Business Law

Business Law News 2017, Issue 3

Executive Committee: Message from the Chair

Jim Hill

Progress and Business (Law) As Usual

My term as Chair of the Business Law Section (BLS) is coming to a close in September 2017, as I pen this final message to you. As this past bar year began in October 2016, the State Bar had been placed under threat of financial calamity and its sixteen voluntary sections, including the BLS, were in a state of confusion about their own future. The state legislature had just failed to pass a dues authorization bill. Not only was the State Bar facing funding shortfalls, the sections faced an uncertain future, as their source of voluntary dues revenues, essential for survival, was in peril. Without access to voluntary dues and substantial reserves, built up over the years, many questioned whether the BLS could continue to provide products and services to its members at the level they had come to expect.

Thankfully, in late 2016, following submission of an emergency petition to the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, albeit without an annual dues bill from the legislature, the State Bar was granted authorization, by order of the supreme court, to send out billing statements for mandatory dues to all California attorneys, which was done for the first time by electronic billing. We owe thanks to all of you BLS members for continuing your membership in the BLS. We all owe even more accolades and notes of appreciation to the scores of members of the BLS Executive Committee and our fifteen substantive law standing committees for persevering and stepping up, to deliver you and other California lawyers and the public at large, timely and meaningful content in the way of educational programs, scholarly and practical publications, and legislative analysis, comments, and proposals.

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