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
Board tentatively approves budget based on dues of $384
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The State Bar Board of Governors last month approved a tentative budget for the year 2000 which would require annual dues of $384 per active member.

The proposed general fund, supported mostly by member dues, would total $49.5 million in 2000. However, the budget is preliminary and subject to change.

The general fund does not include self-funded programs: admissions, sections, legal specialization, and the legal services trust fund.

The bar has not been fully funded since the end of 1997, when former Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed the dues bill for 1998. Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, and two bar critics have introduced spot bills on the bar this session, but none contains a dues amount or other specifics.

Dues of $384 represent a significant reduction from the $458 in the bill Wilson vetoed, but are higher than the $295 he supported last year.

The board also approved spending $502,000 this year on discretionary activities, including beefing up the general counsel's office, communications and research.

The general counsel will get about $77,500 to work on its defense of Brosterhous v. State Bar and other civil litigation and transactional matters. The Brosterhous case challenges the bar's "Hudson deduction" check-off on dues statements for certain lobbying activities. It is set for trial in Sacramento May 10.

About $120,000 of the money will be used for program development, which includes such activities as working with volunteers, technical assistance for pro bono programs, and staffing the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA).

The board chose not to spend $90,000 to search for a replacement for executive director Steven A. Nissen, who resigned to take a job in Gov. Gray Davis' administration. Instead, it approved seeking bids from executive search firms.