New Supreme Court Committee to Recommend State Bar Trustees

for release

Contact: Cathal Conneely, 415-865-7738

February 7, 2013

New Supreme Court Committee to Recommend State Bar Trustees

SAN FRANCISCO—The Supreme Court of California announced today the creation of a seven-member State Bar Trustees Nominating Committee to assist the court in selecting appointees to the State Bar Board of Trustees. The committee’s organization and work will be guided by Rule 9.90 of the California Rules of Court, which the court adopted on January 23.

The court’s creation of both the rule and the committee follows legislation effective January 2, 2012, that changed the governance of the State Bar of California. The bar’s elected Board of Governors has been replaced by a Board of Trustees that ultimately will consist of 19 members, including five attorney members appointed by the Supreme Court.

Rule 9.90 describes factors the committee should consider in soliciting, reviewing and recommending potential appointees to the board, as well as the general operation of the group.

The new committee will be chaired by Sacramento Superior Court Judge David De Alba, who is also a voting member of the Judicial Council. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie will serve as Vice-Chair. Other members include:

• Catherine Jane Blakemore, Sacramento, Executive Director of Disability Rights California

• Robert Alan Morgenstern, Los Angeles, Partner, Maranga Morgenstern

• Raymond Charles Marshall, San Francisco, Partner, Bingham McCutchen

• Michael Joseph Levy, Sacramento, Chief Counsel, California Energy Commission

• Julia Rebecca Wilson, San Francisco, Executive Director of One Justice and the Legal Aid Association of California

“I am thrilled that these judges and attorneys have agreed to serve on the committee,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “Their work will guarantee that the Supreme Court will select highly qualified appointees to the State Bar Board of Trustees. Those appointees will play an important role in ensuring that the bar provides appropriate public protection and also provides attorneys with the services they need in order to offer the highest quality representation to clients.”

The Supreme Court appointed David Pasternak to the Board of Trustees last August, before the creation of Rule 9.90 and the formation of the committee. Pasternak’s appointment was made with the assistance of the existing Applicant Evaluation and Nomination Committee that aids the court in selecting State Bar Court judges. His three-year term began October 14, 2012.

Under the new structure, the court will appoint two additional trustees this year and two next year, for a total of five trustees appointed by the Supreme Court. The legislation (see Business and Professions Code section 6010 et seq.) changed the board membership from a total of 23 members—17 elected attorneys and 6 public members appointed by the Legislature and Governor— to a 19-person board. In addition to the 5 attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court, the board will include 6 lawyer members elected from new State Bar Districts based on California’s six appellate court districts; 6 public or non-lawyer members of whom four are appointed by California's Governor, one by the state Senate Committee on Rules and one by the Speaker of the Assembly; and 2 lawyer members appointed by the Legislature, one by the Senate Committee on Rules and one by the Speaker of the Assembly.

The new rule—and the statute—set forth various factors for the new committee to consider as it evaluates candidates to determine its recommendations to the court. The rule also requires the committee to establish internal rules to be approved by the Supreme Court. The rule is based upon a similar one that was adopted to guide the Applicant Evaluation and Nomination Committee.