Hey, you lawyers suspended from practicing the law for not paying annual dues. Has the State Bar got a deal for you!
Pay half of what you owe, plus this year’s $410 dues, and your record is clean and you’re off the rolls of the suspended. At least that’s what the State Bar hopes to do once a 30-day public comment period ends.
The proposal — which adds an amendment to the State Bar’s waiver rules — helps the agency too. Currently, the State Bar is owed more than $21.6 million in unpaid fees from 8,342 lawyers. If even half that number pays up, the State Bar — always looking for revenue — could bag more than $10.8 million. And that doesn’t hurt in tough economic times.
"Found money" and "blue light specials," after the jump.
“Whatever amount is collected is ‘found money,’” State Bar officials said in a document handed out to its Board of Governors last week.
“Our view is, it’s a win-win,” Starr Babcock, the State Bar’s senior executive for member services, said today. “It gives members an opportunity to clean up their record and also to activate an existing revenue stream for the State Bar.”
The amnesty period would be open until Dec. 31, 2010.
Babcock said a similar amnesty was offered a few years back for retired judges who didn’t realize they owed fees once back on the attorney rolls. And an amnesty for attorneys who had scaled their fees for one reason or another brought in $300,000.
The current offer is open to attorneys on active or inactive status. But anyone on involuntary inactive status for not complying with legal education requirements must take care of those obligations separately.
The State Bar Board of Governors will review public comments at its July 17 meeting in Los Angeles. So speak up if interested. This is a “blue light special” that shouldn’t be missed.
— Mike McKee