California Bar Journal
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52.5 percent pass exam

Just over half the applicants for the July bar exam passed, a drop of more than 10 percent from the July 1997 exam. The Committee of Bar Examiners announced that 52.5 percent of the applicants were successful - 3,980 of the 7,580 who took the exam. Those who passed were eligible to be sworn in last month if they satisfied all other requirements for admission.

Bar officials reported that 70.8 percent of those taking the exam for the first time passed. In addition to prospective lawyers, 281 attorneys took the attorneys' exam, and 131 (46.6 percent) passed. That percentage dropped from the 65.7 percent who passed the July 1997 exam.

Bar sets midyear meeting

The State Bar will hold a midyear meeting in March for bar leaders from throughout the state. Topics are expected to include the state of the State Bar, developing successful MCLE programs, appointments to the bench, and readiness for Y2K.

The meeting, which will be held March 26-27 at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, is sponsored by the board of governors committee on communications, legislation and public policy. It is open to all bar leaders.

Comment sought on changes to Code of Judicial Ethics

The California Supreme Court extended its deadline for comment on proposed changes to two canons of the Code of Judicial Ethics. The new deadline is Jan. 15.

Proposed amendments to Canon 3D(3) would expand the charges and crimes that must be reported under the canon, requiring judges to self-report specified offenses involving violence or the use of drugs or alcohol. The changes were developed by the court in response to a request from the Commission on Judicial Performance.

Proposed amendments to Canon 6D would ensure that fundamental ethical principles relating to judicial service apply to temporary judges, court-appointed arbitrators and referees.

Comments should be sent to Robert F. Wandruff, clerk/administrator, 303 Second St., South Tower, 8th floor, San Francisco CA 94107.

Free substance abuse program still alive

Attorneys suffering from stress or substance abuse problems may seek free, confidential advice from the State Bar's Lawyers Personal Assistance Program.

Although its funding has been reduced, LPAP continues to take calls from bar members at its toll-free number - 1-800/341-0572.

The program is run by the Center for Human Resources and The Other Bar, both devoted to helping lawyers whose practice or lives are affected by personal problems.

It has been shown to be effective not only in helping attorneys deal with serious problems, but also as a deterrent to winding up in the bar's discipline system.

Sixth District appellate court added to web site

With the addition of the sixth district, all state appellate courts are now on the California courts web site at The web site features same-day opinions of the California Supreme Court and state appeals courts, the full text of the Rules of Court, and a complete set of Judicial Council court forms, available in Adobe Acrobat format.

Some ethics information is available online

Publication 250, a compilation of professional rules governing attorneys, is available online at the bar's web site:

It includes the Rules of Professional Conduct, the State Bar Act, related statutes regarding the duties of attorneys and related rules of court.

Although the California Compendium on Professional Responsibility, an ethics research guide, is not available on-line, formal opinions of the bar's Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) published since 1988 are available.

The cost of the Compendium is $157.33 per copy (includes shipping and handling), and annual updates cost $40. Limited numbers of the 1997 Publication 250 are available for $10 and the 1998 update is available for $4 by mail.

Checks made payable to the State Bar of California may be sent to: State Bar, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105.

The client trust account handbook, a guide to the regulations governing such trust accounts, also is available for $10. A request and check should be sent to the State Bar, Attn: Handbook on Client Trust Accounting for California Lawyers, 555 Franklin St., San Francisco 94102.