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United States Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme Court term studded with blockbusters

Few U.S. Supreme Court decisions in recent memory have attracted as much attention as National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, which upheld most of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Legal analyst Erwin Chemerinsky offers his take on the health care case and other significant rulings of the 2011 term.

Local bars smooth over some attorney-client clashes

When a client thinks their lawyer isn't being attentive enough, they often don't know what to do. They might end up calling the State Bar. But in a few California counties, unique programs are giving clients a locally-based option to voice their concerns and resolve disputes before they warrant State Bar discipline.

Kelly elected State Bar president

Partick KellyPatrick M. Kelly, a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, was chosen as the 88th president of the State Bar. Kelly will take office in October. He'll be sworn in with two newly elected members of the State Bar Board of Trustees, Christopher W. Todd of San Diego and David A. Torres of Bakersfield.

Proposal would link law school accreditation to pass rates

Concerned that current guidelines don't hold law schools to clear enough standards, the State Bar could require schools to maintain a minimum bar exam passage rate to keep their California accreditation. Proposed rules and guidelines being circulated for public comment would require a 50 percent, cumulative pass rate over a five-year period.

Judicial Council hires judge as AOC director

A retired Shasta County jurist has been named the state's new administrative director of the courts, the first judge to hold the position. Judge Steven Jahr, who spent 22 years on the bench before retiring in 2009, was appointed following a unanimous vote by the Judicial Council at its meeting July 27.

Lawyer admission cases highlight the personal, political
— By Diane Karpman

Kiane KarpmanFor the first time in a decade, there are two significant admissions cases pending at the California Supreme Court. One implicates federal immigration policy and the other highlights questions of personal redemption.

Happenings August 2012

The Barristers and Women Lawyers sections of the San Joaquin County Bar Association teamed up to offer a newly created mentorship program.