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The State Bar is calling all volunteers

The State Bar is recruiting applicants for approximately 170 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 to a committee addressing questions of professional responsibility and conduct to legal services committees that work with day-to-day delivery of legal services to poor and middle-income individuals, administering the IOLTA program and exploring ways to improve access to civil justice.

Most of the appointments carry a three-year term, and the application deadline for most is Feb. 2. Applicants may apply to a maximum of three committees but can only be appointed to one. The board of governors will make the appointments in May and July 2009; committee terms begin Sept. 13, 2009.

The application form and more information are available at (select bottom left-menu link, under Olio, to Appointments Application). Or request an application from the bar’s appointments office by phone, 415-538-2318, or fax, 415-538-2255.

Appointments Information

Feb. 2 is MCLE deadline for last names H through M

Members of MCLE compliance group 2 — last names H through M — face a Feb. 2, 2009, 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 2 who miss the compliance deadline will be assessed a $75 late fee Feb. 3, 2009.

All 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 will be mailed with the annual fee statement Dec. 1.

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

MCLE Information

Fee arb training scheduled

A training session for prospective and current volunteer attorneys who arbitrate attorney-client fee disputes for mandatory fee arbitration programs through the Kern County Bar Association and the State Bar will be held Oct. 15, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

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

Topics will include how to write an enforceable award, arbitrator disclosure requirements and conflicts of interest.

The training will be in Bakersfield at the bar association offices, 1675 Chester Ave. To reserve a space, call Heather Pruitt, 661/334-4700, or e-mail

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

Mandatory Fee Arbitration Training Information

New clearinghouse for foreclosure information

With the support of a grant from the California Bar Foundation and assistance from the State Bar, the Public Interest Clearinghouse has created a Web site to provide information about the mortgage foreclosure crisis as well as opportunities for attorneys to volunteer their help.

The site,, lists agencies and organizations that provide mortgage foreclosure assistance to consumers, ranging from government Web sites to consumer bankruptcy counseling. It is designed to help homeowners facing foreclosure as well as renters who face eviction from foreclosed properties.

Working with the Practising Law Institute, an MCLE provider, the bar is developing training sessions that will be offered free to volunteer lawyers, legal services advocates and HUD counselors. The trainings, which will be offered both live and online, are expected to begin at the end of October. Simultaneous webcasts also can be scheduled.

Lawyers interested in viewing an outline of the training may send an e-mail to Questions about remote sites for webcasts may be directed to

Legal services programs, local bar associations or lawyer referral services wishing to be listed as an organization accepting volunteer lawyers may provide contact information and a description of the services needed to:

Legal services board has three vacancies

The State Bar is seeking applications from attorneys interested in serving a three-year term on the board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC). Three positions are open, in the Shasta, Mother Lode-El Dorado and Butte regions. Applicants must practice or reside in the county or region with a vacancy.

LSNC serves the following counties or regions: Sacramento, Yolo, Butte, Tehama, Glenn, Plumas, Colusa, Placer, Amador, Calaveras, Nevada, Sierra, El Dorado, Shasta, Lassen, Modoc, Trinity, Siskiyou, Solano and Redwood Region.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Dec. 1.

Legal Services of Northern California provides legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times a year.

Interested attorneys should apply by letter and include a resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background. Include your bar number.

The application should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. Questions may be directed to Zupanovich at 415-538-2534 or

Member benefits offered at CalBar Connect

The State Bar offers 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.

CalBar Connect ( 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.

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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