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Ethics symposium scheduled for April 24

The Eighth Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium, providing advanced programs for attorneys in all practice areas interested in cutting-edge ethics issues, will be held April 24 in San Francisco. The theme this year is "The Attorney-Client Relationship: A New Paradigm?"

Sessions will address topics including Sarbanes-Oxley, a new exception to the confidentiality rule, federal policies on eavesdropping and waivers of attorney-client privilege and an update on the work of the Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The symposium will be held at the Practising Law Institute's conference facility.

Information about the event is available from Lauren McCurdy, 415-538-2107; lauren.mccurdy@calbar.ca.gov.

Nominating petitions for bar board are due April 1

April 1 is the last day to file nominating petitions for election to the State Bar Board of Governors and the California Young Lawyers Association. Five seats are open on both boards.

The openings 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 in the State Bar district in which there is a vacancy is eligible to run for a seat on the 23-member bar board. Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices at the conclusion of the 2004 Annual Meeting.

Any active CYLA member who maintains his or her principal office in one of the five districts may run for the young lawyers association board. The term of office also is three years.

The nominating petitions can be downloaded from the State Bar's Web site.

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.

VIP offers free mentor conference, MCLE credit

Volunteers In Parole (VIP) will hold a free statewide conference March 27 for current and prospective mentors to address the multiple challenges of mentoring disadvantaged young adults. Founded by attorneys in 1972, VIP recruits and assists attorneys to mentor young men and women on parole from the California Youth Authority and Department of Corrections. It offers 13 programs throughout the state.

The conference will be held at the University of San Diego School of Law. Presentations by experts and experienced mentors include topics such as enhancing communication with clients, understanding gangs, substance abuse and sustaining effective relationships. Participants will receive four hours of MCLE credit including 1 hour of detection/prevention of substance abuse.

The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends with a reception at 6 p.m. Lunch and snacks will be provided. There is no registration fee. To register or get more information, call VIP toll free at 1-877-484-7462 or vipinc-statewide@mindspring.com.

Legal services board looks for new member

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) are invited to submit an application to the State Bar. One two-year position is available with eligibility for reappointment for two additional terms.

The 45-member board meets four times a year.

Interested attorneys should apply by letter and include a resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background. The materials should be sent by March 26 to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639; or chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov. Questions may be directed to 415-538-2534.

Want to teach law school? Here's chance to learn how

The State Bar Committee on Women in the Law will present "So You Want to Teach Law" at an all-day program at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles April 17. The program aims to demystify the process and possibilities of various law school faculty positions, address current issues of diversity and provide nuts-and-bolts guidance for those interested in pursuing a career path within a law school. Participants will earn one hour of MCLE credit in elimination of bias.

Contact kate.oconnor@calbar.ca.gov for registration information or check the State Bar Web site.

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 St., 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 also is posted at the bar's Web site, www.calbar.ca.gov, under the "Ethics" heading in the right-hand menu.

Fee arb training scheduled April 15 in Stockton

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at an April 15 training program in Stockton sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free training offers two hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics and an hour of general credit, and is open to State Bar fee arbitrators and members of the San Joaquin County Bar Association.

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

The training will be held from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Stockton. A free light buffet is included. To reserve a space, contact Erica Goodspeed at 209-948-4620, ext. 11. For additional information, call Jill Sperber, 415-538-2023.

ABA seeks nominations for pro bono awards

The American Bar Association is seeking nominations for the 2004 Pro Bono Publico Awards honoring lawyers and law firms for extraordinary noteworthy contributions to extending legal services to those who cannot afford legal representation. The awards are given by the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

Nominees may be individual lawyers, law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and the disadvantaged. Nominees may not earn their income delivering legal services to the poor.

The deadline for nominations is March 10.

A full description of the award and the nomination process is at www.abaprobono.org. Additional information is available from Dorothy Jackson at 312-988-5766; jacksond@staff.abanet.org.

Sexual harassment course offers MCLE credit

The State Bar Committee on Women in the Law and the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination invite attorneys to attend "The New Faces of Sexual Harassment," an MCLE program scheduled for April 29 at the offices of the Bar Association of San Francisco. The program, from 4 - 6 p.m., will provide credit in employment law, bias and ethics. Contact BASF at 415-982-1600 for reservations.

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 www.calbar.ca.gov, then 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 94105-1639. 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.

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 and the High Court of Justice and attend luncheons at historic Inns of Court.

The registration fee is $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.

High pass rate for legal specialist exam

Nearly three-quarters of the California lawyers who took the Legal Specialist Exam in August passed, the State Bar announced last month. Seventy-one percent — 389 lawyers — were successful, bringing the total number of legal specialists in the state to more than 3,900. Another 200 are judges or perform judicial duties.

The State Bar is the first in the country to establish a program for certifying legal specialists. The program was created in the early 1970s to help consumers find attorneys who have demonstrated ability and experience in specialized fields of law.

Attorneys can be certified directly by the State Bar in eight areas of law. In addition, the bar accredits outside certification programs in four areas.

To qualify as a certified specialist, an attorney must be an active member of the State Bar, have substantial experience in the field, pass a written exam, complete approved legal education programs and be evaluated by judges and other attorneys.

Information about certification is available from the Office of Certification, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415-538-2120, or by visiting www.californiaspecialist.org.

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