1996 versions of bar publications available

The 1996 editions of Publication 250 -- California Rules of Professional Conduct and State Bar Act and the Handbook on Client Trust Accounting for California Attorneys are now available from the State Bar. Both publications may be ordered by mail by submitting a check for $8.68 for each volume payable to the State Bar of California. The order should be sent to: Attn: Publication 250 (or Trust Accounting Handbook), Office of Professional Competence, Planning & Development, State Bar of California, 100 Van Ness Ave., 28th Flr., San Francisco 94102-5238.

Walk-in orders will be accepted at the bar's admissions office in San Francisco (555 Franklin St.) and the 4th floor reception at the Los Angeles office (1149 South Hill St.). Cost for books sold on site is $4.50.

For further information, contact Renata Murry, 415/241-2112.

Applicants sought for senior section ex-com

The State Bar is seeking attorneys 50 years and older to serve on the executive committee of its newly created Senior Lawyers Section.

The section will provide opportunities for senior attorneys to receive information on significant matters such as second careers, of counsel arrangements, planning for retirement, health law, elder law issues, housing options, social security law and practice.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 1997. Application forms are available by calling 415/561-8855 or 213/765-1585.

State Bar's membership records are now online

The State Bar's membership records are now online. Information about California attorneys -- available to the public -- includes the member's name, address, phone number, fax number and e-mail address if available, undergraduate education and law school, and status (active or not active).

The member information went online Oct. 1 as part of the bar's effort to improve access to information about the state's lawyers.

The bar's membership records department receives an average of 1,000 telephone calls each day, most from callers wanting to know if someone is an attorney, their status and telephone numbers.

All bar members can be located except those who are now judges or are deceased.

In the first week the service was online, it received approximately 3,300 "hits."

The new service is available 24 hours a day and can be reached at http://www.calsb.org. It also is linked to the bar's homepage at http://www. calbar.org.

The membership records office also is trying to augment members' fax numbers. About 33,000 fax numbers now are included in members' records.

Any attorney wishing to have his or her fax number added to the records may send the information to membership records or fax the information to 415/561-8361.

Board of Governors sets LLP renewal fees

Annual renewal fees for limited liability partnerships (LLPs) were set by the Board of Governors at its September meeting.

A two-partner LLP will be required to pay $75 and LLPs with more than two partners will pay $25 for each additional partner up to a maximum fee of $2,500.

The LLP annual renewal late-filing fee will be an additional fee of one-half the annual renewal fee.

The bar's Office of Certification began processing LLP applications Jan. 1, 1996. Approximately 500 LLPs currently are registered in California.

The office anticipates that all LLPs registered by Jan. 31, 1997, will be required to file an annual renewal by October 1997.

LLPs are entities that are liable like corporations and taxed like partnerships. LLPs are required to register with the California Secretary of State and the State Bar and comply with all bar rules.

The LLP law limits an LLP partner's vicarious liability for partnership obligations.

Judicial Council publishes gender fairness booklet

The Judicial Council of Califonia has published a 16-page booklet entitled Guidelines for Judicial Officers: Avoiding the Appearance of Bias.

The booklet, prepared in response to a 1990 report on gender bias in the courts, offers a definition of gender bias and lists ways judges can try to eliminate such bias in the courts.

"The important principles set forth in the booklet serve to reaffirm the judiciary's continuing commitment to ensure access and fairness for all participants in the California judicial system," said Chief Justice Ronald M. George.

The pamphlet has been sent to all state judicial officers and court administrators. It is available by calling 415/904-5980 or 1-800/900-5980 (within California).

Two bar sections change their names

Two of the State Bar's 17 sections have changed their names, effective immediately.

The General and Solo Practice Section now is called the Solo and Small Firms Section, and the Law Practice Management Section is now the Law Practice Management and Technology Section.

The changes were made to better reflect both the membership and the functions of the sections.

Coordinating civil actions in different courts

New procedures for coordinating civil actions pending in different courts yet sharing common questions of law and fact went into effect Sept. 21 under urgency legislation signed by Gov. Wilson.

The procedures are intended to simplify the coordination procedures for the litigants and allow the courts to manage caseloads more efficiently.

The new procedures (Code Civ. Proc. §403 et seq.) allow a party to make a motion to transfer and consolidate non-complex actions directly to a judge in the trial court in which one of the actions is pending, rather than to the chair of the Judicial Council.

Requests to coordinate complex actions still must be made by petition to the Judicial Council.

New California Rules of Court 1500 and 1501.1 to implement the legislation also took effect Sept. 21. Attorneys should refer to section 19 of the Standards of Judicial Administration for guidelines relating to complex cases.

Board members sought for legal services panel

The State Bar is seeking attorneys to serve on the governing board of Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC).

Four positions are open, three for three-year terms and one for an incomplete one-year term.

Applicants must reside in Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity or Yolo counties.

The 31-member board meets six times a year in Sacramento. LSNC is a Legal Services Corp.-funded program which serves the poor.

The deadline is Nov. 21. Applicants should submit a resume, noting their county of residence, to Susan Mattox, Office of Legal Services, State Bar of California, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102-4498.

For information, call Mattox at 415/561-8243.

Board to meet Nov. 22-23

The bar Board of Governors will meet Nov. 22-23 at its headquarters at 555 Franklin St. in San Francisco. Committees will meet Friday and the full board will meet Saturday at 9 a.m.

A copy of the agenda is available from the bar secretary, 415/561-8200.