UPDATE
BAR WILL ASSESS $77 FEE,
ASK MEMBERS TO PAY THE
REMAINDER VOLUNTARILY

By Kathleen O. Beitiks
Staff Writer

... CONTINUED FROM FRONTPAGE

Attorneys who have been active members of the bar for three or more years are asked to pay $458, which includes the $77 mandated fee and $381 in voluntary dues.

Those active for one to three years are being asked to pay $390, which includes the $77 mandated fee and $313 in voluntary dues.

Those active less than one year are being asked to pay $359, which includes the mandated fee of $77 and $282 in voluntary dues.

Inactive members are required to pay $50: $40 for discipline and $10 for the building fund. Because they do not currently practice law, inactive members are not required to contribute to the client security fund.

The bar asked for voluntary dues previously in 1985 when the legislature failed to pass a fee bill before the close of the session.

David Heilbron, a San Francisco attorney and bar president during this period, appealed to his fellow bar members to send in their dues anyway. About 60 percent complied, according to T. William Melis, the barís chief financial officer.

Melis said bar officials are uncomfortable speculating how many attorneys will send in voluntary dues this time. He did indicate that figures from the 1996 plebiscite might provide some basis for prediction.

In July 1996, 60,885 (51 percent) of the 119,327 eligible active lawyers cast ballots on the question of whether the State Bar should be abolished.

Of that total, 35 percent (21,589) voted to abolish the mandatory bar, and 65 percent (39,296) voted against abolition.

The plebiscite, which cost the bar more than $200,000, was initiated by State Sen. Quentin Kopp, I-San Francisco, a longtime foe of the bar who introduced a bill calling for the advisory vote.

After the plebiscite, then-State Bar President Jim Towery was successful in reducing fees by $20 a year.

For more information about membership fees, call 415/561-8360.

[CALBAR JOURNAL]