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California Bar Foundation
You Need to Know

State Bar Court judge positions open

Candidates are sought to serve as State Bar Court judges. One Review Department and two Hearing Department judge positions are being filled.

The Supreme Court will appoint the review judge and one hearing judge in Los Angeles. The Senate Committee on Rules will select the other hearing judge in San Francisco. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 11.

A fact sheet and application forms are available through the State Bar Court’s website at To request an application packet by mail, write to the State Bar of California, Office of the State Bar Court – JUDGE, 180 Howard St., 6th floor, San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. For more information, call 415- 538-2001.

Nominate a judge for an award

The California Commission on Access to Justice is seeking nominations of a California judge for the 2016 Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award. The deadline is April 4.

The award honors one California trial judge, appellate court justice, or commissioner who deserves recognition for significant work towards improving access to our courts for low and moderate income Californians and demonstrating a long-term commitment to this effort.

The commission will select the award recipient in consultation with the Judicial Council, the State Bar of California and the California Judges Association.

Details and nomination materials are available online. For questions, please contact Louisa Ayrapetyan at (415) 538-2534 or

Updated resources for civil litigants available online

The California Courts website ( has recently updated resources for attorneys and clients designed to help individuals involved in civil disputes.

The videos and other materials are designed to help explain different options for resolving disputes and information about court-connected alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs. Updates include:

  • Videos that demonstrate different alternative dispute resolutions processes, such as mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences (
  • Videos that provide information about resolving debt collection, civil harassment, and unlawful detainer cases through the normal court process and through ADR processes ( Versions in Mandarin, Korean, and Russian have been added to the existing English, Spanish and Vietnamese versions.
  • Updated links to information on superior court websites about the court’s ADR programs for civil cases (

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:

Sign up for April ethics symposium in San Francisco

The State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) will host the 20th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium, a daylong legal ethics program on April 9 at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Those who attend will get five hours of MCLE credit for the symposium, which is co-sponsored by the law school’s Graduate Tax Program and the Center for Law and Ethics. It will be held at USF’s downtown campus at Howard and Main streets.

Registration information will be posted online in early March. For more information, contact Angela Marlaud at 415-538-2116 or

Threatening to report immigration status can lead to trouble

Lawyers are reminded that using immigration status to threaten or retaliate against workers can be cause for discipline.

Senate Bill 666, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2014, states, among other things, that it is cause for suspension, disbarment or other discipline for any member of the State Bar to report suspected immigration status, or threaten to report the immigration status, of a witness or party to a civil or administrative action or one of his or her family members to a federal, state or local agency. The legislation was meant to protect workers exercising their rights related to their employment.

The law defines “family member” to mean spouse, parent, sibling, child, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, cousin, grandparent or grandchild related by blood, adoption, marriage or domestic partnership.

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 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, the 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.

Opt out of sharing certain information

As of Jan. 1, 2016, the State Bar of California is subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). For more information regarding the impact of CPRA on the bar’s obligation to release member information, please log on to My State Bar Profile. Go to “account information” and select “update my mailing preferences (opt out).”