage, divorce, child support, date rape and the illegality of child pornography on the internet.

The booklet is funded by CLA chapters as well as grants from foundations including the Foundation of the State Bar.

Information about obtaining copies of When You Become 18 is available from the bar foundation at 415/538-2168 or by writing to CLA at P.O. Box 8905, Calabassas, CA 91372.