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The State Bar of California Board of Trustees marked a leadership transition at its September 21–22 meeting, as Board Chair Brandon Stallings, Vice Chair José Cisneros, and new Trustee Mary Huser were sworn into office.
The State Bar of California seized the Gardena practice of George Y. Takahashi, doing business as American Legal Counseling, Advanced Legal Services, and American Horitsusodan, announced George Cardona, the State Bar Chief Trial Counsel today. The Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) received an interim ruling from a Los Angeles Superior Court after Takahashi engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) by providing legal services and holding himself out as an attorney.
The State Bar of California today released reports from an independent investigation into whether former Chair of the Board of Trustees Sean SeLegue had a disqualifying conflict of interest arising out of his involvement with a 2010 discipline case against since disbarred attorney Thomas V. Girardi. The investigation found that Mr. SeLegue did not have a disqualifying conflict of interest and that neither he nor other State Bar leaders engaged in misconduct. The reports, which have been redacted on a limited basis as required by law, are being shared in keeping with the State Bar’s commitment to transparency.
At its meeting on July 20, 2023, the State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees approved proposed measures to improve the civility of attorneys who are authorized to practice law in California.
The State Bar of California Board of Trustees approved Thursday a 2024 grant distribution of more than $95.2 million from Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), pooled trust account interest funds that support legal aid organizations serving indigent Californians. The 2024 IOLTA allocation, recommended to the Board by the State Bar’s Legal Services Trust Fund Commission (LSTFC), marks an 88 percent increase from the 2023 IOLTA grant distribution.
California attorneys safeguard nearly $14 billion in client funds through their pooled Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTAs) and non-IOLTA client trust accounts (CTAs), and proactive efforts through the new Client Trust Account Protection Program (CTAPP) are already helping attorneys ensure they are properly handling those funds, the State Bar reports.
The State Bar of California filed Notices of Disciplinary Charges (NDCs) Wednesday against former Girardi Keese law firm attorneys David Richard Lira (SB#134370) and Keith David Griffin (SB#204388), the Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) announced today.
The State Bar of California announced today that 34 legal employers are receiving the first DEI Leadership Seals in the Gold, Silver, and Bronze tiers. The DEI Leadership Seal Program recognizes legal employers who implement research-driven actions that further workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. The State Bar launched the program in January 2023 in support of its strategic plan goal of enhancing access to and inclusion in the legal system.
The State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Times have entered into a settlement agreement in the matter of Los Angeles Times Communications v. State Bar of California (Girardi) that is pending before the California Supreme Court. Under the agreement’s terms, the parties will jointly request that the Court dismiss the petition, which the Los Angeles Times filed in June 2021, seeking access to information pertaining to closed disciplinary cases against now-disbarred attorney Thomas V. Girardi.
The State Bar of California announced today a new paid summer Legal Aid Leaders Fellowship Program for 76 law school fellows. The State Bar’s Legal Services Trust Fund Commission awarded nearly $760,000 to 35 host legal aid providers.