Louisiana State Bar Association News

Louisiana State Bar Association News

Headline Association News

Online Dues Collection and Registration Statement Filing Procedures to Be Activated in Mid-May
The new online system for payment of 2014/2015 Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) dues and Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) assessments, as well as for filing Attorney Registration Statements, will be activated in mid-May. Prior to the activation, members will receive, by mail, a 4x6 postcard with further instructions about the online procedures.

“Come Together” with the LSBA and Register for Annual Meeting/Summer School!
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in the United States, the LSBA has adopted a Beatles theme for the combined 73rd LSBA Annual Meeting and LSBA/Louisiana Judicial College Joint Summer School, scheduled for Sunday through Friday, June 1-6, at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. So, “Come Together” with the LSBA in the “Good Day Sunshine” of Destin for stellar CLE programming and loads of networking opportunities.


2014 Legislative Session: LSBA Board of Governors Takes Positions on Bills
The LSBA’s Board of Governors on April 12 approved several bill position recommendations of the LSBA’s Legislation Committee.


Ongoing Association News

Nominations Still Being Accepted for Kimball Award
Nominations are still being accepted for the Catherine D. Kimball Award for Advancement of the Administration of Justice. This annual award was established to honor Catherine D. Kimball, the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. The award is open to both attorneys and judges whose career and work have advanced the administration of justice. Nominations should be submitted to Loretta Larsen at loretta@lsba.org

House Resolution Deadline is May 7 for Annual Meeting
The deadline for submitting resolutions for the next LSBA House of Delegates meeting is Wednesday, May 7. The House will meet on Thursday, June 5, in conjunction with the LSBA’s Annual Meeting at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.

LSBA’s Francophone Section Presenting International Civil Law Symposium April 25
The LSBA’s Francophone Section is presenting the Judge Allen M. Babineaux International Civil Law Symposium on Friday, April 25, in Lafayette. The program, “2014 Louisiana Law: A Jambalaya of French, Spanish and Common Law,” begins at 1 p.m. in the U.S. Federal Courthouse, Judge Richard T. Haik’s Courtroom, Room 4200, 800 Lafayette St., Lafayette; approved for 3.5 CLE credit hours, including professionalism and ethics. To download registration and program information, click here.

“Suit Up for the Future” Program Application Deadline Extended to May 1

The application deadline for the fourth “Suit Up for the Future” High School Summer Legal Institute and Internship Program has been extended to Thursday, May 1. Rising high school juniors and seniors and recent graduates interested in participating in the program must submit applications and all supporting documents by the new deadline.

The program, presented by the LSBA and the Just the Beginning Foundation, will be conducted June 9-27 and is aimed at high school students interested in the legal profession. Students will participate in a one-week legal institute, during which they will attend an abridged law school session, and a two-week internship consisting of shadowing at area law offices and courts.  The students will also participate in field trips. Students who complete the program will receive a $250 stipend.

Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted online, emailed or postmarked by the deadline. Mail to: Louisiana State Bar Association, Attn: Diversity Committee, 601 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130. Email to lsbadiversity@gmail.com. Students may access the online application at: http://www.lsba.org/goto/suitup.

Sponsors, Exhibitors, Advertisers for Annual Meeting/Summer School: Respond by May 9
Interested in sponsoring an Annual Meeting/Summer School event or product, booking space in the vendors’ area, or advertising in the Annual Meeting program? The LSBA is currently offering sponsors, vendors and program advertisers the opportunity to market their products and services to more than 400 legal professionals attending the combined LSBA 73rd Annual Meeting and LSBA/Louisiana Judicial College Joint Summer School, set for June 1-6 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. Response deadline is May 9. For sponsorship and vendor information, contact LSBA Program Coordinator/Marketing and Sections Christine A. Richard, email crichard@lsba.org or call (504)619-0105. For program advertising information, contact LSBA Communications Assistant Krystal Bellanger Rodriguez, email kbellanger@lsba.org or call (504)619-0131.

LBF Seeks 2014-16 Scholar-in-Residence
The Louisiana Bar Foundation is accepting applications for a Scholar-in-Residence to serve a two-year term beginning in July 1, 2014. A $7,500 honorarium will be paid to the scholar as consideration for his/her work product. Applications must be received by April 30. For more information, contact Dennette L. Young at the Louisiana Bar Foundation by email at dennette@raisingthebar.org or by phone at (504)561-1046.

Schemes Targeting Lawyers Are Continuing: LSBA Says Remain Aware and Vigilant
The Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) believes it is extremely important to remind Bar members about criminals targeting lawyers. Despite the Bar’s efforts to warn its members, it is apparent that various schemes involving counterfeit checks or phishing emails to gain account information continue to occur. Luckily, most efforts are unsuccessful but some members have been harmed. The LSBA has recently received information from several targeted lawyers.

Although the fraudulent efforts may take different forms, many involve “fake” clients and counterfeit checks.

One version has a lawyer receiving an overpayment on an initial advance deposit for fees. The “fake” client asks for a refund of the overpayment.

In another instance, the lawyer receives a check from a “third party” after minimal collection efforts on behalf of the “fake” client. The “fake” client typically wants the funds immediately and asks for money to be wired. The funds are disbursed before the check is found to be counterfeit.

Sometimes the “fake client” is foreign and seeking to collect child support or another judgment from a U.S. citizen.

In other instances, the legal work could seem more local such as a collection effort for architectural or remodeling work done on property in your area. While the names or property may exist, people’s information may have been lifted and used without their permission by the scammers.

Do not accept facts as face value without more research and due diligence as to the people and matters involved.

The risk for the lawyer is that if a suspect check is deposited into trust, the local bank may provide the lawyer “provisional credit.” If a lawyer disburses funds to the “client,” the lawyer, most likely, would have been later advised that the original check was invalid or determined to be counterfeit, and the lawyer would have had a large sum of money stolen.

Be very careful. If suspicious, ask the bank how long it needs to determine whether a check is counterfeit. Check with your insurer to see if these fraudulent or criminal transactions are covered by your insurance.

Beware of clients you have never personally met or clients who need immediate transfer of funds. Don’t be tempted by receipt of an overpayment of an advance deposit or a fee that appears “too good to be true.”

The LSBA, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and law enforcement agencies encourage LSBA members to exercise caution and perform due diligence before accepting new cases and performing financial transactions involving the lawyer’s trust account.

Inclusive Professionalism Facilitators Training Set for May 7 in New Orleans
The LSBA’s Diversity Committee has scheduled a “Train the LSBA Facilitator” program for Wednesday, May 7, in New Orleans to equip speakers in facilitating discussions to foster inclusive professionalism. The program is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Red Cross Board Room, 2640 Canal St., New Orleans. The program has been approved for up to 7.58 CLE hours, all professionalism. To register for the program, contact Outreach Coordinator Michelle Neal at (504)619-0151 or email michelle.neal@lsba.org. (The program originally scheduled for April 7 in Shreveport has been canceled.)

Professionalism Speakers’ Workshop Set for May 9
The LSBA Committee on the Profession’s Professionalism Speakers’ Workshop is set for 2-5 p.m. Friday, May 9, at the Louisiana Bar Center, 601 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Anyone interested in becoming a better speaker on professionalism topics should register for this free highly interactive workshop. For more information or to register, contact LSBA Professional Programs Counsel for Practice Assistance Bill King at (504)619-0109 or e-mail bking@lsba.org.

Want to Become Part of the SOLACE Network and Assist Your Legal Colleagues?
The LSBA/Louisiana Bar Foundation's Community Action Committee coordinates the program SOLACE (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel — All Concern Encouraged). Through the program, the legal community reaches out in many ways to judges, lawyers, court personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries and their families who experience deaths or other catastrophic illnesses, sickness or injury. Through a vast network of coordinators and volunteers, the requests for assistance are gathered and disseminated to the network. Within days or hours — even minutes — the requests are fulfilled. Volunteers working on this project have experienced a true sense of doing something for others in need. If you want to become part of this network, email Hon. Jay C. Zainey at jay_zainey@laed.uscourts.gov. For more on the program, go to: http://www.lsba.org/Members/solace.aspx.

Lawyers’ Assistance Program Offers Services to LSBA Members and Their Families
The Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Inc. provides confidential assistance to LSBA members and their families with problems such as alcoholism, substance abuse, mental health issues, gambling and all other addictions. To review all services and to read the latest LAP newsletter, go to: http://www.lsba.org/lap.

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