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MCLE compliance — Group 3 is next

Attorneys whose last names begin with N-Z (Group 3) face a Feb. 1 MCLE compliance deadline. Lawyers in that group must complete 25 hours of continuing education courses, including four hours of legal ethics, one hour of elimination of bias and one hour of substance abuse prevention.

Twelve-and-a-half hours may be self-study.

Compliance information is available at Home > Attorney Resources > MCLE. You may now calculate and submit your compliance card through the My State Bar Profile feature on the Web site.

Two judges reappointed

to State Bar Court

The Supreme Court reappointed Judge Judith Epstein to the State Bar Court’s review department and Judge Richard A. Honn to the court’s hearing department.

Epstein, 61, was appointed in 2002 to serve the balance of the term of now-Presiding Judge Ronald Stovitz. A former staff counsel for the Nature Conservancy and an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco law school, Epstein also was general counsel and corporate secretary for Valent U.S.A. and was a partner at Crosby, Heafey, Roach and May in Oakland.

Honn, 52, was a partner in the Los Angeles firm of Honn Kasai LLP before joining the bench last year after appointment by the Supreme Court. He was in private practice after graduating from Loyola Law School in 1978, with an emphasis on business law and litigation. He was formerly a volunteer mediator in the Pasadena courthouse and a temporary judge in Los Angeles.

Supreme Court appointments to the State Bar Court are made after recommendations from an evaluation and nomination committee. The three review department judges are appointed by the Supreme Court, which also names two of the five hearing judges. The governor, speaker of the Assembly and Senate rules committee each appoint one hearing judge.

Help available for those who can’t afford a lawyer

Three broad-based resources are available to members of the public who may not be able to afford legal assistance but need access to the courts. The California courts online Self-Help Center — — offers a wide array of information, ranging from the basics of small claims to protection from abuse to help for families and children.

Since its creation three years ago, the site has averaged 3 million hits per month., a project of the Public Interest Clearinghouse funded primarily by the state’s Equal Access Fund, augments the information provided at the court site by giving low-income people the ability to connect with local low-cost or pro bono legal services for help with their claim. It also provides extensive information to targeted communities, such as seniors or Native Americans, about issues particular to those communities.

For those who do not meet the eligibility criteria for legal services organizations, the State Bar has activated a toll-free telephone information system to help clients find the nearest lawyer referral services. The toll-free number for callers in California is 1-866/442-2529. Callers outside the state may call 415-538-2250.

Dues waivers extended

Because of the ongoing military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the board of governors voted last month to extend, on an emergency basis, the waiver of dues for reservists called to active duty in those countries for 2005 and 2006. The rule change will go out for a 90-day public comment period.

The attorney or a member of their firm or family may submit a copy of the member’s military orders to apply for the waiver. Materials should be sent to Membership Billing, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639; fax: 415-538-2361 or e-mail:

Toll-free number for consumer pamphlets

A new toll-free telephone number — 888/875-LAWS — has been created to help people obtain information about the State Bar’s consumer education guides and pamphlets, including ordering information.

The bar offers three guides — Kids & the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents; When You Become 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers; and Seniors & the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians — as well as 19 pamphlets that address questions such as divorce, how to find a lawyer and how to use the small claims courts. Some have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog or Korean.

Discovery abuses

In an effort to address problems faced by disabled attorneys, the State Bar Committee on Lawyers with Disabilities is seeking to document examples of failures to provide accommodations during the discovery process.

The committee is following up on the results of a survey of lawyers with disabilities and is working with various entities, including the Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory Committee.

Examples might include setting a deposition on the second floor of a building without an elevator or failing to provide real-time captioning for a hearing-impaired witness.

Information can be provided by e-mail to or by calling 415-538-2240.

CYLA schedules job forum

California Young Lawyers Association, in conjunction with the American Bar Association’s Career Resource Center, will host a job forum Oct. 23 at the Doubletree Guest Suites in Santa Monica.

The day-long symposium — Suggestions for Defining your Careers: Making the Right Moves Today and Tomorrow — will feature individual resume consultations (on a first come-first served basis), plenary sessions about career advancement and networking opportunities with experts in the field.

Registration information is available at

Opt out of list sales

Attorneys who wish to remove their names from lists the State Bar sells to outside entities may do so by logging on to Member Login on the home page of the State Bar’s Web site. After registering with My State Bar Profile, go to “Account Information” and select “Update my mailing preferences (opt out).”

As an alternative, members may e-mail their opt out request to Include your bar number.

The bar has a policy under which members’ names are provided at cost to a restricted list of outside entities that meet certain criteria. The names are provided for a one-time use to, among others, MCLE providers, the Foundation of the State Bar, local bars and bar-approved insurance providers.

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