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SB-211 State Bar: board of trustees: report: attorneys’ annual license fees.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/09/2021 09:00 PM
SB211:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 09, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 211


Introduced by Senator Umberg

January 12, 2021


An act to amend Section 6140 of Sections 6140 and 6140.03 of, and to repeal Sections 6011 and 6069.5 of, the Business and Professions Code, relating to attorneys.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 211, as amended, Umberg. Attorneys: State Bar: board of trustees: report: attorneys’ annual license fees.
Existing law, the State Bar Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of attorneys by the State Bar of California, a public corporation. The State Bar is governed by a board of trustees. trustees, to consist under the act of no more than 19 members and no fewer than 13 members. The act states that it is the intent of the Legislature that the board transition to a 13-member board, as specified, with the goal of instituting such a board by October 31, 2020. Existing
This bill would delete these provisions on the size of the board of trustees.
The act requires the State Bar to conduct a review and study regarding errors and omissions insurance for attorneys licensed in this state, including determinations on prescribed topics, and to report its findings to the Supreme Court and the Legislature no later than March 31, 2019.
This bill would delete that study and report requirement.
Existing law, until January 1, 2022, requires the board to charge an annual license fee for active licensees of up to $395 for 2021.The act also requires the board to charge an annual license fee for inactive licensees of up to $97.40 for inactive licensees on and after January 1, 2021. The act, until January 1, 2023, requires the board to increase each of these annual license fees by an additional $45, to be allocated to prescribed activities, except to the extent that a licensee elects not to support the prescribed activities and requires that the invoice provided to licensees for payment of the annual license fee provide each licensee the option of deducting $45 from the annual license fee if the licensee elects not to have this amount allocated for these purposes (opt-out provisions).
This bill, until January 1, 2023, would require the board to charge an annual license fee of an unspecified amount for active licensees for 2022. The bill would extend to January 1, 2024, the operation of those opt-out provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6011 of the Business and Professions Code is repealed.
6011.

(a)The board shall consist of no more than 19 members and no fewer than 13 members.

(b)It is the intent of the Legislature that the board consist of no more than 19 members and no fewer than 13 members during the period of transition from a 19-member board to a 13-member board. It is the intent of the Legislature that the board decrease its size without shortening, lengthening, or abolishing terms commencing prior to December 31, 2017, with the ultimate goal of instituting a 13-member board no later than October 31, 2020. It is the intent of the Legislature that this transition occur by the expiration of the terms of the elected members who are serving on the board as of December 31, 2017.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6069.5 of the Business and Professions Code is repealed.
6069.5.

(a)In recognition of the importance of protecting the public from attorney errors through errors and omissions insurance, the State Bar shall conduct a review and study regarding errors and omissions insurance for attorneys licensed in this state. The State Bar shall conduct this review and study, which shall specifically include determinations of all of the following:

(1)The adequacy, availability, and affordability of errors and omissions insurance for attorneys licensed in this state.

(2)Proposed measures for encouraging attorneys licensed in this state to obtain and maintain errors and omissions insurance.

(3)The ranges of errors and omissions insurance limits for attorneys licensed in this state recommended to protect the public.

(4)The adequacy and efficacy of the disclosure rule regarding errors and omissions insurance, currently embodied in Rule 3-410 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(5)The advisability of mandating errors and omissions insurance for attorneys licensed in this state and attendant considerations.

(6)Other proposed measures relating to errors and omissions insurance for attorneys in this state that will further the goal of public protection.

(b)The State Bar shall report its findings under this section to the Supreme Court and the Legislature no later than March 31, 2019.

(c)The State Bar may consider any past studies, including, but not limited to, any relevant actuarial studies, and any current information that is available to the State Bar from other entities, such as the American Bar Association, regarding errors and omissions insurance.

SECTION 1.SEC. 3.

 Section 6140 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6140.
 (a) The board shall fix the annual license fee for active licensees for 2022 at a sum not exceeding ___ dollars ($___).
(b) The annual license fee for active licensees is payable on or before the first day of February of each year. If the board finds it appropriate and feasible, it may provide by rule for payment of fees on an installment basis with interest, by credit card, or other means, and may charge licensees choosing any alternative method of payment an additional fee to defray costs incurred by that election.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 6140.03 of the Business and Professions Code, as amended by Section 7 of Chapter 360 of the Statutes of 2020, is amended to read:

6140.03.
 (a) The board shall increase each of the annual license fees fixed by Sections 6140 and 6141 by an additional forty-five dollars ($45), to be allocated only for the purposes established pursuant to subdivision (b) and Section 6033, except to the extent that a licensee elects not to support those activities.
(b) (1) Five dollars ($5) of the forty-five-dollar ($45) fee shall be allocated to qualified legal services projects or qualified support centers as defined in Section 6213 to hire law school graduates with a temporary provisional license issued by the State Bar. The State Bar shall not make any deductions from the five dollars ($5) for any reason, including, but not limited to, administrative fees, costs, or expenses by the State Bar.
(2) Funds shall be allocated pursuant to a competitive grant process and not through the formula set forth in Section 6216.
(3) The Legal Services Trust Fund Commission in consultation with the board of trustees may create priorities for allocating the competitive grants.
(4) Any funds allocated under paragraph (1) remaining after the termination of the temporary provisional license program shall be reallocated only for the purposes established pursuant to Section 6033.
(c) The invoice provided to licensees for payment of the annual license fee shall provide each licensee the option of deducting forty-five dollars ($45) from the annual license fee if the licensee elects not to have this amount allocated for the purposes established pursuant to Section 6033.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 Section 6140.03 of the Business and Professions Code, as added by Section 8 of Chapter 360 of the Statutes of 2020, is amended to read:

6140.03.
 (a) The board shall increase each of the annual license fees fixed by Sections 6140 and 6141 by an additional forty dollars ($40), to be allocated only for the purposes established pursuant to Section 6033, except to the extent that a licensee elects not to support those activities.
(b) The invoice provided to licensees for payment of the annual license fee shall provide each licensee the option of deducting forty dollars ($40) from the annual license fee if the licensee elects not to have this amount allocated for the purposes established pursuant to Section 6033.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2023. 2024.