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Letters to the Editor

Let’s Embrace Reciprocity

I have enjoyed my career as a California lawyer, but like many others, desire to relocate to another state. The problem is our prohibition of allowing lawyers from other states admission by motion into California, acts as practical barricade preventing us from moving on to somewhere else. What point is there in maintain such an anachronistic policy?

Currently, 40 states now allow reciprocity and that number is likely to grow. Most require the attorney to have practiced for 5 out of the last 7 years in another reciprocating jurisdiction to qualify for admission by motion, thereby eliminating having to pass another Bar Exam. We all remember the angst associated with our first Bar Exam, but how much more difficult it is now, so many years removed from law school, working long hours, family obligations and so forth, to even consider preparing for another exam.

If a lawyer from a comparable jurisdiction has practiced for at least 5 years in good standing, why not allow reciprocity? Not to do so only unnecessarily delays or prevents many of us from moving on. Let’s change our policy.

Dale Reicheneder

Go take the bar exam!

I became a member of the California State Bar in 1987. I was 40 years old when I began law school in 1983. I became a member of the Montana State Bar in 2009 after taking the Montana bar exam when I was 66 years old. For me, taking the bar exam after being out of law school for over 20 years was no problem. Taking an exam in engineering physics or calculus which I could have aced a few years ago would be more problematic for me today! However I was able to tell someone how to obtain the second derivative of x squared the other day. I might not be able to recognize a provision in a will that violates the rule against perpetuities!

I would have to say that if you do not want to make the effort to meet a state's requirements for practicing law , maybe you should not be going there to practice law. I believe it is far too easy to qualify to practice law and to vote these days!

Walter David Herbert
Billings, MT

Lawyers vs. Accountants

Why is it that attorneys have to complete only 25 hours of continuing education every three years (i.e. 8+ hours per year), but certified public accountants have to complete 80 hours of continuing education every two years (i.e. 40 hours per year)?

Why is it that Attorneys have to pay $400 per year to renew their bar license, but certified public accountants currently only have to pay $120 every two years (i.e. $60 per year) to renew their CPA license?

The pattern I see is that CPA's learn more and pay less than attorneys, and therefore must be smarter than attorneys ... and attorneys pay more and learn less than CPA's, and therefore must be dumber than CPA's.

Or perhaps there is a news story to be researched as to the relative efficiencies and administrative effectiveness of the California State Bar and the California State Board of Accountancy?

Michael W. Szkaradek
Santa Ana


In regard to your March 2012 article: "200 Years of American Patent Law Tradition -- Gone!":

This headline is sensationalized.  It apparently refers to the "The New First-To-File Rule".  But this only affects "interferences" about which the United States Patent And Trademark Office, in the site "General Information Concerning Patents", says: "OCCASIONALLY two or more applications are filed by different inventors claiming substantially the same patentable invention. .... LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of the applications filed become involved in an interference proceeding [caps added]."

In regard to the article's comment: "[S]ecuring an early filing date remains relatively inexpensive with the use of a provisional application for patent." A provisional application only gives a filing date if it discloses the invention in the same detail as a "real" application. So if there is insufficient detail, there is no filing date. And, if sufficient detail is known, why not file a real application and start patent protection earlier?

Steve Church


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