Apply for appointment to bar committees

Applications for appointment to State Bar committees in 1998-99 are available. (The appointment application and information about vacancies appears on pages 11-12 of this issue.)

Attorneys interested in volunteering to serve on a bar committee may request an application for a 1998 appointment from the Appointments Office, State Bar of California, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102-4498; 415/561-8855 or 213/765-1585.

The deadline to apply for appointment is March 2, 1998.

Two legal services boards seek members

The State Bar is seeking attorneys to serve on the governing boards of two programs that provide legal services to the poor.

One position is open on the board of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) and there are three openings on the Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) board.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 23.

LAFLA provides direct legal services to low-income individuals in Los Angeles County. Its 33-member governing board meets at least four times a year.

LSNC provides free legal services in civil matters to low income individuals in 18 northern California counties. Its 31-member board meets six times a year in Sacramento. Applicants for the board must live in Shasta, Trinity, Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen, Butte, Plumas, Tehama, Glenn or Sacramento county.

Interested applicants should submit a letter listing reasons which support their appointment and a resume of work experience, community activity and educational background. Applications should be sent to Susan Mattox, Office of Legal Services, State Bar of California, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102; 415/561-8243.

Applications will be reviewed initially by the boards of the two agencies.

 Disaster planning manual available from State Bar

Already in the throes of El Niño-induced winter storms, California may face weather-related disasters this winter. In the past, when floods, earthquakes or other disasters have occurred, attorneys have generously volunteered their help.

Now the State Bar has prepared a comprehensive 300-page training manual entitled the California Handbook for Disaster Legal Services. The new volume is geared for local bar associations which are seeking to create their own disaster response plan.

Topics include disaster-related housing assistance programs, Small Business Administration loans, unemployment assistance, food stamps and other public assistance programs for disaster victims.

A wide range of experts and emergency services personnel contributed to the handbook, which was published with funds from the Foundation of the State Bar.

Bar associations, legal services and pro bono programs, and State Bar-certified lawyer referral services may each obtain one free copy of the manual (until the supply runs out). Others may purchase the handbook for $20; checks should be made payable to the State Bar of California and sent to Mary Holomon-Thomas, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94012.

Further information about the manual is available from Sharon Ngim, 1-800/628-4858 or 415/561-8267.


Emeritus attorney program seeks volunteers

The State Bar’s emeritus attorney pro bono participation program offers retired attorneys the opportunity to contribute their valuable legal skills to assist low-income Californians. The bar waives the active membership fees of emeritus attorneys who volunteer through qualified legal services programs.

Attorneys may vary their level of involvement and do not need to have expertise in poverty law. Emeritus attorneys receive training, access to MCLE programs and malpractice insurance coverage through their local programs.

To be eligible, an attorney must be a member in good standing with the State Bar, have practiced law or served as a judge in California at least three of the last eight years, and have been admitted to practice law at least 10 years.

Further information is available from Eve Hershcopf in the bar’s office of legal services at 415/561-8213 or 1-800/628-4858.


Next board meeting

The State Bar Board of Governors will hold its next regular meeting Feb. 6-7 at its Los Angeles office at 1149 South Hill St. Committee meetings will be held Friday, Feb. 6, and the full board will meet Saturday at 9 a.m.

An agenda will be available from the secretary, 415/561-8200, or online at www.calbar.org.


Available for members

Members of the State Bar are eligible for membership in the Courts and Records Federal Credit Union, which offers loans, savings plans, interest-bearing checking accounts and traveler’s checks. Call 213/808-1200 for more information.


Your dues are due

California’s active attorneys are required to pay a $77 State Bar membership fee by Feb. 1. The mandatory fee for inactive lawyers is $50, also due Feb. 1.

As a result of Gov. Pete Wilson’s veto of the bar’s fee bill, the bar has asked all California lawyers to pay the remainder of their annual dues voluntarily. Active lawyers are asked to pay $458, those in practice one to three years are asked for $390, and those in practice less than one year are asked for $359.

Those amounts would have been required had Wilson signed the fee bill approved by the legislature.

Cyberspace journal on law and film

Two San Francisco lawyers have recently launched into cyberspace a new journal focused on the images of law, lawyers and justice in film and on television. Called “Picturing Justice,” it can be found on the Internet at www.usfca.edu/pj.

Editors John Denvir, who teaches at USF Law School, and Rob Waring, who works at the State Bar Office of Research, are both lawyers, but claim that their target audience includes lay people as well as lawyers.

“We see film as a locus where lawyers and non-lawyers can meet to discuss issues about justice which are important to each,” says Denvir. “Films raise important issues about law and justice in our society and raise them in a way which includes everyone. There’s something intrinsically democratic in discussions about movies. Everyone’s got an opinion, and that’s a good thing.”


Foundation corporate sponsors offer discounts

Discounts offered by corporate sponsors of the Foundation of the State Bar are available to California attorneys.

Discount programs apply to such services as overnight express mail, legal publishing, credit cards, home loans and magazine subscriptions.

Call 415/561-8805 for more information.