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You Need to Know

Give your input on the use of bar cards

Do you use your laminated bar card? What do you use it for? The State Bar wants to know.

Printing and mailing costs money and is not great for the environment to boot, particularly when informal feedback suggests that there is inconsistent usage of the laminated cards. Please go to the survey link and provide your input.

Weigh in on proposed new ethics rules

The Sept. 27 deadline is approaching for attorneys to provide written comment on 68 new and revised rules of professional conduct. The State Bar’s Rules Revision Commission has been working on what would be the first comprehensive overhaul of the ethical rules governing attorney conduct in California since 1987.

The rules are scheduled to be adopted by the State Bar Board of Trustees by March 31, 2017 and submitted to the California Supreme Court for final approval before they go into effect.

Register for the Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars to join us in San Diego for the State Bar of California 2016 Annual Meeting on Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. Choose from 111 seminars. Three course tracks cover advanced, basic/practical skills and recent development topics. Earn up to 19 hours of MCLE and legal specialization credit. Pre-register for a four-day or a two-day pass. Special Annual Meeting hotel rates also are available. The pre-registration deadline is Sept. 8. For information call 415-538-2210 or visit the Annual Meeting web page.

Construction-related disability access forms now available

When sending a complaint or demand letter concerning a construction-related accessibility claim against a place of public accommodation, California law requires an attorney to include a written advisory form and a verified answer form. (Cal. Civ. Code § 55.3(b).) The latest version of these forms became available on the California Courts website on July 1. To find the forms, go to the California Courts website at Find “Forms & Rules,” click on “Browse All Forms,” and then “Latest Changes.” From there, expand all forms relating to “Disability Access Litigation.” Judicial Council forms DAL-001 (advisory) and DAL-002 (answer) are among the listed forms.

Spend “A Week in Legal London”

The State Bar’s Litigation Section offers California lawyers an opportunity to discover new insights into law from the English prospective in 2017.

“A Week in Legal London,” scheduled May 7-12, 2017, provides an unparalleled behind-the-scenes exposure to the English legal and court system and is designed to compare and contrast the law as it is applied to California to the original source of our common law in England. It’s an effort to provide our participants with a better understanding and applicability of the law in California.

The program is a combination of formal educational sessions, as well as court rotations in which the participants have a chance to observe trials in progress and meet with the presiding judge and the barristers trying the cases. Sessions will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice, Old Bailey, the High Court of Justice and the Supreme Court. The week concludes with a Gala Dinner in the House of Lords Private Dining Room in Parliament. For more information, see the event’s web page.

Have your voice heard in evaluating judges

The State Bar commission that evaluates the governor’s candidates for judgeships is seeking the help of attorneys to solicit information electronically.

For more than 30 years, the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, commonly known as the JNE (“Jenny”) Commission, has gathered information about candidates by mailing paper comment forms to attorneys. During the past few years, the commission has been using email to gather comments, but continues to encounter one barrier: the spam filter. Most of JNE’s emails reach their intended recipients. However, some are blocked.

Attorneys can solve this problem by authorizing the spam filters serving their email address listed with the State Bar to accept the following email address: Those who work in legal offices, public agencies and the court system can help by asking their IT specialists to authorize the JNE email address for all spam filters serving office computers.

The electronic comment forms are identical to the written forms. A hyperlink in the email takes the commenter to a website where a form identical to the written comment form can be completed electronically. The electronic comments are maintained confidentially, with access only by investigating commissioners and staff. The use of email appears to result in response rates at least as high as the use of written forms. It has proven to be a cost-effective and efficient method of transmitting time-sensitive, confidential data.

Questions and comments about the process can be directed to

Updated 2015 bar rules book available for e-reader

To make it easier for lawyers to readily identify and address legal ethics issues, the State Bar has published an e-reader version of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act. The e-reader version of the rule book is compatible with the Kindle Reader App, a free e-reader application available for iPads, iPhones, Blackberry phones, Android phones, MacBooks and PC laptops. The book also works on all versions of’s Kindle.

The 2015 edition of the e-Reader version of the rule book is now available on for $6.99, a significant discount from the price of the print version. It offers several useful features, including a search function, bookmarking, highlighting and annotating. In addition, once downloaded to a tablet, smart phone or other compatible device, the book can be accessed at any time, even without the Internet or a cellular data signal.

The bar’s rule book has been published for more than 65 years. The 30-page edition published in 1949 has grown to more than 400 hard copy pages. In addition to the rules and State Bar Act, the book includes other related authorities such as selected Rules of Court, code sections, the Federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, the State Bar Pro Bono Resolution, the Lawyer Referral Service rules, MCLE rules and more.

Leverage the law through a State Bar section membership

Join other leading attorneys and legal professionals who are passionate about their practices. Each State Bar section provides its members with valuable tools including e-newsletters, publications and more. Highly regarded as a premier provider of legal education, the 16 sections deliver specialized training and practical programs including symposiums, one-day seminars and multi-day conferences, online seminars, self-study curricula as well as updates on trends and changes in the law. Visit our online catalog, which contains more than 1,000 individual seminars.

Sections can also figure heavily when initiating or advocating legislation and regulations. Plus, most of the sections participate in major public education efforts and community service activities, such as consumer radio shows and booklets that explain legal rights. Your minimal annual membership helps to fund all these essential programs and services. What’s more, your membership is a tax-deductible investment.

Membership benefits from CalBar Connect

State Bar members can save up to 25 percent every time they rent with Hertz, a participant in CalBar Connect, the State Bar’s member services and benefits initiative. Visit the Hertz page for details.

CalBar Connect, which provides discounts to all State Bar members, also offers a variety of insurance plans including professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, group and individual disability plans, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), auto, home and business office plans.

Subscribe to the Daily News Digest

In between monthly issues of the Bar Journal, you can keep up with the major legal news of the day by visiting the new Daily News Digest on the Bar Journal’s home page. The State Bar’s Office of Communications scours the day’s news and culls top headlines of interest to legal professionals. You may also subscribe by visiting the Daily News Digest web page.

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn

Stay informed by following @StateBarCA on Twitter and the State Bar of California page on LinkedIn. We’ll give you a heads up about important regulatory information and let you know about other happenings at the State Bar or within the legal community. If you’re seeking information relevant to your particular practice area, the State Bar’s voluntary sections and the California Young Lawyers Association also have a presence on social media through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Opt out of sharing certain information

As of Jan. 1, the State Bar of California is subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). For more information regarding the impact of CPRA on the bar’s obligation to release member information, please log on to My State Bar Profile. Go to “account information” and select “update my mailing preferences (opt out).”