California Bar Journal
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Law corporation reports due on March 31

The State Bar’s 1999 Law Corporation Annual Report/2000 Renewal will be mailed to all law corporations certified before Dec. 1, 1999.

Reports are due on or before March 31, and a $110 late penalty attaches if the report is received after that date.

Questions about the annual report may be addressed to the office of certification at 415/538-2100.

Annual ethics symposium scheduled June 17

Cutting edge ethical issues, ranging from multidisciplinary practice to ADR ethics, will be the focus of the Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium in June.

The day-long event is co-sponsored by the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) and Western State University in Fullerton. It is scheduled for June 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the university in Fullerton.

The symposium will feature plenary sessions and smaller panels and offers participants six hours of continuing education credit in ethics.

For further information, contact Randall Difuntorum at 415/538-2161.

Pro bono opportunities in the northern U.S. district

The U.S. District Court for northern California is looking for volunteer attorneys interested in handling civil matters for unrepresented petitioners.

The court screens the matters and assigns non-frivolous cases on a pro bono basis. The matters include issues such as prisoner’s rights, Social Security, discrimination claims, civil rights and Title VII.

Reimbursement for some out-of-pocket expenses may be available.

Designation of a case as pro bono does not affect any right that appointed counsel may have to seek fees under any governing statute or other legal authority.

To learn more about the program, check out the court’s web site at and click on the pro bono link, or contact Robin Lipsky at 415/522-3600.

ABA seeking nominees for service award

Nominations are open for the 2000 Edmund Muskie Pro Bono Service Award, conferred annually by the American Bar Association tort and insurance practice section.

The award recognizes section members who undertake efforts for the public good.

Nominations may be made for individuals or groups working cooperatively on pro bono projects. The deadline is April 15.

For information, contact Angela Boykin at 312/988-6229 or by e-mail:

Foundation awards $161,999 in grants

The Foundation of the State Bar awarded 31 grants for the year 2000 totalling $161,999.

The largest number — 11 — went to legal services programs, including the National Housing Law Project in Oakland, Legal Aid Society in San Bernardino, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of San Francisco, and the Inner City Law Project, Center for Law & Justice and Free Clinic in Los Angeles.

Seven more grants were awarded for State Bar projects, including Law Day, an estate planning program, and educational programs involving professional responsibility.

The remainder were divided among the courts, foundations, bar associations, other non-profits, one law school and the Judicial Council.

The Foundation of the State Bar supports law-related community and public service projects. It also awards scholarships to law students who have engaged in community service.

Public hearings on MCLE to be set for April

Five public hearings on the future of the State Bar’s minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) program will be scheduled in April.

Although the dates and exact locations are not yet definite, tentative plans call for hearings in Fresno, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Francisco and another northern California location.

When available, dates and locations will be posted on the bar’s web site at Information also is available by calling 415/538-2133.

435 attorneys pass legal specialist examination

Four hundred thirty-five attorneys passed the legal specialist examination administered last summer, the first step in a long process of becoming certified in one of eight areas of practice.

The overall pass rate was 73 percent.

Approximately 3,500 attorneys are certified by the State Bar as legal specialists. The certification program is designed to help consumers find attorneys who have demonstrated ability and experience in specialized fields of law.

The eight areas are: appellate; criminal; estate planning, trust and probate law; family; immigration and nationality; personal and small business bankruptcy; taxation; and workers’ compensation.

To qualify as a certified specialist, an attorney must be an active member of the bar, have substantial experience in the field, pass a written exam, complete approved legal education programs and be evaluated by judges and other attorneys.

The next written exam will be held in the summer of 2001; application forms will be available after Nov. 1.

Information about the program is available by calling 415/538-2100, e-mail, or by visiting the bar’s web site at

Court offers immediate notice of judgments

Attorneys admitted to the U.S. District Court’s central district may enroll in a free program which permits them to receive immediate faxed or e-mailed copies of judgments and orders.

The optical scanning program is available now in the district’s western (Los Angeles) and southern (Santa Ana) divisions, and is expected to start up in the eastern (Riverside) division shortly.

Attorneys who enroll in the program receive copies of judgments and orders, including notice of entry of these documents, via fax or e-mail for all cases pending in the central district court, including cases filed in the future, in which the attorney is counsel of record.

The program is available to lawyers admitted to the central district as well as out-of-state attorneys.

Enrollment forms are available at or by calling 213/894-5474.