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State Bar Foundation seeks board members

The California Bar Foundation is seeking applications for several positions on its board of directors for terms beginning Jan. 1, 2009. Attorneys, judges and members of the public who have an interest and commitment to the foundation’s charitable mission, who have previous board, public or community service, and/or who are knowledgeable about charitable fundraising are invited to apply.

The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with the State Bar of California, dedicated to building a better justice system for all Californians. Through the voluntary gifts of lawyers, law firms and other donors, it distributes grants to nonprofit organizations, courts, and bar associations for law-related projects; awards scholarships to law school students who intend to pursue public interest law careers and who come from diverse communities historically underrepresented in the legal profession; and supports an array of other educational programs. More information is available at

The board of directors consists of a maximum of 25 members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors and three ex officio members. Members serve two-year terms and are expected to attend approximately five meetings per year and actively participate on at least two committees. All board members are expected to participate in fundraising and annually make a personally significant financial contribution to the foundation. 

The application deadline is 4 p.m. Aug. 15. Applicants must submit a resume and a statement of interest and qualifications by mail, fax or e-mail to: Leslie Hatamiya, Executive Director, California Bar Foundation, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; 415-856-0788 (fax);

The appointments will be made in November.

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 (select 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.

Two legal services groups have open board positions   

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) and California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) are seeking volunteers to serve on their boards of directors.

CILS, which provides specialized legal representation to Indians and Indian tribes, has one three-year position open, beginning Sept. 1. The application deadline is May 15. Its 13-member board meets four times a year.

Four two-year positions on the CRLA board will be open in November. The term of office is two years, with potential reappointment for two additional terms. Deadline for receipt of applications is May 23. CRLA provides legal assistance to the rural poor. The 45-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.

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 this month. The San Luis Obispo training is May 8, from 6–9 p.m., and the Sacramento training is May 22, 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.

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.

Vote by June 30 for State Bar Board of Governors

Ballots were mailed last 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. See a complete list of the candidates beginning on p. 1.

Ten candidates are running for three seats; two were deemed elected, one in Orange County and another for one of the two Los Angeles seats. Angela Davis, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles will replace John P. McNicholas, and Joseph Chairez, a partner in Baker Hostet-ler’s Costa Mesa office will replace Danni Murphy.

Ballots were 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.

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.

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 or visit the State Bar Web site, and click on Consumer Pamphlets in the right-hand menu.

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