PUBLIC FORUM SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS ISSUES FACING SENIOR LAWYERS

Contact: Laura Ernde 

415-538-2283  

laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

San Francisco, May 16, 2013 – The State Bar Board of Trustees’ Senior Lawyers Working Group, created to address the challenges facing senior lawyers and their clients, will hold its first public forum on Monday, June 3. All are welcome to attend.

The forum will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the 7th floor board room at the State Bar’s Los Angeles office, located at 1149 South Hill St. Working group members will hear from medical and psychological experts and about regulatory and educational approaches being taken by other bars. There will also be an opportunity for public comment.

Created by State Bar President Patrick Kelly, the Senior Lawyers Working Group is exploring ways to protect the public from lawyers who are no longer able to give competent representation, while striving to ensure the dignity of attorneys who have devoted many years of their lives to the legal profession. Demographic studies indicate that the ranks of senior lawyers have been growing rapidly in California. For example, a 2011 State Bar survey found that 48 percent of California lawyers are 55 or older, compared to just 15 percent in 1991.

The Senior Lawyers Working Group, made up of members of the Member Oversight and Regulation, Admissions and Discipline committees, has been exploring what California’s local bars and national organizations such as the American Bar Association and the National Association of Bar Counsel are doing to address the health and regulatory issues that specifically confront senior lawyers and their clients. It is chaired by Trustee Pearl Mann.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By May 2013, membership reached 242,000.