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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California May2003
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Insurance offerings for bar members

As part of an enhanced benefits package, the State Bar endorses several group insurance programs specifically designed to serve the needs of its members. The programs are monitored by the bar's standing committees, comprised of volunteer lawyer members who negotiate with carriers to provide comprehensive benefits and service at reasonable rates with top-rated carriers. The insurance offered is:

  • Workers' compensation group insurance. Immediate 6 percent premium discounts, reduced minimum premiums and a dividend/bonus program are available to qualified members and their law firms. Underwritten by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Contact 800-533-6868.

  • Disability income and business overhead expense insurance. The plan, underwritten by Standard Insurance, provides payment of eligible business expenses if you become disabled by injury or illness. In northern California, call 800-548-2671; in southern California, call 800-653-8003.

  • Business office package. Designed for law firms, with special "no co-insurance" and "stretch endorsement" provisions among its unique features. Underwritten by The Hartford Insurance Company. Contact Marsh Affinity Groups at 800-545-1632.

  • Accidental death & dismemberment. Benefits include up to $500,000 in the event of accidental death, dismemberment or loss of sight, speech or hearing. Underwritten by Hartford. Contact Acordia of California, Insurance Services Inc. at 800-648-1600.

  • Professional liability insurance. Features include flexible limits of liability, deductibles and coverage for part-time practitioners. This program is underwritten by Arch Insurance Group. Contact Marsh Affinity Groups at 800-343-0132.

  • Life insurance. Ten Year Level Term, Annual Renewable Term and Universal Life insurance plans, often with guaranteed issue and/or simplified underwriting and premium credits. Underwritten by American General. Contact Acordia at 800-648-1600.

  • Long-term care insurance. Offers care at home, in a residential facility or in a nursing home. Underwritten by John Hancock Life. Call 800/653-8003 in southern California or 800/548-2671 in northern California.

Questions about the insurance program may be directed to

Five seats open on State Bar and CYLA boards

Ballots for the State Bar Board of Governors election were mailed April 30 to attorneys whose principal practice is located in one of the four contested districts. (District 9 is not contested.) The California Young Lawyers Association has five seats open in the same districts.

Seventeen candidates are running for the 23-member board of governors and six candidates are seeking a seat on the 17-member CYLA board. The term of office for both boards is three years.

Voting continues through June 30 and the winners will take their seats at the bar's Annual Meeting, to be held Sept. 4-7. Information about the elections is available at www.calbar., or by contacting Biljanna Sivanov at 415-538-2274.

The CYLA candidates are:

  • District 3 - Krishna K. Juvvadi, 29, Pillsbury Winthrop, and Son-U Michael Paik, 32, Tomlinson Zisko, both of Palo Alto;

  • District 5 - Kenneth M. Wentz III, 25, Parish & Small, of Stockton;

  • District 7 - David D. Diamond, 30, Diamond Burt & Akhashian, and Thomas H. Vidal, 29, The Vidal Firm, both of Los Angeles; and

  • District 9 - Matthew B. Butler, 30, Shewry & Van Dyke of San Diego.

There were no candidates in District 1.

Fee arb trainings set

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at training programs in Oakland, San Jose and San Diego sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free trainings offer 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including 1.75 hours of legal ethics. Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding.

The sessions are open to fee arbitrators from the local counties and all State Bar fee arbitrators.

The Oakland session will be held May 29 at the East Bay Community Foundation, 353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. To register, contact Grace Fonseca at the Alameda County Bar Association, 510-817-3522.

The San Jose training will be held June 19 at the Santa Clara County Bar Association, 4 N. Second St., San Jose. To reserve a space, contact Irene Cortez at 408-975-2114.

The San Diego training will be held July 17 at the county bar association's office at 1333 7th Avenue. To register, call 619/231-0781. All sessions run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

For additional information, call Jill Sperber, director of the State Bar Office of Mandatory Fee Arbitration, at 415-538-2023.

VIP seeks volunteers

Volunteers in Parole, a non-profit organization devoted to providing attorneys as mentors for youthful offenders, is seeking volunteers in several California counties. It has programs in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Ventura and Yolo counties.

VIP was founded some 30 years ago, prompted by then-Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's challenge to lawyers to "devote their special skills to the large problems of community and national concern." Modeled after the Big Brother and Big Sister programs, VIP currently has 450 attorneys matched with parolees throughout California.

Interested attorneys are invited to call VIP's toll-free number, 1-877-4VIP-INC (484-7462) or e-mail

JNE applicants sought

Active members of the State Bar, former members of the judiciary and members of the public are invited to apply for a position on the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE).

The JNE Commission evaluates all candidates who are under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor. It is composed of attorneys and public members who represent a broad cross-section of California's diverse legal profession and general population.

Appointed by the bar's board of governors, the volunteer commission cannot nominate or appoint judges; it does, however, thoroughly investigate candidates for judicial appointment while maintaining a code of strict confidentiality. Commissioners serve terms of approximately one year and may serve up to three consecutive terms.

The terms of the 2004-05 JNE Commission begin Feb. 1. The application form and information about the commission, member qualifications and time commitment are available on the bar's Web site or from the Appointments Office, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639; 415-538-2299.

The application deadline is June 2.

7th Ethics Symposium scheduled for June 28

Do you have questions about the federal regulation of attorneys, including the about-to-be-enacted Sarbanes-Oxley Act? Or what about the ethics of arbitration and mediation?

These and other ethics-related topics will be addressed at the 7th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium in Costa Mesa June 28.

Co-sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) and Whittier Law School, the all-day session will focus on professional responsibility issues faced by attorneys in their day-to-day practices.

Under the theme, "Specialized Ethics for Specialized Practices," the symposium will address selected ethics topics for criminal law practitioners, special issues in family law, elder law and estate planning, including clients with diminished capacity, and new developments in conflicts of interest.

The symposium will be held at Whittier Law School from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants will receive up to five hours of MCLE credit.

Advance registration is required; the fee is $75, which includes resource materials and lunch. Information is available from Audrey Hollins at 415-538-2167.

Minority Attorneys' Conference rescheduled

The California Minority Attorneys' Conference, cancelled in March because of potential labor strife at its meeting site, has been rescheduled for Saturday, July 12. The location has not been confirmed.

Sponsored by the State Bar's Ethnic Minority Relations Committee, the conference will focus on access and fairness issues, as well as career development and the successful practice of law. It also will address issues such as working for the government or a public interest organization, the art of cultivating clients, networking your way into a dream job and how to become your own boss.

Further information about the conference is available from Sharon Ngim, 415-538-2267, or Rodney Low, 415-538-2219.

Specialist exam in August
The State Bar will administer the examination for legal specialists in eight areas of practice on August 17 in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Attorneys may be certified as specialists in appellate; bankruptcy; criminal; estate planning, trust and probate; family; immigration and nationality; taxation; and workers' compensation law.

The deadline to apply for the exam is July 3. The registration fee is $200, or $250 for applicants wishing to use a laptop, word processor or typewriter.

Complete information is available at, by calling 415-538-2120, or by e-mailing

Bias seminar set

An elimination of bias seminar entitled "Where's the Bias?" will be held May 31, from 9 a.m to noon at the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Participants will receive three hours of MCLE credit.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Women in the Law, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and California Women Lawyers. State Bar President Jim Herman will be a panelist.

To register, call 805-962-6070.

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.

Three proposals from Law Revision Commission

The California Law Revision Commission is seeking public comment on three recommendations. One relates to nonsubstantive reorganization of the civil discovery statute; another would repeal obsolete provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure §259; and the third addresses whether the Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act should be adopted in California.

The tentative recommendations are available from the California Law Revision Commission, 4000 Middlefield Road, Room D-1, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4739. They also can be found on the commission's website,

The deadlines for comment are May 31 and June 30.

New prices for consumer information pamphlets

New prices are in effect for the State Bar's easy-to-understand pamphlets about everyday legal problems often encountered by the public.

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 providing the bulk order is accompanied by a note on the organization's letterhead indicating that it is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

A complete list of available publications is at the bar's website, Go to "Public Information," then "Consumer Information," then "Pamphlets."

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