California Bar Journal
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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, $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.

Applicants sought for Judicial Council, ABA House

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.

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. 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 were mailed to members of Group 3 Dec. 28.

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

Volunteers needed for 200 State Bar committees

The State Bar is recruiting applicants for approximately 200 positions on more than three dozen committees, boards and commissions. Groups with open positions range from committees dealing with access and fairness issues, to executive committees focused on particular areas of the law, to a committee addressing questions of professional responsibility and conduct, to the Committee of Bar Examiners.

Most of the appointments carry a three-year term, and the application deadline for most is Feb. 1.

Among the committees seeking applicants are:

n The Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), which investigates and evaluates judicial candidates for the governor. Applications for JNE are due Jan. 22.

n Five access and fairness committees, including ethnic minority relations, legal professionals with disabilities, senior lawyers, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and women in the law.

n The standing Committee on Professional Liability Insurance (COPLI) and the Committee on Group Insurance Programs (COGIP), which act as counsel to the board of governors on insurance matters and oversee the bar's member group insurance programs, including life, AD&D, disability, long term care, workers' compensation, business office package and professional liability.

Applicants can apply to a maximum of three committees but can only be appointed to one. The State Bar Board of Governors will make the appointments in August, and committee terms begin in mid-October.

For an application or more information, visit the State Bar's website at Or, request an application from the bar's appointments office by phone 415/538-2299, fax 415/538- 2255 or e-mail (

Standards for private arbitrators considered

Under legislation which takes effect July 1, neutral arbitrators in private, contractual arbitrations must comply with ethics standards adopted by the Judicial Council of California. The standards are to be consistent with the standards that apply to arbitrators in the judicial arbitration program and must address the disclosure of interests, relationships or affiliations that may constitute conflicts of interest, including prior service as an arbitrator or other dispute resolution neutral entity, disqualifications, acceptance of gifts and establishment of future professional relationships.

The Judicial Council's staff is preparing draft standards, with the assistance of an 18-member panel appointed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George. The proposed standards are scheduled to be distributed for public comment later this month and will be available for review on the Judicial Council website at

Public forums on the standards also will be held on Feb. 7 in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX, 6101 West Century Blvd., and on Feb. 8 at the Judicial Council Conference Center, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Third Floor, in San Francisco. The Judicial Council is expected to consider the proposed standards and public comment in April. To reserve a time to speak at either public forum, contact Tracy Tognetti, 415/865-7964; e-mail:

For further information, contact Heather Anderson, Administrative Office of the Courts, Office of the General Counsel, 415/865-7691; e-mail:

'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. 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.

Fee arbitrators needed

The State Bar seeks fee arbitrators for its mandatory fee arbitration program. Voluntary arbitrators serve for a minimum term of two years. Attorney applicants must be active members in good standing of the State Bar of California for a minimum of five years.

Criminal lawyers are encouraged to apply.

The application may be downloaded from the State Bar's website,

For more information, call 415/538-2020.