Why You Should Attend the Conference of California Bar Associations
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 applicable 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? Are you passionate about the State of California and improving its laws? Well, you’re not alone.
Every year, delegates from regional, specialty and affinity bar associations throughout the state gather to discuss how to improve California law at the nonpartisan Conference of California Bar Associations (“CCBA” or “Conference”), which is held in a different location each year. In September 2022, the Conference was held in San Diego, in person for the first time since the pandemic began. The Conference also offered MCLE credit.
The proposed legislation is carefully vetted and analyzed before it reaches the floor of the Conference. At the beginning of March, bar association delegations submit proposed legislation, called resolutions, to CCBA for consideration at the September Conference. The resolutions then go to CCBA’s Resolutions Committee for analysis and a recommendation. Resolutions Committee members research and analyze each resolution and write a report recommending whether the Conference should approve, disapprove, or amend the resolution. In addition, the bar associations may also submit their own analysis of the resolutions to the CCBA. In the summer, Resolutions Committee posts their reports and recommendations and the reports and recommendations of the bar associations, regarding the resolutions.
During the Conference, delegates from various bar associations debate the resolutions and often propose amendments to the resolutions to address issues and problems raised in the Resolutions Committee and bar associations’ analysis. In September 2022, the Conference considered 53 resolutions. In prior years, the Conference has often considered 100 resolutions. All of the resolutions that were submitted by the different bar associations are at CCBA’s website at www.ccba.law.
Once the Conference passes a resolution, the proponents of the resolution take it to the California Legislature to find a legislator to author the bill. CCBA then lobbies the Legislature to get the resolution passed into law. CCBA’s success rate is impressive. In typical years, the Governor signs anywhere from 10-15 bills into law that the CCBA either proposed and/or sponsored. The bills cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to criminal law, civil procedure, family law, probate, and homeowners association law.
It is not too early to start thinking about resolutions to submit for the 2023 Conference, which will be held from September 22-24, 2023, in San Diego, California when the California Lawyers Association and the California Judges Association hold their meetings. The final deadline to submit resolutions to CCBA is March 3, 2023, To learn more about CCBA and the legislative process, we are happy to host resolution drafting workshops to help you turn your great legislative ideas into reality.
We ask and encourage anyone who has an idea about how the law could be improved, wants to attend the September 2023 conference, or who has an interest in getting involved in CCBA, to reach out to CCBA’s 2022-2023 Chair, Shaun Dabby Jacobs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the resolutions that were debated at the Conference in prior years, go to CCBA’s website at www.ccba.law.
To read the most recent newsletter, CCBA Newsletter Jan 23 2023 edited reduced size.