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You Need to Know

Five seats open on bar board

Ballots for candidates for five open seats on the State Bar Board of Governors were mailed to eligible voters April 30 and 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).

Voting will end July 1.

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

Applications are available for the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation

The State Bar seeks active members of the State Bar, former members of the judiciary and members of the public who are interested in volunteering to serve on the 2011 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission). Information on the commission and time commitment is available on the State Bar web site or from the State Bar’s Appointments Office: 415-538-2318; (fax) 415-538-2255. The application deadline is June 1.

The JNE Commission, established by statute, evaluates all candidates under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor. It is composed of lawyers and public members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors. The commission does not nominate or appoint judges but investigates candidates for judicial appointment while maintaining a code of strict confidentiality. Commissioners serve terms of approximately one year and may serve up to three consecutive terms. Each commission member is also subject to a criminal history clearance by the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

Appointments will be made at the bar board’s July meeting. Terms begin Feb. 1.

Bar will offer low cost career change workshops and a free webinar

The State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) will offer a four-week workshop in Los Angeles to help lawyers learn strategies for taking their career to the next level.

The program includes advice on identifying career goals, creating a game plan, developing skills to eliminate barriers to success and connecting with a supportive community of other professionals.

The sessions, from May 19 to June 9, last two hours, once a week (Wednesday evening). The fee is $90.

To register or obtain additional information, contact Richard Carlton, 415-538-2355, or

San Fernando Valley, Riverside fee arb trainings scheduled

Free training session for prospective and current volunteer attorneys who arbitrate attorney-client fee disputes for mandatory fee arbitration programs will be held in Riverside May 14 and Chatsworth May 20. Both offer 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics.

Non-lawyers also are encouraged to attend.

Speakers will address recent developments in fee arbitration, as well as how to write an enforceable award, arbitrator disclosure requirements and the statute of limitations.

Both trainings will be held from 2 – 5 p.m.To reserve a space at the Riverside training, call 951-682-1015 or e-mail To reserve a space at the Chatsworth session, contact Aileen Jimenez at the 818-227-0490, ext. 100, or

For additional information (not RSVP), contact Jill Sperber at 415-538-2023.

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

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 in the left menu 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.

Calling all artists

Members of the bench and bar who draw, sculpt, work in ceramics or photography are cordially 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 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

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 web site,