What is happening?

As part of greater reform efforts, the State Bar is in the process of reviewing every one of its “subentities” (committees, commissions, etc.). That means that two entities important to the legal aid community are being reviewed: the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission and the California Commission on Access to Justice

LAAC wants to hear from our community!

We want to know how any of the proposed changes may impact you or your clients. Please contact Lorin Kline, LAAC’s Directing Attorney, at LKline@LAAConline.org if you have questions.

Why is this happening?

The State Bar is undergoing some significant reforms.

     In 2017, the State Bar’s Governance in the Public Interest Task Force recommended a number of changes to make the Bar function as more of a regulatory agency and less of a voluntary bar association with “members.”

The biggest change to come out of this process was the de-unification of the Bar:

     Truly regulatory functions stayed at the State Bar (licensing, discipline, etc.), and trade association type functions (State Bar sections – Family Law Section, Tax Law Section, California Young Lawyers Association, etc.) spun-off into the new California Lawyers Association beginning January 2018.

Every piece of the State Bar’s work is being internally evaluated.

     What received less attention at the time, but remains ongoing work, is the State Bar’s effort to reduce the number of its committees and commissions and to also get a better understanding of the work of those bodies. To that end, the State Bar Board of Trustees is considering proposals to eliminate and streamline many of its “subentities.”

That includes the State Bar’s work related to legal aid and access to justice.

     The two bodies most relevant to your work are the Access to Justice Commission and the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission.

In response to advocacy from our community, State Bar leadership has set up two Working Groups to look at both bodies and make recommendations by January 2019.

What is the process?

 A working group for each entity has been formed and will meet throughout Fall 2018. These working groups will form recommendations on any needed reforms and deliver them to the State Bar’s Board of Trustees early in 2019.

The State Bar will post meeting dates and agendas 10 days in advance of the meetings on their site.

     LAAC will continue to post information, meeting materials, and notes here on this page. 

Legal Services Trust Fund Commission Working Group

 What is the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission (LSTFC)? 

LSTFC is the body that administers grant programs that fund nonprofit civil legal aid organizations, including Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) grants and the Equal Access Fund. This includes collecting and reviewing grant applications, monitoring grantee organizations, and collecting reports and data on the work completed with grant funds. 

LSTFC is composed of 21 voting members (15 lawyers and six non-lawyer public members) and three non-voting bench officers. At least two of the public members must be eligible for services as “indigent persons” as defined by Business and Professions Code section 6213(d). The Board of Trustees appoints 14 voting members. The Chair of the Judicial Council appoints the remaining members.

The Working Group discussions on Legal Services Trust Fund Commission will be focused on: (i) whether LSTFC should continue to exist at the State Bar; (ii) if it does continue to exist at the State Bar, whether it will conform to the Bar’s new standards for subentities and what changes will be made in how it operates; (iii) what the overarching goal of the work is (particularly under the State Bar’s new structure and priorities) and whether LSTFC is currently achieving that or how it must change to do so; and (iv) the Working Group will also discuss the future of the IOLTA statute.

  Monday, October 15Sacramento

10am-3pm

State Capitol, Rm 4203
Agenda

 

  Monday, November 19, Los Angeles

10am-3pm

State Bar, 845 South Figueroa Street 

Agenda

 

 

  Monday, December 3San Francisco

10am-3pm

State Bar, 180 Howard Street

Agenda

 

 

  Wednesday, December 19Los Angeles

10am-3pm

State Bar, 845 South Figueroa Street

Agenda

Debbie Manning (co-chair)

Former Senate Sgt at Arms

Senate appointee to Board

Board of Trustees

 

 

Sean SeLegue 

Arnold & Porter

Elected member of Board

 

 

Leah Wilson

CEO

State Bar Staff

 

 

Rich Reinis (co-chair)

Commission Co-Chair

Legal Services Trust Fund Commission

 

 

Corey Friedman

Commission Co-Chair

 

 

Chris Schreiber

Commission Co-Vice Chair

 

 

Hon. Brad Seligman

Former Commissioner

 

 

Leora Gershenzon

Assembly Judiciary Comm. 

Legislature

 

 

Margie Estrada

Senate Judiciary Comm. 

 

 

Lynn Martinez

Legal Services of Northern California

Grantees

 

 

Yvonne Mariajimenez

Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County

 

 

Margaret Morrow

Public Counsel

 

 

Norma Chavez-Peterson

ACLU of San Diego

Non-grantees

 

 

Kaylon Hammond

Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability

 

 

Salena Copeland

Executive Director

LAAC

 

 

Greg Fortescue

Lead Supreme Court Attorney

Supreme Court

 

 

Hon. Vance Ray

PJ, 3d Dist. Court of Appeal

Judicial Council

 

 

 Monday, October 15Sacramento

Agenda
Meeting Materials (full packet)

 

Meeting Materials (broken into parts)

 Monday, November 19, Los Angeles

Agenda
Meeting Materials (full packet)

 

Meeting Materials (broken into parts)

 

  Monday, December 3San Francisco

Agenda

Meeting Materials (full packet)

 

Meeting Materials (broken into parts)

 

 

 

  Wednesday, December 19Los Angeles

Agenda

Materials not yet available.

  Monday, October 15Sacramento

LAAC Full Meeting Notes 

 

 Monday, November 19, Los Angeles

Notes will be posted soon.

 

  Monday, December 3San Francisco

Notes will be posted soon.

 

  Wednesday, December 19Los Angeles

Notes will be posted after the meeting.

Access Commission Working Group

What is the Access Commission?

The California Commission on Access to Justice is a 26-member body of lawyers and judges, as well as academic, business, labor and community leaders. It was established, as one of the first of its kind in the nation, to explore ways to improve access to civil justice for Californians living on low and moderate incomes. 

The Working Group discussions on Access Commission will be focused on: (i) whether the Access Commission will continue to exist at the State Bar; (ii) if it does continue to exist at the State Bar, whether it will conform to the Bar’s new standards for subentities and what changes will be made in how it operates; and (iii) under whichever structure and location for the Access Commission that is proposed, whether the Commission continue to be independent and maintain its ability to issue reports, comment on legislation, and participate in amicus efforts that impact access to justice for low-income Californians.

  Tuesday, October 16, Sacramento

1-4pm

State Capitol, Rm 4203

Agenda

  Wednesday, November 14, Los Angeles

10am – 1 pm

State Bar of California, 845 South Figueroa Street

Agenda 

  Tuesday, November 27, San Francisco

1-4 p.m. State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street

Agenda 

 

Joanna Mendoza (co-chair)

Elected member of  Board

Board of Trustees

 

 

Ruben Duran 

Best Best & Kreiger 

Assembly Appointee to Board

 

 

Donna Hershkowitz

Director of Programs

State Bar Staff

 

 

Hon. Mark Juhas (co-chair)

Access Commission Co-Chair

Access Commission

 

 

Amos Hartston

Access Commissioner

 

 

Hon. Timothy Dillon

Access Commissioner

 

 

Toby Rothschild

Ex Officio Commissioner

 

 

Alison Merrilees 

Assembly Judiciary Comm. 

Legislature

 

 

Margie Estrada

Senate Judiciary Comm. 

 

 

Carin Fujisaki

Principal Attorney to the Chief Justice

Supreme Court

 

 

Jody Patel

Chief of Staff

Judicial Council

 

 

  Tuesday, October 16, Sacramento

Agenda

Meeting Materials (full packet)

 

Meeting Materials (broken into parts)

  Wednesday, November 14, Los Angeles

Agenda

Materials not yet available. 

 

 Tuesday, November 27, San Francisco

Agenda

Materials not yet available.

  Tuesday, October 16, Sacramento

LAAC Full Meeting Notes (coming soon).

 

  Wednesday, November 14, Los Angeles

Notes to be posted after the meeting. 

  Tuesday, November 27, San Francisco

Notes to be posted after the meeting.

Other Helpful Materials