|The State Bar Board of Governors was expected last month to suspend as
many as 5,200 attorneys - the highest number ever - for failing to pay their bar dues.
Cotant, manager of member services and information, said because the bar did not suspend
any lawyers last year for failure to pay dues, the number includes two years of
With the large number of layoffs following Gov. Wilson's veto of the bar's dues bill,
her staff is no longer able to track down lawyers who may have moved and have not received
Cotant said her staff typically has gone to great lengths to find attorneys who have
not paid their fees, including contacting alumni associations and the rental offices of
buildings attorneys list as their work address.
When an attorney moves, he or she is required to notify the bar of a change of address
within 30 days. "Sometimes they neglect to notify us," Cotant said. "We
think we may be suspending people who don't realize they are going to be suspended."
Cotant hopes friends will tell friends who might be in this predicament. Any attorney
who has not paid this year's (and/or last year's) fees should call Cotant's office at
415/538-2360 and a statement will be mailed immediately.
The vast majority of attorneys who are in arrears owe this year's $250 fee plus a 50
percent penalty of $125, for a total of $375.
A suspension for non-payment of dues goes on an attorney's permanent record. It appears
if a lawyer requires a certificate of standing, although it does not appear as a
Attorneys wishing to pay their fees can mail them to the bar's member services office
at 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105, or can bring a check to either that office or the
bar's Los Angeles office at 1149 S. Hill St.