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You Need to Know

Canvass board sought for bar election

The State Bar is recruiting active attorneys to serve as members of a five-person canvassing board that meets to certify the count for the Board of Governors election and resolve any questionable ballots.

This year’s canvass will be held July 9 from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the State Bar’s San Francisco office at 180 Howard St. Four positions are available and canvassing board members will receive $200 for their time.

Interested attorneys should e-mail Michelle Pierce at by June 15.

Annual Meeting set for Sept. 23-26 in Monterey

The State Bar will hold its 83rd Annual Meeting in Monterey this year, featuring dozens of educational programs, luncheons with renowned speakers, receptions and award ceremonies, a Fun Run/Power Walk, the annual art show, and more.

Active attorneys whose last names begin with N-Z face a Feb. 1, 2011, MCLE compliance deadline and can obtain most of the necessary credits at the meeting. Courses will include credit in all of the subfields as well as legal specialization. Focused educational tracks will help lawyers meet their requirements.

Online registration for the meeting will be available later in the summer.

Five seats open on bar board

Ballots for candidates for five open seats on the State Bar Board of Governors must be returned by June 30. Eligible voters include any active member of the State Bar who maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law within the bar district in which there is a vacancy.

For the first time, the bar is conducting a “hybrid” election offering voting by mail and electronically. In addition to the ballot packet received by mail, voters may cast their ballot online by providing their bar number and a voter PIN number printed on the ballot.

Two seats are vacant in District 7 (Los Angeles) and the remaining vacancies for single seats are in District 2, (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, Tuolumne and Yolo counties); District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) and District 4 (Marin and San Francisco counties).

Biographies of the candidates can be found online. Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices in September.

Bar will introduce new website

The State Bar will introduce a redesigned website in mid-June, offering a new look and feel. The redesign marks the first time since 2002 that the site has been revamped

New features will be added throughout the year, including an expanded attorney profile section and “Find Legal Help,” a quick search for members of the public looking for a lawyer for legal assistance.

Attorney access to the My State Bar Profile feature from the home page will be augmented with direct access to the attorney search feature from the home page.

Rainmaker retreat set for June

The State Bar will sponsor a rainmaker retreat — a two-day marketing boot camp for small firm and solo practitioners — June 18 and 19 at the State Bar offices in San Francisco. The retreat is a business development workshop featuring Stephen Fairley of The Rainmaker Institute and will include step-by-step marketing strategies designed to help attorneys in small firms and solo practices gain a competitive marketing edge.

To reserve a place, call 888-588-5891 or visit

June hearing scheduled on new professional rules

A State Bar commission will hold a hearing June 10 in Los Angeles to receive testimony on new and revised Rules of Professional Conduct that are expected to be adopted by the Board of Governors and then submitted to the California Supreme Court for approval. The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. by the Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the State Bar offices at 1149 South Hill St.

Individuals interested in testifying or presenting written material should contact Audrey Hollins at 415-538-2167 or by June 8. Advance registration is encouraged. (Go to public hearing notice and registration form).

The proposed new and amended rules, being circulated for public comment until June 15, address issues ranging from conflicts of interest and lawyer advertising to confidentiality and sexual relations between lawyers and clients. A complete list of the rules and other background materials are available at

California Bar Foundation board has openings

The California Bar Foundation is seeking applications for several positions on its Board of Directors for terms beginning Jan. 1, 2011. The board consists of a maximum of 25 members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors and three ex officio members. They serve two-year terms and are expected to attend approximately five board meetings per year and actively participate on at least two committees.

Meetings typically rotate between San Francisco and Los Angeles and most committee meetings are conducted by conference call. Board members may also be required to attend a variety of other foundation-related events and they are expected to participate in fundraising and annually make a personally significant financial contribution to the foundation.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization, affiliated with the State Bar, that distributes grants for law-related projects, awards scholarships to law school students who intend to pursue public interest law careers or who come from communities historically underrepresented in the legal profession, and it supports other educational programs. It raises funds through gifts of lawyers, law firms and other donors.

Applicants must submit a resume and a statement of interest and qualifications by mail, fax or e-mail to: Leslie Hatamiya, Executive Director, California Bar Foundation, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105; (fax) 415-856-0788; e-mail The deadline for applications is Aug. 13.

More information about the foundation can be found at For information about board member duties and expectations, e-mail

Nominations sought for Judicial Council advisory committees

The Judicial Council is soliciting nominations for its advisory committees. Openings are available on 16 committees, ranging from technology to mental health to civil and small claims. Each group regularly monitors certain topics or areas of the law as they affect the judicial branch.

Membership requires a commitment of about 10 hours per month, but may vary. Members meet in person once a year and by telephone conference five to 10 times per year. The terms generally are three years and will begin Nov. 1.

Interested applicants should fill out a nomination form (, attach a resume no longer than two pages and send to Maria Kwan, Administrative Office of the Courts, Office of the Secretariat, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco CA 94102-3688; fax to 415-865-4586. Questions may be addressed to 415-865-7640. The deadline is June 30.

E-mail addresses required

All State Bar members were required to provide an e-mail address to the State Bar by Feb. 1 under a new rule of court approved by the Supreme Court. Anyone who has not done so can log on to My State Bar Profile and follow the prompts.

Lawyers are statutorily required to keep their addresses updated within 30 days of a move. Under new rule 9.7, all address changes must be completed electronically through My State Bar Profile.

Inactive lawyers over 70 are exempt from the new requirement.

Questions may be directed to 1-888-800-3400.

Malpractice insurance disclosure required

Under Rule of Professional Conduct 3-410, which took effect Jan. 1, lawyers who do not carry malpractice insurance must notify their clients in writing — under most circumstances — that they are not insured.

Notification must be made at the time a client hires the lawyer if it is “reasonably foreseeable” that the representation will exceed four hours. If the insurance coverage later lapses, the attorney must tell the client within 30 days of the time he or she is no longer insured.

The rule does not apply to government lawyers and in-house counsel nor to legal services provided in an emergency to avoid prejudice to a client’s rights or interest. It also does not apply if the lawyer previously informed the same client that he or she was not insured.

Malpractice insurance disclosure FAQs

Calling all artists

Members of the bench and bar who draw, sculpt, work in ceramics or photography are invited to participate in the 58th Annual Meeting Bench and Bar Art Exhibit. The artwork will be showcased at the State Bar Annual Meeting, Sept. 23-26, in Monterey.

Rules and entry blanks can be downloaded at, or obtained by calling the art show coordinator at 415-538-2210. All entries must be submitted by Aug. 9.

CalBar Connect cards sent with bar cards

State Bar members received a CalBar Connect Savings Card with their bar cards this year, entitling them to discounts at Joie de Vivre hotels and Hertz rental cars. The cards carry the discount codes needed to obtain member discounts.

Guests at Joie de Vivre hotels can receive a 15 percent discount on their stay through the bar’s affinity program. The hotel chain includes 35 boutique hotels throughout California.

Bar members also can receive discounted rental car rates from Hertz.

The bar also partners with T-Mobile, the nation’s No. 4 wireless carrier, and CoreVault, a company that offers online data backup and recovery, in addition to Bank of America, UPS, Office Max and several insurance companies.

Go to for complete details.

T-mobile and Hertz are currently offering seasonal promotions at CalBar Connect. Visit the “What’s New” page for details on these promotions and other available discounts and special programs.

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).”

Members also may e-mail their opt out request to

Include your bar number.