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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

From golf to MCLE, the 84th Annual Meeting
has something for everyone 

Like most southern California communities, Long Beach was a peaceful, pastoral place in its early days, inhabited by indigenous people and divided into several Spanish land grants in the late 1700s. That bucolic existence is long gone, however, with more than 200 years of development giving Long Beach today the distinction of being the second largest city in Los Angeles County and the seventh largest in California.

Annual Meeting 2011After an absence of 12 years, the State Bar will return to Long Beach for its 84th Annual Meeting from Sept. 15-18, when hundreds of California lawyers are expected to take advantage of the chance to complete all their continuing education requirements in one weekend. And Long Beach can showcase its metamorphosis from a sleepy, oceanfront, agricultural community to a major metropolitan hub.

The four-day gathering will offer 158 MCLE courses in three focused educational tracks: substantive law, legal specialization, and practice skills and technology. Attendees can earn up to 19 hours of credit, including credit in the required subfields: ethics, substance abuse and elimination of bias.

In addition, local bar associations will hold receptions, law school alumni will meet, and the weekend highlight will be “Hollywood Night” aboard the Queen Mary, sponsored by CalBar Connect, the bar’s member benefits program.

Keynote speakers include Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who will address the annual California Women Lawyers dinner Thursday evening, and Cherie Blair, former first lady of Britain, who will speak at the bar luncheon earlier that day.

Other featured speakers include Edgar B. Washburn, a senior partner in Morrison & Foerster LLP’s environmental and energy group, who will discuss California’s water needs at a Friday breakfast sponsored by the Business Law Section, and Richard D. Fybel, associate justice of the state Court of Appeal, who will address the absence of judicial ethics in the German legal system from 1933-1945, an event that includes an hour of MCLE credit. Albie Sachs, a former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, will deliver the Alexander F. Morrison Address at a Saturday luncheon. Each event is ticketed, with prices ranging from $35-$45.

Lawyer-duffers can start the convention on Wednesday, with the Long Beach Bar Association’s Kenneth Zommick Charity Golf Classic at the city’s historic Recreation Park. The $175 fee includes lunch and dinner and benefits the Long Beach Bar Foundation’s SHORTSTOP Juvenile Crime Diversion Program.

A complimentary opening night reception will be held Thursday at the exhibit hall, where more than 100 vendors will have their wares on display. Outgoing State Bar President Bill Hebert will hold a reception the following evening, highlighted by a performance of “My Fair JD,” a musical and dramatic romp that transforms the dry subjects of legal ethics and conflicts into entertainment.

Convention-goers can shed some of those unwanted calories the following morning at the annual 5K/2K run/walk along the Long Beach shoreline.

New State Bar President Jon Streeter will be sworn in Saturday morning, with five newly elected members of the board of governors, as well as the board of the California Judges Association.

Members of the bench and bar who draw, sculpt, or work in ceramics or photography will have their work on display at the 59th Annual Bench and Bar Art Exhibit. Awards will be given for oils and acrylics, portraits and figures, watercolors, prints, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture and photography.

The early bird pre-registration deadline for the convention, for a $100 savings, is Aug. 17.  Pre-registration must be completed by Aug. 24. Tickets to the events may be purchased online until then; after that date tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hotel reservations also can be made online; the deadline is Aug. 17. Blocks of rooms are reserved at four hotels close to the convention center.

Meeting registration and the exhibit hall are located at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center and education classes also will be held there. Other meetings and social events will be held at the hotels.

MCLE courses begin Thursday morning, end Sunday at noon, and will cover dozens of interest areas, from fundamental to advanced levels. They are sponsored by the bar’s sections, individual committees, CEB and various professional groups.

Topics range from time management to making a good impression in court to new developments in tax law to keeping good clients in a bad economy. Need a career makeover? Learn how in 90 minutes. New lawyers can learn what they didn’t teach in law school. Attorneys can find answers to some of the ethical issues floating around in cyberspace. And the graying bar can familiarize itself with succession planning.

Seminars also will cover domestic partnerships and same sex marriages, difficult clients, social media, expedited jury trials, loan modification, e-discovery and help for veterans. Courses range from the highly technical ― “Internal Compensable Consequence Injuries” ― to the very general ― “Preparing and Opposing Pre-Trial Motions.”