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Create an electronic State Bar profile

California attorneys can now pay their State Bar dues, change their addresses and telephone numbers and submit their MCLE compliance cards online. "My State Bar Profile," a new program offered by the bar, was launched in November with hopes that California lawyers will provide their e-mail addresses as well as make electronically the 48,000 annual changes in address and telephone records that are now made on paper.

Dues bills mailed in November included specific instructions on setting up an electronic account. An access code to create a log-on password was printed in the upper right hand corner of each bill.

By mid-December, 5,000 attorneys had created their own profile with the bar.

State Bar dues bills are due next month

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 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. The deadline for payment is Feb. 1.

Bar committees seek lawyers for open positions

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 the 2004-05 committee year. The application deadline is Feb. 2. A full description of the committees appeared in the December California Bar Journal.

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.

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

NOTE: Deadline extended to February 18

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.

Five bar board seats open

Five seats on the State Bar's 23-member board of governors are up for election this year.

They are in District 2 (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, Tuolumne and Yolo counties); District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties); District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties); and District 7 (Los Angeles County, offices 1 and 2).

Any active member of the State Bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law within the State Bar district in which there is a vacancy is eligible to run for a seat on the board. Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices at the conclusion of the 2004 Annual Meeting.

Nominating petitions will be available Feb. 2. For additional information, contact Billie Sivanov at 415-538-2274.

Seniors translated into three more languages

Seniors & the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians was recently translated into Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog. The brochure is now available in those languages as well as English, Spanish and Chinese.

To order, send an e-mail to and state your name, complete mailing address (P.O. Boxes are not acceptable), the number of copies ordered and choice of "English," "Spanish," "Chinese," "Korean," "Vietnamese," or "Tagalog" version for each number, and a daytime phone number.

If you do not have access to e-mail, please include the required information above and send to The State Bar of California, Attn: Seniors & the Law, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639.

Openings on ABA House of Delegates, Judicial Council

The State Bar is seeking applicants for one position on the Judicial Council and for six appointments to the ABA House of Delegates.

The Judicial Council appointment begins Sept. 15, 2004, and expires Sept. 14, 2007. Meetings are held six to seven times a year; the annual time commitment is about 300 hours for meetings and assignments. Members are reimbursed for approved travel. In making the appointment, the bar board of governors will consider the applicants' demonstrated leadership skills and ability to effectively represent the lawyer perspective on the council.

The terms of six State Bar delegates to the ABA House of Delegates expire this year. New appointees will serve two-year terms from Aug. 10, 2004, to Aug. 8, 2006. State Bar delegates may be reappointed but can serve no more than three consecutive terms. They are expected to attend the ABA midyear and annual meetings, participate in conference calls and become broadly participant in ABA activities. They are required to pay their own travel expenses.

Deadline for applications is Feb. 2.

Applications must be submitted to the bar's Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; or by fax to 415-538-2255. Further information is available at (selected links to Committees and Commissions and to Other Entity Appointments), or by calling 415-538-2299.

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., 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.

Applicants sought for two legal services boards

The State Bar is seeking applications from attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA).

Two three-year positions in Sacramento County and one each in the Butte and Shasta regions are open on the LSNC board, and applicants must practice in the county or region where the vacancy has occurred. The 36-member board meets five times a year and the term of office will be from April 20, 2004, to April 19, 2007. Deadline for receipt of applications is Jan. 9.

One three-year position will open on the 57-member LAFLA board in July. The board meets at least four times a year. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

Applicants must submit a letter and resume. The information should include attorney bar number, work experience, community activity and educational background. The materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105; or Questions may be directed to 415-538-2534.

A Week in Legal London

The Litigation Section offers California lawyers an opportunity to discover new insights into law from the English prospective in 2004.

 "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 and 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 this month with more detailed information about the educational programs, MCLE credit and travel arrangements. Contact the Litigation Section, 415-538-2546, for further information.

How to market diversity

The State Bar's Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs, along with the California Minority Counsel Program and The Practising Law Institute, presents "Creating Visibility: Practical Advice for Marketing Your Firm's Diversity" on Jan. 13 at PLI in San Francisco. The one-day seminar is designed to help lawyers and law firms promote their visibility and showcase their legal expertise to potential clients, individuals, other firms and corporations using mass media and technology.

For more information, go to or call CMCP at 415-782-8990.

Five pamphlets updated

Five consumer education pamphlets produced by the State Bar as part of its Get the Legal Facts of Life outreach effort have been updated and are available to the public. They are: Can the Law Help Protect Me from Domestic Violence?; How Do I Use the Small Claims Court?; What Should I Know if I Am Arrested?; What Can I Do if I Can't Pay My Debts?; and What Should I Know About Divorce and Custody?

The pamphlets are online at the bar's web site,, by clicking on "public services," "consumer information" and "pamphlets." Also online is the order form. To order one pamphlet, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Two to 99 of any combination of pamphlets are available at a cost of 50 cents each. One hundred copies of the same pamphlet are free for non-profit legal services providers serving low-income Californians, are $20 for other non-profit organizations and cost $40 for all others.

Checks or money orders payable to the State Bar of California should be sent, with your request, to State Bar of California, Attn: Pamphlets, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105.

Leadership events scheduled this year

The State Bar's Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs will hold a one-day forum on effective leadership to take the place of its mid-year meeting.

In addition, the office has announced a new Leadership Academy that will select 12 attorney scholars and train them in the skills and dynamics of leadership. Scholars will be selected on their potential for leadership and ability to serve a diverse community.

No mandatory dues will be used for either activity.

The one-day forum will be held June 5 in San Diego. Details will be provided later.

The academy will span one year and consist of four workshops, three in conjunction with major State Bar events. Participants will be expected to complete a major project demonstrating their mastery of leadership skills and commitment to serving diverse communities. Travel expenses and registration to State Bar events will be covered. The deadline to submit an application is Feb. 2.

The academy is funded by voluntary contributions, in part by the Foundation of the State Bar.

For more information or to receive an application, go to or contact Rod Fong at or 415-538-2143.

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