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June 30 is last day to vote for bar board

June 30 is the last day for eligible voters to cast a ballot for a candidate for one of five open seats on the State Bar Board of Governors. Eighteen candidates have thrown their hats into the ring. (Summaries of their platforms were printed in the May California Bar Journal.)

The five vacancies are in Districts One (Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties); Three (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties); Five (Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tulare counties); Seven (Los Angeles County); and Nine (Imperial and San Diego counties).

Any active member of the State Bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law within the district in which there is a vacancy is eligible to vote.

Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices at the conclusion of the 2009 Annual Meeting.

Complete information about the election is available at calbar.ca.gov; click on Board of Governors 2009 elections in the left-hand menu.

2009 Election Information

Bar Foundation seeks applicants for its board of directors

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

The board consists of a maximum of 25 members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors and three ex officio members. They serve two-year terms and are expected to attend approximately five meetings per year and actively participate on at least two committees. The meetings typically rotate between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and most committee meetings are conducted by conference call. All board members are expected to participate in fundraising and annually make a personally significant financial contribution to the foundation.

The California Bar 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. It distributes grants for law-related projects; awards scholarships to law school students committed to public interest careers; and supports an array of other educational programs. Information about the foundation is available at calbarfoundation.org.

Applications, including a resume and a statement of interest and qualifications should be submitted to Leslie Hatamiya, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; lhatamiya@calbarfoundation.org; 415/856-0788 (fax). The deadline is Aug. 14. The bar board will make the appointments in November.

Legal specialist exam scheduled for August

The exam to become certified as a legal specialist will be administered Aug. 9. The State Bar certifies specialists in 11 fields of law: admiralty and maritime, appellate, bankruptcy, criminal, estate planning, trust and probate, family, franchise and distribution, immigration and nationality, legal malpractice, taxation and workers’ compensation law.

Currently there are 4,200 legal specialists in California.

In addition to passing the exam, specialists must demonstrate a high level of experience in the specialty field, fulfill ongoing education requirements, and be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work. Certification lasts for five years.

To obtain complete information and to register for the exam, go to CaliforniaSpecialist.org.

The registration deadline is June 26. The fee is $300 for writing or $350 if using a laptop. The exam will be given at the Westin at San Francisco Airport and the Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.

Seniors & the Law is updated and reprinted

The State Bar has updated and reprinted its popular Seniors & the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians, 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.

First printed in 2003, Seniors & the Law is a free, comprehensive guide aimed at helping seniors and their grown children make sense of a wide range of law-related issues and rights that affect California’s seniors in their day-to-day lives.

With an estimated 5.5 million residents age 60 or older, California is the most senior-populated state in the nation — and the ranks are growing. But so, too, are the many laws related to seniors and the many programs geared for them.

Orders for Seniors & the Law should be sent to seniors@calbar.ca.gov. Specify the number desired (i.e., 100 copies, 200 copies), the language (English or Spanish) and provide a full name and complete mailing address (no P.O. boxes). 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.

Fee bill advances

The State Bar’s annual fee bill, virtually identical to last year’s version, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will move to the Senate floor for a full vote. The bill authorizes the bar to collect $410 from every active member — $40 for the Client Security Fund, $25 for the discipline operation, $25 for technology and $10 for the Lawyer Assistance Program are added to the base fee of $310. The one-year bill sets the fee for 2010.

The bill, SB641, is sponsored by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro.

One provision will permit the bar to move revenue from its certification fund, which supports supervision of LLPs and law corporations, into the general fund for the first time. If necessary, the move could add $1.2 million to the general fund.

The measure also adjusts the technology department’s procurement authority to account for increases in the cost of goods and services for tech projects.

If approved by the full Senate, the bill will move to the Assembly Judiciary Committee and then the full Assembly for a vote. It requires the governor’s signature to take effect.

Annual Meeting slated for Sept. 10-13

The State Bar will return to San Diego for its 82nd Annual Meeting, scheduled for Sept. 10-13. The meeting will offer a wide range of educational programs, including MCLE credit in all the subfields, as well as legal specialization credit. Members of compliance group 1 (last names begin with A-G), who must complete 25 hours of continuing education by Feb. 1, can fulfill their entire requirement at the meeting. Courses will focus on four educational tracks: substantive law, practice skills, solo practice and technology.

A new State Bar president and five new members of the board of governors will take office, artists can exhibit their work and luncheons will feature a variety of prominent speakers, including prominent conservationist Jerome Ringo and Katty Kay, the Washington correspondent for BBC World News America. A bar president’s reception will be held at the USS Midway Thursday night and a free after dinner get together, featuring dancing and networking opportunities, will be held Saturday night at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Grand. Vendors will exhibit their wares in the exhibit hall and a 5-K fun run/power walk starts the day on Sunday.

Internet kiosks will be located throughout the meeting, enabling participants to check e-mail and keep up with the demands of their practices. The bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program will offer a complimentary self-study audio CD that will allow listeners to earn one hour of MCLE credit in prevention and detection of substance abuse. The CDs will be available at the LAP booth in the exhibit hall.

Registrants are eligible to receive a free State Bar section membership for the last half of 2008 by enrolling via the pre-registration form in the meeting preview, which can be found online this month at calbar.ca.gov/annualmeeting. Participants can save $100 by registering by Aug. 17. Early Bird MCLE registration must be completed by Aug. 10.

Calling all artists

Members of the bench and bar who draw, sculpt, work in ceramics or photography are invited to participate in the 57th Annual Meeting Bench and Bar Art Exhibit. The artwork will be showcased at the State Bar Annual Meeting in September in San Diego.

Awards will be given in the following categories: oils and acrylics, portraits and figures, watercolors, prints, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, and photography.

Art Show Rules and entry blanks can be downloaded at calbar.ca.gov/archive/calbar/annualmeeting or obtained by calling 415-538-2210. All entries must be submitted by August 1.

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.

Hong Kong CLE program

The Litigation and Real Property Law sections are planning a continuing legal education program in Hong Kong Nov. 1-6.

Participants can earn 21 hours of MCLE credits and will have numerous networking opportunities for forming relationships on the Pacific Rim.

If you are interested in receiving information, please call or e-mail Kristina Robledo at kristina.robledo@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2467. Full details can be found at aweekinlegalhongkong.com.

Opening your own firm

“The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office,” which offers tips on everything from creating a business plan to customer service to using technology to best advantage, is now available for purchase online.

The 602-page guide aims to walk lawyers through the law practice process as well as ask the right questions to determine whether a lawyer is a good prospect for starting a solo practice.

The guide may be ordered at the “Sections Bookstore” at calbar.ca.gov.

Orange County legal aid board seeks applicants

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) are invited to submit an application to the State Bar. Applicants must practice in the area served by LASOC (Orange and southeast Los Angeles counties) and those who currently practice in the greater Los Angeles area are preferred.

Three positions, each for a three-year term, are available.

The board meets 10-12 times per year in person or via teleconference.

Interested lawyers should send a resume, with their bar number, outlining work experience, community activity and educational background.

Application materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. Questions may be directed to her at 415-538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calbar.ca.gov.

The deadline is July 31.

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