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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

New bar leaders take oaths

By Laura Ernde
Staff Writer

Fox and Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye congratulates James P. Fox after swearing him in as the 92nd State Bar president. Photo by S. Todd Rogers.

SAN DIEGO – A new slate of officers and trustees was sworn in at the recent State Bar Annual Meeting, kicking off what incoming President James P. Fox described as a year of continued change to bolster public confidence in the State Bar.

“We are making tremendous progress,” Fox said of the reform efforts begun by presidents Craig Holden and David J. Pasternak. “It is my desire to continue making the necessary changes to establish the confidence of the public in our system and, if possible, to establish confidence in the legislature in lawyers. Because I think the vast majority of us are truly dedicated to providing services to our clients and to the public.”

Swearing in of new board members
Trustees take the oath of office. From left, Vice President Danette E. Meyers and trustees Mark A. Broughton, Joanna Mendoza, Richard Ramirez, Sean LeLegue and Alan Steinbrecher. Photo by S. Todd Rogers.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye delivered the oath of office to Fox, as well as Vice President Danette E. Meyers and five trustees beginning their three-year terms of office. The new trustees are:

  • Mark A. Broughton, a criminal defense attorney and partner at Hammerschmidt Broughton Law Corporation in Fresno County. Broughton was appointed by the California Supreme Court.
  • Joanna Mendoza, a sole practitioner in Granite Bay who specializes in intellectual property and business litigation. Mendoza was elected to a second three-year term by attorneys in District 3, which includes Sacramento and other Northern California counties.
  • Richard Ramirez, a former city manager for a number of California municipalities. Ramirez was appointed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount).
  • Sean SeLegue, a partner at Arnold & Porter in San Francisco who handles in appeals and attorney liability and ethics cases. SeLegue was elected by attorneys in District 1, which includes San Francisco Bay Area counties.
  • Alan Steinbrecher, a litigator and partner at Steinbrecher & Span LLP who specializes in business, product liability and aviation litigation. Steinbrecher was appointed by the California Supreme Court.

Other highlights of the Annual Meeting in San Diego, which was held Sept. 29-Oct. 2:

  • Attorneys attended more than 111 education programs on a variety of topics, including preventing substance abuse by lawyers and eliminating bias in the legal profession.
  • California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu gave a keynote address, “When to Dissent.”
  • Christopher Darden, a criminal defense attorney, author and legal commentator who gained fame as a member of the O.J. Simpson prosecution team, delivered remarks.
  • A panel featuring Ward Connorly and Eva Paterson debated the use of race as a factor in higher education admissions. Video of the debate is available on the State Bar’s Facebook page.
  • Outgoing State Bar President David J. Pasternak recognized three individuals for their public protection efforts: Court of Appeal Justice Lee Smalley Edmon, who chaired the Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct; State Bar Senior Director Administration of Justice Kelli Evans, for her work on funding legal services for people who can’t afford lawyers; and Edward J. McIntyre, who contributed more than 500 pro bono hours this year as a special deputy trial counsel for the State Bar.
  • Civil rights attorney Constance “Connie” Rice, co-founder of the Advancement Project and a leader in addressing police misconduct received the Bernard E. Witkin Medal, awarded to a member of the legal community who has helped shape the legal landscape through an extraordinary body of work.
  • A number of others who represent the best of the legal profession received awards, including those who have made significant pro bono contributions and worked to increase diversity in the legal profession.