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State Bar dues bills were mailed Nov. 14

Dues bills were mailed Nov. 14 to all active and inactive California attorneys. The dues are authorized by the state legislature and set by the State Bar Board of Governors.

Dues for active lawyers are $390 for the coming year and dues for inactive members will remain at $50.

Again this year, attorneys will have the option of contributing to the Foundation of the State Bar, the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations and the California Supreme Court Historical Society. Active attorneys may deduct $5 from the dues bill for the bar's lobbying efforts in Sacramento and $5 for the elimination of bias fund.

For the first time, lawyers can pay their dues online this year. Full instructions were included with the bill, and a story about the new My State Bar Profile opportunity is on page 1. The deadline for payment is Feb. 1.

Bar committees seek a few good lawyers

Attorneys looking for a chance to make a difference are invited to apply for one of the more than 150 positions available on the State Bar's three dozen committees, commissions and boards for 2004-05 committee year. The application period begins Dec. 1 and the application deadline is Feb. 2. A full description of the committees appears on the State Bar's Web site.

Would-be volunteers have a wide range of options, from committees dealing with access and fairness issues to section executive committees focused on particular areas of the law, to the various regulatory and legal services commissions.

Most appointments carry a three-year term and applicants must be willing to volunteer their time, expertise, experience and perspective. Volunteers are not paid for their services, but are reimbursed for approved travel expenses.

Descriptions of the committees and the application form are available at the State Bar's Web site, Interested volunteers may also contact the State Bar's Appointments Office at 415-538-2299 or by fax at 415-538-2255.

Fee arb trainings scheduled Jan. 8, Feb. 5

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at training programs in Los Angeles and Novato sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free trainings offer 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics and 1.75 hours of general credit, and are open to State Bar fee arbitrators, those from the Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Napa, Marin and Sonoma County bar associations and lay people and lawyers interested in joining the program.

Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding.

The Los Angeles training will be held Jan. 8, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., at the State Bar offices, 1149 South Hill St. To reserve a space, contact Anthony Forrette, 415-538-2074 or

The Novato training will be held at the Inn Marin, 250 Entrada Dr. To reserve a space, call Lynn Pfeiffer at 415-499-1314.

For additional information, call Jill Sperber, 415-538-2023.

Compliance Group 1 faces Feb. 1 MCLE deadline

Members of Compliance Group 1 (last names A-G) must complete 25 hours of MCLE credit by Feb. 1, 2004. Of that total, 12-1/2 hours can be completed through self-study courses.

All active attorneys must complete four hours of legal ethics study, one hour of substance abuse prevention and one hour of elimination of bias in the legal profession.

Full details of the requirements are provided on the State Bar's Web site, Click on "MCLE" on the right hand menu.

Applicants sought for legal services board

The State Bar is seeking applications from attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) for two three-year positions in Sacramento County and one each in the Butte and Shasta regions.

Applicants must practice in the county or region where the vacancy has occurred. The term of office will be from April 20, 2004, to April 19, 2007.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Jan. 9.

Legal Services of Northern California is a non-profit Legal Services Corp.-funded program that provides legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times a year.

Applicants must submit a letter and resume. The information should include attorney bar number.

The materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Public hearings set on discipline and admissions

The State Bar will hold its annual meetings on the attorney discipline and admissions process and on attorney competence this month in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Los Angeles hearing will be held Dec. 9 at the bar's offices, 1149 South Hill St.; the San Francisco hearing is Dec. 11 at the bar's headquarters, 180 Howard St. Both hearings are scheduled for 10 a.m.

Individuals who wish to speak at the hearing and/or present written materials should contact Doug Hull at 415-538-2015 by Dec. 5.

A Week in Legal London

The Litigation Section offers California lawyers an opportunity to discover new insights into law from the English perspective.

"A Week in Legal London," scheduled June 28-July 2, offers an opportunity to experience the inner workings of the English legal system, expand litigation skills and engage in discussions with distinguished members of the London legal community.

Participants will attend sessions at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Old Bailey, the High Court of Justice, and attend luncheons at historic Inns of Court generally exclusive to members of the British legal community.

The registration fee for the "Week in Legal London" is expected to be $1,995 per program registrant; the fee includes daily luncheons, two receptions, the formal closing dinner at historic Trinity House, education program and materials.

Accommodations will be available at one of London's newest five-star luxury hotels, the Renaissance London Chancery Court Hotel, for an additional fee.

Promotional material will be sent to members of the Litigation Section next month with more detailed information about the educational programs, MCLE credit and travel arrangements. Contact the Litigation Section, 415-538-2546, for further information.

Free MCLE courses on how to avoid malpractice

The State Bar Committee on Professional Liability Insurance will provide two free MCLE seminars this month on avoiding malpractice claims. The six-hour course will be held Dec. 8 in Los Angeles and Dec. 9 in San Francisco.

The seminars are open to all attorneys at no cost on a first come-first served basis. Those wishing to attend should register in advance at or call 415-538-2201 for more information. Participants will receive six hours of MCLE credit in ethics.

Nominations sought for two ABA awards

Two committees of the American Bar Association are seeking nominations for awards. The Commission on Women in the Profession will honor outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence within their areas of specialty with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 12.

Complete information about the awards and nomination forms are available at the commission's Web site,, or from the commission at 750 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611;, 312-988-5668;

The Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities is seeking nominations for the 2004 Thurgood Marshall Award, honoring individuals' long-term contributions to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the United States. Nominations must be postmarked by Jan. 23.

To request a nomination form or obtain more information about the award, call the section office at 202-662-1030 or visit

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.

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 must renew their applications.

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