Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Davis Signs Bill Authorizing State Bar to Spin Off Conference
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Legislation allowing the State Bar to move ahead with plans to spin off the Conference of Delegates into an independent organization has been signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis.
Senate Bill 1897 extends current provisions of the State Bar Act to take into account the formal split, which is expected to be completed by mid-October when the Conference completes its reorganization.
The bill allows the State Bar to continue collecting dues for the conference, a voluntary group that will continue to associate with the mandatory State Bar by contract.
State Bar President Karen Nobumoto hailed the governor’s action.
“This allows us to move forward with an amicable relationship with the new conference,” Nobumoto said.
The bill also amends the State Bar Act to assure that bar leaders need no longer turn over completed Multi-State Bar Exam tests to unsuccessful applicants.
The law previously required the State Bar to give tests back to people who failed the bar exam, but the administrators of the multiple choice Multi-State test—given on one of the three days of the grueling California bar exam—told bar leaders earlier this year that they would be keeping the tests themselves. The change in the law was requested so that the State Bar could not be sued by test-takers who didn’t get back all three days’ worth of tests.
The bill also gives the State Bar more flexibility on handling elections to the Board of Governors. Prior law required that voting be done by mail and that ballots be returned to the State Bar, but the bill permits ballots to be returned to another designated location—and leaves out reference to mail.
A State Bar task force is discussing new procedures, including internet voting, and is expected to finalize proposals next week for approval by the Board of Governors at its meeting Sept. 19.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company