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Five seats open on bar and CYLA boards

April 1 is the last day to file nominating petitions for five open seats on both the State Bar Board of Governors and the California Young Lawyers Association. Open seats on both boards are in the following districts:

  • District 1 —Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties;

  • District 3 — Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties;

  • District 5 — Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tulare counties;

  • District 7 — Los Angeles; and

  • District 9 — Imperial and San Diego counties.

Any attorney who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law in one of those counties is eligible to run for office. The bar board has 23 members and the CYLA board has 17. The term of office for both boards is three years and winners will take their seats at the bar's Annual Meeting, to be held Sept. 4-7.

Ballots will be mailed April 30 and voting continues through June 30.

Nominating petitions are available from the bar's Web site. Additional information is available by contacting Biljanna Sivanov at 415-538-2274.

Audits of MCLE compliance

Members of MCLE compliance group 2 (last names H-M) may be audited for their compliance with the requirements. Under bar rules, the audits, which will be random, must occur within a year of submission of a compliance card.

Documentation of 12.5 participatory credits must be in the form of certificates of attendance, and proof of 12.5 hours of self-study credit may be in the form of a personal log. Those who are exempt must present a letter from an employer.

Compliance cards are submitted under penalty of perjury.

Members of compliance group 2 should have completed their hours and submitted a compliance card by Feb. 1. Those who missed the deadline have until March 17 to comply; after that date, a $75 penalty will be assessed.

Attorneys who do not complete the MCLE requirement face the possibility of being placed on inactive enrollment. About 1 percent of the state's attorneys do not fulfill their MCLE obligation.

Group 2 attorneys who have not complied and have lost their compliance card may download a new card from the bar's Web site. Questions about compliance may be sent to

New prices for consumer information pamphlets

New prices are in effect for the State Bar's consumer information pamphlets.
The first of each pamphlet is free to anyone who sends a self-addressed stamped envelope for each pamphlet desired. The pamphlets can also be ordered in bulk. Law firms and other for-profit service providers may order all titles for 50-cents each or $40 per 100 of any title. Legal services providers who serve low-income and indigent people may order up to 200 per title every six months for free. Other non-profit organizations may order pamphlets for 50 cents each, or $20 for 100 of a particular title.

A complete list of available publications is at the bar's Web site,

Fee arb trainings set for March 13 and 24

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at two training programs sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free trainings are scheduled for March 13 in Bakersfield and March 24 in Ven-tura. Both offer two hours of MCLE credit, including an hour of legal ethics.

The Kern County session will be held at the Bakersfield Raquet Club, 1660 Pine St. The Ventura training will be at the county bar association, 4475 Market St., Suite B.

Both are open to fee arbitrators from the local counties and all State Bar fee arbitrators. Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding.

To reserve a space in Bakersfield, contact Wendy Ash at 661-334-4700. For a reservation in Ventura, call Charlene Andrews at 805-650-7599. For additional information, call Jill Sperber at 415-538-2023.

Law student essay contest

The State Bar Committee on Women in the Law invites California law students and recent graduates to participate in the 2003 essay scholarship contest. The topic question is: "Are there issues or considerations of special relevance to women law students that those who recruit and hire lawyers should be aware of?"

First prize is a cash award of $1,000 and publication of the essay in a legal publication. Second prize is $500 and third prize is $250. The deadline for submission of essays is April 15.

Additional information on guidelines and eligibility is available on the bar's Web site or by contacting Kate O'Connor at 415-538-2141.

Nominations sought for five ABA awards

Three American Bar Association entities are seeking nominations for awards honoring an individual who has made a positive impact on the justice system, another recognizing projects that enhance professionalism, and three for lawyers in the public sector.
The ABA Justice Center will award the 2003 John Marshall Award to an individual responsible for extraordinary improvement to the administration of justice, and nominees may be non-lawyers.

Nominations should include a resume or biographical sketch, description of the contribution or impact, a maximum of five letters of support, name of the nominator and any other pertinent information. The deadline for nominations is March 14.

Nominations should be sent to the ABA Justice Center, John Marshall Award, 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Chicago, IL 60611; fax 312-988-5709. More information is available at or by calling 312-988-5700.

The ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism will present up to three awards of $3,500 each as part of its annual E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, recognizing law schools, bar associations, law firms and non-profit organizations for projects that enhance professionalism among lawyers.
Entry forms and guidelines for nominations, which are due March 31, are available at cpr/gambrell.html. Additional information is available from Kathleen Maher at 312-988-5307 or

The Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division is seeking nominations for three awards: the Hodson Award for Public Service, the Nelson Award for Outstanding Service to the ABA and the Dorsey Award for an Outstanding Public Defender or Legal Aid Lawyer.

For more information, contact Theona Salmon at 202-662-1023 or or go to The deadline for nominations is April 4.

Calling all retired lawyers

Retired California lawyers are invited to join the State Bar's emeritus attorney pro bono program, through which active attorney fees are waived in exchange for work for an approved legal services program.

Approved by the board of governors in 1987, the emeritus program is designed to take advantage of the skills, training and experience of retired lawyers.
Interested attorneys can obtain an application from Betty J. Barker at 415-538-2328 or Those currently enrolled in the program must renew their applications.

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