California Bar Journal
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BOG ballots mailed; vote by July 1

Ballots were mailed to all eligible voters in four State Bar districts at the end of April and must be returned by July 1. Fifteen candidates are running for five seats in the four districts. They are:

District 4 (San Francisco and Marin counties): Laura Goldin, 48, a partner in the San Francisco firm Rothschild & Goldin; Marie F. Hogan, 52, NextCard Inc. senior counsel; Roderick A. McLeod, 53, a partner with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP; Robert H. Perez, 65, supervising attorney with the San Francisco Department of Child Support Services; and Matthew N. White, 47, a San Rafael sole practitioner and of counsel to Keegin, Harrison, Schoppert & Smith.

District 7, Office 1 (Los Angeles County): Stephen J. Ipsen, 41, deputy district attorney and  Matthew St. George, 52.

District 7, Office 2: Michelle "Mickey" Katz, 60, a certified family law specialist and family law mediator, and David M. Marcus, 49, partner with Marcus, Watanabe, Snyder and Dave LLP.

District 8 (Orange County): Richard L. Dombrow, 58, of Santa Ana, a family law sole practitioner; Grace E. Emery, 75, of Orange, a sole practitioner in employment law; Jack P. Holmes, 41, of Fullerton, a sole practitioner who specializes in business litigation, personal injury and immigration law; Richard W. Millar Jr., 63, of Newport Beach, partner with Millar, Hodges & Bemis; and Joel S. Miliband, 49, of Irvine, a partner with Rus, Miliband & Smith.

In District 6 (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Kern, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties), James O. Heiting ran unopposed and was automatically elected. Heiting, 53, is a partner with Heiting & Irwin in Riverside.

Information about the candidates is available at the State Bar's website:

Winners will take office Oct. 10 at the bar's annual meeting in Monterey. New board members are elected by attorneys whose place of business is in the bar district in which an election is held.

Nominations sought for four State Bar awards

The State Bar is seeking nominations for three awards presented annually to California attorneys who have provided substantial free legal assistance to the state's low income residents. In addition, a new award honoring efforts toward promoting diversity in the legal profession has been established.

Nominations are being accepted for the following awards:

President's Pro Bono Service Awards: Recognizes outstanding pro bono legal service contributions made by an individual attorney or a team of attorneys from each of the nine bar districts. The award is presented in these categories: corporate (employed by a corporation), government (employed by a local, state or federal agency), retired and recently admitted (first four years of practice).

In addition, small (2-10), medium (11-99) and large (100+) law firms will be honored for their contributions. A branch of a law firm is also eligible for nomination.

Loren Miller Legal Services Award: Honors an attorney who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor.

Jack Berman Award of Achievement: Honors a young lawyer (first five years of active State Bar membership or age 36 and under) who has provided outstanding service to the legal profession and public, and dedication to issues of concern to new and young lawyers.

Diversity Award: Honors outstanding efforts made by a bar association and an individual attorney in promoting diversity in the legal profession.

The deadline to submit applications is June 7. Guidelines and nomination forms may be accessed on the bar's web site,, or by contacting Kate O'Connor, 415/538-2141,; or Rodney Low, 415/538-2219,

Fee arb training scheduled in San Francisco July 17

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a training program in San Francisco sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free training offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics.

The training is scheduled for July 17, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., in the Sequoia Room of the Judicial Council Conference Center, 455 Golden Gate Ave. It is for arbitrators for the Bar Association of San Francisco as well as State Bar fee arbitrators.

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, contact BASF ADR Services at 415/982-1600 (phone) or 415/477-2388 (fax). For more information, call Jill Sperber, director of the State Bar Office of Mandatory Fee Arbitration, at 415/538-2023.

Low pass rate - 33.4%  - for February bar exam

Only 33.4 percent of the applicants who took the February 2002 bar exam passed, the lowest pass rate in several years.

The Committee of Bar Examiners also announced that 200 (56.3 percent) of the 355 attorneys who took the Attorneys' Examination passed.

The committee said 1,361 of the 4,070 applicants were successful. Of those numbers, 32.2 percent were first-time test-takers, and 47.9 percent of that group passed the exam.

Among the 2,758 repeat test-takers, only 26.5 percent passed.

Legal services board is looking for a new member

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) are invited to submit an application to the State Bar. One three-year position is open in the Butte Region, which includes Butte, Plumas, Glenn, Tehama and Colusa Counties. Applicants must practice or reside in one of these counties. Deadline for receipt of applications is July 5.

Legal Services of Northern California is a non-profit Legal Services Corporation-funded program created to provide legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times a year to make policy decisions governing the program's operations.

Interested attorneys should apply by letter and include a resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background. The 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

The State Bar has a new website address

The State Bar has changed the address of its website to In addition, staffers' e-mail addresses are changed to the individual's first name, period, last The bar has revamped its website and introduced the first phase last month.

More changes to make the site more interactive with members will be introduced in the coming months.

Comment sought on plain English jury instructions

The Judicial Council Task Force on Jury Instructions recently released a new set of civil jury  instructions for public comment. The task force is interested in reactions to style, format, legal accuracy, clarity and usefulness of accompanying notes and commentary.

The deadline for sending in comments is Sept. 4.

Information about the instructions and how to submit comments is available at

Written comments may be sent to Anita Kashu, Judicial Council, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102-3660.

Professional rules revision project gets underway

The board of governors has reinstated the 14-member Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct in an effort to evaluate existing California Rules of Professional Conduct. Public hearings will be held in San Francisco June 29 and at the State Bar's Annual Meeting in Monterey Oct. 10-13.

Fee arbitrators needed

The State Bar seeks fee arbitrators for its mandatory fee arbitration program. Voluntary 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.

The application may be downloaded from the State Bar's website, For more information, call 415/538-2020.

MCLE compliance group 2 faces Feb. 1 deadline

Members of MCLE compliance group 2 (last names H-M) who are not part of an exempt group must complete 25 hours of continuing legal education by the compliance deadline of Feb. 1, 2003.

Attorneys who comply after that date may be subject to a $75 fine.

E-briefs offer bar news

The State Bar recently launched "e-briefs," a short summary of recent news developments or announcements of interest to lawyers. The mailings are provided on a timely basis. If you wish to be put on our internet mailing list, please provide your e-mail address to