Transitional annual meeting to be held

To avoid paying more than $420,000 in cancellation fees, the State Bar will hold its 1998 annual meeting the weekend of Oct. 1-4 in Monterey. The Conference of Delegates will separately conduct its annual gathering during the same weekend. The entire event is planned to be self-supporting, with no funds coming from membership dues.

Information about the meeting is available from the bar's Office of Meeting Services, 415/561-8210.

Legal services grants deadline July 22

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is offering competitive grant funds to provide civil legal services to eligible clients during calendar year 1999. In accordance with LSC's multi-year funding policy, the solicitation of proposals will be only for specified service areas. The amount of funds and the date and terms of their availability are not yet known.

Request for Proposals (RFP) may be obtained by calling LSC at 202/336-8900.

The Notice of Intent to Compete is due July 1 and grant proposals must be received at LSC by July 22.

Ex-board member named to Judicial Council

Michael W. Case, a Ventura attorney and former member of the State Bar board of governors, was selected to serve a two-year term on California's Judicial Council. The appointment was made by the board of governors.

Case's term will begin Sept. 15.

The board also reappointed Sheldon Sloan of Los Angeles to another term on the council.

Five seats open on board; decision on election due

Although the status of the annual election of members of the State Bar's board of governors is uncertain, five seats are open.

Due to the bar's uncertain financial status, it has not yet contracted with a firm which prints, mails and counts the ballots. The board was expected to decide by mid-July whether to proceed with the election as usual.

The terms of governors who represent five bar districts are due to expire at the annual meeting in the fall. The districts are: District 2 (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, Tuolumne and Yolo counties); District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties); District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties) and District 7 (Los Angeles County, offices 1 and 2).

Nearly 30 attorneys have taken out nominating petitions. The original schedule called for ballots to be mailed July 24. The last voting day was to be Aug. 25.

Any active member of the bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law within any of the districts listed above is eligible to run for a seat on the board.

Judicial Branch web site adds to its database

As a service to the bench, bar and public, the California Rules of Court and new Judicial Council forms are now posted on the Judicial Branch web site. The Rules of Court can be found at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules, and the Judicial Council forms, which can be downloaded but not filled out online, are at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms.

The Judicial Branch web site also features a variety of information about the California court system, including Judicial Council publications, the Supreme Court's calendars and procedures, and full texts of "slip opinions" of the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal that have been certified or ordered published.

Assistance provided for court unification

Following passage of a constitutional amendment permitting superior and municipal courts to merge in each California county, the Administrative Office of the Courts is providing assistance to courts to enable them to respond to the measure.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 4, which appeared on the June ballot as Proposition 220, permits judges within each county to create a single superior court if a majority of both the county's superior and municipal judges so vote or if all the judges give written consent.

The measure passed with 64 percent of the vote.

The AOC set up a toll-free telephone hotline for the courts to provide them with information about implementing Prop 220. It also has sent written materials about the measure to judges and court administrators throughout the state.

By mid-June, judges in 18 counties formally reported that they voted to unify their superior and municipal courts into a single superior court. The counties are Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Imperial, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Napa, Plumas, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Ventura and Yolo.

Judicial Council takes actions on courts

The Judicial Council of California has taken a variety of actions in recent months affecting issues as diverse as making telephonic court appearances to trial court coordination in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Among the changes:

The text of rules and standards changes is available on the judicial branch web site at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules.