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Governor signs State Bar fee bill; dues unchanged

Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the State Bar attorney fee bill last month, leaving dues for the state’s active attorneys at $400, the same level as last year. Dues for inactive lawyers dropped $10 to $115.

Under legislation sponsored by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, most of the fee — $315 — goes into the bar’s general fund. The Client Security Fund receives $40 from each lawyer, $25 supports the bar’s discipline operation, $10 goes to the Lawyer Assistance Program and $10 will support a new IT fund, to be used to upgrade the information technology system.

Fee statements will be mailed to all California lawyers Nov. 15. Payment is due Feb. 1, 2008, and can be completed online at no charge. Full details will be on the statement.

As in past years, attorneys are encouraged to donate to the California Bar Foundation, the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations and the California Supreme Court Historical Society. This year, members also may donate to the recently created Justice Gap Fund, which will help underwrite eligible legal aid programs in California (see page 1).

Lawyers who earn less than $40,000 from all sources may qualify for a 25 percent waiver.

If fees are not paid online or postmarked by Feb. 1, a late penalty will be assessed — $100 for active lawyers and $30 for inactive members.

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