California Bar Journal
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Bar fee statements mailed to members

Fee statements for State Bar members were mailed last month and are due Feb. 1. Dues for most active attorneys will be $395. Attorneys who paid voluntary dues for 1998 and/or 1999 may apply those amounts to the 2000 fee, seek a refund or donate the voluntary fee to the general fund. Detailed instructions on how to do so will be included in the bill, but anyone seeking a credit or refund must indicate that on the fee statement.

Attorneys may also take a $5 "lobbying deduction" if they disagree with some portion of the bar's lobbying efforts.

For the first time, legislation authorizing bar dues includes a reduction for attorneys based on annual earnings. Lawyers who make less than $25,000 per year will be eligible for a 50 percent reduction in dues, and those earning less than $40,000 may receive a 25 percent break.

Dues are no longer based on an attorney's years in practice.

Deadline for payment of dues is Feb. 1, 2000.

Any attorney who did not receive a dues bill should contact the bar's membership office at 415/538-2360.

Volunteers sought for two legal services boards

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors of either Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) or California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) are encouraged to submit an application by Feb. 14.

One three-year position is open on the 36-member LSNC board, which meets five times annually in Sacramento. A non-profit program funded by the Legal Services Corporation, LSNC provides free quality legal services in civil matters to low-income people in 23 northern California counties.

Applicants must practice in Sacramento County.

The CRLA board has three two-year positions open. The 45-member board meets four times a year to make policy decisions governing the operations of the program, which provides legal assistance to the rural poor.

Interested applicants for both boards should submit a resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background with a letter outlining the reasons they are seeking appointment.

Applications should be submitted to Denise Teraoka, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105; 415/538-2545.

Law corporations must file certificate changes

Attorneys wishing to practice as a law corporation in California must have on file with the State Bar a current Certificate of Registration as a Law Corporation. The application, rules and an explanation of the requirements can be found by clicking on "Office of Certification" on the bar's website,, or by calling 415/538-2100.

In addition, an attorney's change of address with the State Bar does not automatically change the address of the law corporation in which the attorney is a shareholder.

Corporations may report an address change by faxing the request to the office of certification at 415/538-2180, attn: Sam Baird, or by completing a "special report form" found at the website.

Litigation section offers week in legal London

The State Bar litigation section will team with the Royal Courts of Justice of England and Wales to present its biannual week in legal London program May 21-26.

Participants will earn MCLE credit and attend sessions and seminars at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Old Bailey and other English courts as well as meet with other lawyers and dine at exclusive historic locations such as the Inns of Court.

Lodging will be at the Howard Hotel, located near the Royal Courts of Justice and adjacent to the Temple Gardens.

For further information, contact the litigation section at 415/538-2546.

Family law section offers MCLE by teleseminar

The State Bar's family law section will offer one hour of MCLE credit through a teleseminar Dec. 7. The course will feature a quick summary of bills related to family law practice which were recently passed by the legislature as well as pending legislation.

The teleseminar allows participants to enjoy the convenience of an MCLE program by telephone from any location.

Registration is $25 up to 24 hours before the start of the program and $35 the day of the seminar. For information, call 415/538-2238.

Judicial Administration Fellowships offered

Applications for the State of California Judicial Administra-tion Fellowship program are due Feb. 4, 2000. The fellowships last 11 months, beginning in the fall of 2000 and ending in September 2001.

Co-sponsored by the Judicial Council and California State University at Sacramento, the program selects fellows from a nationwide pool of individuals with particular interest in public policy and especially the judicial branch of government.

Information and application forms are available from The Center for California Studies, California State University at Sacramento, 6000 J St., Sacramento CA 95819-6081, 916/278-6906, e-mail

Applications also are available from the Administrative Office of the Courts, Human Resources Bureau, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco CA 94102-3660, 415/865-4285.

Public law section offers online library

In order to facilitate low-cost internet research, the State Bar's public law section has created an online library of public law links for traditionally disadvantaged communities.

The library and the section's web site, which contains information on legislative monitoring and excerpts from the Public Law journal, can be accessed from the bar's web page at

The library was created by Jeremy March and Mark Boehme, members of the section's executive committee, with the help of a grant from the Foundation of the State Bar.

The public law section, founded in 1976, provides a voice in the mainstream bar for local, state and federal government lawyers, as well as private lawyers specializing in public law practice areas such as land use, condemnation and administrative law.

State Supreme Court expands website

The California Supreme Court now posts online the results of its weekly Wednesday conferences, when it decides which cases to accept or reject.

The address is

The website, which began in 1996, already includes the court's opinions and other court-related information.

The results of the Wednesday conferences will be posted the following day.

Competence services revived

The State Bar's competence operation, partially funded by a special discipline assessment charged to lawyers this year, is slowly coming back to life online.

The Office of Professional Competence, which includes the widely used ethics hotline, offers guidance to lawyers on the nuts and bolts, and the pitfalls, of the practice of law.

Publication 250, containing all statutory provisions relating to lawyers, will be fully updated this month on the bar's website - "Pub 250" contains the Rules of Professional Conduct, the State Bar Act portion of the California Business and Professions Code, and a selection of other statutory provisions and rules of court related to the practice of law.

Included in the new update are new rule of professional conduct 1-710, addressing attorney conduct while acting as a judge pro tem or court-appointed arbitrator, and a new rule of court which details the bar's administration of a procedure for permitting out-of-state attorneys to represent clients in arbitration matters.

Two recent ethics opinions will be added to the 43 opinions already online, and 70 opinions issued prior to 1988 also will be available on the website in December.

Three proposed ethics opinions are expected to be circulated for public comment shortly, and they also will be online.

It also is exploring the development of a fully linked and interactive ethics research area, which might eventually include an online version of the bar's client trust account handbook, and links between ethics rules and the opinions of the bar's ethics committee.