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Fee statements mailed to all lawyers Nov. 15

2006 fee statements were mailed Nov. 15 to all active and inactive attorneys in California. Dues for active lawyers are $395 and the fee for inactive lawyers is $115. The dues must be paid by Feb. 1.

All lawyers should read the statement carefully since it contains several statutorily required changes. In particular, the ability to scale fees will be limited to low-income attorneys, and lawyers and retired judges who work as ADR neutrals must pay the full fee charged to active members.

As in previous years, lawyers have the option of contributing to the Foundation of the State Bar of California, 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.

The dues are authorized by the state legislature and set by the State Bar Board of Governors.

Details about the fee statement are available at calbar.ca.gov/feestatement or by calling the Member Services Center at 1-888-800-3400.

MCLE compliance — Group 2 (last names H-M) is next

About 40,000 active attorneys in MCLE compliance group 2 (last names H-M) face a Feb. 1 deadline for MCLE compliance. Lawyers in that group must complete 25 hours of continuing legal education; 12.5 hours may be self-study.

Four hours must address ethics, one must be completed in substance abuse and one in elimination of bias.

Attorneys can report their compliance online through the My State Bar Profile feature on the State Bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov. MCLE tests, including those in the special categories, also are available online. Complete information about the requirements is available at the site by clicking on Attorney Resources and then MCLE.

Wanted: Applicants for State Bar committees

The application for a 2006-07 appointment to a State Bar committee is available at the bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov. Select the left menu link to Attorney Resources and then to Committees and Commissions.

The bar currently is recruiting applicants for 15 standing committees, 16 section executive committees and 13 special committees, boards and commissions.

Attorneys interested in volunteering to serve on a State Bar committee can also request an application from the Appointments Office, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639; 415-538-2318; 415-538-2255 (fax).

Fee arb training set for Jan. 5 in Oakland

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a Jan. 5 training program in Oakland, sponsored by the State Bar 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 Alameda County Bar Association members 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 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the East Bay Community Foundation, 353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. To reserve a space, call Teresa Mazzello at 510-817-3522.

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

Visit legal London and earn MCLE credits

The State Bar Litigation Section will sponsor “A Week in Legal London” next July, offering the opportunity to experience the inner workings of the English legal system, expand litigation skills and meet with members of the London legal community. Participants will attend sessions at the Royal Courts of Justice, Old Bailey and the High Court of Justice and attend luncheons at historic Inns of Court generally reserved for members of the British legal community.

The registration fee is $2,295 per person, and includes daily luncheons, two receptions, a formal closing dinner at historic Trinity House, and the education programs and materials. Accommodations are available for an additional fee at the Radisson Edwardian Hampshire Hotel. The program is scheduled for July 9-14.

As an adjunct to the London program, the Litigation Section also will offer an “Oxford University Summer Program” from July 16-20. The registration fee of $1,295 per person includes four nights lodging at Magdalen College in Oxford, all meals, education programs and materials.

Although the programs are independent, attendance at both will fulfill all 25 required MCLE hours. Participants may attend either or both programs.

More information is available at calbar.ca.gov/litigation or by calling 415-538-2546.

Judicial Council, ABA House need volunteers

The State Bar is seeking applicants for two positions on the Judicial Council and for six appointments to the ABA House of Delegates. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

The Judicial Council appointments begin Sept. 15, 2006, and expire Sept. 14, 2009. Meetings are held six to seven times a year with an annual time commitment of about 300 hours. Members are reimbursed for approved travel.

In 2006, the terms of six State Bar delegates to the ABA House of Delegates expire. The new appoint-ees will serve two-year terms from August 2006 to August 2007.

State Bar delegates must be ABA members and must pay their own travel expenses and attend ABA midyear and annual meetings as well as participate in conference calls.

Applications must be submitted to the bar’s Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639, or by fax, 415-538-2255. Further information is available at the State Bar Web site, calbar.ca.gov. Select  links to Committees and Commissions and to Other Entity Appointments. Applicants also may contact the appointments office at 415-538-2299.

Comment sought on publishing appeals rulings

A Supreme Court advisory committee is seeking public comment on draft proposals to clarify the criteria that judges of the state’s Courts of Appeal should consider in deciding whether to certify their opinions for publication. The appellate courts issue more than 11,000 written opinions a year, and in the most recent fiscal year, published about 8 percent.

Chief Justice Ronald George appointed a 13-member committee to review existing standards and recommend whether existing criteria or procedures should be changed.

The draft report may be viewed at courtinfo.ca.gov/invitationstocomment/documents/report-1005.pdf.

Comments should be sent by Jan. 6 to Clifford Alumno, Administrative Office of the Courts, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102-3660; fax 415-865-7664. Instructions for submitting comments online are at courtinfo.ca.gov/invitationstocomment/acommentform.htm.

Got questions? Call the Member Services Center

The State Bar has opened a Member Services Center with a toll-free number, 1-888-800-3400, for active and inactive lawyers seeking information about member benefits, services and regulatory compliance. Three full-time staffers man the phones during business hours and promise either a quick answer or referral.

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 calbar.ca.gov. 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 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.

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