California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - MARCH 2002
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

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Front Page - March 2002
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News / News Briefs
Midyear meeting will focus on fairness
E-briefs offer bar updates
Three strikes supporter has a change of heart, now wants the law restricted
ABA seeks nominations for three awards
Rule change proposed to protect government whistleblowers
More pamphlets added, translated
Innovation garners awards for 11 courts
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Trials Digest
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Public Comment
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Opinion
From the President - New era of bar-conference cooperation
Conference of Delegates: A valuable ally
PG&E's plan: A power play
Letters to the Editor
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You Need to Know
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Discipline
Ethics Byte - Twilight zone cases can make practice tricky
Former deputy DA, convicted of grand theft, is suspended
Attorney Discipline
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MCLE Self-Study
At tax time, modify debt with caution
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
Innovation garners awards for 11 courts
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Innovative programs in 11 California courts - including a homeless court, an arts project and an electronic filing program for small claims - received the 2001 Ralph N. Kleps Award for Improvement in Administration of the Courts.

The programs were selected from among 59 nominations and were judged on four criteria: they are innovative, transferable to other courts, have operated for at least one year and improved the administration of the courts.

The family and juvenile court facilities of the Contra Costa County Superior Court have 75 permanently fixed displays to rotate the artwork of children who are the subjects of court proceedings associated with custody dependency and delinquency.

In Ventura County, a homeless court offers an alternative sentencing mechanism for homeless individuals to resolve outstanding minor offenses through community service rather than fines. Mental health professionals also offer housing referrals and access to medication for those with mental health needs.

The unified family court in Yolo County uses as its court clinician a private practice therapist to help children with mental health needs resulting from the issues that bring their family to court.

The Sacramento County Superior Court offers customers a fully automated program to create new small claims case filings by answering a series of questions on computers located at the courthouse. The program was modified for the internet and now includes extensive online "help" functions that address legal questions and offer procedural guidance.

The other winners are: Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, outreach program at local high schools; Superior Court of San Joaquin County Court-Community Leadership and Liaison Program; Los Angeles Superior Court Find Arbitrator Mediator Electronically (FAME); San Diego Superior Court F.O.C.U.S. Program - monitoring court performance using a balanced scorecard (finances, operations, customers and use of staff); Juvenile Delinquency Domestic Violence/Family Violence Court of Santa Clara Superior Court; the superior courts of Sacramento and Amador counties for their internet/intranet systems; and the superior courts of Stanislaus, San Benito and Mariposa counties for their Center Courts Regional Training Day.