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Annual Meeting slated for Oct. 7-10

The State Bar’s 77th Annual Meeting will be held from Oct. 7-10 in Monterey, where participants can combine four days of low-cost MCLE courses with the charms of one of California’s favorite coastal cities. This year’s speakers include attorney and author Scott Turow, who will sign his latest book, and the Brown sisters, plaintiffs in the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Attendees are encouraged to register early — save $100 by signing up before Sept. 7 — to reserve a spot in the MCLE courses they wish to take. Online registration will be available in mid-June at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/annualmeeting.

Participants can earn up to 19 hours of MCLE credit for the price of the $325 pre-registration fee. Attorneys whose last names begin with N-Z (MCLE compliance group 3) have a Feb. 1, 2005, deadline for completion of 25 hours of continuing education.

The convention will divide its events among the Portola Plaza Monterey Bay (formerly the Doubletree Hotel), the Monterey Conference Center, the Monterey Marriott and the Hyatt Regency.

The meeting kicks off with an informal opening reception Thursday evening. The president’s reception will be held the following evening at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where visitors can view the new shark exhibit that opened earlier this year.

The convention also features an exhibit hall with more than 100 vendors, an internet café and the Bench and Bar Art exhibit. Saturday events include a breakfast address by Tom Greene, chief of the attorney general’s public rights division, and the annual dinner dance.

The Annual Meeting Preview, containing a complete listing of continuing education programs, registration and housing information and descriptions of other events, will be mailed at the end of June to all section members and attorneys who have attended the convention during the past five years.

Hotel reservations may be made online this year.

Full details about the annual meeting are available at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/annualmeeting.

Positions open on 2005 JNE Commission

Active members of the State Bar, former members of the judiciary, and members of the public who are interested in volunteering to serve on the 2005 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission) may now apply for an appointment. The JNE Commission, established pursuant to Government Code §12011.5, evaluates all candidates who are under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor. It is composed of attorneys and public members (those who are not lawyers or who are not admitted to practice in California) who represent a broad cross-section of California’s diverse legal profession and general population.

Appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors, the volunteer commission cannot nominate or appoint judges; it does, however, thoroughly investigate candidates for judicial appointment while maintaining a code of strict confidentiality. Commissioners serve terms of approximately one year and may serve up to three consecutive terms.

The application form, as well as information on the commission, qualifications and time commitment, is available from the Web site at http://www.calbar.ca.gov (select links to Attorney Resources/Committees and Commissions/Other Entity Appointments) or from the Appointments Office, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639; 415-538-2299.

The application deadline is July 15. The board of governors will make the appointments at its September meeting and terms begin Feb. 1.

Deadline looms in State Bar board election

June 30 is the last day to vote for candidates for five seats on the State Bar Board of Governors and the California Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors.

Ballots were sent to active bar members who maintain their principal office for the practice of law in one of the five districts with a vacancy.

The candidates’ statements can be found at http://www.calbar.ca.gov > About the Bar > Board of Governors > 2004 Election.

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.

Ethics alert is online

The State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility (COPRAC) and the Business Law Section’s corporations committee have issued an ethics alert about some of the perils California lawyers face as a result of rules recently enacted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Because of a possible conflict between federal and state rules, the two committees urge attorneys to take no action without careful study of “applicable federal and state legal principles” and consultation with experts in the field. Many California lawyers may not be aware they are subject to new SEC rules adopted under Sarbanes-Oxley.

The ethics alert is posted at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/archive/calbar/pdfs/SEC-ethics-alert.pdf.

Toll-free number to find a lawyer referral service

The State Bar has activated a toll-free telephone information system to assist callers in locating the nearest lawyer referral service. The number takes callers to a voicemail tree where they can select a county from an alphabetized list to find a service.

The toll-free number for callers in California is 1-866-442-2529 or 1-866-44-CALAW. Callers outside California should call 415-538-2250.

The phone service is for use by clients, lawyers, agencies, community-based organizations, the courts and others. Comments about the service may be sent to Rodney Low, 415-538-2219, or rodney.low@calbar.ca.gov.

Los Angeles fee arb training set for July 22

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a training program in Los Angeles 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 is open to State Bar and Los Angeles County fee arbitrators 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 training will be held July 22, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., at the Los Angeles County Bar Association, 261 S. Figueroa St., #300. To reserve a space, contact Gemma George, 213-896-6441. Parking is available at a rate of $8.

For additional information, call Jill Sperber, 415-538-2023.

Display your artistic talent

Lawyers and judges who draw, sculpt, work in ceramics or photography are invited to participate in the 52nd Annual Meeting Bench and Bar Art Exhibit. The artwork will be displayed in the Steinbeck Lobby at the Monterey Convention Center, Oct. 7-10.

Awards will be given in the following categories — oils and acrylics, portraits and figures, watercolors, prints, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture and photography. Art Show rules and entry blanks can be downloaded at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/annualmeeting, or obtained by calling Cheryl Morgan at 415-538-2210. All entries must be submitted by Aug. 30.

Kids & the Law is updated and translated

The State Bar’s popular Kids & the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents has been updated and translated into Spanish and Chinese.

To order free copies, e-mail kids@calbar.ca.gov and state the number of copies desired, the language (English, Spanish and/or Chinese) and provide a full name and complete mailing address (no P.O. boxes, please).

If you do not have access to e-mail, provide the information above in a letter addressed to: State Bar of California, Office of Media & Information Services, Attn: Kids & the Law, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639.

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