The Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California approved a proposal at its September 13 meeting from Trustee David Torres to provide for two members of the Board to serve as “liaisons with the Chief Executive Officer, the State Bar’s legislative advocate, and State Bar Governmental Affairs staff during the course of any year of a legislative session regarding the development of legislative proposals that may lead to requests for an affirmative vote by the Board of Trustees to sponsor specific legislation.” The purpose of these Board liaisons would be to
…help in determining when the development of a legislative proposal has reached a point of sufficient specificity, for presentation to the full Board for its consideration of State Bar sponsorship. Under this proposal, legislative requests for State Bar sponsorship would be brought to the Board as early as possible, to facilitate full Board discussion and public comment.
The Board clearly did not appreciate its approval being requested “nunc pro tunc” on AB 1515 after it had already passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Coupled with the overall tone of the Board meeting (more than one Trustee echoed the thrust of new President Craig Holden’s inaugural address, to paraphrase, that public protection means more than just being an attorney punishment machine) it looks like there is some pushback among the attorney members of the Board against the public protection regime as currently administered by Senator Dunn and the public members of the Board. The AB 1515 fiasco was a glaringly apparently symptom of the confusion over who really runs the State Bar. Good to see Board Members trying to take the reins.