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Minority attorneys' conference rescheduled

The California Minority Attorneys' Conference, "Barring None: Positioning Ourselves for Power and Leadership," has been rescheduled for Saturday, July 12, at the University of San Diego School of Law. Sponsored by the State Bar's Ethnic Minority Relations Committee, the conference begins with a plenary session entitled, "Color Balance: Achieving Diversity in the Legal Profession." USD law professor Roy Brooks, Detroit attorney Godfrey Dillard and attorney and author Andrea Guerrero will explore the impact on the legal profession of the University of Michigan case now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Breakout sessions led by prominent minority judges and attorneys include topics of trial skills, employment law, strategies for success, diversifying the judiciary, cultivating clients, public interest careers, legal ethics and maximizing skills in legal and non-legal careers.

The registration fee is $100 for attorneys, $75 for public interest and government attorneys and $25 for law students. Further information about the conference is available at www.calbar.ca.gov or from Sharon Ngim, 415-538-2267, sharon.ngim@calbar.ca.gov or Rodney Low, 415-538-2219, rodney.low@calbar.ca.gov.

The event is funded entirely by voluntary contributions.

Five seats open on State Bar and CYLA boards

Voting continues until June 30 for candidates for four seats on the State Bar Board of Governors. Attorneys whose principal practice is located in one of the districts with open seats are eligible to vote.

Open seats are in:

  • 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. Raymond Aragon, running without any opposition, is deemed elected.

Six candidates also are seeking seats on the 17-member board of the California Young Lawyers Associa-tion.

Winners will take their seats at the bar's Annual Meeting, to be held in Anaheim Sept. 4-7.

Information about the elections is available at www.calbar.ca.gov, or by contacting Biljanna Sivanov at 415-538-2274. Full profiles of the board of governors candidates were published in the May California Bar Journal.

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 also 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.

Two fee arb trainings set

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at training programs in 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 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.

The sessions are 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.

'Mars v. Venus: When Worlds Collide'

An elimination of gender bias panel is set for June 18, 5:30-8 p.m. at The Bell Tower Club in Kern County. Participants will earn 1.5 hours of MCLE credit.

The panel is co-sponsored by the State Bar Committee on Women in the Law and the Kern County Women Lawyers Association, Bar Association and Paralegal Association.

RSVP by June 13 to 661-334-4700.

Insurance for lawyers

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. Underwrit-ten 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. De-signed for law firms, with special "no co-insurance" and "stretch endorsement" provisions among its unique features. Underwritten by The Hart-ford 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 Hart-ford. 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. Under-written by American General. Con-tact Acordia at 800-648-1600.


  • Long-term care insurance. Offers care at home, in a residential facility or in a nursing home. Under-written 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 jann.dorothy@calbar.ca.gov.

Specialist exam scheduled

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, and the registration fee is $200 or $250 for applicants wishing to use a laptop, word processor or typewriter.

Complete information is available at www.californiaspecialist.org, by calling 415-538-2120, or by e-mailing legalspec@calbar.ca.gov.

Display your artistic talent

Members of the State Bar who draw, sculpt or work in photography are invited to participate in the 51st Annual Meeting Art Exhibit. Art work will be displayed in the California Promenade at the Anaheim Hilton, Sept. 4-7.

Awards will be given in the following categories: oils, portraits and figures, watercolors, prints, drawings, mixed media, sculpture and photography. Art show rules and entry forms can be downloaded from www.calbar.ca.gov/archive/calbar/annual meeting, or obtained by calling Cheryl Morgan at 415-538-2210. All entries must be submitted by July 28.

Legal services board seeking applicants

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of Legal Services of Northern California are invited to apply for two vacant positions, one in the Sacramento County region and the other in the Solano County region. Applicants must practice or reside in one of those two counties.

The three-year appointment will begin April 19, 2004, and appointed board members will be eligible to serve two additional full terms. The deadline for applications is June 26.

LSNC is a non-profit Legal Services Corp.-funded program providing assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. Its 36-member board meets five times a year.

Interested attorneys should send a letter outlining work experience, community activities and educational background, including a bar number, to: Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Questions may be directed to 415-538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov.

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 vipinc-statewide@mindspring.com.

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 betty.barker@calbar.ca.gov. Those currently enrolled in the program must renew their applications.

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, www.calbar.ca.gov. Go to "Public Information," then "Consumer Information," then "Pamphlets."

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