Proposal to strip CalBar of democratic governance draws fire

Posted on February 14, 2011

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State Bar President’s Governance Reform Proposal Draws Fire

Monday, February 14th 2011

By a MetNews Staff Writer 

A proposal by State Bar President William N. Hebert to change the way members of the Board of Governors is selected has drawn sharp criticism from local attorneys.

Los Angeles Deputy Public Defender Luis J. Rodriguez, who last year was elected to a three-year term on the board to represent Los Angeles County, said Friday that he had not yet decided whether he supported Herbert’s proposal that potential governors be appointed by the California Supreme Court, but he objected to the manner in which it was made.

He explained that members of the State Bar Governance Task Force—a 10-member panel which was created pursuant to a provision in last year’s dues bill—have been meeting since September and engaging in “free-flowing” discussion as to “what changes should or should not be made,” so he was “completely shocked” to be presented last Tuesday with Hebert’s detailed, 50-page proposal.

“I was disappointed because my understanding throughout the whole process was we were going to work together in an open forum and discuss ideas,” but the proposal “gave me the impression that minds have been made up,” Rodriguez said. He called it “frustrating” and “disconcerting” that Hebert “has obviously made up his mind” before the proposal has been “truly vetted out.”

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Wouldn’t this be a swell proposal. The Judicial Council first proposes a rule of the court to strip state constitutional officers of the ability to manage their courts for a bunch of highly paid ‘court executive officer’ lackeys that are accountable to no one but the AOC.

Then the Bar President comes up with a brilliant strategy to permit the Supreme Court to appoint the board of governors to CalBar – apparently like it’s already a done deal. The state bar has suffered enough from poor governance and plain bad management, and someone is proposing that the Supreme Court appoint people to the Board of Governors?

This is a subset of the same people that created that giant sucking sound in San Francisco. It appears that the Judicial Council/AOC has figured it has not rolled up the sidewalks completely in a manner that would permit them to continue to operate unquestioned and that these latest two proposals are to ensure the sidewalks of redress are all rolled up and unavailable to attorneys, judges, justices or the common citizen. I would hope that others oppose this idea as much as I do.