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State Bar

March 15, 1998

Re the March 2 editorial about funding of the State Bar of California:

You state that each option pending in the Legislature "cuts lawyers' dues and allows the remaining income to fund only regulatory activities." You are flatly wrong. Senate Bill 1371, of which Sen. Patrick Johnston (D-Stockton), Sen. Ruben Ayala (D-Chino), Sen. Raymond Haynes (R-Riverside), Sen. Ross Johnson (R-Irvine) and I are authors, abolishes the compulsory conscription of all active California lawyers in the State Bar. It transfers admission and disciplinary functions to the California Supreme Court's Administrative Office of the Courts. It follows the practices in approximately 20 other states, including New York and Illinois. It authorizes a voluntary California State Bar Assn., which can engage in any activities, legal, political, social, or philosophical, to suit its collective heart's content.

The State Bar has been over-charging California lawyers for years, building a bureaucracy that enables use of dues for political and social activities that understandably cause resentment because of the State Bar's compulsory membership mandate.

QUENTIN L. KOPP, State Senator (I-San Francisco)

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