Newsletter for Dec.8 - Dec. 21, 2014
 

Ethics Update 2014
Space Still Available!
Presented by the OCBA
**EARN 3.0 LEGAL ETHICS CREDITS**

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
Wyndham Irvine – Orange County Airport, Irvine

Speakers:
Carole J. Buckner, Buckner Law Corp., Irvine; Dean, St. Francis School of Law; Co-Chair, OCBA Professionalism & Ethics Committee; Past Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Ethics Committee

Kevin E. Mohr, Professor, Western State College of Law; Past Chair, State Bar Ethics Committee; Vice Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Ethics Committee

Robert K. Sall, Sall Spencer Callas & Krueger, Laguna Beach; Member, OCBA Professionalism & Ethics Committee; Past Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Ethics Committee; Past Member, State Bar Ethics Committee

Robert L. Kehr, Kehr, Schiff & Crane, LLP, Los Angeles; Past Chair, State Bar Ethics Committee; Member, State Bar Rules Revision Commission; Past Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Ethics Committee

Topic:
Recent Developments in Legal Ethics, Legal Malpractice and Risk Management including:

  • Latest case and ethics opinion summaries
  • Ethics rules that all attorneys should aspire to
  • The minimum ethical standards required to avoid malpractice

Download the flyer for more information or register online.

News

Don't Delay—
Renew Your OCBA Membership Today!

As we near the close of 2014, we urge our valued members who have not yet renewed their OCBA membership to do so now. Membership is on a calendar basis, so renew early to maximize your annual benefits. Members receive special pricing on seminars and events, discounts on advertising in Orange County Lawyer, access to special affinity programs, and more. Remember to renew for sections and committee participation too. Click here to renew online or contact the OCBA Membership Department at 949.440.6700, ext. 384. And to those of you who have already renewed for 2015, we look forward to serving you in the New Year!


OCBA Sections Annual Leadership Elections:
Voting Now Open for Family Law and Solo Practitioner/Small Firm Sections

This fall, all OCBA Sections will conduct online elections for open leadership positions. Voting is open from now through Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, for the Family Law and Solo Practitioner/Small Firm Sections. Online voting for the Health Care Law, Insurance Law, and Social Security Sections closes TODAY, Dec. 8, 2014. For additional information on the 2014 election process for OCBA Sections, including a complete schedule of nomination and election dates, please click here.


December 2014 Issue of Orange County Lawyer
Now Available

Both in print and on-the-go, the December 2014 issue of Orange County Lawyer is now available for our valued members. We hope you enjoy this month's batch of features and thought-provoking columns. 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

Voting Now Open for OCBA Young Lawyers Division 2015 Chair-Elect
Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

The official Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2015 Chair-Elect ballot and candidate information is now available online. Your vote is important. Only current members of the OCBA Young Lawyers Division are eligible to vote. Please go to https://www.ocbar.org/vote and login with your specific credentials. Online voting will cease at the close of the election at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. In accordance with the OCBA YLD Bylaws, 2014 Chair-Elect Jesse K. Bolling of Greenberg Gross LLP will succeed to OCBA Young Lawyers Division Chair in January 2015.


OCBA Young Lawyers Division 2015 Open House &
Annual Business Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Mix and mingle with your fellow OCBA Young Lawyers Division members, and meet 2015 OCBA President Ashleigh Aitken and 2015 Young Lawyers Division Chair Jesse Bolling. Bring your ideas for 2015 OCBA Young Lawyers Division events, and get involved by joining a committee. Download the flyer for more information or register online.


Bridging the Gap
the OCBA Young Lawyers Division, and The Daily Journal
**Exclusive Seminar for Newly Admitted Attorneys**

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Orange

Bridge the gap between law school and law practice at this one-day program offering 7.0 CLE credits, including 1.0 Legal Ethics. This valuable introduction to the Orange County Courts and legal community is available exclusively to those admitted to the bar after November 2014. 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.

Community Projects & Volunteer Opportunities

Spark of Love Toy Drive
Deadline: Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Join us this holiday season in making a child’s holiday special, by donating new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment in the 22nd Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive! Coordinated by ABC7 and Southern California Firefighters, the Spark of Love Toy Drive has successfully collected over 7.5 million toys for disadvantaged children and teens. Donations will be distributed to Orange County children of all ages who may otherwise go without. Gift cards are also accepted. Your donations will bring holiday cheer to disadvantaged children throughout the County—make your donation today. Drop off new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment at the OCBA offices, located at 4101 Westerly Place, Newport Beach, CA 92660, during our hours of operation, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please download the flyer for more information.


OCBA Mercy House Armory Community Outreach Activity

Friday, Jan. 16, 2015
Mercy House Armory, Fullerton

Assist the homeless in Orange County by volunteering at the Armory for a three-hour shift to help set up, distribute donations, serve dinner, and clean up. Space is limited, so please sign up early! 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.

Events

2015 OCBA Judges' Night &
Annual Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015
Irvine Marriott, Irvine

Don't miss this very special evening, which honors the sitting judges of Orange County. Ashleigh Aitken of Aitken Aitken Cohn will be installed as 2015 OCBA President. The OCBA Officers and Board of Directors will be installed by Hon. Lon F. Hurwitz, Orange County Superior Court, as will the OCBA Charitable Fund Board of Directors. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Franklin G. West Award—the highest honor bestowed by the OCBA—to Hon. James J. Di Cesare. Download the flyer for more information or register online.

Featured MCLE

23rd Annual MCLE Last Dash & Trade Show
A One-Day Continuing Legal Education Marathon
Presented by the OCBA
**Choose from 19 CLE Sessions, Including 11 Hours General,
1 Hour Bias, 6 Hours Ethics, & 1 Hour Competence/SA**

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015
Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa

Attention lawyers in Compliance Group 2 (Last Names H-M): If you haven’t met all of your MCLE compliance requirements, we invite you to take advantage of our 23rd Annual Last Dash MCLE Marathon. Participants have a choice of 19 seminars for a total of 7 hours of CLE. Choose from 11 hours of General CLE, 6 hours of Legal Ethics, 1 hour of Competence Issues (formerly Substance Abuse), and 1 hour of Elimination of Bias. Download the flyer for more information or register online today to take advantage of the special Early Bird OCBA member rate of $25 per CLE hour.

Law School Corner

UCI Law Student Wins Inaugural Irell & Manella Diversity Scholarship

Alexis Federico, a second-year student at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, is among the first to receive a $15,000 Irell & Manella Diversity Scholarship. Irell & Manella LLP created the scholarship to promote diversity in the legal profession and to attract future leaders dedicated to creating an environment of inclusion. Prior to law school, Federico served as a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps, completing three combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. She is involved with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and has done pro bono work for the Mississippi Center for Justice and the Domestic Violence Declarations Project. She will join Irell & Manella’s Newport Beach office next summer.


How To Hit the Ground Running:
Practical Advice for New Attorneys

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
Adjunct Professor and Western State alum Neil Pedersen will be hosting a seminar on “How To Hit the Ground Running: Practical Advice for New Attorneys” on Dec. 13. The presentation will provide tips, tricks, and advice for surviving and thriving as a new lawyer including how to capture your time efficiently and effectively, how to manage your most valuable asset—your time, and how to control and identify client expectations. Students and graduates from all law schools are welcome! Please RSVP to Career Services at pdavidson@wsulaw.edu. Lunch will be provided.


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.


Hire from Western State!

If you or an attorney you know have an opening for new law clerks or new associates, look no further than Western State. Our current students bring practice-ready skills, possess a great work ethic, and are available for spring and summer law clerk positions. With Bar results right around the corner, this is the perfect time to start interviewing for new associates. Contact Pam Davidson in Career Services to post your job opening for free or arrange for convenient on-campus interviews: pdavidson@wsulaw.edu or 714.459.1106. We look forward to finding your next great hire!

Masters Division

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.

Upcoming MCLE Programs

Ethics Update 2014
Presented by the OCBA

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
Wyndham Irvine – Orange County Airport, Irvine

Register online or download the registration flyer.

OCBA 23rd Annual MCLE Last Dash & Trade Show
Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015
Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa

Register online or download the registration flyer.

OCBA Last Dash Reloaded (Specialty Credit Video Replay)
Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015
OCBA Headquarters, Newport Beach

Register online or download the registration flyer.

**SAVE THE DATE**

OCBA Homegrown Success Stories
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015

A Salute to a Legal Giant
Presented by the OCBA

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

From the Courts & State Bar

Public Comment Sought on Draft Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinion
Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014

The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) invites public comment on a draft advisory opinion discussing whether a trial judge is disqualified from presiding over a criminal case if the judge appeared in that case as a deputy district attorney, but only for a brief, nonsubstantive matter such as a scheduling conference. For more information and details on how to submit your comments, please click here.


Attorneys Required to File New Civil Actions Electronically

Effective Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, attorneys filing new civil actions with the United States District Court, Central District of California will be required by amended Local Rule 3-2 to file their case-initiating document(s) electronically, using the Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF), unless exempted from electronic filing by amended local rule 5-4.2. For more information, please see the Notice from the Clerk.


Serve Your Community as an Orange County Grand Juror
Deadline: Friday, Jan. 23, 2015

The Orange County Superior Court is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Orange County Grand Jury. A new 19-member Grand Jury will be empaneled for a one-year term that begins July 1. Superior Court judges interview qualified applicants, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department officers conduct background investigations on these candidates. Selection of the 19-member Grand Jury is achieved by a random drawing of the top 25 to 30 candidates nominated for service, to equally represent each of the five Orange County Supervisorial Districts, as required by law. For more information and details on how to apply, please click here.


Superior Court Civil Court Reporter Pooling Pilot Project

Departments C6, C10, C12, C13, C14, C15, C17, C18, C21, C23, C25, C26, C31, and C32 of the Orange County Superior Court are participating in a Court Reporter Pooling Pilot Project. Official court reporters (i.e. court reporters employed by the Court) in those departments will be provided only for trials and other matters in which oral evidence will be presented. Official court reporters will continue to be provided for all hearings in the remaining unlimited civil departments, including civil complex departments. For additional information regarding court reporter availability, please click 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.


Council to Consider 2015 Legislative Priorities

At its public meeting on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, the Judicial Council will consider recommendations from its Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee on what the council’s priorities should be for the 2015 legislative year. The committee’s report recommends that the council advocate for: (1) new investment in our justice system, avoiding further budget reductions, and finding a method to provide stable and reliable funding; (2) securing new judgeships for communities most in need and ratifying the authority of the council to convert vacant subordinate judicial officer positions to judgeships in eligible courts; and (3) legislation to continue expanding access to court interpreters. Other items on the Dec. 12 council meeting agenda include:
  • Report on Need for New Judgeships
  • Expanding Interpreter Use to More Civil Cases
  • Report on Parolee Reentry Courts
  • Court Closures
A live audiocast of the meeting will be available on the California Courts website, and the agenda and council reports are posted online. For more information, please click here.


State Bar Announces Results for July 2014 California Bar Examination

The State Bar of California's Committee of Bar Examiners reported that 48.6 percent of the applicants passed the July 2014 General Bar Examination. Preliminary statistical analyses show that of the 8,504 applicants who took the exam, 73.1 percent were first-time takers. The passing rate for the 6,220 first-time applicants was 61.0 percent overall. The passing rate for the 2,284 applicants repeating the examination was 14.0 percent overall. For more information, please click here.


State Bar Warns Consumers on Possible Immigration Fraud

In the wake of President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration, the State Bar of California advises consumers to be aware of scam artists who promise help related to immigration reform. The executive actions protect certain groups from deportation, and are summarized online by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction. The government website warns that these initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. “Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available. You could become a victim of an immigration scam,” it warns. State Bar President Craig Holden said the legislation “continues to aid in the State Bar's effort to protect immigrants from those who would seek to take advantage of their dreams of citizenship.” Please click here for more information. To view the press release in Spanish, please click here.


Call for Applications: California State Bar Committees
Deadline: Monday, Feb. 2, 2015

Each year the State Bar of California offers attorneys in California an opportunity to contribute to the legal profession and the public by volunteering to serve on one of the State Bar's committees. The State Bar annually recruits applicants for 10 standing committees, 16 section executive committees, and 18 special committees, boards and commissions. The State Bar's Board of Trustees appoints approximately 150-200 new members every year to these committees, and strives to make appointments that will achieve diversity and broad representation of the California legal profession. The appointments generally are made by the end of July, with terms commencing at the close of the State Bar Annual Meeting in the fall. For more information or to download an application, please click here.


Hearings to Allow Attorneys, Public to Weigh in on Discipline Process

The State Bar of California is holding annual hearings this month where attorneys and members of the public will be able to comment on disciplinary procedures, attorney competency, and admissions procedures. A local hearing will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. The contact for the Los Angeles hearing is Seana-Rae Pasco at 213.765.1504 or seana-rae.pasco@calbar.ca.gov. For more information, please click here.


Request for Public Comment: Criteria for Determing Accredited Law School Compliance, Action Taken for Noncompliance
Deadline: Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

The California State Bar seeks public comment for proposed amendments to Guidelines 12.1 and 12.2, Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules (Guidelines), re Criteria for Determining Compliance with Accredited Law School Rule 4.160(M) (Minimum, Cumulative Bar Examination Pass Rate) and Action Taken When a Law School is in Noncompliance with Guideline 12.1. The proposed amendments to Guideline 12.1 and Guideline 12.2 clarify the methodology that should be used by the CALS to make the calculations necessary to determine compliance with the MPR requirements. For more information and details on how to submit comments, please click here.


Request for Public Comment: Law Study in Schools Accredited or Registered by the Committee of Bar Examiners
Deadline: Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

The Committee of Bar Examiners has spent some time considering issues related to California’s registered, unaccredited law schools, the future of such law schools, the committee’s regulatory oversight of unaccredited law schools and their various programs of legal education, and whether its authority to accredit law schools should be expanded to include distance-learning law schools. As such, the California State Bar seeks comments on proposed amendments to the: 1) California Rules of Court – Chapter 3. Legal Education, Rule 9.30. Law School Study in Schools Accredited or Registered by The Committee of Bar Examiners, 2) Business And Professions Code Sections 6046.7 and 6060.7, 3) Article 4 Admission to the Practice of Law, Section 6060, Qualifications, Examination and Fees, 4) Title 4. Admissions and Educational Standards, Division 2. Accredited Law School Rules, and 5) Title 4. Admissions and Educational Standards, Division 3. Registered Law School Rules. For more information and details on how to submit comments, please click here.


Request for Public Comment: Accredited Law School Rules
Re: Branch and Satellite Campuses
Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014

The California State Bar seeks comments on proposed amendments to the Accredited Law School Rules and the Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules that define and make clear the operational differences between a branch and satellite campus of a California-accredited law school (CALS) and that also institutes an appropriate process by which approval of the establishment of either may be considered and conferred by the Committee of Bar Examiners. For more information and details on how to submit comments, please click here.


Request for Public Comment: Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct
Deadline: Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

In October 2013, the Board of Trustees adopted “clean-up” changes to the Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct and appointed a Discipline Standards Task Force to evaluate and determine whether a comprehensive overhaul was needed and if additional changes should be made. The California State Bar seeks public comment on the recommended substantive changes to certain Standards and the adoption of new Standards for specific acts of misconduct that were only previously addressed in a catch-all provision. For more information and details on how to submit comments, please click here.


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