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Fee statements mailed

The annual State Bar fee statement was mailed to active and inactive California lawyers Nov. 15. The 2008 bar dues for active attorneys remain at $400 and for inactive lawyers the dues are $115, a $10 reduction.

Payment is due Feb. 1, 2008, and can be completed online. Full details are 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.

Lawyers who earn less than $40,000 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.

Attorneys who did not receive a statement or have questions may contact 1-888-800-3400 or go to

Volunteer for a bar entity

Attorneys interested in applying for one of the almost 200 openings on State Bar committees for 2008-09 can visit the bar’s Web site,, for application information. Select the left menu links to Attorney Resources and to Committees and Commissions.

The bar expects to appoint 150-200 new members to 10 standing committees, 16 section executive committees and 15 special committees, boards and commissions.

Interested lawyers also can request an application form from the appointments office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; 415-538-2318; 415-538-2255 (fax).

MCLE compliance deadline

Members of MCLE compliance group 3 — last names N through Z — face a Feb. 1, 2008, deadline to complete 25 hours of continuing education courses.

At least half the requirement must be fulfilled with participatory courses and up to 12.5 hours may be self-study. Four of the hours must be completed in ethics courses, and one hour each is required in elimination of bias and detection and prevention of substance abuse.

Members of Group 3 who miss the compliance deadline will be assessed a $75 late fee Feb. 2, 2008.

All Group 3 attorneys, including those who are exempt, must submit a compliance card. Exempt attorneys include officers and elected officials of the state of California, fulltime professors at law schools accredited by the ABA and/or the State Bar, and attorneys and administrative law judges for the federal government and the state.

Compliance may be reported online, through the My State Bar Profile feature on the bar’s home page,; or by returning the compliance card that was mailed with the annual fee statement.

Complete information about MCLE requirements is available on the Web site or by e-mailing or calling 415-538-2130.

Handbook for fire victims

An electronic guide offering an overview of some legal issues presented by October’s massive southern California fires is available at or The comprehensive 109-page handbook covers issues ranging from finding temporary housing, insurance, unemployment, dealing with government agencies such as FEMA and the Small Business Administration and replacing lost documents.

Designed to illustrate some of the legal issues individuals and small businesses may face in the wake of the disaster, the guide, written in Q&A style, provides general insights into the basics of the issues as well as potential avenues of assistance.

Produced by Morrison & Foerster and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the guide is called Helping Handbook: For Individuals and Small Businesses Affected by the 2007 Southern California Wildfires. Hard copies were distributed at disaster assistance centers throughout the southland.

LACBA and Morrison & Foerster produced a similar guide after the 2003 fires that swept through the southern part of the state.

Other sponsors of the handbook are the Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino Valley, San Fernando and North County bar associations as well as the State Bar.

Hudson Deduction is online

Members may find the audited Statement of Expenditures of Mandatory Membership Fees on the State Bar’s Web site ( The statement shows how State Bar membership fees are spent. In addition, there is an explanation about the $10 deductions to membership fees and the procedures for arbitration under Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990). A copy may also be obtained by writing to: Office of the Secretary, The State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

MJP registration due Feb. 1

Out-of-state attorneys who practice in California under the State Bar’s Multijurisdictional Practice (MJP) Program rules must complete their annual registration by Feb. 1. Members of this group include in-house counsel who practice law exclusively for a qualifying institution and legal services attorneys who work for a qualifying legal services provider.

All MJP attorneys are required to register with the State Bar online. Although they may pay their annual fees online, the annual registration renewal form, available online, must be mailed to the bar, along with a certificate of standing.

All MJP attorneys receive a fee statement and are required to pay the active attorney fee that California lawyers pay. They must complete 25 hours of MCLE within the first year after registration.

Questions may be addressed to

Petitions available Feb. 1 for five seats on bar board

Nomination petitions for openings on the State Bar Board of Governors will be available Feb. 1. Five seats will be open in four bar districts: District 4, Marin and San Francisco counties; District 6, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; District 7, Los Angeles (two seats); and District 8, Orange County.

Any active member of the State Bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law within the State Bar district in which there is a vacancy is eligible to run for a seat on the board. Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices at the conclusion of the 2008 Annual Meeting.

The same districts also will have openings for seats on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association.

Nominating petitions will be available at Feb. 1 and must be submitted by April 1.

Advanced fee arb training

A training session for current volunteers who arbitrate attorney-client fee disputes through the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles County bar associations and the State Bar will be held in Beverly Hills Jan. 24. The course will provide a focused and more advanced training with an emphasis on writing the award. Non-lawyers also are encouraged to attend the training.

It will address topics including ethical issues in avoiding the appearance of bias, considerations with and without a written fee agreement, the effect of conflicts of interest and professional negligence, reasonable versus unconscionable fees, and the importance of awarding interest on fee refunds.

The training will be held Jan. 24 at the Beverly Hills Bar Association offices, 300 So. Beverly Drive, Suite 201, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. It is free and offers two hours of MCLE credit, including a half-hour of legal ethics.

To reserve a space, call 310-601-2442. Space is limited. For additional information (not RSVP), contact Jill Sperber at 415-538-2023.

Legal services conference scheduled for June

The 2008 Pathways to Justice Conference, an annual statewide legal services gathering, will be held June 5-7 in Los Angeles. The conference will offer numerous practical MCLE trainings for legal services staff, board members and volunteers.

It is co-sponsored by the State Bar’s Office of Legal Services and the Legal Aid Association of California.

Registration information will be available in early 2008.

MCLE in England

The State Bar Litigation Section will offer attorneys an opportunity to discover new insights into law from the English perspective in 2008.

“A Week in Legal London,” scheduled for June 29 – July 4, offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience the inner workings of the English legal system, expand litigation skills and engage in thought-provoking discussions with distinguished 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 exclusive to members of the British legal community.

As an adjunct to the London program, the Litigation Section will offer an Oxford University Summer Program the following week, July 6 – 10. Participants will experience Oxford as a student; living in and studying amid the historic walls of Oxford University. The academic program offers a variety of topics. 

The Oxford program is independent of the London program. Although both are still under development, the bar traditionally tries to offer all 25 MCLE required hours for participants of the London program and eight hours for Oxford program. 

Attorneys can choose to attend either or both programs. Check the Litigation Section Web site at for additional information about the educational programs, registration fees, MCLE credit and travel arrangements. Questions? Contact the Litigation Section at 415-538-2546.

Create an online profile

California attorneys have the opportunity to handle membership matters with the State Bar electronically by creating My State Bar Profile on the bar’s home page.

Doing so will allow lawyers to pay their bar dues, submit MCLE compliance and change their address online, as well as access important forms, such as change of status, and keep abreast of the latest developments in professional responsibility.

To create a profile, you will need the eight-digit access code printed on the front of the 2008 fee statement. Go to the bar’s home page,, and click on the link in the left-hand menu to register as a first-time user.

If you have lost your access code, call the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400 .

Consumer pamphlets

The State Bar has revised and reprinted four of its consumer education pamphlets and has translated a fifth into Spanish.

The revised pamphlets are: Do I Need Estate Planning? Do I Need a Living Trust? What Should I Do if I Have an Auto Accident? and Can the Law Help Protect Me from Domestic Violence?

How Can I Resolve My Dispute Without a Trial? a pamphlet that explains the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, has been translated into Spanish.

To order the pamphlets, send an e-mail to or visit the State Bar Web site, and click on Consumer Pamphlets in the right-hand menu.

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.

Sign up for e-briefs

The State Bar offers “e-briefs,” a short summary of recent news developments or announcements of interest to lawyers. The electronic mailings are provided on a timely basis, usually twice a month. To subscribe, go to “e-briefs” listed under “News” on the home page of the bar’s Web site,

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