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California Bar Foundation
You Need to Know

Apply to evaluate future judges

The State Bar seeks active members of the bar, former members of the judiciary and members of the public who are interested in volunteering to serve on the 2017 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission). In addition, former JNE Commission members are sought to fill a three-year term on the Review Committee (RJNE), which reconsiders “not qualified” ratings by the JNE Commission. The application deadline for both is May 6. The application form and information on the commission are available from the State Bar’s website or from the State Bar's Appointments Office, 415-538-2370,

State Bar volunteer application deadlines extended

If you are interested in participating on a State Bar committee or commission or in leading a practice area section, it’s time to apply. Please access the State Bar’s applications page for details on the volunteer positions for which application deadlines have been extended.

Nominate a judge for an award

The California Commission on Access to Justice is seeking nominations of a California judge for the 2016 Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award. The deadline is April 4.

The award honors a California trial judge, appellate court justice or commissioner who deserves recognition for significant work towards improving  low- and moderate-income Californians’ access to our courts and demonstrating a long-term commitment to this effort.

The commission will select the award recipient in consultation with the Judicial Council, the State Bar of California and the California Judges Association.

Details and nomination materials are available online. For questions, please contact Louisa Ayrapetyan at 415-538-2534 or

Sign up for April ethics symposium in San Francisco

No fooling: April 1 is the last day to sign up for the 20th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium, which will be held April 9 at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

The daylong legal ethics program is hosted by the State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) and co-sponsored by the law school’s Graduate Tax Program and the Center for Law and Ethics. Those who attend will get five hours of MCLE credit.

For more information or to register, visit the symposium’s web page or contact Angela Marlaud at 415-538-2116 or

Nominate someone for a diversity or education pipeline award

Attorneys, law firms, bar associations and others who promote diversity and exemplary legal training can be nominated for the Diversity and Education Pipeline Awards. The deadline has been extended to April 22. Nomination forms and information about past winners are available on the State Bar website. For more information or to submit the forms, contact Patricia Lee at 415-538-2240 or, 180 Howard St., 10th floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Career resources website launched

The State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) has teamed up with the California Young Lawyers Association to expand its career counseling and career development services.

The Early Career Support project has launched a new website to provide career development tips and resources. The website will also serve as the hub for the formation of Career Development Teams throughout the state.

Visit for more information.

Legal ethics and technology resource page is online

The general Ethics Information page on the State Bar website has an area dedicated to attorney ethics – a collection of resources that address professional responsibility issues raised by the use of websites, email, chat rooms and other technologies. The resources include advisory ethics opinions, articles and MCLE programs.

Most of 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 page is organized both by the type of resource (ethics opinion, article, etc.) and by subject matter (law firm websites, electronic files, social networking, etc.).

The resources focus 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, see the resources in the State Bar’s Law Practice Management & Technology Section.

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 Section 13404. Registration requirements are set forth in Business & Professions Code Sections 6160 and 6161.

Rules and application materials are available on the State Bar website. Information required to register a law corporation includes:

  • 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 amount
  • 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 Section 16306(f), which specifically removes the protection from liability for claims based upon legal work.

Before registering with the Secretary of State, be sure to check with the State Bar to determine if 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. For questions or help, send an email to

Create a surrogacy agreement

A sample “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 would have the power to sell the practice.

Feeling stressed? The Lawyer Assistance Program can help

Attorneys struggling to cope with the stress of a challenging economic environment, a health issue 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.

The 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 a free Orientation and Assessment (O&A) to any attorney who wants professional assistance to cope with personal or work problems, substance abuse, health or 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 an 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 All calls are confidential.

Apply for a Legal Services Corporation grant

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) will soon begin taking applications for grants to provide civil legal services to eligible clients in 2017.

A request for proposals and other information about the grants process will be available from during the week of April 11. See the website for filing dates and submission requirements. For questions, email

Subscribe to the Daily News Digest

In between monthly issues of the Bar Journal, you can keep up with the major legal news of the day by visiting the new Daily News Digest on the Bar Journal’s home page. The State Bar’s Office of Communications scours the day’s news and culls top headlines of interest to legal professionals. You may also subscribe by visiting the Daily News Digest web page.

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn

Stay informed by following @StateBarCA on Twitter and the State Bar of California page on LinkedIn. We’ll give you a heads up about important regulatory information and let you know about other happenings at the State Bar or within the legal community. If you’re seeking information relevant to your particular practice area, the State Bar’s voluntary sections and the California Young Lawyers Association also have a presence on social media through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Opt out of sharing certain information

As of Jan. 1, 2016, the State Bar of California is subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). For more information regarding the impact of CPRA on the bar’s obligation to release member information, please log on to My State Bar Profile. Go to “account information” and select “update my mailing preferences (opt out).”