More revenue sought for legal services fund

In a move to increase grants to California legal services programs assisting the poor, the bar is seeking permission from the state Supreme Court to use certain "sweep" or "cash management" accounts for client trust accounts which generate revenue for the bar's Legal Services Trust Fund program. The proposal would allow three liquid investments: repurchase agreements for securities issued by the U.S. Treasury and U.S. government agencies; money market funds that only invest in U.S. government securities; and high-quality money market funds with diversified investments.

The Supreme Court rejected a more expansive proposal two years ago.

While the trust fund program was able to distribute more grant money this year -- $9.3 million -- than a year ago, the grants still total less than half what they were in 1992 due to a decline in interest rates.

Bar seeks delegates for ABA House

The State Bar is seeking applicants for five appointments as bar representatives to the ABA House of Delegates. Each delegate serves a two-year term beginning at the close of the ABA's annual meeting in August. One of the five will be the young lawyer representative and must be less than 35 years of age before Aug. 6, 1997.

Delegates are expected to attend the mid-year and annual ABA meetings and to participate in occasional conference calls prior to those meetings. They are required to pay their own travel expenses.

In making the appointments, the Board of Governors will consider the applicants' participation in ABA activities, working knowledge of the House of Delegates, and understanding of current issues before the delegates. Attendance at meetings will be considered for those applying for reappointment.

Applications are due by Feb. 24 and are available from the State Bar Appointments Office, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102-4498; 415/ 561-8855.

Applicants must submit an application with a resume and a statement describing their ABA and local bar activities.

Applications available for committee appointments

Applications for appointment to State Bar committees in 1997-98 are available.

Attorneys interested in volunteering to serve on a bar committee may request an application from the Appointments Office, State Bar of California, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco CA 94102-4498; 415/561-8855 or 213/765-1585.

The application and additional information about open positions appears on pages 35-36 of this edition of the Bar Journal.

Your dues are due

The deadline for payment of State Bar membership fees is Feb. 1.

Attorneys who do not pay the full amount by March 7 will be assessed a penalty of 50 percent of the unpaid balance.

Failure to pay dues ultimately can lead to suspension from practice by the California Supreme Court.

Last year, 885 attorneys were suspended for not paying their dues.

Lawyers sought for Discipline Audit Panel

The Discipline Audit Panel of the State Bar of California is seeking two California attorneys to fill vacant volunteer positions. The panel audits the bar's discipline system pursuant to a statutory mandate.

Send resumes to Director Lynne Geminder, State Bar of California Discipline Audit Panel, 1149 South Hill St., Los Angeles CA 90017-2299; 213/765-1161.

New discipline rules

Effective immediately, any attorney who receives a disbarment recommendation from the State Bar Court will be placed on inactive enrollment before the Supreme Court acts on the recommendation.

In addition, attorneys may plead no contest in State Bar Court, they can be placed on inactive status for defaulting in a disciplinary proceeding, and suspended lawyers must pay disciplinary costs before returning to active practice.

The new rules are part of legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica.

Seminar slated for legal services attorneys

Former legal services attorneys or those contemplating private practice are invited to attend a one-day seminar on how to open a private practice. Panelists will offer advice on how to locate an office and hire a staff, accounting and trust procedures, ethics and finances, insurance, marketing and "reorientation."

The seminar begins at 9:15 a.m., Jan. 11, at Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles. Participants may earn 5.5 hours of MCLE credit.

The event is sponsored by the State Bar Legal Services Section Standing Committee on Legal Services to the Poor and the General and Solo Practice Section.

Further information is available from Lyle Wing at 415/561-8297.

Senior lawyers section seeks excom members

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.

1996 editions of State Bar publications are 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 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.

Judicial Council publishes booklet on gender fairness

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 is available by calling 415/904-5980 or 1-800/900-5980 (within California).

Board to meet this month in downtown Los Angeles

The bar Board of Governors will meet Jan. 24-25 at its Los Angeles offices at 1149 S. Hill St. Committees will meet Friday and the full board will meet Saturday.

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