California Bar Journal
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Communication - We need your help
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In this new State Bar year, we have one overriding goal: to reach out to our members, listen to them and respond to their concerns. With our appointment by the president to lead the Communications & Member Relations committee, Jim Otto and I, co-chairs of the committee, are committed to listening to our members and working to achieve common goals.

James R. GreinerAs longtime members of the bar, Mr. Otto, a partner in the Los Angeles firm of Kroll, Rubin & Fiorella, and myself, a sole practitioner from Sacramento, understand the concerns of our fellow members. Jim and I share a common theme, which is to reach out to the members of the bar and to listen and communicate more efficiently with them.

James D. OttoThe Committee on Communications & Member Relations is designed to focus on the following areas of the State Bar:

Communications through the California Bar Journal;

The access to the profession committees (which include the Ethnic Minorities Relations Committee, Committe on Women in the Law, Committee on Legal Professionals with Disabilities and Committee on Sexual Orientation Discrimination);

California Young Lawyers Association;

Commission to Study MCLE;

Outreach to members;

Competence/Ethics Hotline; and

Midyear Meeting 2000.

When we ran for the board of governors in 1998, both Jim and I were concerned with the level of efficient communications between:

The State Bar and its members;

The State Bar and the public;

The State Bar and the elected officials in Sacramento;

The State Bar and the courts.

Communication is a vital lifeline in any organization. It becomes more significant when that organization, our State Bar, leads the nation in the practice of law. Our diverse membership provides our strength to meet the ever-changing environment we face as lawyers.

Jim and I will use our strengths to succeed in building better and stronger lines of communication and relations with all of our members as well as all others who come in contact with the State Bar. Our dedication requires your participation.

Some of our ideas for the coming year may look ambitious. However, they are built on simple principles. Jim and I are dedicated to the idea of using every efficient manner of communication to inform our members what the State Bar is doing.

This includes the Internet, radio, television, print publications, forums and telephones. We are committed to actively reaching out statewide into the local legal communities. Local legal forums, held alone or in conjunction with local luncheons or meetings, provide an excellent vehicle to enhance our avenues of communication.

We are committed to working statewide with radio, television and newspapers in order to further enhance our level of communication and better our relations with the public, the elected officials in Sacramento and the courts.

Jim and I are mindful that our communication extends to this broader base of individuals. It is from listening to all points of view that we intend to improve what the State Bar does for all of us, both on a daily basis, but also far beyond.

Collectively, as a State Bar, we are the guardians of the legal system. With that responsibility comes the duty to be active in educating ourselves, as well as others, about whom we are and what we do as a State Bar.

We know we cannot do it alone. To improve the profession’s standing with the public, to improve our level of communication with elected officials and the courts, we need your help.

Please give us your help by actively participating in the process.

You can reach Jay Greiner by e-mail at