CDTA

What Is The True Mission Of A State Bar?

What Is The True Mission Of A State Bar?

The California State Bar serves the people of California through careful oversight of the legal profession. Created by the California Assembly in 1927, the State Bar is a component of the California Supreme Court that licenses and regulates attorneys to protect the public from unscrupulous and fraudulent conduct by attorneys. The State Bar develops and enforces professional guidelines to which attorneys must adhere or face discipline. The guidelines for attorneys are contained in the Rules of Professional Conduct but attorneys must also adhere to other regulations, rules, and laws. The State Bar actively investigates and prosecutes consumer complaints against lawyers and even those who...

Continue reading

New Lawyers Must Invest In Their Mental Health

New Lawyers Must Invest In Their Mental Health

Lawyers are typically perceived as successful members of society who are smart, strong, and resilient. This perception of success is often based on the notion that they (supposedly) earn a lot of money. Despite what many members of the public may think, many lawyers secretly struggle with various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, and addiction. Young lawyers must invest in their mental health and develop habits and routines that allow them to consistently deal with and release stress effectively. More concerning is the fact that many lawyers face these various mental health issues regularly and often fail to find help because they...

Continue reading

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Attorneys file a vast number of motions over their careers. Motion practice is the most common courtroom experience in a legal services practice. The submission of a motion pre- or post-trial enables a party to approach a court directly and request it to perform some specific action, such as a ruling on a legal issue. Motions may be filed at any stage of a criminal, civil, or even an administrative proceeding, and they may request almost anything. At its most basic, a motion is a request for an order. Whether an extensive, detailed, voluminous motion for summary judgment or a paragraph-long...

Continue reading

Best Film Depicting Law School – The Paper Chase

Best Film Depicting Law School – The Paper Chase

Arguably, there are simply not that many movies about lawyers that depict their experiences in law school prior to practicing law. Perhaps because films with Paul Newman as a sole practitioner suing doctors defended by big firm-lawyer James Mason in The Verdict or Spencer Tracy as a judge hearing cases of heinous war crimes in Judgment At Nuremberg are just a bit more compelling. Spencer Tracy was also in one of the most interesting films about lawyers, playing a character patterned after Clarence Darrow in Inherit the Wind. The Paper Chase always seems to be at the top of the list...

Continue reading

Recommended Summer (Pandemic) Legal Reading

Recommended Summer (Pandemic) Legal Reading

If you find yourself restless during the pandemic while you await the return to your legal studies and some semblance of normalcy, here are some great books about the law to enrich your legal intellect. Bleak House by Charles Dickens While Bleak House is regarded by many as a masterpiece and Charles Dickens’ greatest novel, Bleak House has also been declared to be “the most important literary work about the law.” The ABA Journal ranks this novel third in its poll of the 25 best law novels. “In the forefront of this Dickens classic is the story of Esther Summerson, who lives at Bleak House oblivious to the fact...

Continue reading

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorneys must meet all statutory requirements and rules of ethics when drafting attorney-client fee agreements. if an attorney fails to comply with any provision of the California statutes applicable to such agreements, the fee agreement becomes voidable at the client’s option and the attorney is only entitled to a reasonable fee. A fee agreement, including all attachments, is confidential and legally privileged. Typically, attorneys provide those legal services reasonably required to represent clients. They should take reasonable steps to keep clients informed of the progress of their matters, and to reasonably respond to their inquiries. If any court action is filed,...

Continue reading

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorney-client engagement agreements, the contract describing and governing the relationship whereby an attorney provides legal services to a client, should always be in writing. Attorneys in California are encouraged to draft their own agreements or modify existing samples provided their iterations do not conflict with California Business and Professions Code §§ 6146 et seq. or the Rules of Professional Conduct. Per the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, MR 1.5(b). fee arrangements should be communicated in writing unless the attorney regularly represents the particular client. The exception is court-appointed cases, where court rules and statutes will define the scope of the attorney’s...

Continue reading

I Missed A Few Classes, Now What?

I Missed A Few Classes, Now What?

If you have missed a few classes, the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) has you covered. Classroom time is precious and irreplaceable if missed. After all, a law student’s tuition primarily pays for classroom instruction. Through the CDTA Student Portal, students have access to both live and recorded classes. Available 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week, the CDTA Student Portal provides access to Online Class Archives. These valuable online resources are available to anyone with a computer less than five years old. Utilizing the state-of-the-art Zoom Video Conferencing application, the CDTA Student Portal gives students a way to stream...

Continue reading

State Bar Lowers Passing Score Necessary For Bar Exam

State Bar Lowers Passing Score Necessary For Bar Exam

On August 10, the California Supreme Court released an order that detailed final arrangements to permanently lower the passing score for the California Bar Exam, which will now be administered online in October 2020. In a letter sent to the State Bar of California's Board of Trustees. the court stated that it would not apply the lower passing score retroactively to past test-takers. Three other states: North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington, have lowered Bar Exam passing scores during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the changes to the passing score in these states are temporary and only apply to future examinees. “With one exception, the court is unaware of...

Continue reading

The September, Um, October Bar Exam Approaches – Don’t Fear (Bar Exam Moved To October)

The September, Um, October Bar Exam Approaches – Don’t Fear (Bar Exam Moved To October)

The California Supreme Court first announced preliminary plans for administering the October Bar Exam online in a July 16 letter to the State Bar Board of Trustees. These plans have been confirmed and finalized with the next California Bar Exam scheduled for October 5–6, 2020. Under the direction of the California Supreme Court, the exam will be administered primarily online. The California First-Year Law Students' Exam, also known as the Baby Bar, has been rescheduled to November 17, 2020. In July, California Supreme Court justices held a videoconference with California law school deans, then held a three-hour virtual hearing to receive input from law school graduates registered...

Continue reading