New State Bar President Jon Streeter and Chief Justice Tani
Cantil-Sakauye sent a clear message last month that court funding must be a top
priority for both bench and bar. Streeter was sworn in as the bar’s 87th president and said in his inaugural address, “I cannot overstate the
gravity of this issue.” The chief justice called for a team effort to increase the judicial branch budget.
Recent streamlined credit checks on foster youth found 5 percent
had bad credit reports, even though most children should not have credit
records at all. When Kareena Blackmon learned she had a credit problem, she discovered years-old unfamiliar debts on her record. A pilot project suggests children may be victimized by
identity theft at the same rate as adults.
A measure signed by Gov. Brown authorizes the State Bar to
collect a $400 fee from active lawyers next year, $115 from inactive lawyers
and offers an option to donate $20 to legal aid programs.
Emily Arnold-Fernandez is honored for devoting her burgeoning career to helping
refugees worldwide through Asylum Access, a San Francisco-based nonprofit she
founded five years ago that has helped more than 7,000 refugees in Asia, Africa
and Latin America.
Elk Grove lawyer Sean Gjerde, already indicted in federal court
for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, was charged last month by the State Bar
with 36 counts of misconduct, including misappropriating trust funds, insurance
fraud and violating a court order.
2011 President’s Pro Bono Service Awards, which recognize California
attorneys and law students who provide free legal services to those who cannot
afford to pay for them, went to individuals who help veterans, the homeless,
immigrants, a victim of elder abuse and low-income tenants living in squalor.