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Public Comment

Social Networking

Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 10-0001 considers: Under what circumstances an attorney’s postings on social media websites are subject to professional responsibility rules and standards governing attorney advertising.

Fee Waivers

Before it was eliminated in July 2011, Rule 2.16 included a 100 percent hardship waiver for attorneys whose gross annual income from all sources was $20,000 or less. The proposed amendment would partially restore the waiver to 50 percent of the annual dues.

Tax Delinquency

AB 1424 (Stats. 2011, Chapter 455) provides for the denial or suspension of a license to practice law for those who are among the 500 largest state tax delinquents. Since the California Supreme Court has inherent authority and power over admissions, discipline and regulation of attorneys, this proposal would create new Rules of Court and a State Bar rule to complement the new law, codified as Business and Professions Code section 494.5.

Failure to Pay Child Support

This proposal would amend California Rule of Court 9.22 (a) to authorize the State Bar to transmit a recommendation of suspension to the California Supreme Court twice a year instead of annually, and (b) to authorize the State Bar to reinstate a suspended member who becomes compliant with his or her support obligation without returning to the court for a reinstatement order.

Pro Bono Practice for Self-Help Centers

The Pro Bono Practice Program (formerly the Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program) was created in June 1987 to encourage attorneys who otherwise would be retired from the active practice of law to do pro bono work. This public comment notice seeks input on a proposal that would allow participating attorneys to volunteer with a court-based self-help center as well as with a legal services program or a State Bar certified Lawyer Referral Service.

Pro Bono Practice for Young Lawyers

The Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program (“EA Program”) Rules were originally created in 1987 to encourage retired attorneys who otherwise would become inactive to represent low-income individuals on a pro bono basis. The retired attorney would become active for the purpose of doing pro bono work with a qualified legal services provider or certified lawyer referral service and the State Bar would waive the active membership fee. This public comment notice seeks input on a proposal that would reduce the number of years of experience required, from 5 years to 3 years, in order to allow more young lawyers to participate in the program.