Bar endorses two insurance programs

Two insurance programs, one covering workers' compensation and the other a business office package, have been endorsed by the State Bar for its members. Developed by the bar's Committee on Group Insurance Programs, the new member benefits offer minimum premiums lower than those generally available.

The workers' compensation group insurance program, offered through the State Compensation Insurance Fund, offers:

Any law firm seeking workers' comp insurance for the first time, including sole practitioners, is eligible to participate. For all other law firms to participate and remain in the program, you must have a three-year loss ratio of 65 percent or less and if you have an experience modification, it cannot exceed 125 percent. More information is available by calling the State Fund at 1-800/533-6868.

The business office package provides "all risk" property and casualty insurance, subject to standard exclusions. The program will be underwritten by The Hartford, and Acordia Lloyd is the program administrator. Features include:

For further information, members or their brokers may call Acordia Lloyd at 1-800/648-1600.

The bar also endorses programs in health, life, disability and professional liability insurance. For more information, call 415/561-8807.

Five seats open on State Bar board of governors

Ballots will be mailed next month to attorneys in five State Bar districts to select their representative on the Board of Governors.

The last filing day for attorneys wishing to run for the board is June 13; ballots will go out July 11, with voting ending Aug. 15.

Seats are open in District 1 (Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties); District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties); District 5 (Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tulare counties); District 7 (Los Angeles); and District 9 (Imperial and San Diego counties).

Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices at the bar's Annual Meeting in San Diego, Sept. 11-14.

For more information, call Biljanna Sivanov, 415/561-8274.

Kids and the Law brochure available

Kids and the Law, a brochure designed to give parents the answers to legal questions concerning their children, is available from the State Bar.

Written by University of San Francisco law professor Thomas Nazario, the 79-page booklet offers relevant, easy-to-understand information on a wide range of laws and legal issues involving children.

It includes nuts-and-bolts information on current and changing laws, practical examples, a glossary and cross-references to appropriate statutes and code sections.

The brochure is available by calling 1-800/445-4LAW.

Bar exam results on the internet

Results of the February bar examination are posted on the State Bar's home page. Applicants had access to the information at 6 p.m. May 23, and the results were available to the general public on May 25.

The bar's web page address is www.calbar.org.

Bar board to meet in July in Los Angeles

The State Bar Board of Governors will meet July 25-26 at its Los Angeles offices at 1149 South Hill Street.

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.

New bar accreditation for certifying specialists

In light of recent Supreme Court approval, the State Bar has begun a new accreditation program aimed at bolstering consumer protection by evaluating the organizations that certify legal specialists in California.

Beginning June 1, attorneys who advertise as certified specialists must have certification from the bar's Board of Legal Specialization or from an organization accredited by the bar.

"Not only will this new requirement give consumers a greater measure of assurance, it also adds to the credibility of legal specialists already certified by reputable organizations with high standards," said Richard L. Dombrow, chairman of the Board of Legal Specialization.

In the past, Dombrow said, consumers faced a greater chance of being misled because attorneys could advertise themselves as "certified specialists" simply by naming the certifying entity. However, the certifier was not required to follow any standards.

Legal specialist exam

Attorneys who wish to become certified as a specialist in one of eight areas of practice may take the legal specialist examination next summer.

Offered only once every two years, the exam will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in San Francisco and Los Angeles on Aug. 24. Registration deadline is July 11.

Attorneys will not have another opportunity to take the exam until 1999.

Attorneys may be certified by the bar as specialists in the following areas of law: appellate; criminal; estate planning, trust and probate; family; immigration and nationality; personal and small business bankruptcy; taxation; and workers' compensation. More than 3,000 attorneys in California currently are certified as specialists.

The registration fee for the exam is $200 or $250 for those who wish to type.

To obtain a registration form, contact Lorna Maynard, 451/241-2100; fax 415/241-2180; or e-mail maynardl@ix.netcom.com

Supreme Court info on web

California Supreme Court opinions are now available, whenever possible, on the court's web site immediately after filing. In addition, oral argument calendars and minutes of the court are available at the Judicial Branch web site: http:// www.courtinfo.ca.gov.

The full text of "slip opinions" of both the Supreme Court and the state Courts of Appeal that have been certified or ordered published are available shortly after filing. Slip opinions are the "as filed" opinions of the court that have not been enhanced and edited for publication in the California Official Reports.

Opinions generally will be deleted from the web page after 60 days.

Legal services grants

Competitive grant funds to provide civil legal services to eligible clients in 1998 are available from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

The amount of funds and the date and terms of their availability are not yet known.

Request for Proposals (RFP) are now available from LSC by calling 202/336-8900. A notice of intent to compete is due July 1, and grant proposals must be received by LSC by July 21.