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You Need to Know

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 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.

Five seats open on bar board

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 April 1 and ballots will be mailed April 30. Voting will end July 1.

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

Pro bono awards 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.