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California Bar Foundation
You Need to Know

Speak your mind about the State Bar

Attorneys and members of the public will be able to comment on the State Bar of California’s disciplinary procedures, attorney competency and admissions procedures at two hearings next month.

The meetings will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the bar’s Los Angeles office, 845 S. Figueroa St., 2nd floor; and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the bar’s San Francisco office, 180 Howard St., 4th floor.

The hearings will conclude when all the speakers present have had the chance to address the panel. Those wishing to speak at either hearing and/or present written materials should contact Doug Hull at 415-538-2015 or by Friday, Dec. 11.

The State Bar conducts these public hearings annually. In addition, the State Bar regularly solicits public comment on proposed changes to rules and regulations and the Board of Trustees sets aside time at each meeting for the public to comment on items on its agenda.

Opt out of lists

Attorneys who wish to remove their names from lists the State Bar provides to qualified outside entities may do so by logging on to My State Bar Profile. Go to “account information” and select “update my mailing preferences (opt out).”

Join the Pro Bono Practice Program

The State Bar's Pro Bono Practice Program (PBPP), previously known as the Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono Program, affords opportunities for retired attorneys, as well as those who are taking a temporary break from the active practice of law, to assist low-income Californians on a pro bono basis. The program takes advantage of the legal skills, training and experience of attorneys from all practice areas and settings and offers them the opportunity to contribute their legal expertise to California's neediest residents while receiving valuable State Bar benefits.

Eligible participants will receive a waiver of the active State Bar membership fee and have access to free and reduced rates to attend MCLE programs sponsored by the State Bar, the Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) and Practising Law Institute.

To learn more, visit

Apply for appointment to the Board of Trustees

The California Supreme Court State Bar Trustees Nominating Committee is accepting applications through March 18 from those interested in serving a three-year term.

The Supreme Court appoints five people to the board and two of those seats will be vacant in 2016. The appointee will be sworn into office in October for a three-year term.

More information, along with the application form, is available online:

CRLA seeking attorneys to join board

The State Bar’s Office of Legal Services is accepting applications from attorneys interested in filling one vacant position on the board of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). The deadline to apply is Jan. 29.

CRLA is a nonprofit that provides legal assistance to the rural poor. Interested applicants should apply by letter to Louisa Ayrapetyan, the State Bar of California, Office of Legal Services, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. The applications should also include a resume that outlines work experience, community activity and educational background. Questions may directed to Ayrapetyan at 415-538-2534 or

Have your voice heard in evaluating judges

The State Bar commission that evaluates the governor’s candidates for judgeships is seeking the help of attorneys to solicit information electronically.

For more than 30 years, the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, commonly known as the JNE (“Jenny”) commission, has gathered information about candidates by mailing paper comment forms to attorneys. During the past few years, the commission has been using email to gather comments, but continues to encounter one barrier: the spam filter. Most of JNE’s emails reach their intended recipients. However, some are blocked.

Attorneys can solve this problem by authorizing the spam filters serving their email address listed with the State Bar to accept the following email address: Those who work in legal offices, public agencies and the court system can help by asking their IT specialists to authorize the JNE email address for all spam filters serving office computers.

The electronic comment forms are identical to the written forms. A hyperlink in the email takes the commenter to a website where a form identical to the written comment form can be completed electronically. The electronic comments are maintained confidentially, with access only by investigating commissioners and staff. The use of email appears to result in response rates at least as high as the use of written forms. It has proven to be a cost-effective and efficient method of transmitting time-sensitive, confidential data.

Questions and comments about the process can be directed to

Updated 2015 bar rules book available for e-reader

To make it easier for lawyers to readily identify and address legal ethics issues, the State Bar has published an e-reader version of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act. The e-reader version of the rule book is compatible with the Kindle Reader App, a free e-reader application available for iPads, iPhones, Blackberry phones, Android phones, MacBooks and PC laptops. The book also works on all versions of’s Kindle.

The 2015 edition of the e-Reader version of the rule book is now available on for $6.99, a significant discount from the price of the print version. It offers several useful features including a search function, bookmarking, highlighting and annotating. In addition, once downloaded to a tablet, smart phone or other compatible device, the book can be accessed at any time, even without the Internet or a cellular data signal.

The bar’s rule book has been published for more than 65 years. The 30-page edition published in 1949 has grown to more than 400 hard copy pages. In addition to the rules and State Bar Act, the book includes other related authorities such as selected Rules of Court, code sections, the Federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, the State Bar Pro Bono Resolution, Lawyer Referral Service rules, MCLE rules and more.

Leverage the law through a State Bar section membership

Join other leading attorneys and legal professionals who are passionate about their practices. Each State Bar section provides its members with valuable tools including e-newsletters, publications and more. Highly regarded as a premier provider of legal education, the 16 sections deliver specialized training and practical programs including symposiums, one-day seminars and multi-day conferences, online seminars, self-study curricula as well as updates on trends and changes in the law. Visit our online catalog, which contains more than 1,000 individual seminars.

Sections can also figure heavily when initiating or advocating legislation and regulations. Plus, most of the sections participate in major public education efforts and community service activities, such as consumer radio shows and booklets that explain legal rights. Your minimal annual membership helps to fund all these essential programs and services. What’s more, your membership is a tax-deductible investment.

Membership benefits from CalBar Connect

State Bar members can save up to 25 percent every time they rent with Hertz, a participant in CalBar Connect, the State Bar’s member services and benefits initiative. Visit the Hertz page for details.

CalBar Connect, which provides discounts to all State Bar members, also offers a variety of insurance plans including professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, group and individual disability plans, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), auto, home and business office plans.

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.