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

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

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Front Page - September 2001
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News / News Briefs
Davis signs diversion bill, nixes more access money
Six new members elected to bar board
Board votes to keep MCLE hours at 25 over 3-year period
Supreme Court denies rehearing on disbarment
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2001 Citations
Single father, practicing four years, devoted to pro bono
Pro bono awards
Antitrust lawyer honored
Judge Epstein receives Bernard Witkin medal
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Opinion
From the President - A good year for the State Bar
MJP panel provides an interim solution
Letters to the Editor
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MCLE Self-Study
A dangerous highway of discovery
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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You Need to Know
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Discipline
Ethics Byte - Report shows with law firms, size does matter
Attorney convicted of killing client/lover resigns from bar
Attorney Discipline
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Public Comment
Settlement
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Continued from Page 1
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Palmer Madden. "I think this is a reasonable solution."

The settlement brings to a close a 10-year legal battle over the use of mandatory bar fees to fund activities that were opposed by 41 California attorneys on First Amendment grounds.

In 1999, Judge England found the bar improperly used mandatory fees to pay for some programs, including areas such as access to justice, the conference of delegates and a program that provides attorneys as volunteer mentors to youthful parolees. However, the decision applied to the 1991 dues year only. England awarded $10 to each of the plaintiffs.

PLF initially launched a sweeping challenge to the use of mandatory fees to fund each of the bar's 30 program categories, including such core activities as attorney discipline.

The bar dropped its appeal of the case in January, primarily because it no longer uses member dues to fund activities that were considered controversial.

Madden said the bar no longer operates the way it did when the case was filed and he and the board opposed spending additional funds to fight any fee award. "We didn't want to spend any more money chasing an issue that has nothing to do with how the bar operates," he said.

PLF had sought $1.1 million in fees for some 4,800 hours of work it put into the case and sought a multiplier of two, raising the fee demand to almost $2.3 million. Multipliers can be awarded if a case is complex and breaks new constitutional ground, and if the winning side prevails.

PLF also brought the Keller case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a ruling which prohibits the bar from using mandatory member fees to pay for activities outside its core functions. As a result of that case, PLF won a fee award of $261,000 from the bar.