Kelly elected State Bar president
The State Bar Board of Trustees has chosen Patrick M. Kelly,
a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, to be its 88th
In addition, the vice president will be Luis J. Rodriguez,
45, and the treasurer will be Gretchen Nelson, 58. The board elected the new
officers for 2012-2013 at its July meeting. All three are from Los Angeles.
Kelly, 69, will be sworn in Oct. 13 at the State Bar Annual
Meeting in Monterey along with two newly elected board members, Christopher W.
Todd of San Diego and David A. Torres of Bakersfield.
Kelly called it a “tremendous honor” to lead the board,
which is united in its mission of public protection.
“One thing that falls within that rubric is making attorneys
better prepared, better educated and better able to serve the public,” he said.
In particular, Kelly said he’s concerned about lawyers at
either end of the age spectrum. Some in the Baby Boom generation have found
themselves “cut adrift from firms or corporations” while young lawyers are
having a harder and harder time finding work in the legal profession. Mentorships
could help bridge the gap, he said.
Kelly also said would like to explore whether the bar could
play a role in matching younger and older attorneys with pro bono
opportunities. Money for legal aid services has dropped off significantly in
recent years from $22 million to less than $7 million a year. A large source of
legal aid funding is the interest charged to attorney trust accounts. Interest
rates are at historic lows with no sign of changing.
Kelly takes office as the makeup of the board continues to
shift. Under legislation that went into effect in January, the board is gradually
transitioning from 23 to 19 members. The legislation reduces the number of
attorneys elected by the membership from 15 to six.
Todd and Torres were elected to three-year terms in July.
51, will represent bar members who live in District 4, which covers Imperial,
Inyo, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and San Diego counties. Todd is a civil
trial lawyer at Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP. He’s held leadership
positions in the San Diego County Bar Association, San Diego Defense Lawyers
and William L. Todd Jr. chapter of the American Inns of Court.
51, will represent bar members who live in District 5, which includes Fresno,
Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne
counties. His private practice focuses on state and criminal defense. He’s held
leadership positions in the Kern County Bar Association and the Bench-Bar
Coalition of the California Judicial Council. Torres also serves as a
lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate Generals Corps.