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Five seats open on board of governors

Nominating petitions will be available Feb. 1 for five openings on the State Bar’s 23-member board of governors. Five seats also are open on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association.

Any active bar member who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law in a bar district in which there is an opening is eligible to run. The openings are in District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties), District 6 (Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties), District 7 (offices 1 and 2) and District 8 (Orange County).

Lawyer members are elected for a three-year term and will assume office at the conclusion of the bar’s Annual Meeting in September.

The nominating petition and related candidate information will be available online at the bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov, or by telephone request at 415-538-2274. Additional information is available at that number or by e-mailing billie.sivanov@calbar.ca.gov.

April 1 is the last day to file nominating petitions. Ballots will be mailed April 29 and votes will be counted by June 30.

January deadline looms for volunteer groups

NOTE: Application deadline has been extended to February 1.

The deadline for applications for positions on the Judicial Council and the ABA House of Delegates is Jan. 18. Two positions are open on the Judicial Council, and the State Bar will appoint five delegates to the ABA group.

The Judicial Council appointments begin Sept. 15, 2005, and expire Sept. 14, 2008. Meetings are held six to seven times a year; the annual time commitment is about 300 hours for meetings and assignments.

The ABA delegates will serve a two-year term from Aug. 9, 2005, to Aug. 14, 2007. One of the positions is the young lawyer delegate, who must be less than 35 years old before his or her term begins.

In addition, more than 150 positions are available on the bar’s three dozen committees, commissions and boards for the 2005-06 committee year. The application deadline is Feb. 1. Would-be volunteers have a wide range of options, from committees dealing with access and fairness issues to section executive committees focused on particular areas of the law, to the various regulatory and legal services commissions.

Most appointments carry a three-year term and applicants must be willing to volunteer their time, expertise, experience and perspective. Volunteers are not paid for their services but are reimbursed for approved travel expenses.

The descriptions of the committees and the application form are available at the State Bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov. Interested volunteers may also contact the State Bar’s Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639, or by fax, 415-538-2255. Applicants may also contact the Appointments Office at 415-538-2299.

Dues are due Feb. 1

The 2005 State Bar dues for active and inactive attorneys must be paid by Feb. 1. Dues for active lawyers are $390, and the fee for inactive lawyers is $50.

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 and bar relations outreach fund.

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

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

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

Earn MCLE credits at Section Education Institute

An extensive selection of MCLE courses will be offered at the State Bar Section Education Institute this month in San Francisco, where participants can earn up to 16 hours of credit. Sponsored by the bar’s sections, the institute offers programs on substantive law issues as well as courses in the mandatory fields of substance abuse, ethics and elimination of bias.

The institute will be held Jan. 28-30 at the Palace Hotel.

Register online at calbar.ca.gov/sei or call 415-538-2508 for a brochure.

Los Angeles fee arb training set for Jan. 20

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 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 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 Jan. 20, 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.

Calling all retired lawyers

Retired California lawyers are invited to join the State Bar’s emeritus attorney pro bono program, through which active attorney fees are waived in exchange for work for an approved legal services program. Approved by the board of governors in 1987, the emeritus program is designed to take advantage of the skills, training and experience of retired lawyers.

Attorneys who have been active three out of the past eight years are eligible and are not required to be experienced in the areas for which they are volunteering. Local programs will provide free training.

Although MCLE requirements are not waived for emeritus attorneys, CEB will give “silver passports” to the volunteers, entitling them to free CEB programs.

Interested attorneys may obtain an online application at http://calbar.ca.gov/archive/calbar/pdfs/comcom/2003-Emeritus-App.pdf. Questions may be directed to Betty J. Barker at 415-538-2328 or betty.barker@calbar.ca.gov. Those currently enrolled in the program must renew their applications.

Dues waivers extended

Because of the ongoing military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the board of governors voted recently 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 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 to 415-538-2361 or e-mail billing@calbar.ca.gov.

Free MCLE for all attorneys

In the interest of educating California attorneys about ways to avoid malpractice claims, the State Bar’s Committee on Professional Liability Insurance will provide two free MCLE seminars this month.

Topics include client intake and selection, conflicts of interest, independent contracting, ethical obligations of associates and law office technology. The seminars will be conducted by Anthony E. Davis, an expert on the “law of lawyering,” and offer four hours of MCLE credit in legal ethics.

The course will be offered Jan. 18 at the Administrative Office of the Courts in San Francisco and Jan. 19 at the old Transamerica Building (now SBC) in Los Angeles. Pre-registration is required.

The seminars are open to all attorneys on a first-come first-served basis. Those wishing to attend should register in advance at kvi-calbar.com or call 415-538-2201 for more information.

Opt out of list sales

Attorneys who wish to remove their names from lists the State Bar provides to qualified outside entities may do so by logging on to Member Login on the home page of the State Bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov. After registering with My State Bar Profile, go to "Change my address, phone numbers, and opt-out preference" then "Opt out preference."

As an alternative, members may e-mail their opt out request to memrec@calbar.ca.gov. 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.

Applications sought for legal aid board

The State Bar is seeking applications for the board of directors of Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC). Vacancies for three-year terms 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.

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 chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov.

The deadline is Jan. 20.

‘Pathways to Justice’ scheduled for June 2-4

The 2005 State Bar Spring Summit, titled “Pathways to Justice,” is scheduled for June 2-4 at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. Participants can earn more than 13 hours of MCLE credit, choosing among 40 sessions that cover a wide variety of topics for those involved in the delivery of legal assistance to low- and moderate-income Californians.

Keynote speakers will be U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel and David Hall, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law who serves on the board of the Legal Services Corporation.

The summit is sponsored by the State Bar, its Office of Legal Services, Access and Fairness Programs and the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC).

Pathways to Justice," is scheduled for June 2-4 in San Francisco. Participants can earn more than 13 hours of MCLE credit.

More information and registration will be available in late March. Contact Rodney Low at rodney.low@calbar.ca.gov, 415-538-2219, or Sharon Ngim at sharon.ngim@calbar.ca.gov, 415-538-2267.

Nominations sought for professionalism award

Nominations are being accepted for the 15th Annual E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, recognizing projects that enhance professionalism among lawyers. Bar associations, law schools, law firms and other not-for-profit law-related organizations are eligible. Up to three awards of $3,500 each will be given.

The deadline is March 31. Entry forms and guidelines are available at http://abanet.org/cpr/gambrell.html. Questions may be directed to Karen Maher, 312-988-5301; maherk@staff.abanet.org.

Kids & the Law is now available in Korean, too

Kids & the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents is now available in Korean as well as English, Spanish and Chinese. The latest translation brings the number of guides printed in all languages to 1.7 million. To obtain free copies of the guide, e-mail kids@calbar.ca.gov.

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

In addition to Kids & the Law, the bar offers two other guides — Seniors & the Law and When You Become 18. The latter will be revised and published on May 1. Nineteen pamphlets, many in different languages, also are available. Call the toll-free number for information.

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