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The new year ushers in hundreds of new laws

Law booksAs Californians continue to struggle with budget woes and joblessness, a new crop of state laws goes into effect this month, including laws dealing with a new expedited jury trial option, online impersonators, tailgating paparazzi and human traffickers. Other new statutes impact the workings of California’s family court system, increase the penalties for child abusers and sex offenders and establish the first annual “Ronald Reagan Day.”

Charles Halpern

Meditation: A new practice for lawyers

Although lawyers who might best benefit from meditation may be the least likely to give it a try, advocates say the capacity to listen and stress reduction that are byproducts of meditation can be good for attorneys.

Feb. 1: Deadline for paying dues and meeting MCLE requirements

Active lawyers must pay $410, inactive attorneys owe $125, and lawyers whose last names start with N-Z all face a Feb. 1 deadline.

Get involved — volunteer for a State Bar committee

The State Bar is recruiting applicants for approximately 200 positions on more than three dozen committees, boards and commissions.

Share your thoughts on the bar’s governance

A task force created to consider how the State Bar should be governed will hold public hearings Jan. 20 in Los Angeles and Jan. 27 in San Francisco.

Lawyer charged with embezzlement agrees to give up his license

A Newport Beach lawyer arrested last month and charged with embezzling $117,000 from his widowed client stipulated to disbarment a week later.

Civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman is summarily disbarred

After convictions for tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering, controversial civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman was summarily disbarred last month.