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President's Report of May 15


A letter from LSBA President Robert A. Kutcher regarding the Association's operations.

Dear Louisiana State Bar Association Members:

I am pleased to report that we are all set for our staff’s return to the Bar Center on Monday, May 18. We have developed a number of protocols to ensure the health and safety of our team while providing services and support to the lawyers of Louisiana.

Suspension of Legal Deadlines
The Governor’s proclamation 59-JBE-2020 extended the suspension of all legal deadlines until June 5. In the legislature, there are currently bills pending which, if enacted, will further extend the suspension.

Dues, Assessment, Reporting Forms Due August 1
The Louisiana Supreme Court and the LSBA have extended until August 1, 2020, the deadline for payment of fees (LSBA dues and LADB assessment), filing of the Attorney Registration Statement and filing the Trust Account Form. Post cards will be mailed to all Louisiana lawyers on Tuesday, May 19 but will reflect a due date of August 1 rather than the usual July 1. The online payment portal at www.lsba.org/GoTo/MemberDues will go live no later than May 19. Questions should be addressed to processing@lsba.org.

Qualified Attorneys May Elect Emeritus Status
Following approval by the Louisiana Supreme Court and the LSBA, attorneys meeting the criteria below may elect emeritus status for FY 2020-2021:
• otherwise eligible to actively practice law in Louisiana;
• 50 years of age or older; and
• actively practiced law in Louisiana for a minimum of 10 years.

Lawyers electing emeritus status will pay 50 percent of the annual bar dues and disciplinary fee for lawyers practicing three years or more. They shall no longer be eligible to practice law except that they may:
• engage in the pro bono practice of law through a program established, sponsored, or recognized by the LSBA’s Access to Justice Program;
• participate in any mentoring program established by the LSBA;
• engage in the uncompensated representation of immediate family members, as defined in La. R.S. 42:1102;
• serve on LSBA committees; and
• serve on receivership team panels.

For additional information, go to: https://www.lsba.org/Members/EmeritusStatus.aspx.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal to Reopen Courthouse on May 18
The Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal is scheduled to reopen its courthouse at 8:30 a.m., Monday, May 18. The Court has issued guidelines for filings as well as protocols for the courthouse. For additional information, go to: https://bit.ly/3bu5QT6

May Issue of “Bar Briefs” Available Online
On May 13, members received email notification that the May issue of “Bar Briefs” is now available online. Click here to read this issue. 

Free Webinars to Continue through First Week of June
The final free webinar in the LSBA’s series designed to help members navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic will be held Thursday, June 4. Thousands of Louisiana lawyers have participated to date. Upcoming programs include:

• Monday, May 18, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Office 365: Now, More Than Ever, is the Time to Learn! (1 hour LPM CLE)
Presented by Tom O’Connor
• Tuesday, May 19, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Cybersecurity: A Practical Approach (1 hour LPM CLE)
Presented by David V. Meyer
• Wednesday, May 20, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
SEO Basics: Drive Traffic to Your Website & Convert Contacts to Clients (1 hour CLE)
Presented by Megan Hargroder
• Thursday, May 21, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Review of Recent Emergency Rules Re: Final Arrangements, Funeral Homes & Cemeteries During COVID-19 (1 hour CLE) 
Presented by Ryan Seidemann, JD
• Tuesday, May 26, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Ethics & Social Media: Special Issues During COVID-19 (1 hour Ethics CLE) 
Presented by Arlene D. Knighten, JD
• Wednesday, May 27, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Build Trust with Potential Clients through Effective Online Communication: Your Story and Their Story (1 hour LPM CLE)
Presented by Megan Hargroder
• Thursday, May 28, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Resilient Lawyer: A Guide for Self-Care (1 hour Professionalism CLE)
Presented by J.E. “Buddy” Stockwell III, JD
• Friday, May 29, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Recent Changes in the Bankruptcy Code for Small Businesses in the Era of COVID-19 (1 hour CLE)
Presented by Andrew D. Mendez, JD and Christine A. Lama, JD
• Tuesday, June 2, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
REVISITED - E-Signatures: When You and Your Client Cannot Meet – STATE OF THE LAW (1 hour CLE)
Presented by Jason Anders
• Wednesday, June 3, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Appellate Practice: COVID-19 Impact and other Updates (1 hour CLE)
Presented by Donald J. Miester Jr., JD
• Thursday, June 4, 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Emergency Planning for Lawyers Who Are Unable to Practice During COVID (1 hour LPM CLE)
Presented by Leonor “Lee” Prieto, JD

Click here to register for these programs and to review information on how to participate. Materials from past COVID-19 webinars may also be accessed using this link. 

Supreme Court Lifts Online CLE Limit for 2020
The Louisiana Supreme Court on April 28 issued an Order removing the cap on self-study mandatory continuing legal education credits for calendar year 2020. We received many calls and emails about this issue and appreciate the Court’s willingness to accommodate Louisiana lawyers during these unprecedented times.

Legal Specialization Board Also Lifts Self-Study Limit
Following the lead of the Court and in accordance with Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization (LBLS) Rules 7.4 and 7.9, the LBLS has amended its rules for specialty education for self-study credits and the limitation on self-study credits for 2020 only, increasing the limit from four hours to 12.5 hours.  All specialists may earn up to 12.5 hours of approved specialization self-study credits on or before December 31, 2020.

Board of Governors Adopts Legislative Positions 
In anticipation of the legislative session, the Board met via videoconference for several hours on April 27 and adopted a number of positions on pending legislation, based on recommendations from the Legislation Committee. 

LSBA Seeking Applications for 20-21 Leadership Class
Friday, June 26 is the deadline for applying to be a member of the LSBA’s 20-21 Leadership Class. The Leadership LSBA Program provides exposure on how the LSBA functions as well as on the pressing issues facing the association and the legal profession. Participants also receive information on the responsibilities of volunteer leaders. Through at least one class project, the program further develops young attorneys’ leadership skills and provides them with opportunities for statewide networking.

Citizen Lawyer Award Nominations Open Through June 30
Nominations are being accepted through June 30 for the LSBA’s Citizen Lawyer Awards, which recognize individual attorneys and judges who have performed public services out of a sense of duty, responsibility and professionalism. Click here to submit a nomination.

Nominating Committee to Meet on August 28
The Nominating Committee will meet on Friday, August 28 to nominate a president-elect for 2021-2022 and a secretary for 2021-2023. The president-elect will automatically assume the presidency in 2022-2023. According to the president-elect rotation, the nominee must have his/her preferred mailing address in Nominating Committee District 2 (parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana). According to the secretary rotation, the nominee must have his/her preferred mailing address in Nominating Committee District 3 (parishes of Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tensas, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll and Winn). 

Supreme Court Order Prohibits Jury Trials through June
The Louisiana Supreme Court on April 29 issued two orders which reiterated the positions in its April 6 Order and April 22 Order and made changes as follows:
• One Order extended the prohibition on in-person proceedings until May 18; and 
• The second Order extended until May 18 the deadline for all filings due to the Supreme Court between March 12 and May 15.

In-Person Programming Cancelled
The LSBA has cancelled all in-person programming through July 3. We are continuing to monitor this evolving situation and will make decisions on future programming in line with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in compliance with governmental emergency orders. We will continue to keep our members informed through email communications, www.LSBA.org and our social media platforms.

The LSBA’s goal is to continue to provide resources as attorneys reopen their offices. We look forward to a measured reopening of our judicial system and society in accordance with appropriate health guidelines and in accordance with government guidelines. This stay at home has been hard for everyone and I’m sure we all look forward to reopening.


Sincerely,
Robert A. Kutcher
President


LSBA News Resources

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