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Judicial Council, ABA group seek applicants

The State Bar is seeking applicants for one position on the Judicial Council and six positions, one for a young lawyer, in the ABA House of Delegates. The term for the lawyer appointee to the Judicial Council begins Sept. 15, 2009, and expires Sept. 14, 2012. Meetings are held six to seven times a year with an annual time commitment of about 300 hours. Members are reimbursed for approved travel by the Judicial Council.

In making the appointments, the bar board of governors will consider the applicants’ demonstrated leadership skills and ability to effectively represent the lawyer perspective on the council.

Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates serve two-year terms but are eligible to serve three consecutive terms. The terms of current delegates expire next August and eligible incumbents may apply for reappointment. Each State Bar delegate must be an ABA member in good standing throughout his or her tenure as a delegate. Applicants for the young lawyer position must be 35 years or younger at the time his/her term begins.

Delegates pay their own travel expenses and are expected to attend the ABA midyear and annual meetings as well as participate in conference calls. In addition to the bar’s selection guidelines, consideration will be given to each applicant’s qualifications, attendance at meetings, participation in ABA activities and/or work contributed to the ABA in the past two years.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 2. Applications must be submitted to the State Bar’s Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94105-1639, or by fax to 415-538-2255. Further information is available at the State Bar Web site, Select links to Committees and Commissions and to Other Entity Appointments. Applicants may also contact the Appointments Office at 415-538-2318.

Appointments application and information

Dues bills mailed Dec. 1

The State Bar’s annual fee statement will be mailed Dec. 1 to all active attorneys and all inactive lawyers under the age of 70. Dues must be paid by Feb. 2.

The 2009 bar dues for active attorneys will be $410 and for inactive lawyers, the dues are $125.

Payment can be completed online. Full details will be on the statement.

Fees for inactive attorneys age 70 and over are waived under Board of Governors policy. As in past years, attorneys are encouraged to donate to the California Bar Foundation, the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations and the California Supreme Court Historical Society.

Members also may donate to the Justice Gap Fund, which helps underwrite eligible legal aid programs in California. Donations to the fund last year, the first year of operation, totaled $1 million.

Lawyers who earn less than $40,000 from all sources of income may qualify for a 25 percent waiver.

If fees are not paid online or postmarked by Feb. 1, a late penalty will be assessed — $100 for active lawyers and $30 for inactive members.

Failure to pay dues can lead to administrative suspension.

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

Members of MCLE compliance group 2 — last names H through M — face a Feb. 2 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 Santa Monica County Bar Association and the State Bar will be held Nov. 6, 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 at the Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St. To reserve a space, call Kim Greene, 310-450-9289 or e-mail SMBAoffice@

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

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.

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

New Pro Bono Practice Program created

The Emeritus Attorney pro bono program has been renamed and expanded to broaden the original target audience of retired lawyers to include qualified and experienced younger lawyers, who do not actively practice, to perform pro bono work. Now called the Pro Bono Practice Program, it allows lawyers who might otherwise not practice to become an active State Bar member for the sole purpose of doing pro bono work.

The work must be performed with a qualified legal services provider or certified lawyer referral service. The bar waives the active status membership fee for participants, who must meet MCLE requirements.

In order to be eligible, attorneys must have been admitted to the practice of law for five years preceding application to the program, actively practiced or been a judge for three of those five years and have no record of discipline for those five years. The lawyer must be a member of the bar in good standing with no disciplinary charges pending.

Participants in the program can offer a wide range of services, from negotiation and settlement to litigation support to document preparation and review. The recommended minimum is 100 hours, but it is not a requirement.

Details about the program, and a link to the application form, can be found at

Pro Bono Resources for Attorneys

Annual lawyer discipline hearings scheduled

Attorneys and members of the public will have an opportunity next month to offer comments about attorney disciplinary procedures, competency and admissions procedures at hearings in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Los Angeles hearing is scheduled for Dec. 9 in the bar’s offices at 1149 South Hill St. The San Francisco hearing will be held Dec. 11 at the bar offices at 180 Howard St.  Both hearings begin at 10 a.m.

Individuals who wish to speak or offer written materials should contact Doug Hull at 415-538-2015 or by Nov. 30.

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 has developed training sessions that are being offered free to volunteer lawyers, legal services advocates and HUD counselors. A training addressing unlawful detainer defense is scheduled in San Francisco and online Nov. 12.

Information is available at the foreclosure Web site by clicking on “Attorneys — Get Involved” in the left-hand menu. Webcasts will be available for ongoing viewing after the training dates.

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 services needed to:

Supreme Court conference scheduled at Boalt Hall

Former State Bar President Jeff Bleich will speak at one of four sessions at a conference focusing on the California Supreme Court at Boalt Hall this month. Members of the court will moderate the sessions, which will address a review of the most recent term, the death penalty, access to justice in family court and arbitration and private judging.

The conference is the first of its kind and will provide a forum for judges, government officials, scholars and practitioners to discuss the court’s work and legal issues affecting California’s judiciary.

The conference will be held Nov. 14 at the Clark Kerr Conference Center at UC Berkeley. Information is available at and online registration can be found at

Conference on the Supreme Court of California information

New affinity partners join CalBar Connect

Anew group of affinity partners who provide tools and services to assist attorneys with marketing their practices have joined CalBar Connect, the State Bar’s members-only Web site. The new partners are:

  • Research Triangle Software provides discounts on Lettermark® branded and secure e-mail.
  • specializes in legal web design. Through CalBar Connect, members receives up to a 25 percent discount.
  • Threads Apparel & Merchandise offers exclusive savings for members only. Save an average of 28 percent on promotional apparel and merchandise needs.
  • is a web-based tool that provides attorneys with tools and tips to market their law practice. Through CalBar Connect, members receive a $200 discount on the annual subscription fee.

CalBar Connect (, part of the bar’s member services and benefits initiative, links directly to partners, their products and to other State Bar member services and benefits.

Other partners include Bank of America, offering a full range of financial products, insurance partners — Marsh Affinity, Liberty Mutual and AI&PS — and UPS, Office Max and Brooks Brothers.

CalBar Connect

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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