California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - APRIL 1999
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

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Front Page - April 1999
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News
Legal specialist exam set Aug. 19
Sullivan to take reins at Stanford Law School
Only two appointed members remaining on State Bar board
Legal services board has five vacancies
Davis taps Michael Kahn
State Bar honors Justice Mosk with Witkin Medal
Board tentatively approves budget based on dues of $384
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Opinion
If it distracts, so be it
Let's cut back on jury service
Limit bar to admissions and discipline
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From the President - Door to justice must be open
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Letters to the Editor
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Law Practice - Preparing for a successful mediation
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Appointments - Apply to serve on a bar committee
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Legal Tech - DSL speeds up Internet - at a reasonable price
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New Products & Services
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MCLE Self-Study
Taxes and long-term care
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Trials Digest
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Discipline
Ethics Byte - Fiduciary duties basis for all rules
Attorney nabbed at State Bar offices for soliciting murders
Attorney Discipline
Ethics for the 21st Century - A canon for the future
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Public Comment
Bar court
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amount of money," Drexel said. "We felt with this reorganization we could provide the same level of service with 30 percent less employees."

Drexel said the court is presently staffed with 24 of the 37 employees it expects to have by the end of the year. The eight judges, who shared that salaries of three for six months, also received their back pay last month.

Court Chief Scott DrexelWhen the court last faced a large backlog in 1992, it had 93 employees and used pro tem judges as well.

Normally, between 700 and 800 cases are pending in the hearing department, and another 60 are before review judges. About 200 cases currently are abated.

The court tries to dispose of 90 percent of its cases within a year, but about 30 percent now have been in the pipeline for longer than 12 months.

Presiding Judge James ObrienBar prosecutors were expected to reactivate abated matters and file new cases early this month.

To help expedite some of those proceedings, the bar's board of governors last month revised court rules governing attorneys who default in disciplinary proceedings. The board had taken a series of steps in February to expedite some matters, but had deferred acting on the default matters.

Two new rules and amendments to two other rules will enable the State Bar Court to take action against attorneys who default by eliminating the need for probation revocation proceedings.

Attorneys who receive an actual suspension in a default matter must now file a motion to terminate the actual suspension and agree to comply with probation conditions imposed by the court.

Defense counsel for disciplined attorneys agreed to the change, subject to possible amendment if needed.