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You Need to Know

Five seats are open on the State Bar Board of Governors

Nominating petitions for five open seats on the State Bar Board of Governors are available. 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 is eligible to run for a seat on the board.

For the first time, the bar will conduct a “hybrid” election offering voting by mail and electronically. All eligible voters will receive a ballot packet in the mail. Those who choose to vote online will be asked to provide their bar number and a voter PIN number printed on the ballot.

Two seats will be vacant in District 3 (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).

Nominating petitions must be filed by April 1 and ballots will be mailed April 30. Voting will end July 1. The petitions can be found online at Go to the Board of Governors page and follow the link to the 2010 election. Or petitions may be obtained by e-mailing

Lawyer members are elected for three-year terms and will assume their offices in September.

Rules revision public hearing

The State Bar’s Rules Revision Commission will hold a hearing March 11 in Los Angeles to take public testimony on proposed changes to the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Information about the proposed new rules can be found at or by contacting Audrey Hollins at or 415-538-2167. Register to testify or present written materials by March 8.

The hearing will be held at the bar’s offices at 1149 South Hill St. from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The commission is currently focusing on 12 proposed new or amended rules dealing with subjects ranging from terminology, disclosure of professional liability insurance, special conflicts of interest for former and current officers and government employees, purchase and sale of a law practice, duties to prospective clients, respect for rights of third persons, limited legal services programs, and judicial and legal officials. The proposals are circulating for public comments, which are due March 8.

Fee information is online

Members may find the audited Statement of Expenditures of Mandatory Membership Fees for 2008 on the State Bar’s website ( The statement shows how State Bar membership fees are spent.

In addition, there is an explanation about the $10 deductions to membership fees and the procedures for arbitration under Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990).

A copy also may be obtained by writing to: Office of the Secretary, The State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

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 go to; 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.

Two legal aid agencies are looking for board members

The boards of directors of California Indian Legal Services (CILS) and California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) are seeking applications for one open position on each board.

The 13-member CILS board meets four times a year. One three-year position is open, beginning Sept. 1. The application deadline is April 2.

One two-year position will be open in August on the CRLA board with a possibility of re-appointment for two additional terms. Its 45-member board meets four times a year. The application deadline is April 30.

Interested attorneys should apply by letter, listing the reasons they should be appointed. A resume outlining work experience, community activity and educational background must be included. The materials should be sent to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639; or Questions may be directed to 415-538-2534.

Pro bono awards criteria updated

In order to broaden recognition for pro bono efforts by California lawyers and law students, the criteria for the State Bar’s annual pro bono awards have been updated.

The new guidelines and nomination forms can be found on the State Bar website.

Nominations must be submitted electronically by March 15.

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.

April 30 seminar for lawyers looking for more meaningful work

The State Bar and Practising Law Institute (PLI) will co-sponsor a free program in San Francisco next month for attorneys considering how to better utilize their law degree. The program, 300 Things You Can Do With a Law Degree, will be held live and via the web April 30. Nationally known career consultant Hindi Greenberg, author of The Lawyer’s Career Change Handbook, will teach the seminar, offering practical ideas and pointers about job and career options lawyers can pursue.

The program is designed for law students, practicing lawyers, unemployed lawyers, re-entry lawyers and anyone with a J.D. looking for greater career satisfaction.

To register by phone, call 800-260-4754 and mention the Priority Code: KTK7-8CAP1. Details can be found at

Rent a car from Hertz

CalBar Connect, the State Bar’s affinity program, now partners with Hertz to provide discounted rental car rates to bar members.

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.

Apply for LSC grants

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced the availability of competitive grant funds to provide civil legal services to eligible clients during calendar year 2011. A Request for Proposals (RFP) and other information about the LSC grants competition, including filing dates and submission requirements, will be available at on April 8.

Grants are available for only specified service areas. A listing of those areas for each state and the estimated grant amounts will be included in Appendix-A of the RFP.

Applicants must file a Notice of Intent to Compete (NIC) in order to participate in the competitive grants process. The NIC is available from the RFP.

E-mail inquiries may be sent to

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 Member Login at After registering with 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 memrec@calbar. Include your bar number.

Sign up for e-briefs

The State Bar offers e-briefs, a short summary of recent news developments or announcements of interest to lawyers. The electronic mailings are provided on a timely basis, usually twice a month. To subscribe, go to “e-briefs” listed under “News” on the home page of the State Bar’s website,