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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California February2004
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Matthew J. Jacobs and Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey
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Equal access: a losing war?

Is it a coincidence that the January 2004 issues of the bar journals of California, Texas and Washington all contain articles lamenting the lack of funding for our courts and legal aid? While we are fighting to establish equal access to justice in Iraq, we may be losing it at home, if these three states are representative (and I believe they are).

Clydia J. Cuykendall
Frisco, Texas

Congrats on 10 years

Ten years of great Bar Journal publications. Thank you and the entire staff. I always look forward to my copy and I know my fellow attorneys here at Bingham McCutchen echo also my sincerest thanks for a job well done. Keep up the great work.

Dan Curtin
Walnut Creek

Protect the lawyers

I read with interest your front page article in the January issue of the California Bar Journal, entitled "Plan to Help Unrepresented Litigants Sparks Board Debate."

There is no mention of malpractice insurance. Who is going to pay the malpractice insurance premiums for the attorneys who enlist to perform those services? Knowing pro pers, the first thing they will do, if they are dissatisfied, is turn around and file a malpractice action.

I would hope that the board considers that factor before they make any decisions.

Sanford M. Ehrmann
Beverly Hills

Lousy accounting

In answer to Robert J. Hill (Letters, January): No, you cannot have your hour of MCLE credit yet. First, send in your $20.

It takes someone almost a minute to check your answers. It takes someone else almost a minute to record your score. It takes someone else almost a minute to mail your certificate of compliance, and the bar has to pay postage.

Round all of these up to the next minute, and you will see that the State Bar can only process 20 tests per payroll hour. At the rate of $400 per hour, you can see the necessity of charging $20 per test.

Consider it a deal, since they absorb the cost of postage; you should be paying $20.37.

Kurtiss A. Jacobs
Martinez

Misleading article

The article on the board of governors vote on the plan to help unrepresented pro pers is misleading. From reading the article, one might think James Heiting voted against the proposal. He did not.

Also, although I was one of the no votes, my reasons had nothing to do with any philosophical disagreement with the plan to assist pro pers embodied in the resolution, but rather with the fuzzy language in the preamble. Had the preamble, with its factually unsupported "whereas" clauses and its gross generalizations about the lack of legal services of pro pers, either been clarified or eliminated, I would have voted for the resolution.

David M. Marcus
Board of Governors, District 7

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