Nominations sought for
The California Commission on Access to Justice is
seeking nominations for the Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice
Award. Only 3 years old, the award honors a judge who has demonstrated
a long-term commitment to improving access to the courts and who has
personally done significant work in improving access for low and
moderate income Californians.
Nomination forms may be downloaded from the State
Bar's website, www.calbar.org,
and must be submitted by Oct. 12 to Mary Viviano, Director, Legal
Services Outreach, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San
The award will be made jointly by the Judicial
Council, the California Judges Association and the State Bar and will
be presented at the California Judicial Administration Conference
early in 2002.
Questions may be directed to Mary Viviano at
Group 3 (last names N-Z) MCLE
deadline 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.
Questions about MCLE compliance may be directed
Judicial Council launches
website for pro pers
Free help is now available on the internet for
the estimated 4.3 million Californians who represent themselves in
court each year.
The California Courts Online Self-Help Center
debuted July 17 at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp.
The new website offers more than 900 pages of
tools, resources and links for legal assistance in the areas most
needed by self-represented litigants, including divorce, domestic
violence, child custody/support, traffic and small claims.
It also offers easy-to-understand descriptions of
court procedures, information about choosing and completing necessary
court forms, and links to legal services organizations and programs
that provide legal advice and additional assistance.
Sample fee agreements available
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.
The agreements may be purchased 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 94105-1639.
State Bar committee offers two
free MCLE seminars
In the interest of educating lawyers about ways
to avoid malpractice claims, the State Bar's Committee on
Professional Liability Insurance will provide two free MCLE seminars
"Risk Management Audits for Solo and Small
Practitioners" will be conducted by Anthony Davis, a nationally
known speaker on risk management. The six-hour course will be held at
the Hyatt Regency Sacramento Oct. 1 and at the Hyatt Regency San
Francisco Oct. 2. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m., and the course lasts from
noon until 6 p.m.
The seminars are open to all attorneys at no
cost. Those wishing to attend should register in advance at www.kvi-calbar.com.
Participants will receive six hours of MCLE credit in ethics.
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.
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.
Attorneys invited to apply for
CRLA board of directors
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
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.
Fee arb trainings set for Los
Recent developments in fee arbitration will be
discussed at training programs in Los Angeles and Merced sponsored by
the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free
trainings offer 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal
The Los Angeles training is scheduled for Oct. 4
from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Park Hyatt, 2151 Avenue of the Stars.
Arbitrators from the Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica bar
associations are invited.
The Merced training is scheduled for Oct. 18 from
5 - 8 p.m. in the staff dining room at Merced College, 3600 M Street.
It is for arbitrators for the Merced and Stanislaus County bar
associations, as well as interested attorneys from Madera, Tuolumne
and Mariposa counties.
Both sessions also are open to State Bar fee
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 for the Los Angeles training, contact
the State Bar's fee arbitration office at 415/538-2074. To register
for the Merced session, call the Merced bar's fee arbitration
committee at 209/723-4633 or 209/723-2137; e-mail: email@example.com.
For more information about either training, call
Jill Sperber, director of the State Bar's fee arbitration program,
Task force named to look at
Chief Justice Ronald George appointed a new
statewide task force to study judicial service, retention and
compensation for state judges. The 17-member group will examine issues
including sabbatical leave, mentorship programs, special needs and
programs for new and retired judges, benefits and quality of judicial
life resources and programs.
"This task force will study ongoing issues that
vitally affect the quality of the California judiciary, the largest in
the nation," George said. "The goal is to identify the best
practices in benefits, compensation and related issues to ensure that
the judicial branch attracts and retains the most qualified judges to
serve full careers on the bench."
Los Angeles appellate Justice Candace D. Cooper
is the chair.