Conference of California Bar Associations
by Shaun Dabby Jacobs
Have you ever thought, "this law should be changed or amended, or it should not exist at all?” Have you ever thought “there ought to be a law about this” but when you researched the appropriate legal authorities, you found no law existed that addressed the topic you researched? Do you enjoy debating policy and the law as well as meeting interesting people from across the state? Then consider joining WLALA’s delegation to the Conference of California Bar Associations this year from October 11 – 13 in San Jose at the Fairmont Hotel. Registration is now open on the Conference website at www.calconference.org.
The Conference of California Bar Associations (“CCBA” or “Conference”) is a group of attorneys from local, specialty, and minority bar associations across the state, that are focused on improving California's laws. This year, CCBA will meet at the same time the State Bar Convention is held in San Jose. During the Conference, the bar associations propose and debate revisions and amendments to California law called “resolutions.” For resolutions passed by the Conference, CCBA has a lobbyist that takes the resolutions to the State legislature to find a sponsor and hopefully get the resolution passed into law.
Over the past few years, CCBA has had an active legislative program and has had many of its resolutions enacted into law. All in all, 16 of 23 bills - nearly 70% - (involving 27 resolutions) sponsored, co-sponsored or strongly (and actively) supported by the CCBA, either have or could still become law this year. In contrast, only seven CCBA-sponsored measures have become two-year bills (i.e., stalled in the legislative process this year).
The WLALA delegation also has a long history of active involvement in the Conference. In the past, we have sponsored resolutions regarding family leave, child pornography, domestic violence, as well as amendments to the California Rules of Court. Some of our resolutions have gone to Sacramento, been carried as a bill, and passed into law. In addition, WLALA suggests and provides input into potential amendments to resolutions proposed by other delegations and commits to speak in support or opposition to a resolution on the Conference floor.
We encourage everyone with ideas for how the law may be improved, as well as people curious about the process, to join our delegation and get involved with the Conference. Resolutions to be considered at the October 11-13, 2013 Conference are posted at the Conference website. If you have ideas for resolutions or would like more information about the Conference, please contact WLALA’s delegation chairs, Shaun Dabby Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary McKelvey at email@example.com. You can also go to the CCBA website at www.calconference.org for more information and to see resolutions from this year and prior years.
Shaun Dabby Jacobs is the WLALA Conference of California Bar Associations Committee Co-Chair. Ms. Jacobs is with the Los Angeles City's Attorney Office.