CPIL's Julie Fellmeth Weighs In On New Amendments in State Bar's Annual Dues Bill in Sac Biz Journal

CPIL's Julie Fellmeth Weighs In On New Amendments in State Bar's Annual Dues Bill in Sac Biz Journal

Sacramento (September 1, 2015) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) Administrative Director Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth was quoted in a Sacramento Business Journal article reporting on the new amendments in the State Bar of California’s annual dues bill.

Senate Bill 387 was amended Friday to require the bar to comply with the Public Records Act and the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, with some privacy exceptions. The bill by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson from Santa Barbara is pending final approval on the Assembly Floor.

Unlike other state licensing agencies that operate under the executive branch, the bar is part of the state's judiciary and is not subject to open-records and open-meeting laws that apply to other state boards.

“This is huge,” said Fellmeth, who manages CPIL's advocacy projects from legislative advocacy on bills of interest to CPIL, to litigation in public interest test cases, to research and writing on CPIL's major published reports, including the State Bar Discipline Monitor reports. “We have been trying to do this for 30 years. Every other state board is subject to both of these ‘sunshine’ laws except the Bar. And the Legislature has tiptoed around this issue for years.”

Some of the matters that will remain private include board discussions with counsel related to pending litigation and employment matters unless the person requests a public hearing. All disciplinary investigations will remain confidential until formal charges are filed.

The amendments follow a critical state audit of the bar that blasted the organization in June for inconsistent discipline and shoddy finances. Neither is a new problem—complaints go back decades. Changes have been made and new management is in place, however.

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About Julianne D’Angelo Fellmeth

Julianne D'Angelo Fellmeth serves as administrative director of the Center for Public Interest Law at USD School of Law and editor of the California Regulatory Law Reporter. She supervises CPIL's student intern program, team-teaches regulatory law courses with Professor Robert C. Fellmeth, and assists law students in their monitoring of agencies and drafting of articles for the California Regulatory Law Reporter.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Celebrating 60 years of alumni success, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

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