Appointees sought for JNE Commission

Applications for appointment to the 1998 Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) Commission are available. Active California attorneys, former members of the judiciary and members of the public are eligible for appointment by the State Bar Board of Governors. The JNE Commission evaluates all candidates under consideration for judicial appointment by the governor. It does not nominate or appoint judges, but investigates candidates for judicial appointment while maintaining a code of strict confidentiality.

The attorney members serving on the commission shall be active members of the State Bar in good standing. Particular consideration will be given to attorney applicants who have substantial litigation, trial and/or appellate experience. The commission membership also may include one or more former members of the judiciary, with preference for those with appellate backgrounds.

New commissioners must be available to attend a two-day orientation meeting in January 1998 and must be able to commit at least 35-40 hours each month, or approximately 55 working days per year. This time commitment includes 20-24 meeting days and 20-35 days to complete assignments.

The commission's meetings generally are monthly, lasting one or two days (Friday and Saturday) and alternate between San Francisco and Los Angeles. At least one meeting in the spring will be three days.

Interested individuals may request an application from the Appointments Office, State Bar of California, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102-4498; 415/5618855 or 213/765-1585.

Commissioners serve terms of approximately one year and may serve up to three consecutive terms. The terms of the 1998 JNE Commission will beginning Jan. 1.

The application deadline is Oct. 17.

Three new members named to Judicial Council

Chief Justice Ronald M. George appointed three new members to the Judicial Council of California for three-year terms beginning this month.

The new members are:

George also reappointed Nori Anne Walla of the Los Angeles Municipal Court as a non-voting advisory member to the council.

The 21-member Judicial Council acts on major policy issues affecting the operation of California's courts.

Board makes rule changes in mandatory fee arb

The bar board of governors voted to amend the guidelines, minimum standards and forms for mandatory fee arbitration.

The revisions, which reflect changes in the law, enable the bar to enforce mediated agreements which refund fees and/or costs to a client.

The rule changes require attorneys to notify clients of the right to arbitrate through the Mandatory Fee Arbitration program before initiating arbitration through another forum, and parties will have the right to disqualify a mediator as well as an arbitrator upon request.

Changes to MCLE rules in effect Sept. 1

On Sept. 1, four changes to the MCLE rules took effect, affecting both providers and members. The rule changes are generally "housekeeping" in nature and the result of Office of Certification administrative practices. They are:

For more information and a complete set of the new rules, contact the State Bar Office of Certification, 415/241-2100.

New e-mail address for Court of Appeal

Members of the public can now contact four state appellate courts by either e-mail or web site.

The Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District has established an e-mail address: first__district@jud.

ca.gov. The address is offered as a means of transmitting messages only and not as an alternative to accepted filing procedures.

The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One (San Diego), has created a web site which includes recent published opinions, the current month's oral argument calendar, local rules, internal operating practices, and court forms. The web site is www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courtsofappeal/4thDistrictDiv1/.

The Third District (Sacramento) also has a web site: www.courtin fo.ca.gov/courtsofappeal/3rdDistrict/index.htm.

The California Supreme Court's web site is www.courtinfo.ca.gov/ supremecourt/.

'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.

California Law Advocates has produced a related brochure targeted for children who reach the age of 18. Now in its fourth printing, "When You Become 18" is considered a survival guide for teenagers.

Available through many school districts, it includes chapters on voting, jury duty, marriage, divorce, child support, date rape, establishing credit and other topics 18-year-olds should know about.

A Spanish version of the booklet will be available in the fall.

For information about "When You Become 18," contact Margaret Hampton at 818/346-9538 or a CLA chapter in your area.

Experienced lawyers needed as mentors

The Solo and Small Firm Practice Section is seeking experienced attorneys to act as mentors for new and/or inexperienced lawyers in specific fields of law. The mentor is asked to provide a free, half hour consultation to the requesting attorney.

Interested attorneys should send a resume and areas of specialty to the Solo and Small Firm Practice Section at 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102; 415/561-8350.

A mentor directory will be published later this year.