California Bar Journal
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


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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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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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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
Davis signs diversion bill, nixes more access money
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Gov. Davis signed into law a measure to create an attorney diversion and assistance program to be operated by the State Bar to help alcoholic attorneys. The bill, SB 479, sponsored by Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco, was joined to the bar's fee bill, which the governor signed in July. Neither measure could take effect without the other.

Davis had earlier returned the diversion measure to the legislature for technical amendments.

Modeled on a program operated by the Medical Board of California for 20 years, the diversion program is designed to rehabilitate rather than punish alcoholic lawyers.

It will be administered by an appointed board, which will set criteria for participation. Lawyers will either refer themselves or be referred by the bar's discipline system. Ten dollars of every lawyer's dues will be earmarked for the program.

The governor also nixed a proposed $5 million increase for the Judicial Council's Equal Access Fund in the 2001-02 state budget. The fund supports legal services programs for the poor through the State Bar.

In a statement explaining his line-item veto, Davis said, "California is heading into a difficult year with its softening economy and substantial revenue decreases. Consequently, the General Fund expenditures in this budget are down 1.7 percent over the prior year.

"I am open to considering funding for this worthy program in the future when the economy improves."

The fund still contains $10 million.