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Bar, judicial branch set simultaneous meetings

The independence of the judicial branch, public trust and confidence, and improving access to justice are key themes for the State Bar and two judicial organizations that will concurrently host their conferences in September. Leaders of the judicial branch from throughout the state will meet in one location — San Diego — for the first time to participate in one, or for some, all three events: The State Bar of California Annual Meeting, the Judicial Council’s Statewide Judicial Branch Conference and the California Judges Association Conference.

The events will provide numerous opportunities to share knowledge and insight on issues affecting the justice system.

The State Bar Annual Meeting is scheduled from Sept. 8-11 and will offer a wide range of educational programs enabling attorneys who must complete their MCLE requirements by next winter (Group 2, last names H-M) to receive up to 20 hours of credit.

Speakers include best-selling author Richard North Patterson and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz. California Women Lawyers will host their annual dinner, featuring the Hon. Mary Schroeder, chief judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse will speak at a bench-bar luncheon, and a roundtable discussion on the future of the judiciary will feature Attorney General Bill Lockyer, California Supreme Court Justices Ming Chin and Kathryn Werdegar, and former Solicitor General Kenneth Starr.

Riverside attorney James Heiting will be sworn in as the State Bar’s 81st president, and the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations will hold its annual confab.

Complete information about the Annual Meeting is available at

Bar foundation offers student loan consolidation

Members of the State Bar and their families with eligible educational loans can now consolidate those loans with the Student Loan Consolidation Program from eGrad, a corporate sponsor of the Foundation of the State Bar of California. Through the program, members may be able to lock in at a fixed interest rate as low as 1.625 percent and reduce monthly loan payments by as much as 58 percent.

Participants also can secure these benefits:

  • Simplify loan payments by making one monthly payment;
  • Choose from a variety of flexible repayment options;
  • No application fees, credit checks or prepayment penalties.

A dedicated customer information line — 1-800-958-6085 — has been established for State Bar members and their families. Information also is online at

Legal specialist exam scheduled for Aug. 14

The Legal Specialist Examination will be administered Aug. 14 in San Francisco and Los Angeles for lawyers interested in enhancing their practice by becoming a specialist in one of eight areas of law. Late registration is available.

In order to become certified in a particular area, an attorney must pass the exam, demonstrate a high level of experience in the specialty field, fulfill ongoing education requirements and be favorably evaluated by other lawyers and judges familiar with their work.

Attorneys may become specialists in appellate; bankruptcy; criminal; estate planning, trust and probate law; family; immigration and nationality; taxation; and workers’ compensation law.

Information about the exam is available at or by calling 415-538-2120 or e-mailing

Three fee arb trainings set

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at three training programs, in Pleasant Hill, Monterey and Santa Rosa, 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 are open to Contra Costa, Monterey and Sonoma 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 Pleasant Hill training will be held Aug. 18 at the John F. Kennedy School of Law, 110 Ellinwood Way, Room S304. To reserve a space, contact Emily Day at the Contra Costa County Bar Association, 925-370-2541, or e-mail

The Monterey training will be held Aug. 24 at Monterey College of Law, 100 Col. Durham Blvd. To reserve a space, contact Elaine Richelieu at the Monterey County Bar Association, 831-663-6955, or e-mail erichelieu@

The Santa Rosa training is scheduled for Sept. 15 at the Sonoma County Bar Association, 37 Old Courthouse Square. To reserve a space, contact Patti Tate at 707-542-1190, ext. 19.

All three programs will be held from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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

Calling all artists

Members of the California bench and bar who draw, sculpt, work in ceramics or photography are invited to participate in the 53rd Annual Meeting Bench and Bar Art Exhibit. The artwork will be displayed in the San Diego Convention Center during the meeting from Sept. 8-11.

Awards will be given in these 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 from, or obtained by calling Cheryl Morgan at 415-538-2210. All entries must be submitted by Aug. 1.

Access and fairness survey continues

In an effort to determine the kinds of challenges faced by California attorneys because of their gender, age, ethnic or racial background, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, an online survey of these attorneys continues until Aug. 1 (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 1.) The Access & Fairness survey seeks information similar to that elicited in a poll of attorneys with disabilities.

The new survey can be accessed at and will seek basic demographic information and ask participants to provide feedback on their experiences in law school, with the bar exam, in seeking employment, practicing before the courts and on opportunities for advancement in the profession.

No mandatory dues were used to fund the survey. For further information, contact Patricia Lee at 415-538-2240 or

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 at After registering with My State Bar Profile, go to “Account Information” and select “Update my mailing preferences (opt out).”

Members also 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.

Leadership scholars named

Twelve attorneys committed to serving underrepresented communities will participate in the Access & Fairness Leadership Academy, a program co-sponsored by the State Bar and the Foundation of the State Bar to train individuals to be leaders. The scholars will participate in four workshops in the coming year.

The scholars are: Sandeep Baweja, Los Angeles; Arthur L. Bowie, Sacramento; Regina Brown, Oakland; Pablo R. Escobar, Los Angeles; Dustin Johnson, Modesto; Dien Le, Thousand Oaks; Mark A. Lemke, Los Angeles; Michelle J. Lilienfeld, Pacoima; Patricia A. Massey, San Jose; Connie E. Merriett, San Francisco; Phong Sara Wong, Los Angeles; and Heather S. Zakson, Culver City.

For more information about the leadership academy, contact Patricia Lee at 415-538-2240 or No mandatory State Bar dues are used to fund this program.

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