SUBJECT
Proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 2.54 regarding exemptions

BACKGROUND
Currently, State of California and federal government attorneys have an exemption from the MCLE requirement, but they lose that exemption if they do legal work outside their employment. Rule 2.54 allows them to keep that exemption if they are doing pro bono work for a legal services program funded by The State Bar of California’s Legal Services Trust Fund Program. However, for federal government attorneys working outside of California who want to do pro bono work for their local legal aid and pro bono organizations, as opposed to their colleagues who happen to be working for a federal government agency within California, they would lose their MCLE exemption if they do volunteer legal aid work.

DISCUSSION/PROPOSAL
The proposed amendment would permit federal government attorneys to volunteer outside California without losing their MCLE exemption. The proposed amendment would allow volunteer work with similarly situated legal aid programs in other states that are funded either by their jurisdiction’s IOLTA program or by the Legal Services Corporation or the Older Americans Act. A detailed discussion is provided in the related agenda item, attached below.

ANY KNOWN FISCAL/PERSONNEL IMPACT
None

ATTACHMENTS
Agenda Item - Aug. 12, 2011
Proposed amendments to Rule 2.54 (Attachment A)
Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Pro Bono Administrative Leave Policy (Attachment B)

SOURCE
Board Committee on Operations
Sept. 17, 2011

COMMENT DEADLINE
Oct. 24, 2011

DIRECT COMMENTS TO
Debbie Yee
Office of Member Services
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-538-2273
415-538-2305 Fax
debbie.yee@calbar.ca.gov