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Bar is looking for a few good JNE members

Active California lawyers, former judges and members of the public who are interested in volunteering to serve on the 2009 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) are invited to submit an application to the State Bar. The application deadline is June 2.

The JNE Commission evaluates all candidates who are under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor. It is composed of attorneys and public members who represent a broad cross-section of California’s legal profession and general population.

Appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors, the commission cannot nominate or appoint judges but it investigates candidates for judicial appointment while maintaining strict confidentiality. Commissioners serve terms of approximately one year and may serve up to three terms.

The application form and information about the commission can be found at (selected links to Attorney Resources/Committees and Commissions/Other Entity Appointments) or from the bar’s appointments office at 415/538-2318; fax 415/538-2255.

Ballots mailed this month for bar board election

Ballots will be mailed at the end of this month in the elections for five new members of the State Bar Board of Governors and the board of the California Young Lawyers Association. Seats are 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.

Ballots will be mailed to attorneys who maintain their law offices in the districts with openings; voting must be completed by June 30.

New board members will be elected for three-year terms and will assume office at the conclusion of the 2008 Annual Meeting.

Indian legal services board seeks volunteers

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) is seeking volunteers to serve on its board of directors. CILS, which provides legal assistance to the rural poor, has one three-year position open, beginning Sept. 1. The application deadline is May 15. Its 13-member board meets four times a year.

Applications should include a resume and be submitted to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Questions may be directed to 415-538-2534 or

Include your bar number.

Ethics symposium May 3

The 12th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium, providing advanced programs for lawyers interested in cutting-edge ethics issues, will be held May 3 at the University of San Francisco School of Law. The theme this year is Notoriety — When the Spotlight is on Ethics.

Duke law school professor Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of UC Irvine’s law school, will deliver the keynote address, and State Bar President Jeff Bleich will offer welcoming remarks.

Panel presentations include: ethical obligations of public lawyers, inadvertent disclosure of confidential communications; ethics issues in class action and derivative litigation; prosecutorial misconduct; and an update on the work of the Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Further information is available on the State Bar Web site or by calling 415-538-2107.

Grant funds available from Legal Services Corporation

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has announced the availability of competitive grant funds to provide civil legal services to eligible clients during 2009. A Request for Proposals (RFP) and other information about the grants competition will be available at on April 11. The Web site also offers information on filing dates and submission requirements.

Under the LSC’s funding policy, grants are available for only specified service areas. The list of service areas for each state and the estimated grant amounts for each area will be included in Appendix A of the RFP.

Applicants must file a notice of intent to compete (NIC) in order to participate in the competitive grants process. The NIC will be available from the RFP.

Questions may be addressed to

Fee arb trainings scheduled

Two training sessions for prospective and current volunteer attorneys who arbitrate attorney-client fee disputes for mandatory fee arbitration programs through the Sacramento and San Luis Obispo county bar associations and the State Bar will be held next month. The San Luis Obispo training is May 8, from 6–9 p.m., and the Sacramento training is May 22, from 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Both sessions are free in exchange for an application to enroll as a fee arbitrator in the program and offer 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics. Non-lawyers also are encouraged to attend.

The trainings will cover such topics as how to write an enforceable award, arbitrator disclosure requirements, fee disputes with and without a written fee agreement and controlling the proceeding.

To reserve a space at the San Luis Obispo session, which will be at the city and county library, call Karen Schmidt at 805-541-5930 or e-mail

The Sacramento session will be held at the offices of Downey Brand LLP; to reserve a space, call Vince Miles at 916/448-1087, ext. 206, or e-mail

For additional information (not RSVP), contact Jill Sperber at 415-538-2023.

Sponsors sought for public lawyer award

The State Bar’s Public Law Section is seeking lawyers and law firms who wish to sponsor its 2008 Public Lawyer of the Year Award. Sponsors will be recognized in publications announcing the winner and at the award event at the bar’s annual meeting in September.

Every year, the award recognizes an exceptional lawyer who has dedicated a significant portion of his or her career to public service.

Sponsors last year included Berliner Cohen, Best Best & Krieger, CEB, Kaufman Downing, LLP, Meyers Nave, Olson Hagel & Fishburn, LLP, Richards Watson & Gershon, The Sillas Law Firm and attorney William R. Seligmann. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julie Martinez at 415-538-2523 or

Pre-order the 18 guide

The State Bar’s popular When You Become 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers will be updated and published next month. To pre-order the revised version, e-mail State the number of copies desired, the English or Spanish edition, and provide a full name and complete mailing address.

Legal services conference scheduled for June 5-7

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.

A Week in Legal London can earn 25 MCLE hours

The State Bar Litigation Section will offer attorneys an opportunity to discover new insights into law from the English perspective by attending “A Week in Legal London” from June 29 – July 4.

Participants will 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. They will attend sessions at the Royal Courts of Justice, Old Bailey and the High Court of Justice, and luncheons at the 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 live and study at Oxford.

Attorneys can choose to attend one or both programs; although still under development, they typically offer 25 hours of continuing education credit.

Check the Litigation Section Web site at for additional information about the programs, registration fees and travel arrangements. Call 415-538-2546 for further information.

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.

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