California Bar Journal
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Three judges sought for State Bar Court

The State Bar Court is looking for three candidates to fill the presiding judge and two hearing judge positions for terms beginning Nov. 1. One of the hearing judges will be in San Francisco, the other in Los Angeles, and the presiding judge can locate in either city. Applicants for the full-time positions will be screened and rated by the Applicant Evaluation and Nomination Committee, a seven-member panel appointed by the California Supreme Court. Only those applicants found by the committee or the court to be qualified are eligible for appointment. The Supreme Court makes the appointments.

The presiding judge and the San Francisco hearing judge will be named to five-year terms and the hearing judge in Los Angeles will be appointed to a three-year term. All appointments or reappointments after November will be for six years.

The salary for the presiding judge is $133,052 and for the hearing judges, $121,500.

Minimum qualifications for the positions include at least five years of membership in the State Bar with no record of discipline. Judges are not eligible to practice while sitting on the court. Factors which will be considered by the screening committee include the applicants' industry, judicial temperament, honesty, objectivity, community respect, integrity, ability and legal and judicial experience.

The State Bar Court was created in 1989 to hear attorney disciplinary proceedings and to make recommendations to the Supreme Court on those matters. The presiding judge exercises administrative direction and supervision of the court and sits on the three-judge review department. The hearing judges conduct trials and hearings, issue written decisions and make discipline recommendations to the Supreme Court.

The deadline for applications is June 15.

For further information or to request an application packet, call 415/538-2001, visit the bar's website at or write to the Office of the State Bar Court - JUDGE, 180 Howard St., San Francisco 94102-1639.

Legal specialist exam scheduled Aug. 26

The State Bar will administer a legal specialist exam in eight areas of practice on Aug. 26. The deadline to apply is July 13.

California attorneys can be certified in appellate; criminal; estate planning, trust and probate; family; immigration and nationality; personal and small business bankruptcy; taxation and workers' compensation law.

The registration form is available at, by calling 415/538-2100, by faxing 415/538-2180 or by e-mailing

The exam, which is offered only once every two years, will be administered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Westin Hotel at the San Francisco Airport and the Radisson Hotel at the Los Angeles Airport.

The registration fee is $200 or $250 for those who wish to type.

Voting starts next month for State Bar, CYLA seats

Ballots will be mailed July 2 to attorneys in five State Bar districts with open seats on the board of governors and the California Young Lawyers Association board of directors.

The available positions are in District 2 (Alpine, Amador, Calaver-as, El Dorado, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, Tuolomne and Yolo counties); District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties); District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties); and District 7 (Los Angeles, two seats open).

Members of each board serve three-year terms and will assume their seats at the conclusion of the bar's 2001 annual meeting. Voting will end Aug. 17.

Full details about both elections, including changes in the board of governors' procedures, are available at the bar's website,

When You Become 18 is updated and available

"When You Become 18," a booklet designed to help teenagers understand the consequences of breaking the law, has been updated in a sixth printing. The guide includes a chapter on the illegality of child pornography on the internet and includes topics such as voting, jury duty, marriage, divorce, child support, date rape and sexual harassment.

Produced by California Law Advocates, this survival guide for teenagers has been provided to almost 2 million youngsters. It is provided to schools at the request of teachers.

The booklet is funded by CLA chapters and through grants from foundations, including the Foundation of the State Bar. Founded in 1954, CLA provides law-related education and community service in an effort to help young people understand their rights and responsibilities.

Information about "When You Become 18" is available from CLA, Box 8905, Calabassas, CA 91372.

Calling all artists and photographers

Legal professionals with an artistic bent are invited to exhibit their work at an art show to be held in conjunction with the State Bar's Annual Meeting at the Anaheim Convention Center Sept. 6-9. Among the categories are color and black-and-white photography, oils, watercolors, prints and drawings.

Members of the bench and bar interested in participating in the exhibit should contact Cheryl Morgan at 415/538-2465 for information. The entry deadline is Aug. 1.

Task force seeks reaction to new jury instructions

A set of civil jury instructions designed to be both understandable and accurate is being circulated among California judges, bar associations, law school professors and other interested parties. The instructions were prepared by the Judicial Council's Task Force on Jury Instructions, appointed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George in 1997.

The proposal includes 304 pages of civil jury instructions.

It is available online at

Comments should be sent by Aug. 15 to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Attn. Camilla Kieliger, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco 94103.

Law review group seeks public comment

The California Law Review Commission is seeking public comment on three tentative recommendations concerning court reporters, sentence enhancements and rules of construction for trusts and other instruments.

One recommendation would consolidate rules governing when a court reporter must be provided. Public comment is due by June 30.

Another recommendation would reorganize statutes governing sentence enhancements for crimes involving weapons and injuries without affecting their substance. The third proposal surveys existing probate code rules of construction, which have been criticized in recent years as being overly broad. Public comment on the two recommendations must be submitted by July 31.

The recommendations are available online at by following the public comment link or from the California Law Revision Commission, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Room D-1, Palo Alto CA 94303-4739.

Rule will help ensure legal representation for children

The Judicial Council has approved an amended court rule to help ensure that the 90,000 children involved in dependency cases each year in California have adequate legal representation.

Changes to the rule specify the criteria for finding that a child would not benefit from the appointment of counsel, expand training requirements for court-appointed counsel in child abuse and neglect cases and establish guidelines for appointment of a special advocate as a guardian ad litem if an attorney is not appointed for the child.