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Dues bills will be mailed Nov. 15

2005 fee statements for all California lawyers — active and inactive — will be mailed Nov. 15. Dues for active lawyers are $390 and the fee for inactive lawyers is $50. The dues must be paid by Feb. 1. As in previous years, lawyers have the option of contributing to the Foundation of the State Bar, the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations and the California Supreme Court Historical Society. Active attorneys may deduct $5 from the dues bill for the bar’s lobbying efforts in Sacramento and $5 for the elimination of bias fund.

Lower income lawyers are eligible for a hardship reduction of their fee by either 25 or 50 percent, depending on their income.

The dues are authorized by the state legislature and set by the State Bar Board of Governors. The dues authorization has stayed flat since 2000.

Dues can be paid online through the My State Bar Profile feature at Questions may be addressed to or by calling 415-538-2360.

State Bar Foundation has board of director openings

The Foundation of the State Bar of California is seeking applications for several positions on its board of directors. Attorneys, judges and members of the public who have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to the foundation’s charitable missions, who have previous board, public or community service, and/or are knowledgeable about charitable fund-raising are invited to apply.

Members serve two-year terms and are expected to attend approximately 12 meetings per year, including an annual two-day planning meeting in November and a joint meeting with the State Bar Board of Governors in January.

The foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation whose mission is to secure funding and provide opportunities for California lawyers to support law-related community projects and education that improve access to justice and promote the public good. Information about the foundation and its programs is available at

The application deadline is Nov. 29. To apply, send a resume and statement of interest and qualifications to Nanci Clinch, 401 Spring St., Ste. 204, Nevada City, CA 95959; fax 530-265-8694;

Appointments will be made by the State Bar Board of Governors in January.

San Bernardino fee arb training set for Nov. 18

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a training program in San Bernardino sponsored by the State Bar’s Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration.

The free training offers 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 San Bernardino 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 Nov. 18, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., in the Joshua Room of the County Government Center, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave. To reserve a space, contact Lisa or Claire at 909-885-1986 or reserve online at

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

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

Applications sought for two legal aid boards

The State Bar is seeking applications for the boards of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) and Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC).

One three-year position is open on the 26-member LASOC board, which meets four times a year.

Vacancies on the LSNC board are in the Solano, Shasta and Butte regions; applicants must reside in one of those counties or regions.

LSNC provides legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times a year. The three openings are for three-year terms.

Interested attorneys should send a letter listing the reasons they should be appointed and a resume that includes their bar number and outlines work experience, community activity and educational background. The materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; questions may be directed to 415-538-2534 or

The deadline for applications is Dec. 10.

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 is out for public comment.

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

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  State Bar Foundation, local bars and bar-approved insurance providers.

Toll-free number for consumer pamphlets

A 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-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,  Korean or Vietnamese.

Help for those who can’t afford to hire 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. augments the information provided at the court site by helping low-income people connect with local low-cost or pro bono legal services. It also provides information to targeted communities, such as seniors or Native Americans, about issues particular to them.

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

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