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Today, the State Bar Board of Trustees announced that it has appointed a new Chief Trial Counsel to lead the Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC), which investigates and prosecutes disciplinary matters: George S. Cardona, a long-time prosecutor at both the federal and municipal level and currently the interim City Attorney for Santa Monica.
At its July 23 meeting, the State Bar Board of Trustees took significant steps to strengthen the discipline system, establishing a special committee—the Committee on the Special Discipline Case Audit—to further analyze the audit report on closed discipline complaints against Thomas Girardi and propose a comprehensive corrective action plan.
The joint Supreme Court and State Bar Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of the Bar Exam will hold its first meeting on July 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Today the State Bar of California published its second digital annual report. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic drove the State Bar to implement significant changes to continue to meet its public protection mission at the same time it advanced important strategic initiatives and critical policy work.
Following review of an audit of past complaints filed against attorney Thomas V. Girardi, the State Bar Board of Trustees is announcing measures responsive to the confidential audit’s findings. Mr. Girardi is the subject of pending disciplinary charges resulting from complaints filed in late 2020 regarding misappropriation of client funds.
After its meeting on June 9, 2021, the Board of Trustees announced it had unanimously appointed Leah T. Wilson as the State Bar’s next Executive Director. Wilson served in the same role from September 2017 to January 2020.
The State Bar has selected the first 20 legal services organizations that will receive grants to hire provisionally licensed lawyers (PLLs) in 2021–2022.
At its meeting on May 13, 2021, the State Bar Board of Trustees adopted new accreditation rules for California accredited law schools. The new rules, effective January 1, 2022, refocus California accreditation on its essential purposes, incorporate best practices, and provide a framework to recognize law schools that are accredited by regional or national accreditors.
The State Bar of California has seized an unauthorized law practice that operated in Woodland Hills and Canoga Park under a variety of business names, including Freedom Financial Firm, Freedom Financial, Inc., Evictions Firm, and Eviction Lawyers of Los Angeles.
Today the State Bar released results of the February 2021 California Bar Exam and announced that 1,151 people (37.2 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam. This pass rate represents an increase of 10.4 percentage points, or nearly 39 percent, from the February 2020 General Bar Exam pass rate of 26.8 percent. If those who passed the exam satisfy all other requirements for admission, they will be eligible to be licensed by the State Bar to practice law in California.