California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA — AUGUST 2001
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

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Front Page - August 2001
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News / News Briefs
MCLE deadline for Group 3 (last names N-Z) is Feb. 1
Judicial Council launches online self-help center
California lawyers honored for work for homeless, minorities and children
Coy about her future, Reno focuses on women's issues
No bias found against solos
Governor signs two-year fee bill
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Ethics update...
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Trials Digest
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Opinion
From the President - Bar targets unauthorized practice
Microsoft ruling: Foundation to settle
MJP is more than alphabet soup
Letters to the Editor
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Legal Tech - A look back at six years of technology news
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You Need to Know
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MCLE Self-Study
A word from our sponsors
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Discipline
Ethics Byte - Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how
Recovering alcoholic may get to recover his license
Attorney Discipline
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Public Comment
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LexisNexis

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Supreme Court wraps up a memorable year
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By ERWIN CHEMERINKSY
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The Supreme Court's recently completed term undoubtedly will be remembered most for its decision on Dec. 12, 2000, in Bush v. Gore. For the first time in American history, the Supreme Court decided the outcome of a presidential election. Beyond Bush v. Gore, it was a term that lacked major blockbuster constitutional law decisions, but did significantly change the law in some key rulings concerning federal civil rights statutes. Several themes can be identified for October Term 2000, which began Oct. 2, and ended June 28, 2001.

Ken-Connor court

This is the Ken-Connor Court, with Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor controlling the outcome of most cases. The current Supreme Court can be best understood as having three factions: a conservative block of Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas; a moderate block of Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and the "swing" Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy.  There are no liberal justices in the mold of a William Douglas or William Brennan or Thurgood Marshall.  More often than not, Justices O'Connor and Kennedy vote with the three conservatives and thus 5-4 decisions most commonly have a majority of Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas. This, of course, was the line-up in Bush v. Gore. 

Also, it is the split in all of the court's federalism decisions in the last few years, which limit federal power and expand state sovereign immunity. This term, for example, in University of Alabama at Birmingham Board of Trustees v. Garrett, 121 S.Ct. 955 (2001), the court held, 5-4, that state governments may not be sued for employment discrimination in violation of section one of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

See THE U.S. SUPREME


Panel suggests changing rules to permit MDP
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By SHARON LERMAN
Staff Writer
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A new report by a State Bar task force recommends that California attorneys be allowed to partner with other professionals, using a model that would relax old rules prohibiting fee-sharing and alliances between lawyers and the rest of the business world.

The panel spent more than a year considering five models created by an American Bar Association task force, choosing a comprehensive approach to multidisciplinary practice

See MDP


State Bar and PLF spar over $2 million for Brosterhous fee
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By NANCY McCARTHY
Staff Writer
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The State Bar argued last month that a public interest law firm is not entitled to the more than $2 million it is seeking in legal fees for a case that resulted in a $10 award to a handful of bar members.

See BROSTERHOUS


Disneyland welcomes the Annual Meeting
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Shortly after David Baldacci's best-selling first book hit the newsstands in 1995, the attorney- turned-author of the great American novel quit his day job. And despite - or maybe because of - the many manuscripts lawyers thrust on him at speaking engagements, Baldacci says he doesn't recommend his former colleagues follow suit. "People say there are so many lawyers out there using their experience to write bestsellers," Baldacci said recently from his home in Virginia. "Let's actually look at the numbers here. You can count maybe six ... after that it's hard to name some more."

On Sept. 7, the former Washington, D.C., civil litigator and corporate lawyer will address attendees of the

See ANNUAL MEETING