California Bar Journal
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Special election set to fill District 3 vacancy

Ballots will be mailed next month in a special election to fill a vacancy on the State Bar Board of Governors left by the resignation of San Jose attorney Erica Yew, who was appointed to the bench. Yew, a member of the board since 2000, represented attorneys in District 3, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

In October, the board of governors appointed Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Ravel to fill Yew's position until a new member is sworn in early next year. Ravel was a member of the board from 1995-98.

The last day to file nominating petitions is Dec. 10 and ballots are expected to be mailed Jan. 4. Feb. 22 is the last day to vote. Any active member of the State Bar in good standing whose business address is in District 3 is eligible to vote.

Election information is available on the State Bar's web site, For additional information, call Biljanna Sivanov, at 415/538-2274.

Fee statements mailed; dues are due Feb. 1

Fee statements were mailed to active and inactive California lawyers last month and bar dues must be paid by Feb. 1.

Dues for most active attorneys for 2002 are $390 and for inactive attorneys are $50. Fee scaling also is available for those who earn less than $40,000 a year from the practice of law. Those earning under $25,000 may receive a 50 percent reduction in their dues and those earning less than $40,000 may have the amount reduced by 25 percent.

The fee statement also includes check-off boxes for donations to the Foundation of the State Bar and the Conference of Delegates. The foundation, which collected more than $650,000 from members who donated through the fee bill last year, is once again seeking donations of $50. The conference, which is now self-funded, is asking for a $10 donation from members. It collected nearly $150,000 last year from members contributing through the fee statement.

The fee statement also is available online this year. Members needing a duplicate bill may print out their personalized statement at

Members who do not pay their dues before March 15 are subject to a 10 percent penalty; after May 15, an additional 15 percent penalty is assessed.

Questions about the bill may be directed to membership services at 415/538-2360.

Gov. Davis names new public board member

Gov. Gray Davis appointed Joseph Rouzan Jr., city administrator of the city of Ingle-wood, to the State Bar Board of Governors.

Rouzan, 69, of Los Angeles, was executive director for the Los Angeles Police Commission in 1993. He also served as deputy city manager for Long Beach, assistant city manager for Inglewood and city manager of Compton.

In addition, Rouzan was police chief of Inglewood and Compton, was a Los Angeles police captain and handled law enforcement and security for Los Angeles airport for five years.

His appointment leaves one vacancy for a public member on the 23-member board.

Fee arb training will be offered Dec. 10 in Chico

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a training program in Chico sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free training offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics.

The training is scheduled for Dec. 12 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Cal Northern School of Law, 1395 Ridgewood Drive, Chico. It is for arbitrators for the Butte County Bar Association, as well as interested attorneys from the area. State Bar fee arbitrators also are welcome to attend.

Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding.

To register, call the Butte County bar's fee arbitration committee at 530/345-1940 or e-mail, indicating whether you are a current fee arbitrator. For more information, contact Jill Sperber, director of the State Bar's fee arbitration program, at 415/538-2023.

MCLE deadline for Group 3 (last names N-Z) is Feb. 1

Attorneys who are members of MCLE Compliance Group 3 (last names beginning N-Z) must complete 25 hours of continuing education by the compliance deadline of Feb. 1, 2002. Those who did not complete the previously required 36 hours by Feb. 1, 1999, have until Feb. 1, 2002, to complete a total of 61 hours.

A late fee of $75 will be assessed March 15 for those who have not complied.

Compliance cards will be mailed Dec. 28 to members of Group 3.

Questions about MCLE compliance may be directed to 415/538-2100.

E-briefs offer bar updates

The State Bar recently launched "e-briefs," a short summary of recent news developments or announcements of interest to lawyers. The mailings are provided on a timely basis. If you wish to be put on our internet mailing list, please provide your e-mail address to

State Bar seeks applicants for two lawyer groups

The State Bar is seeking applicants for two positions on the Judicial Council and for six appointments to the ABA House of Delegates.

The Judicial Council appointments begin Sept. 15, 2002, and expire Sept. 14, 2005. Meetings are held six to seven times a year; the annual time commitment is about 300 hours for meetings and assignments. Members are reimbursed for travel. 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.

The ABA delegates each serve a two-year term, from Aug. 14, 2002, to Aug. 11, 2004. They are expected to attend two meetings a year as well as participate in conference calls. They are required to pay their own travel expenses. The board will consider each applicant's participation in ABA activities, working knowledge of the House of Delegates and understanding of current issues.

Deadline for applications for both groups is Feb. 22.

Applications must be submitted to the State Bar's Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94105-1639, or by fax, 415/538-2255. Further information is available by calling 415/538-2299.

Calling all retired lawyers

Retired California attorneys are invited to join the State Bar's emeritus attorney pro bono program, through which they may donate all their legal work to an approved legal services program. Approved by the board of governors

in 1987, the emeritus program is designed to take advantage of the skills, training and experience of retired lawyers. In order to encourage participation, the bar waives the fee to be an active attorney. Interested attorneys can obtain an application from Rodney Low at 415/538-2219 or

Those currently enrolled in the program also must renew their applications.

"A Week in Legal London" scheduled for June 23-28

The State Bar's Litigation Section is sponsoring "A Week in Legal London" from June 23-28, 2002. The London program offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience the inner workings of the English legal system, expand litigation skills and engage in thought-provoking discussion with members of the London legal community.

Participants will attend sessions at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Old Bailey, the High Court of Justice and the Courts of Appeal. MCLE credit will be offered.

For additional information contact the Litigation Section at 415/538-2546.

LSNC board members sought

The State Bar of California is seeking applications from attorneys interested in serving a three-year term on the 36-member board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC).

Positions are open in four areas: Mother Lode Region (Placer, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada and Sierra counties); Redwood Region (Humboldt, Del Norte, Lake and Mendocino counties); Butte Region (Butte, Plumas, Glenn, Tehama and Colusa counties); and Yolo County. Applications are due Jan. 4.

LSNC is a non-profit Legal Services Corporation-funded program created to provide legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The board meets five times a year.

Interested attorneys should include a resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background with their application. Materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Questions may be directed to 415/538-2534 or

Insurance committees seek volunteers

Lawyers with insurance experience are invited to submit an application for appointment to one of the State Bar's two group insurance committees - the standing Committee on Professional Liability Insurance (COPLI) and the Commit-tee on Group Insurance Programs (COGIP).

The committees act as counsel to the State Bar Board of Governors on insurance matters and oversee the member group insurance programs of the State Bar, including life, AD&D, disability, long term care, workers' compensation, business office package and professional liability.

A long term care insurance program should be available to members of the State Bar by March 2002. A broker has been selected and two plans have been approved by the Committee on Group Insurance Programs.

The committee also is researching automobile insurance and health insurance, which were cited in a recent survey as two products members would like to see provided.

The Committee on Professional Liability Insurance monitors claims, underwriting and MCLE programs for State Bar members who participate in the program. Attorneys with expertise in these areas are encouraged to apply. Special features such as malpractice insurance for new admittees and part-time attorneys were added to the program at the request of the committee.

Committee members serve three-year terms and meet four times per year. Application forms and information about the committees, qualifications necessary for service and time commitments are available at Deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

For information concerning COGIP or COPLI, contact Cathie Hastings, 415/538-2276 or

Volunteers sought for access committees

Lawyers, former judges and members of the public are invited to submit an application for appointment to one or more of the State Bar's five access and fairness committees. They include the standing committees on Ethnic Minority Relations (EMRC), Legal Professionals with Disabilities (CLPD), Senior Lawyers (CSL), Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination (CSOGID), and Women in the Law (CWIL).

The committees were created by the bar's board of governors to increase participation in administering bar programs and activities by attorneys who have been under-represented.

The committees identify and encourage members of their constituencies to become active participants in the bar. They also produce MCLE programs and materials, advise the board on policy affecting their specific areas, collaborate on projects and provide input on legislation or court rules relating to access issues or discrimination within the legal profession or judicial system.

Committee members serve three-year terms and meet approximately four to six times per year. Applica-tion forms and information about each committee, qualifications necessary for service and time commitments are available at The deadline to apply is Feb. 1.

For information concerning CWIL or EMRC, contact Rhonda Lunsford, 415/538-2173 or; about CLPD or CSOGID, contact Martin Morales, 415/538-2316 or; or about senior lawyers, contact Rodney Low, 415/538-2219 or

Chief Justice names arbitrator ethics panel

Chief Justice Ronald M. George appointed a 17-member Blue Ribbon Panel of Experts on Arbitrator Ethics last month. The new group is charged with reviewing ethics standards for contractual arbitrators in California.

The panel will review and provide input into proposed ethics standards that will be developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Recent-ly enacted legislation requires the Judicial Council to adopt standards for contractual arbitrators by July 1, 2002.

Jay Folberg, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, will chair the new group.