White male State Bar changing ... slowly

Member numbersAlthough diversity in the ranks of California lawyers has increased over the last decade, change is occurring slowly and the vast majority of attorneys in the state remain male and white. The results of a survey of randomly selected lawyers conducted last month also reveal that the state’s attorney population still doesn’t come close to reflecting California’s demographic makeup, as reported in the 2010 census.

Into the breach: voluntary compliance on money laundering gets a boost from the ABA and treasury

It was early April 2006, and attorney Scott D. McCreary had an uneasy feeling about the $38.5 million sitting in his firm’s escrow account awaiting transfer to the seller of a long-range Gulfstream G-V jet. McCreary, who leads the aviation practice group for McAfee & Taft in Oklahoma City, knew that the owner of the firm seeking to buy the jet was Teodoro Obiang, the son of the dictator who has ruled the small west African state of Equatorial Guinea for more than three decades, and he wanted to know more about the source of that money.

Despite globalization, lawyers find new barriers to practicing abroad

Lisa A. Alfaro joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in 1995 after receiving her JD from Stanford Law School. Now she is partner in charge of the firm’s São Paulo office in Brazil, and she co-chairs the Latin America practice group. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and she is licensed in California and New York.

“The ostrich is a noble animal … ”

Diane KarpmanThe Internet is abuzz, while blogs and online forums are filled with chatter about a recent decision from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals authored by legal giant, Judge Richard Posner. Yes, this is the same Judge Posner who authored more than 2,500 decisions, teaches at the University of Chicago and has written many books about the economy.

Dues bills mailed Dec. 1

The bills for the 2012 State Bar dues were mailed to members Dec. 1; the deadline for payment is Feb. 1. Although the legislature authorized a $410 fee, it also approved a one-time $10 rebate for all California lawyers. Therefore, active lawyers will owe $400.

State Bar committees need volunteers

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

SCAMCounterfeit check scams continue to target law firms

A lawyer receives what appears to be a legitimate solicitation email from a prospective client seeking representation in a debt collection matter. The terms of a relationship, including a fee agreement, may be negotiated.