Solo & Small Firm

News from the Bar

S.B. 176:  State Bar Fee Bill

On October 9th, Governor Newsom signed the State Bar fee bill (S.B. 176).  Among other provisions, S.B. 176 increases the annual dues for active attorneys for 2020 to $544; total fees for inactive licensees will be $183.  The new law adjusts the income threshold for scaling to $60,478.35. Detailed breakouts are available here.

Task Force on Access through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS)

As we reported in the last Solo Advisor, the State Bar’s Board of Trustees created a Task Force on Access through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS) which was charged with identifying “possible regulatory changes for enhancing the delivery of, and access to, legal services through the use of technology, including artificial intelligence and online legal service delivery models.”  During the public comment period, the Board received nearly 3,000 comments, and most of them were from lawyers. The Bar has since reported that, “Concerned that very few viewpoints came directly from consumers, the Task Force is considering whether to survey members of the public as it narrows the options in preparation for a final report. The report was originally due to the Board by year-end 2019, but to allow adequate time to analyze and synthesize the volume of comments received, the Board will consider extending the ATILS report deadline.”

What Should Be Displayed on an Attorney’s Profile Page on the State Bar’s Website?

On September 19th, the State Bar Programs Committee approved proposed changes to State Bar Rules 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4.  The changes are intended “to clarify what information comprises an attorney’s public State Bar record, what reporting requirements are mandatory versus discretionary, and how frequently attorneys need to update their information.” The changes may affect what displays on your Attorney Profile.

Attorneys may comment on the proposed changes.  More information is available at this link:  http://www.calbar.ca.gov/About-Us/Our-Mission/Protecting-the-Public/Public-Comment/Public-Comment-Archives/2019-Public-Comment/Proposed-Rule-Changes-Addressing-Public-Licensee-Information-and-Required-Reporting

Deadline to Comment:  December 2, 2019

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