Newsletter for March 30 - April 12, 2015
 

The 31st College of Trial Advocacy (Civil)
Presented by the OCBA

A Series of Weekday & Saturday Sessions, April 15 – May 16, 2015
Chapman University
Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Orange

Unique Program & Workshop Approach

  • Learn the fundamentals of Civil Trial Advocacy
  • Get hands-on training at the workshops in an actual courtroom setting
  • Experienced litigators and distinguished judges provide guidance from Voir Dire to Closing Argument
  • Benefit from personal evaluations of your performance
  • Completion of this program is accepted as one of the alternative experience requirements of the Personal Injury Panel of the OCBA Lawyer Referral & Information Service

Download the flyer for more information or register online today.

News

OCBA Passes Resolution in Support of the Independence of the Judiciary

The OCBA recently passed Resolution 15R-01, which restates the OCBA’s strong support of judicial independence, urges citizens and litigants to support judicial independence as an integral part of our American justice system, and announces the OCBA’s public disapproval of the use of tactics which are, or have the appearance of being, punitive and retaliatory towards any sitting judge and which exceed the realm of appropriate criticism and exercise of the protected right of appeal, or which unnecessarily impede the public’s access to justice. For more information and to read Resolution 15R-01 of the OCBA Board of Directors in its entirety, please click here.


OCBA Members to Be Honored by
Anti-Defamation League

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Island Hotel, Newport Beach

The Anti-Defamation League will recognize OCBA members Marc Schneider, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth Shareholder, and Aimee Weisner, Edwards Lifesciences Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, as well as the late Robert Palmer, former Litigation Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, at its 2015 Marcus M. Kaufman Jurisprudence Awards Dinner, to be held Thursday, April 16, 2015, at Island Hotel in Newport Beach. For more information or to register to attend the event, please click here.


OCBA Member William Shapiro Named
CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year

OCBA member and Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. Partner William Shapiro has been selected as the California Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates (CAL-ABOTA) 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year. Recognized as the highest honor a California trial lawyer can receive, the CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year Award is presented annually to a recipient exhibiting the best traits of a trial lawyer—excellence in advocacy, a distinguished career, and a reputation for civility, ethics, and fair play. For more information, please view the press release.


Have Good News of Your Own to Share?
Submit a Story for Awards & Accolades

The OCBA is always on the lookout for positive news regarding its members! Whether you've been recognized with a prestigious award or have attained an honor unique to your field, we want to hear about it. Simply contact OCBA Publications & Social Media Manager Lisa Brown at lbrown@ocbar.org, and we'll be happy to acknowledge your achievement in the "Awards & Accolades" section of the OCBA website.


Help Raise $2 Million for
Local Nonprofits

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Orange County Community Foundation is super-charging local giving by hosting Orange County’s first-ever countywide giving day on Tuesday, April 21 - Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Secure, tax-deductible donations will be accepted on iheartOC.org during a 30-hour period, and participating Orange County nonprofits will be eligible to receive funding through bonus awards and prizes provided by OCCF and its Giving Day partners. Many of the OCBA Charitable Fund's supported charities will benefit from this online fundraiser, including the Orange County Bar Foundation, Laura’s House, and Human Options. For more information, please click here.


Complimentary Webinar Session from LexisNexis

Thursday, April 16, 2015
The life of a medical malpractice litigator is hardly the courtroom theatrics-filled one depicted on screen. In reality, days are filled with research, investigation, poring over medical records and building a strategy and a case. Plaintiff or defense, there’s a great deal to do and to learn along the way. OCBA members are invited to participate in a complimentary webinar session from LexisNexis entitled "A Day in the Life of a Small Firm Attorney: To Mediate or Not?"

Presenters:
Brad M. Micklin, Micklin Law Group: Brad Micklin’s approach and experience has led him to be an award winning attorney having received numerous awards and accolades. Brad was recently published as a “Top Lawyer in New Jersey” in 2014 in the Legal Network for having the highest ethical standards and professional excellence.

Rachel Alexander, Alexander Mediation Group: In 2008 Rachel Alexander, Esq. founded The Alexander Mediation Group to serve couples throughout New Jersey and New York facing separation or divorce. In 2011, Rachel became the director of The Center for Mediation Solutions in Metuchen, New Jersey and began an affiliation with The Center for Mediation & Training of New York, New York.

For more information or to register online, please click here.


Call for Nominations: California State Bar Solo and Small Firm Section Attorney of the Year Award
Deadline: Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Solo and Small Firm Section of the State Bar of California presents its Attorney of the Year Award to honor a solo or small firm attorney, who has shown exemplary leadership and dedication to the legal profession, contributed to the betterment of the practice of law, and has devoted significant service to the public and legal community. The OCBA encourages you to spread the word and nominate a colleague you believe to be truly worthy. Last year’s recipient was the OCBA's own Solange Ritchie. The 2015 award will be presented at the Myer J. Sankary Reception at the Solo and Small Firm Summit, to be held Friday, June 19, 2015, in Newport Beach. For more information, including nomination forms and criteria, please click here.


Coming Soon from Orange County Lawyer

  • Cover Story: Who’s Who in the OCBA—Get to know your OCBA leaders, including the Executive Committee, Directors, and Section as well as Committee Chairs.
  • Significant State and Federal Laws That Take Effect in 2015—While you thought they were sleeping, your representatives passed these new laws!
    by James Azadian and Samuel Reep
  • Family Law Corner: A Relationship “of Long Duration”—Now that same-sex marriage is legal, can time before legalization be tacked on for purposes of calculating support at a dissolution?
    by Commissioner Richard G. Vogl (Ret.)
  • Ethically Speaking: Protecting Judicial Impartiality—You’ll need to know this information for the judges on your gift lists.
    by Carole J. Buckner
  • A Criminal Waste of Space: Not All PJs Are Pajamas—An identity crisis of the funniest kind.
    by Justice William W. Bedsworth
Get all this and more in the April 2015 issue of Orange County Lawyer.

Have an idea that you’d love to see in print? Review our writer guidelines and submit your article for consideration! We’re always on the look-out for cutting-edge content relevant to the Orange County legal community. Interested in advertising in an upcoming issue? Please contact Publications & Social Media Manager Lisa Brown at 949.440.6700 ext. 123 or lbrown@ocbar.org and take advantage of your 15 percent OCBA member discount!


Make an Informed Client Referral with LRIS

When a client’s legal need falls outside of your area of practice, refer them with confidence to the OCBA’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS)—Orange County’s finest Referral Network and Non-Profit Community Service for over 55 years. LRIS attorneys have expertise in 35 areas of law. Each call is carefully screened, with each client receiving a free brief consultation to review their legal needs and discuss fees. You can refer your clients to LRIS by phone at 949.440.6747 or www.lrisoc.org for a qualified referral.


Post Your Jobs with the OCBA

Is your firm recruiting new talent? As a service to our members, the OCBA is always happy to post attorney job openings on our website. Simply send your job announcement including details on how to apply to OCBA Publications & Social Media Manager Lisa Brown at lbrown@ocbar.org. Are you an attorney in transition? Click here to browse the latest listings.


Renew &/or Add Areas of Practice to
Your OCBA Membership Directory Listing

Want to increase your visibility within the OCBA online membership directory? Consider adding your areas of practice and/or languages spoken to your profile! Adding a listing enables your fellow OCBA members to search for you by practice area, rather than by name alone—which could lead to increased referrals. Purchase your first listing for $25, and only $10 for each subsequent listing. Remember: Practice Area listings are on a calendar basis, so if you want to keep your membership directory profile up to date, you’ll need to renew any listings purchased in previous years. Click here to get started!

Young Lawyers Division

OCBA Young Lawyers Division
Wine Tasting Social

Saturday, April 18, 2015
JAMS, Orange

Come join your fellow OCBA Young Lawyers Division members at this fun, networking social and increase your wine knowledge. Wine tasting provided by Jackson Family Wines. Download the flyer for more information or register online.


OCBA Young Lawyers Division
Summer Indoor Soccer

April - June, 2015
Garden Grove Arena, Garden Grove

Get ready for some climate-controlled fun with the OCBA Young Lawyers Division "Motion to Strike" Indoor Soccer Team! Games are scheduled for Saturday mornings in Garden Grove. Only current OCBA Young Lawyers Division members are eligible, and team size is limited to six male and six female players. Sign-up early, as space is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Download the flyer for more information or register online.


OCBA Young Lawyers Division
Summer Softball

April 20 - July 3, 2015
Irvine

The OCBA Young Lawyers Division invites you to join the Bad News Bearristers for a fun Summer season! The co-ed softball team (a social group where athletic skill is purely optional) will play in Irvine on Wednesday evenings. The 10-game season tentatively runs from April 20 to July 3, with possible game times at 6:30, 7:40, and 8:50 p.m. Players are asked to attend at least seven of the team's games. Sign up early as space is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis! Download the flyer for more information or register online.


Are You an Attorney in Your First 5 Years of Practice?

Created to meet the needs of Orange County Bar Association members in their first five years of practice, the OCBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) brings new attorneys together through educational, community outreach, social, and sporting activities. For just $10 in annual dues, you get access to activities designed to help new lawyers adapt to their demanding profession, encourage early involvement in the legal community, and build camaraderie with fellow lawyers. Click here to learn more about YLD or download an application.

Featured MCLE

Annual Tribute to a Legal Giant: The Journey & Jurisprudence of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Presented by the OCBA and University of California, Irvine School of Law

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Pacific Club, Newport Beach

Panel:
Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean & Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine School of Law

Eric C. Tung, Esq.
(Former Law Clerk for Justice Scalia)
Litigation Associate
Munger, Tolles & Olson (Los Angeles)

Download the flyer for more information or register online today.

Events

Gracefully & Seamlessly Navigating Maternity Leave:
Tips from the Trenches
Presented by the
OCBA Mommy Esquire Committee and OCWLA

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Come join us for a roundtable-style talk about the nuts and bolts of maintaining your practice while taking maternity leave and raising children. We will discuss the impact of this major life change at small, mid-sized, and large firms and provide you with a checklist designed to ensure a smooth transition, no matter your situation. The discussion will be led by McDermott Will & Emery LLP Partner Lynne Boisineau, who has 20 years of experience in the legal field as well as children (one of whom was born during law school)! Lunch will be provided. Download the flyer for more information or to register to attend.

Masters Division

“Reel Justice” the Sequel
Presented by the
OCBA Masters Division

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Promenade Event Center & Gardens,
Costa Mesa

Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Paul Bergman
UCLA Professor of Law Emeritus
Co-Author of Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies

Filmmakers have always loved courtroom stories. Who can forget the brilliantly funny cross-examinations in My Cousin Vinny, the ethical gaffes that accompany a lawyer’s redemptive journey in The Verdict, or Atticus Finch’s heroic pursuit of justice in To Kill a Mockingbird? The presentation will use film clips from wonderful films such as these as springboards for a discussion of such topics as popular perceptions of law and lawyers, the legitimacy and wisdom of courtroom demonstrations, techniques for examining expert witnesses, and cross-examination strategies. Download the flyer for more information or register online.


The OCBA Masters Division was founded in 2011 to serve the unique abilities, needs, and agenda of practitioners with 25 years or more tenure in the practice of law. The purposes of the Masters Division are to uphold the honor and dignity of the legal profession, apply the knowledge and experience of its members to promote the public good, and cultivate social intercourse among its members. For more information, please click here.

Community Projects & Volunteer Opportunities

OCBA Donations Drive for
Survivors of Human Trafficking
Donations Deadline: TODAY, March 30, 2015

The OCBA is collecting emergency supplies for survivors of human trafficking. The donations drive will benefit the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF), a collaboration of agencies working together to protect victims, prosecute offenders, prevent further perpetration of the crime, educate the public, and build partnerships. Online donations can be made through Amazon by clicking here. Please note shipping charges may apply for orders less than $35. Donated items can be dropped off during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at OCBA Headquarters, 4101 Westerly Place, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Download the flyer for more information.


OCBA Community Outreach Event: Women Helping Women/Men2Work (WHW) Spring Quarterly Sale

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Women Helping Women/Men2Work (WHW), Santa Ana

OCBA volunteers are needed to assist with WHW's quarterly sale where shoppers are able to buy clothing and accessories at $5 and under. The proceeds of the sale benefit WHW's employment programs for the disadvantaged. Volunteers will assist with various aspects of the sale, including cashier, bagging, shoe attendant, jewelry attendant, and fitting rooms. OCBA volunteers are encouraged to bring gently used or new professional clothing and accessories for donation. Download the flyer for more information or register online.


Pro Bono Opportunity: Bankruptcy Clinics

Volunteer your time at the weekly Chapter 7 Clinics held by the OCBA and the Public Law Center (PLC). For more information, please contact OCBA Public Services Coordinator Dana Mullin at 949.440.6700 ext. 110 or by email at dmullin@ocbar.org. Additionally, PLC is collecting donated reference materials for use by pro bono attorneys at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana. To make a donation, please contact Leigh Ferrin at 714.541.1010 ext. 290 or by email at lferrin@publiclawcenter.org.

Law School Corner

April 1 and 6 Chancellor’s Chair Lectures Spotlight UCI Law Professors Goodwin, Shaffer

Chancellor’s Chairs are endowed positions awarded to a very small number of UC Irvine professors across the campus who demonstrate exceptional academic merit. Professor Michele Goodwin will present her Chancellor’s Chair Lecture on “Reproductive Justice in An Era of Resistance” on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Professor Goodwin researches and teaches in the areas of constitutional law, property, biotechnology, bioethics and cultural politics. She is the founder and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and is one of the leading voices internationally on reproductive justice and human rights. On Monday, April 6, 2015, Professor Gregory Shaffer will present his Chancellor’s Chair Lecture on “The Problem with Trade Agreements and Why We Need Them.” Professor Shaffer is a leading authority on international trade law and law and globalization. He is the director of the Center on Globalization, Law, and Society and is vice president of the American Society of International Law. Both lectures will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the UC Irvine School of Law (EDU 1131).


OCWLA Now Accepting Bar Stipend Applications
Application Deadline: Monday, April 20, 2015

The Orange County Women Lawyers is pleased to provide the Bar Stipend Award to worthy law students about to take the bar exam. Offered twice a year, the award is given to the student(s) demonstrating financial need who best exemplifies the mission of OCWLA, and a commitment to scholarship, community service, advancement of women or women's issues, and Orange County. Please click here to access the application. Additionally, OCWLA awards a $1,000 Diversity Stipend to a recent law school graduate with a minority ethnic background and achievements and contributions in scholarship, community service, advancement of diversity, or diversity issues. Financial need and connection to Orange County are also considered. For more information and details on how to apply, please click here.


Need Another Hand on Deck?

Chapman’s Fowler School of Law is in the midst of Spring Recruitment and can collect applications and arrange on-campus interviews for you for summer associates, law clerks, externs, and interns. For more information, please contact Michelle Nguyen, Recruiting Program Manager, at minguyen@chapman.edu or 714.628.2648. For lateral positions, whether for full-time, part-time, temp, or contract work, please contact Joan Seguin Mountain, our Assistant Director of Career Services, Third-Year Students and Alumni, at seguin@chapman.edu or 714.628.2626.


Looking for Talent?

Consider utilizing the Whittier Law School Career Development Office to help you obtain talented law clerks and attorneys. We are here to help you with your hiring needs. Become a part of the Whittier Law School family today. To speak with someone at the Career Development Office, please email Assistant Dean of Career Development and Employer Outreach Randy Reliford at rreliford@law.whittier.edu.


Ready to Hire?

Western State’s law students and graduates are well-prepared and practice-ready to bring value to your law firm or organization from the start. Employers are invited to post free job listings or participate in our interview programs. Please contact Pam Davidson, Assistant Dean of Career Resources, at pdavidson@wsulaw.edu or visit www.wsulaw.edu and click on Career Resources. We look forward to helping you find your next great hire!

Upcoming MCLE Programs

Pro Bono Basic Guardianship Training
Presented by the OCBA and Public Law Center

Monday, April 13, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Register online or download the registration flyer.

31st College of Trial Advocacy (Civil)
Presented by the OCBA

A Series of Weekday & Saturday Sessions, April 15 – May 16, 2015
Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Orange

Register online or download the registration flyer.

Annual Tribute to a Legal Giant:
The Journey & Jurisprudence of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Presented by the OCBA and University of California, Irvine School of Law
Featured Speaker: University of California, Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Pacific Club, Newport Beach

Register online or download the registration flyer.

“Reel Justice” the Sequel
Presented by the OCBA Masters Division

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Promenade Event Center & Gardens, Costa Mesa

Register online or download the registration flyer.

**SAVE THE DATE**

2nd Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Law Update
Presented by the OCBA Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Orange

Recent Developments in Arbitration & Mediation Law
Presented by the OCBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Pro Bono Bankruptcy Training
Presented by the OCBA and Public Law Center

Monday, May 11, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Military Cultural Competency
Presented by the OCBA Veterans & Military Task Force

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Trial of Personal Injury Cases
Presented by the OCBA

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

OCBA in Moorea, Tahiti
OCBA Annual Travel Seminar

Nov. 8 – Nov. 14, 2015
Hilton Moorea, French Polynesia

From the Courts & State Bar

Interested in Serving as a Judge Pro Tem?

The Orange County Superior Court is working on scheduling a class to train those attorneys who are interested in serving as a judge pro tem at the Mandatory Settlement Conferences. If you would be interested in attending such a class and serving as a judge pro tem, please click here and submit the requested information by Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Your contact information will then be provided to the court.


Los Angeles Superior Court to Host Judicial Diversity Summit

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Presiding Judge's Courtroom, Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Los Angeles

All attorneys considering a career on the bench can learn the ins and outs of California’s judicial application process at a free morning seminar on Saturday, April 11, 2015, hosted by the jurists’ Diversity Committee of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The event begins at 8 a.m. The Judicial Diversity Summit panelists include a gubernatorial senior advisor, as well as representatives from the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. The registration deadline is TODAY, March 30, 2015. To register, please email mgory@lacourt.org or call 213.633.1034. For more information, please view the Notice to Attorneys.


Request for Public Comment: Proposed Rule Revisions
Deadline: Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Orange County Superior Court is currently seek public comment on proposed revisions to Local Rules. The proposed revisions affect professional dues for Superior Court Personnel and a pilot project for e-filing in the Juvenile Court Division. For more information, please click here. The deadline to submit comments on the proposed revisions is 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Should you have any questions, please contact Judicial Assistance Group Legislative Coordinator Grace Sukumar at 657.622.7057 or gsukumar@occourts.org. The proposed revisions and the comment form may be accessed online by clicking here.


Settle Your Case Quickly, Cost Effectively with Orange County
Superior Court's Civil Mediation Program

The Orange County Superior Court and others offer a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes to help people resolve disputes without going to trial. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial. Through the Orange County Superior Court's Civil Mediation Program, each side in the dispute will pay only $150 to the mediator, which covers the costs of the mediator’s preparation and up to the first two hours of the mediation session. For more information, please download the flyer or visit the Court website.


State Bar Launches Nationwide Search for Executive Director
Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2015

The State Bar of California, which oversees admissions, discipline and regulation of California’s 253,000 lawyers, has kicked off a nationwide search for a new executive director. The executive director reports to the bar’s 19-member Board of Trustees, the governing body for the agency, which is the largest unified state bar in the country. The board’s search committee is headed by Trustees Gwen Moore and Hernan Vera and includes Janet Brewer, Miriam Krinsky, Heather Rosing, David Torres and Terrance Flanigan. For more information, please click here. For more information and details on how to apply, please click here.


California Supreme Court Appoints State Bar Court Hearing Judge

The California Supreme Court recently the appointment of Judge William Kearse McGill to the position of State Bar Court Hearing Judge (Los Angeles). Judge McGill’s term will commence as soon as he takes his oath of office and extend to Oct. 31, 2016. He currently serves as the Presiding Judge of the Division of Workers’ Compensation in Stockton. He was first appointed as a workers’ compensation judge in 2005 and previously worked as both applicant counsel and defense counsel in private practice. For more information, please click here.


Call for Nominations: Aranda Access to Justice Award
Deadline: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Presented for the first time in 1999, the Aranda Award honors a judge who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to improving access to our courts, and who has significantly improved access for low- and moderate-income Californians. The Judicial Council, the State Bar, and the California Judges Association, in association with the California Commission on Access to Justice, co-sponsor the award. The Aranda Award is named in honor of the late Judge Benjamin Aranda III, who was known for his tireless efforts to promote fairness and access in the courts. For more information including details on how to submit a nomination, please click here.


Call for Nominations: State Bar of California Diversity Awards
Deadline: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The State Bar of California Diversity Awards were established by the Board of Trustees to recognize outstanding efforts made by a bar association, law firm, organization or attorney to promote diversity in the legal profession, in their organization or among their peers. The awards are given each year at a reception held during the State Bar's Annual Meeting. For more information including details on how to submit a nomination, please click here.


State Bar Urges Attorneys to Join Campaign for Justice

As leaders at the forefront of your profession and your community, you know that the issues confronting the legally needy touch us all. Help the State Bar close the Justice Gap. Join the Campaign for Justice by visiting www.caforjustice.org, where you can make a donation online. Alternatively, you can include a contribution to the campaign with your dues bill. Make a gift; tell a colleague. The justice gap is a problem for every lawyer and for every Californian. California looks to you for leadership. Your gift is the first step. Please contact Dan Passamaneck with any questions. He may be reached at daniel.passamaneck@calbar.ca.gov.


Request for Public Comment: ESI and Discovery Requests
Deadline: Thursday, April 9, 2015

The California State Bar seeks public comment on Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 11-0004, which considers: What are an attorney’s ethical duties in the handling of discovery of electronically stored information? Please click here for more information and details on how to submit comments.


Request for Public Comment: Re-Release of Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct for Additional 30-Day Public Comment Period
Deadline: Thursday, April 16, 2015

The California State Bar Discipline Standards Task Force received and approved recommendations for changes to the Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct at its October 2014 meeting, and voted to refer them to the Regulation and Discipline Committee (“RAD”). At its November 2014 meeting, RAD authorized the release of the proposed recommendations for a 45-day public comment period. At its March 12, 2015 meeting, RAD authorized a re-release of the Standards for an additional 30-day public comment period. For more information and instructions on how to submit comments, please click here.


Request for Public Comment:
Revisions to Sample Fee Agreement Forms
Deadline: Thursday, April 30, 2015

The State Bar’s Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration (“CMFA”) has developed Sample Fee Agreement (“SFA”) forms to aid attorneys in the development of their own agreements. At its December 2014 meeting, the committee finalized the proposed changes. The modifications proposed to the Sample Free Agreement forms compared to the existing forms are extensive, so they are presented as clean versions of the document. For more information and instructions on how to submit comments, please click here.


Request for Public Comment: Civil Justice Strategies Task Force Report and Recommendations
Deadline: Monday, May 11, 2015

In November 2013, the State Bar Board of Trustees approved the creation and appointment of the Civil Justice Strategies Task Force (CJTF) as a special committee of the board. The charge of the task force was to analyze the reasons for the existing “justice gap,” to evaluate the role of the legal profession in addressing the crisis, to seek the input of groups who have been working to expand access to justice to understand what efforts have worked and which have not been successful, to study creative solutions being considered in other states and other countries, and to develop an action plan with recommendations for steps that should be taken to fill the justice gap and achieve true access to justice in California. For more information and instructions on how to submit comments, please click here.


Request for Public Comment: Revision to State Bar Rules Title 6 re Access to State Bar Records
Deadline: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The California Public Records Act generally requires state and local agencies to disclose records to the public, upon request, except for those specifically exempted. As a judicial branch agency, the State Bar is exempt from the California Public Records Act. In addition, the State Bar is not subject to the provisions of California Rule of Court 10.500, which governs public access to judicial administrative records. However, requests for State Bar records can be subject to the common law right of access, which requires a balancing test to be applied for each record requested to weigh the public’s interest in disclosure versus any interest in nondisclosure, including confidentiality of the document being sought. Although the State Bar routinely receives requests for records, the bar does not have a comprehensive rule governing access to records, which sets forth procedures to govern requests for records and a list of which records are exempt from disclosure. At its March 12, 2015 meeting, the California State Bar Board of Trustees Executive Committee authorized a 90-day public comment period for the proposed rules governing access to State Bar records. For more information and instructions on how to submit comments, please click here.


For more details and information, please visit the Court's website and the State Bar website.

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