Future Law

California State Bar Splitting in 2019

state bar splittingLast month, word surfaced that the world’s largest mandatory bar may (and will likely) break into two separate entities within the next few years.

In April, Dennis Mangers, a board of Trustees Member of the California State Bar Association, drafted a proposal to the state bar that has produced mixed reactions from state officials and members of the California legal community.

If approved, the split would cause the California State Bar Association to reform the bar into a new entity called the California Legal Services Regulatory Board (CLSRB) and form a separate, nonprofit professional association that keeps the name the “California State Bar Association”.

According to the proposal, the state’s bar admissions and discipline functions would lie with the CLSRB. It also will manage law school accreditation and registration, the Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Client Security Fund, Member Records/Compliance, and the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission. The CLSRB will be overseen by a 13-member board made up of six lawyers and seven nonlawyers appointed by the governor, the California Supreme Court, a state Senate committee and the speaker of the state Assembly.

The non-profit professional association would have a voluntary membership and house all of the 16 current sections, committees, commissions and State Bar departments that perform trade association functions. It will also house the bar’s young lawyers division. The new “California State Bar Association” will determine its governing body structure and ruling once approved.

The plan states that there will not be a net loss of State Bar employment as a result of the proposal.

The proposal is still under consideration and requires the final plan to be submitted to the Governor, the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council and the Judiciary Committees of the Assembly and Senate by April 1, 2018.

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