State Bar of California California Bar Journal
Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California June2004
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Provincialism is at work in MJP recommendation

Frankly, I am amazed to read that the California Supreme Court’s task force rejected reciprocal admissions “when no other state said that it would admit a California lawyer who attended an unaccredited law school.” To me, this doesn’t seem fair for a couple of reasons.    

First, it has been a well known fact for years that a law degree from a school that is not accredited by the ABA might not qualify someone to practice in other states. That was a known consequence.

Second, in only recognizing degrees from ABA accredited law schools, I think other states are doing a service for the profession and the public. Is encouraging the proliferation of unaccredited schools (and the graduates of those schools) a good thing for the profession in California, much less in the rest of the country? Might other states have a right to be fearful of an influx of the graduates of these schools?

To me, provincialism with respect to bar admission and practice is a bad thing. It limits lawyers and their mobility. To spurn and deny reciprocity to all California lawyers, however, because other states would deny it to those who went to unaccredited schools, is not the kind of representation I look for or appreciate from the State Bar, the California Supreme Court, the Judicial Council and/or the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Mark E. Hancock

Kudos for Kids

Thank you very much for producing the Kids and the Law insert that was included in the May edition. I found it interesting, valuable and informative (less in my capacity as an attorney than in my capacity as the father of two young children). I believe that this type of periodic recap of these sorts of issues is valuable to all our state’s residents and would encourage the CBJ to make the materials available more broadly to California residents either by publishing the material on the internet or by republication arrangement with general circulation newspapers.

Zacky P. Rozio
Beverly Hills

Spanking is OK

I was pleased to see that the State Bar had revised and reissued Kids and the Law. However, I was also greatly disappointed to see that a glaring omission from the first edition was repeated. A very frequently asked question in this area is whether ordinary spanking, the kind nearly all parents used in the pre-Spock era, remains legal. Indeed, this may be the single most frequently asked question. The simple answer is yes, ordinary spanking that does not cause bruising or trauma is still legal. See Gibson v. Gibson (1971) 3 Cal. 3d 914, 921; In re Joel H. (1993) 19 Cal. App. 4th 1185, 1202.

Kent Scheidegger
Legal Director,
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

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