California Bar Journal
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1999 fee bill
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wants to preserve the bar as an integrated body, retain self-governance by an elected board made up mostly of attorneys, and keep the educational sections and the conference of delegates, although there needs to be serious discussions whether they ultimately must be self-supporting.

Other programs under review which could no longer be funded by mandatory dues include certifications such as LLPs, law corporations and pro hac vice. The bar's legal specialist program and IOLTA have never been funded by mandatory dues.

Marshall also favors continuation of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), no changes to the IOLTA statute, and no changes in the bar's entitlement to lobby on appropriate issues, which was a key issue among legislators unhappy with what they said were its liberal positions.

"No other regulatory agency has statutory restrictions on its lobbying activities," Marshall wrote in his proposal to the board. "Restrictions on the bar would establish a new paradigm for restricting other agencies."

The bar president said he is unwilling to give up "our core values," but he also does not want to wind up with a bill at any cost. "We have to be responsible and fix the problems," he said. At the same time, "I do not want it to be said the bar failed because we were playing politics."

Although the board voted to keep the conference of delegates and the sections within a mandatory bar at its December meeting, some members want to see budget figures before approving a $395 fee proposal.

"I really have no unhappiness with the $395," said David Roth of Oakland, "but we need to have budget projections in front of us before we approve any particular amount. I do think that the board needs to consider the comments and criticisms that have been made, both by the bar's friends and by the bar's critics, and come up with a proposal that will have (their) support and can garner bipartisan support in the legislature.

"I believe that is a difficult but achievable goal," he said.

Bar lobbyist Larry Doyle also cautioned against over-optimism. He believes legislators will demand a programmatic budget before approving a bill, and he thinks Republicans will ask for concessions as they did last year. "I'm not sure a Democratic majority means a lot of supporters of the State Bar," Doyle said.