Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, November 19, 2015


Page 1


Fifth Section Opposes Proposed LACBA Bylaw Change


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Opposition mounted yesterday to what some have perceived as autocratic rule by the Los Angeles County Bar Association hierarchy, with an additional section going on record in opposition to a proposed bylaw change that would formally strip sections of any control of their finances.

The proposal has been defended by LACBA on the ground that it merely conforms the bylaw to policies already in effect. Opponents are arguing that it is the practice, in contravention of the bylaw, that should be changed.

A vote by the group’s Board of Trustees on the proposed bylaw amendment was scheduled to take place last night, past newspaper deadline.

Family Law Section

Earlier in the day, Ronald F. Brot, chair of the Family Law Section, said in an e-mail to Kiesel:

“Last evening the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section voted unanimously to oppose the passage of the proposed amendment to the Bylaws. The Family Law Section emphatically believes that the vote should be deferred, if not defeated, to allow the Sections to work with the Bar leadership to address the fundamental problems between the Board and the Sections. I ask that you share my letter below with the Officers and members of the Board of Trustees before the meeting tonight, which I will attend with other Section leaders. I personally believe the amendment should be tabled pending a full opportunity to explore resolution in a meaningful and collaborative manner.”

Previously voting to oppose the proposal were the Antitrust, Appellate Courts, Corporate, and  Senior Lawyers Sections.

Postponement Urged

William Winslow,  chair of the Trusts and Estates Section, announced that his unit “has voted to: (1) request that the Board of Trustees postpone consideration of the proposed by-law change regarding section finances and (2) join the newly formed Council of Sections.”

The council, comprised of 12 major sections, was formed on Nov. 11, and two days later requested that the trustees postpone action on the proposed bylaw change until January to permit time for input on it.  LACBA President Paul Kiesel on Friday, Nov. 13, responded that any input would be due by noon the following Monday.

Winslow said in his e-mail yesterday to LACBA President Paul Kiesel and President-Elect Margaret Stevens:

“We are strong supporters of LACBA and earnestly hope that its financial problems can be resolved through a process that includes consultation, seeking of consensus, and mutual respect.”

Kevin Vick said in an e-mail to the Board of Trustees:

“As Chair of LACBA’s Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section (‘ELIPS’), I write to inform you that ELIPS supports the Interim Council of Sections’ Nov. 13, 2015 Resolution.”

Also yesterday, Erich Everbach, a former chair of the Corporate Law Section and 1998 recipient of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award, advised Kiesel that he won’t be renewing his LACBA membership, citing the current practice of micro-managing activities of the sections.

MCLE Pricing

Kiesel has slated a video conference with section chairs and vice chairs for tomorrow afternoon to discuss LACBA’s new mandated prices for MCLE courses—a sore point with some of the sections.

The Appellate Law Section, for one, has been charging $15 for one-hour lectures in the Court of Appeal’s employee lounge, provided to it at no cost. It has been directed to boost the price to $90.

In a Nov. 4 e-mail to members of that section, chair Brad Pauley said:

“I am reliably informed that, in the near future, LACBA is planning to increase CLE charges across the board for all sections and programs to around $75.00 per credit hour (or about $112.50 for a standard 1.5 hour CLE program), with possible modest discounts for Section members.

 “These changes to LACBA’s CLE pricing policies have the potential to seriously impact attendance at our CLE programs.”


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