Sunday, July 4, 2010

California Declares Bar Dues Amnesty

From the web page of the California State Bar:

Any attorney suspended for non-payment of State Bar membership fees for 2008 and earlier may take advantage of an amnesty program approved by the board of governors. The offer is good until Dec. 31.

Under bar rules, a lawyer may be able to regain his or her license by paying half of the amount owed from 2008 and earlier, plus the full amount of dues owed for 2009 and 2010. Attorneys suspended for other reasons, such as non-compliance with MCLE requirements or disciplinary actions, must resolve those issues separately.

The board changed bar rules last year, and through the amnesty program has collected $218,676 from 283 members – about 2 percent of the total owed by lawyers who qualify for amnesty.

At its meeting later this month, the board is expected to forward to the Supreme Court a list of California attorneys who have not paid their 2010 dues and any penalties or costs owed. By late June, 6,834 bar members were on the list. In addition, about 2,000 lawyers are on a list of non-compliance with MCLE requirements that will be sent to the board.

Failure to pay dues or comply with MCLE requirements can lead to administrative suspension of a law license.

(Mike Frisch)

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