All California attorneys must provide an e-mail address to the State Bar beginning Feb. 1, 2010, under a new rule of court approved by the Supreme Court. Inactive lawyers over 70 are exempt from the new requirement.
Under Rule 9.7, all members of the State Bar must create an online profile through the bar’s secure membership system. Currently, 150,000 lawyers already have done so and they need do nothing further.
But on Feb. 1, attorneys who move will be able to change their address and phone number only through their profile.(Go to My State Bar Profile) Online address change capability has been available for several years and is widely used. In 2008, 58,000 address changes were processed, 40,000 online.
Lawyers are statutorily required to keep their addresses updated within 30 days of a move.
The private e-mails will be recorded in the bar’s database and will be used only for official communications, such as courtesy reminders related to deadlines and updates of new regulations that affect members. Attorneys also will have the option to provide a public e-mail address, which will be available to the public on the bar’s Web site.
Notification of disciplinary or regulatory proceedings that may lead to a loss of license will continue to be sent through regular mail.
In addition to the 150,000 private e-mails the bar now has, another 30,000 lawyers have provided a public address. About 40,000 lawyers have not provided an e-mail address.
Although not required by the rule, the bar’s administrative policy will provide an exemption to inactive lawyers over 70. In addition, lawyers who do not have an e-mail address may apply for an exemption by completing a form provided by the bar.
The member services center will conduct an outreach campaign to fully apprise the membership of the new requirement.
So, all you California attorneys out there, or in reality their paralegals, be sure and provide this information to the bar.
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