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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California June2008
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Member benefits offered at CalBar Connect

The State Bar recently introduced a members-only Web site, CalBar Connect, for attorneys to link to affinity partners who offer discounts and programs to help them save money in their practices. The program is part of the bar’s member services and benefits initiative that is expected to produce non-dues revenue to support member services and the Lawyer Assistance Program.

The CalBar Connect link (calbar.ca.gov/calbarconnect/), links directly to the partners, the products offered and to other State Bar member services and benefits. The bar has contracted with major providers of financial services, insurance programs, office supplies, package delivery and apparel:

  • The financial partner, Bank of America, will offer a full range of products, including consumer and business credit cards, debit cards, lines of credit, mortgage loans, small business banking and other merchant services. The bank also brought its lawyer trust accounts into early compliance with new state regulations that require banks holding IOLTA accounts to offer an interest rate comparable to interest rates offered on other consumer products.
  • Insurance partners include Marsh Affinity, Liberty Mutual and AI&PS, which offer products including professional liability, life, AD&D, business, auto, home, disability and long term care insurance.
  • UPS, Office Max and Brooks Brothers will offer discounts to members.

Vote by June 30 for State Bar Board of Governors

Attorneys eligible to vote in the election for members of the State Bar Board of Governors and the California Young Lawyers Association must cast their ballots by June. 30. 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.

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.

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

Ethical rules for trusts and estates practitioners

The State Bar Trusts and Estates Section has published a revised Guide to the California Rules of Professional Conduct for Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Counsel.

Because neither the California Rules of Professional Responsibility nor the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct provide adequate guidance to California attorneys who practice trusts and estates law, the section published the guide in 1997. The new edition reflects the many developments in the field since then.

To order online, go to calbar.ca.gov/trusts and follow the prompts.

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. Attorneys, judges and members of the public who have an interest in 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 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 supports an array of other educational programs. More information is available at calbarfoundation.org.

The board of directors 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 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); lhatamiya@calbarfoundation.org.

Pro bono resources

The Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has compiled an online list of resources for lawyers, law firms, bar associations, legal services providers, judges and law students interested in pro bono work.

Attorneys, including new admittees, can find a list of volunteer opportunities as well as answers to frequently asked questions about pro bono work. In addition, the page offers sample pro bono policies of several law firms, a guidebook for bar associations describing models from throughout the country, and a variety of resources for legal aid providers in California. Judges may access the page to learn how they can encourage pro bono efforts.

The site is calbar.ca.gov>Attorney Resources>Committees and Commissions>Standing Committees>Delivery of Legal Services>Pro Bono Resources. Questions may be addressed to sharon.ngim@calbar.ca.gov.

When You Become 18

The State Bar has updated and reprinted When You Become 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers, in English and Spanish. Free of charge to the public, the guide is part of an ongoing three-part series published by the bar and funded, in part, by the California Bar Foundation.

Some of the topics in 18 include: the “age of majority,” rental agreements, alcohol and drugs, online socializing, contracts, working and taxes, driving laws, voting, registering for military service, serving on a jury, consumer protection laws, lawsuits and crimes and consequences.

Orders for When You Become 18 should be sent to 18@calbar.ca.gov. Specify the number of guides (there are no restrictions on amounts) and language versions desired and include a complete mailing address (P.O. boxes are not acceptable).

Although shipping is free, contributions are always acceptable, especially for larger orders. If you do not have access to the Internet, call toll-free 1-888-875-Laws for a regular U.S. Postal Service mailing address to send your request.

Ethics alert on attorney’s duty of confidentiality

The State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct has issued an ethics alert, “The New Limited Exception to the Professional Duty to Protect Client Confidences and Secrets.”

The alert deals with Rule of Professional Conduct 3-100, which now permits lawyers to disclose confidential information from clients under specified circumstances. Lawyers sometimes obtain information from clients about threatened conduct that could result in bodily harm or death.

The rule, approved by the Supreme Court in 2004, permits the lawyer to disclose such information under certain circumstances.

The alert can be found on the bar’s home page, calbar.ca.gov, under “Ethics” 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 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.

Justice Gap contributions

If 100 percent of the lawyers in your firm contributed to the Justice Gap Fund this year, the State Bar would like to know about it. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati contributed $100 for each of its 510 California lawyers, and there are many other firms that did so as well.

However, since contributions are listed by individual donor, it is impossible for the bar to determine the names of all the firms that met this goal. The bar would like to recognize those firms.

Please notify the bar at justicegapfund@calbar.ca.gov of your firm’s contribution.

Donations can be made at any time at http://calbar.org/justicegapfund.

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