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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California January2008
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Applicants sought for bar committees

The State Bar is recruiting applicants for approximately 200 positions on more than three dozen committees, boards and commissions. Groups with open positions range from committees dealing with access and fairness issues to section executive committees focused on particular areas of the law. One committee addresses questions of professional responsibility and conduct and others work with the day-to-day delivery of legal services to poor and middle-income individuals, administration of the IOLTA program, and exploring ways to improve access to civil justice and increase diversity in the legal profession.

Most of the appointments carry a three-year term. The application deadline is Feb. 1. Among committees seeking applicants are:

  • Courts/administration of justice committees which review proposed changes in civil procedure, ADR, appellate and federal rules, procedures and practices, as well as comment on proposed legislation governing these issues.
  • Insurance committees, which act as counsel to the board of governors on insurance matters and oversee the bar's member group insurance programs, including life, AD&D, disability, long-term care, workers' compensation, business office package and professional liability.
  • Regulatory committees such as the Committee of Bar Examiners, Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration and Legal Specialization commissions, which are established by statute and oversee mandated admission, arbitration, and certification programs of the State Bar.
  • The newly established Council on Access and Fairness, which is devoted to increasing diversity in the legal profession.

Applicants can apply to a maximum of three committees but can only be appointed to one. The State Bar Board of Governors will make the appointments this summer, and committee terms begin Sept. 28.

The application form and detailed committee information is available at the State Bar's Web site, calbar.ca.gov (select left-menu links to Attorney Resources and to Committees and Commissions). Applications also are available from the bar's appointments office by phone, 415-538-2299, or fax, 415-538-2255.

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 calbar.ca.gov Feb. 1 and must be submitted by April 1.

MJP lawyers must register by 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 mjp@calbar.ca.gov.

Handbook for fire victims

An electronic guide offering an overview of some legal issues presented by last month's massive southern California fires is available at lacba.org or mofo.com/docs/ pdf/southerncaliforniahandbook2007.pdf. 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.

Legal services conference scheduled for June 5-7

The 2008 Pathways to Justice Conference, an annual statewide legal services gathering, will be held next year 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.

Bar publishes revised consumer pamphlets

The State Bar has revised and reprinted four of its popular consumer education pamphlets and 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 pamphlets@calbar.ca.gov or visit the State Bar Web site, calbar.ca.gov and click on Consumer Pamphlets in the right-hand menu.

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 State Bar's Web site, calbar.ca.gov.

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.

To create a profile, you will need the eight-digit access code printed on the front of the 2008 fee statement. At the bar's home page, calbar.ca.gov, 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.

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.

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