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Five seats open on bar board of governors

Nominating petitions are available for attorneys wishing to run for one of the five open seats on the State Bar Board of Governors. Any active member of the bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law in one of the districts with an open seat is eligible to run for a three-year term.

The districts with an opening are: District 1, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties; District 3, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties; District 5, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tulare counties; District 7, Los Angeles County; and District 9, Imperial and San Diego counties.

The last day for filing petitions is April 1 and ballots will be mailed May 1. New board members will take their seats at the bar’s Annual Meeting in October.

Questions about the election may be addressed to Billie Sivanov at billie.sivanov@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 415-538-2274.

Penalty for late MCLE compliance set for March15

Attorneys who did not comply with the MCLE requirement by Feb. 1 will receive a second notice this month. If compliance is not completed by March 15, a $75 late fee will be imposed. As of Jan. 19, 31,482 had not submitted a compliance card.

About 40,000 active attorneys are in MCLE compliance group 2 (last names H-M) and should have completed 25 hours of continuing legal education by Feb. 1. Compliance may be reported online through the My State Bar Profile feature on the State Bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov, or by filling out and returning the compliance card sent with the fee statement in November.

Failure to comply with MCLE requirements can lead to suspension.

Complete information about the requirements is available at the site by clicking on Attorney Resources and then MCLE.

Fee arb training scheduled for March 9 in Vista

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a March 9 training program in Vista, 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 members of the San Diego County and Northern San Diego County bar associations 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 Bar Association of Northern San Diego County, 249 South Indiana Ave., Vista. To reserve a space, call Mary Cervantes at 760-758-5833 or e-mail bansdc@bansdc.org.

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

Attorneys sought for legal services boards of directors

The State Bar is seeking applications from lawyers interested in serving on the boards of directors of Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) or California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). At-large vacant positions for three-year terms are open on the LSNC board, and one two-year position is open on the CRLA board.

Applicants for the LSNC board may reside in any of the 23 counties it serves. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28. The deadline for the CRLA board applications is April 18.

Both groups are non-profit Legal Services Corp.-funded programs created to provide legal assistance to low-income people. The 36-member LSNC board meets five times a year.

CRLA has a 45-member board that meets four times year.

Interested attorneys should apply by letter, listing the reasons they should be appointed and including a resume of their work experience, community activity and educational background. Bar number also should be included.

The materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. Questions may directed to her at 415-538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov.

Nominations open for legal services awards

The State Bar’s Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs is seeking nominations for the annual President’s Pro Bono Service Awards, the Loren Miller Legal Services Award, the Diversity Awards and the Jack Berman Award of Achievement for a young lawyer.

The deadline for all nominations is March 15.

Nomination forms, award categories and criteria for selection are online at calbar.ca.gov > About the Bar > Awards.

Visit legal London and earn MCLE credits

The State Bar Litigation Section will sponsor “A Week in Legal London” next July, offering an 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.

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. 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.

Attendance at both programs 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.

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.

Legal writing competition open to lawyers, judges

The American Inns of Court invites judges, lawyers and professors of law and their students to participate in the Warren E. Burger Writing Competition. The author of the winning submission will receive a $5,000 cash prize and the essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review. Other submitted works may be eligible for law journal publication or featured in The Bencher, the national magazine of the American Inns of Court.

The submission must be an original, unpublished essay of 10,000 to 25,000 words on a topic of the writer’s choice addressing issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics and professionalism.

Complete rules are available at innsofcourt.org; click awards and then Burger Writing Prize.

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.

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