Advisory Commissions

Appointment Information

The 11 advisory commissions advise and assist the California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS) in the administration of the certification programs for each of the following specialties:

  1. Admiralty and Maritime Law;
  2. Appellate Law;
  3. Bankruptcy Law;
  4. Criminal Law;
  5. Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law;
  6. Family Law;
  7. Franchise and Distribution Law;
  8. Immigration and Nationality Law;
  9. Legal Malpractice Law;
  10. Taxation Law; and 
  11. Workers' Compensation Law.

Each advisory commission:

  • passes upon applications for certification and recertification as a legal specialist;
  • drafts and grades specialist examinations with oversight from professional examination consultants;
  • evaluates and accredits programs and providers of continuing legal education; and
  • otherwise assists the CBLS in administering the program.

Membership:  Each advisory commission consists of one non-lawyer member and an even number of lawyer members, but no more than eight lawyers. Except for one lawyer member who need not be a certified specialist, the lawyer members have been certified by the CBLS in the area of law for which that commission advises CBLS.

Time commitment:  Meetings are typically held every other month on Fridays at State Bar offices in either San Francisco or Los Angeles. Some commissions occasionally meet via teleconference or videoconference. There will be committee work that is done outside of meetings, such as examination drafting, but the commission will endeavor to give several weeks or more notice prior to any such deadline.

The advisory commissions, their chairs and staff contacts are listed below.

Admiralty and Maritime Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 1 (lawyer position)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Sterling Stires, San Diego
Staff Contact: Fabienne Lopez 415-538-2344
Appellate Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 2 (lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Cynthia Larsen, Sacramento
Staff Contact: Scott Kiddy 415-538-2125
Bankruptcy Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer and non-lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Gary Kaplan, San Francisco
Staff Contact: Louisa Ayrapetyan 415-538-2133
Criminal Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 2 (lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Michael S. Berg, San Diego
Staff Contact: Scott Kiddy 415-538-2125
Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Philip Savage, Riverside
Staff Contact: Scott Kiddy 415-538-2125
Family Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Rolf Kruger, Menlo Park
Staff Contact: Louisa Ayrapetyan 415-538-2133
Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 6 (lawyer and non-lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Jeffrey Fillerup, San Francisco
Staff Contact: Fabienne Lopez 415-538-2344
Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer and non-lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Donald Sheppard, San Diego
Staff Contact: Fabienne Lopez 415-538-2344
Legal Malpractice Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Deborah Wolfe, San Diego
Staff Contact: Fabienne Lopez 415-538-2344
Taxation Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer and non-lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Ronald Mollis, Newport Beach
Staff Contact: Scott Kiddy 415-538-2125
Workers' Compensation Law Advisory Commission
Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 3 (lawyer positions)
Approximate number of meetings per year: 6
Chair: Thomas Richard, Oakland
Staff Contact: Louisa Ayrapetyan 415-538-2133
 

Deadline :  Feb. 3, 2014 is the deadline for the following advisory commissions:  Admiralty & Maritime Law, Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate, Franchise & Distribution Law, Taxation Law, and Workers' Compensation Law.

Deadline extended to May 2, 2014:  Bankruptcy Law Advisory Commission, Family Law Advisory Commission, Immigration & Nationality Law Advisory, and Legal Malpractice Law Advisory

2014-15 terms begin: Conclusion of 2014 State Bar Annual Meeting (Sept. 14, 2014)