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Five seats open on board of governors

Nominating petitions are available for the five seats on the State Bar's 23-member board of governors that 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.

Seats are open in the same districts on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association. Any active CYLA member who maintains his or her principal office in one of those districts may run. The term of office also is three years.

April 1 is the last day to file petitions for election to either board

For additional information about the State Bar board election, contact Billie Sivanov at 415-538-2274. Information about the CYLA election is available from Carol Madeja at 213-765-1329.

MCLE, dues deadlines pass

State Bar dues payments from all active and inactive California lawyers were due Feb. 1 and members of Compliance Group 1 (last names A-G) were to submit their MCLE compliance card by the same date.

Attorneys who missed the dues payment deadline have until March 15 to pay the dues. At that time, a 10 percent penalty on the unpaid amount will be assessed.

A 15 percent penalty will be added May 15 if the dues still are not paid.

Questions about dues can be addressed to billing@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 415-538-2360.

Members of MCLE Compliance Group 1 also now have until March 15 to submit their compliance card. At that time, a $75 non-compliance fee will be charged.

Members of that group should have completed 25 hours of MCLE credit.

Questions about MCLE compliance may be addressed to mcle@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 415-538-2130.

Failure to pay bar dues or meet MCLE requirements may result in suspension.

Client trust accounting handbook available

The 2003 revised edition of the Handbook on Client Trust Accounting for California Attorneys is available. The handbook is a practical guide created to assist attorneys in complying with the record-keeping standards for client trust accounts that went into effect in 1993.

The handbook includes a copy of the standards and statutes relating to an attorney's trust accounting requirements, a step-by-step description of how to maintain a client trust account and sample forms.

Copies can be obtained by mail for $10 by sending a request and payment to: State Bar of California, Attn: Trust Accounting Handbook, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Copies can be picked up directly from the State Bar offices in San Francisco (180 Howard St.) or Los Angeles (1149 South Hill St.). The cost is $5.

Full text of the handbook is also posted on the bar's Web site, under the "Ethics" heading in the right-hand menu on the home page.

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 seniors@calbar.ca.gov 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.

New procedures for name changes

The State Bar has implemented new procedures for attorneys wishing to change their names in their official membership records.

Copies of two pieces of documentation of the old name and copies of two pieces of documentation of the new name must be submitted with the completed name change request form. The form can be accessed online by going to Attorney Resources > Bar Member Billing & Records > Member Status Options.

The materials can be mailed to State Bar of California, Membership Records, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Faxes should go to 415-538-2576.

Address changes can be made online by going to Member Login on the home page. Alternatively, written requests to change an address must be signed and accompanied by a copy of one piece of identification. The address changes can be faxed to 415-538-2576.

State Bar Court evaluates diversion pilot program

The State Bar Court has undertaken an evaluation of its pilot program for respondents with substance abuse and mental health issues. The program allows lawyers facing discipline to be diverted into the Lawyer Assistance Program.

Participants will be asked about five different areas, including the court's success in communicating with respondents about the LAP and an overall assessment of the program.

Two public forums have been scheduled as part of the evaluation: in Los Angeles Feb. 19 and in San Francisco Feb. 20. Individuals wishing to testify should contact Doug Hull at 415-538-2015.

A Week in Legal London

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

Contact the Litigation Section, 415-538-2546, for further information.

State Bar updates five consumer pamphlets

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. 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.

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