Do you know a
good pro bono lawyer?
The State Bar
of California is seeking nominations for the 2012 President’s Pro Bono
Awards and the Loren Miller Legal Services Award. Both recognize
extraordinary efforts to provide high-quality legal services to low-income
Californians. The nominations deadline is Thursday, March 15, 2012, and the
awards will be presented during the 2012 State Bar Annual Meeting scheduled for
October in Monterey. For more information about both awards, please visit Loren Miller Award or Pro Bono Awards; or contact Joilene Wood Grove,
awards chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-305-4651, or Sharon Ngim,
State Bar staff liaison at email@example.com or 415-538-2267.
USF law review symposium
University of San Francisco School of Law’s Law Review Symposium “Big
Brother in the 21st Century?: Reforming the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act” is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., Friday,
February 24, at Fromm Hall on the USF campus. The event is approved for six
hours of MCLE credit. For more information, please visit http://www.usfca.edu/law/lawreviewsymp/ or call
Save the Date: May 19
The State Bar of California’s Committee on Professional Responsibility (COPRAC) is presenting its 16th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium, scheduled for Saturday, May 19 in San Francisco. The 2012 theme is “The Evolution of Ethics in an Electronic Age” and the anticipated topics include: Communications with implied consent under Rule 2-100; Electronic communications and social networking; Ethical and practical implications created by multi-firm representation of a single client; and Maintaining confidences and competence in the area of electronically stored information (ESI) and eDiscovery. The event is approved for six hours of MCLE credit. More details to come!
Seminars sought for CSS
The State Bar of California is accepting proposals for educational seminars to be presented at the California Solo and Small Firm Summit, scheduled for June 21-23, at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach.
The proposal deadline is Thursday, March 1.
The 2012 Solo and Small Firm Summit theme is “Strategic Solutions for Lawyering and Business Management.” Proposed education sessions must be one hour in length and address at least one of the following topics: Practice Management; Emerging Practice Areas; Substantive Law; or Technology.
Courses may offer MCLE credit, but MCLE credit is not required.
For more information, please contact Tricia Horan, manager, Meeting Services Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-538-2223.
rules are now available in an e-Reader
facilitate a lawyer’s ability to readily identify and address legal
ethics issues, the State Bar has published an e-Reader version of the Rules of
Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act. The e-Reader version of the rule
book is compatible with the Kindle
Reader App, a free e-Reader application available for iPads, iPhones,
Blackberry phones, Android phones, Macbooks, and PC laptops. The book also
works on all versions of Amazon.com’s Kindle.
limited time, the e‑Reader version of the rule book can be purchased at
Amazon.com for $5.99, a quarter of the price of the hardcopy book.
It offers several useful features including a search function, bookmarking,
highlighting and annotating. In addition, once downloaded to a tablet, smart
phone or other compatible device, the book can be accessed at any time, even
without an Internet or cellular data signal.
bar’s rule book has been published for more than 65 years. The 30-page
edition published in 1949 has grown to 411 hard copy pages. In addition to the
rules and State Bar Act, the book includes other related authorities such as
selected Rules of Court, code sections, the Federal Mortgage Assistance Relief
Services Rule, the State Bar Pro Bono Resolution, the Lawyer Referral Service
rules, MCLE rules and more.
legal ethics and technology resource page is online
general Ethics Information page at the State Bar website has added a new area dedicated to Ethics
and Technology ― a collection of resources that address professional
responsibility issues raised by the use of Internet websites, email, chat rooms
and other technologies. The resources include advisory ethics opinions,
articles and MCLE programs.
the resources are internal links to other pages on the bar’s website and
some are external links to local or specialty bar associations. The new page is
organized both by the type of resource (ethics opinion, article, etc.) and by
subject matter (law firm websites, electronic files, social networking,
service focuses on providing basic legal research leads on how the rules apply
to new technologies rather than specific law office systems, hardware or
software options. For the latter, the resources of the State Bar’s Law
Practice Management & Technology Section can be considered.
Register a law corporation
Law corporations are required to register with
both the California Secretary of State and the State Bar of California under
Corporations Code §13404. Registration requirements are set forth in
Business & Professions Code §§6160 and 6161.
Rules and application materials are available
on the State Bar website. Information required to register a law corporation
- Proof of registration with the Secretary of State;
- Submission of bylaws and a sample share certificate containing
the appropriate restrictions on share ownership;
- A completed application that reports all the attorneys who are
associated with the corporation;
- Submission of the Guarantee for Claims in the appropriate
- A Declaration of Compliance with Rule 1-400.
Limited Liability Partnerships providing legal
services are also required to register with the State Bar. If not registered,
attorneys should be particularly aware of California Corporations Code §
16306(f), which specifically removes the protection from liability for claims
based upon legal work.
Prior to registering with the Secretary of
State, it is advisable to check with the State Bar to ensure that the entity
name complies with rules and has not already been registered. Additional
information is available at the Law Corporations page, LLP page, or the Law Office Management page. Assistance is available at LLP@calbar.ca.gov.
Create a surrogacy agreement
An “Agreement to Close Law Practice in
the Future” is available on the State Bar website for attorneys
who want to plan for the possibility they will not be able to continue to work.
The sample agreement,
available to all lawyers, spells out the responsibilities of the primary
attorney and his or her successor in the case of death or incapacity.
If a lawyer designates a successor using the
new sample contract, the designated surrogate goes to court for appointment as
the practice administrator who can take control and dispose of the practice. A
lengthy list of duties is part of the contract and includes the ability to open
mail, become a signatory on bank accounts, notify clients and transfer files,
pay bills and handle funds, and accept the original attorney’s clients
and cases. The practice administrator also will have the power to sell the
Feeling stressed? The Lawyer Assistance Program can help
Attorneys struggling to cope with the stress
of a challenging economic environment or a difficult employment situation are
invited to contact the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP), which now offers new support programs in addition to its traditional
help with substance abuse and depression. Support is offered for issues like
stress, relationship and personal problems, grief and anxiety.
Support LAP is designed for attorneys who
might wish to participate in a weekly group with other lawyers and would like
the support of a mental health professional (group facilitator) or a trained
peer counselor who is familiar with attorneys’ particular challenges.
The LAP also offers an Orientation &
Assessment (O&A) to any attorney who wants professional assistance to cope
with personal problems, work problems, substance abuse or other mental health
issues. The O&A provides a confidential assessment completed by one of
the LAP clinicians located throughout the state. Referrals to outside resources
and an opportunity to participate in a LAP group for a short period of time
also are provided. There is no fee for this service.
Interested attorneys should call 877 LAP 4
HELP (877-527-4435) or contact LAP@calbar.ca.gov. All
calls are confidential.
from CalBar connect
During the Holiday
Season, every Hertz auto rental will help the company provide 40,000 free
rentals to U.S. troops. State Bar members can save up to 25 percent
every time they rent with Hertz, a participant in
CalBar Connect, the State Bar’s member services and benefits initiative. For
every transaction made through the end of the year, Hertz will donate 1 percent
of proceeds towards its goal of 40,000 free weekend rentals for American troops. Visit the Hertz
page for details.
CalBar Connect, which provides discounts to all State Bar
members, also offers a variety of insurance plans including Professional Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Group and Individual Disability plans, Life Insurance, AD&D, Auto, Home and Business Office Plans.
Opt out of lists
Attorneys who wish to remove their names from
lists the State Bar provides to qualified outside entities may do so by logging
on to My State Bar Profile.
Go to “Account Information” and select “Update my mailing
preferences (opt out).”
Members also may email their opt-out request
to email@example.com. Include your bar number.