California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 8030.4

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Applicant” means a qualified legal services project, qualified support center, other qualified project, or pro bono attorney applying to receive funds from the Transcript Reimbursement Fund established by this chapter.  The term “applicantincludes an indigent person appearing pro se to represent himself or herself at any stage of the case and applying to receive funds from the Transcript Reimbursement Fund established in Section 8030.2.

(b) “Case” means a single legal proceeding from its inception, through all levels of hearing, trial, and appeal, until its ultimate conclusion and disposition.

(c) “Certified shorthand reporter” means a shorthand reporter certified pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 8020) performing shorthand reporting services pursuant to Section 8017.

(d) “Developmentally Disabled Assistance Act” means the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-103), [FN1] as amended.

(e) “Fee-generating case” means any case or matter that, if undertaken on behalf of an eligible client by an attorney in private practice, reasonably may be expected to result in payment of a fee for legal services from an award to a client, from public funds, or from an opposing party.  A reasonable expectation as to payment of a legal fee exists wherever a client enters into a contingent fee agreement with his or her lawyer.  If there is no contingent fee agreement, a case is not considered fee generating if adequate representation is deemed to be unavailable because of the occurrence of any of the following circumstances:

(1) If the applicant has determined that referral is not possible because of any of the following:

(A) The case has been rejected by the local lawyer referral service, or if there is no such service, by two private attorneys who have experience in the subject matter of the case.

(B) Neither the referral service nor any lawyer will consider the case without payment of a consultation fee.

(C) The case is of the type that private attorneys in the area ordinarily do not accept, or do not accept without prepayment of a fee.

(D) Emergency circumstances compel immediate action before referral can be made, but the client is advised that, if appropriate and consistent with professional responsibility, referral will be attempted at a later time.

(2) If recovery of damages is not the principal object of the case and a request for damages is merely ancillary to an action for equitable or other nonpecuniary relief or inclusion of a counterclaim requesting damages is necessary for effective defense or because of applicable rules governing joinder of counterclaims.

(3) If a court appoints an applicant or an employee of an applicant pursuant to a statute or a court rule or practice of equal applicability to all attorneys in the jurisdiction.

(4) In any case involving the rights of a claimant under a public-supported benefit program for which entitlement to benefit is based on need.

(f)(1) “Indigent person” means any of the following:

(A) A person whose income is 125 percent or less of the current poverty threshold established by the United States Office of Management and Budget.

(B) A person who is eligible for supplemental security income.

(C) A person who is eligible for, or receiving, free services under the federal Older Americans Act or the Developmentally Disabled Assistance Act.

(D) A person whose income is 75 percent or less of the maximum level of income for lower income households as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, for purposes of a program that provides legal assistance by an attorney in private practice on a pro bono basis.

(E) A person who qualifies for a waiver of fees pursuant to Section 68632 of the Government Code.

(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, the income of a person who is disabled shall be determined after deducting the costs of medical and other disability-related special expenses.

(g) “Lawyer referral service” means a lawyer referral program authorized by the State Bar of California pursuant to the rules of professional conduct.

(h) “Legal Services Corporation” means the Legal Services Corporation established under the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-355), [FN1] as amended.

(i) “Older Americans Act” means the Older Americans Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-73), [FN1] as amended.

(j) “Other qualified project” means a nonprofit organization formed for charitable or other public purposes, that does not receive funds from the Legal Services Corporation or pursuant to the federal Older Americans Act, and provides free legal services to indigent persons.

(k) “Pro bono attorney” means any attorney, law firm, or legal corporation, licensed to practice law in this state, that undertakes, without charge to the party, the representation of an indigent person, referred by a qualified legal services project, qualified support center, or other qualified project, in a case not considered to be fee generating, as defined in this chapter.

(l) “Qualified legal services project” means a nonprofit project, incorporated and operated exclusively in California, that provides as its primary purpose and function legal services without charge to indigent persons, has a board of directors or advisory board composed of both attorneys and consumers of legal services, and provides for community participation in legal services programming.  A legal services project funded, either in whole or in part, by the Legal Services Corporation or with the federal Older Americans Act funds is presumed to be a qualified legal services project for the purposes of this chapter.

(m) “Qualified support center” means an incorporated nonprofit legal services center that has an office or offices in California that provide legal services or technical assistance without charge to qualified legal services projects and their clients on a multicounty basis in California.  A support center funded, either in whole or in part, by the Legal Services Corporation or with the federal Older Americans Act funds is presumed to be a qualified legal services project for the purposes of this chapter.

(n) “Rules of professional conduct” means those rules adopted by the State Bar of California pursuant to Sections 6076 and 6077.

(o) “Supplemental security income recipient” means an individual receiving or eligible to receive payments under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (Public Law 92-603), [FN1] as amended, or payment under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(p) “Vexatious litigant” means a person as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 391 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(q) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.


 For public law sections classified to the U.S.C.A., see USCA-Tables.

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