Guilford filled his year as president with accomplishments and laid the foundation for his
successors for years of work to come. Under Andys leadership we achieved what had
only recently been unthinkable: bipartisan support for our dues bill. We raised over $8
million in voluntary contributions to support the work of the bar. We hired a terrific
executive director and rebuilt our staff. Most importantly, Andy pointed us toward the
task of preparing the profession for the future by bringing before us issues such as
multi- jurisdictional practice and multi-discipline practice. He will be a tough act to
A dues bill with substantial bipartisan support
For years, the annual State Bar dues bill had been a political
football, which ultimately led to Gov. Wilsons veto. For almost a year after the
veto, the board of governors, led by one of my heroes, Marc Adelman, struggled to craft a
compromise that would satisfy the bars critics. Marc, a sole practitioner,
sacrificed for all of us by putting his practice on hold so that he could spend countless
hours walking the halls of Sacramento trying to make a deal. Ultimately having put
together a deal that it appeared would work, Marc found that the governor at the last
minute made demands that were unacceptable to others in the legislature.
When Ray Marshall took over as president, he realized that we had to
turn to the courts for help. Ray argued before the Supreme Court that it had the power and
the obligation to fund the discipline system. The court agreed, issuing an order that
partially funded the State Bar. Rays good work created the ark that we
used to carry the key executive team through until we could refinance the State Bar.
This year, we were fortunate once again to have the right person at
the right time. Andy could talk to both sides of the aisle in Sacramento. Andy made a
commitment to Repub-licans and Democrats that the State Bar would go back to focusing on
basics: competence and discipline. But he
also committed to making the effort to support the raising of voluntary funds to support
the outreach efforts of the State Bar. As a result of his good efforts, this year there
was substantial bipartisan support for the dues bill.
Contributions from our members to support the bar
In response to the effort of the State Bar to refocus on basics, we
have received unprecedented support from our members. During the dues crisis, our members
paid voluntary dues even though they were not required to do so. Last year, Andy asked
those who make such payments to forgo their right to ask to have them used as credits. As
a result of this request, over $7 million in voluntary payments were made to the bar.
Moreover, last year we raised for the first time in excess of $1 million to support the
scholarship and other programs of the State Bar Foundation. This is a resounding vote of
confidence from our membership.
Rebuilding the State Bar
Gov. Wilsons veto led to the firing of more than 500 employees,
some of whom had been with the bar for over 20 years. We lost hundreds of years of
experience. When funding was re-established, many of these valuable employees had moved on
to other work. As a result, we had to rehire, train and deploy a large work force. All
this time, we were operating under the supervision of Justice Elwood Lui, the special
master appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the spending of dues money raised
pursuant to the courts order. Justice Lui devoted himself to examining our
discipline system. Under his watch, then-chief prosecutor Judy Johnson tightened up our
staffing and undertook initiatives to establish ways of resolving discipline matters
earlier and more efficiently. Justice Luis final report both recognized the gains
that had been made and offered guidelines for future activity.
Hiring a new executive director
There is an ancient curse: May you live in interesting
times. Well, Andy certainly had an interesting year. He had three executive
directors during his tenure. First, Steve Nissen answered the siren song of Gov. Davis and
moved to Sacramento. Then Jeff Gersick received an offer he couldnt refuse to
represent the state in London. As a result, during Andys year, we had to find a new
executive director. Many thought that we should seek someone from outside the organization
to bring us a new perspective; others thought we should seek someone who was a
professional manager; and yet others believed that we had excellent internal candidates
whom we should hire. We followed Andys excellent suggestion that we adopt a process
that would respect all points of view. We set out diligently to find the best persons we
could find from outside the organization and the best professional managers we could find.
Then, having found the best of each category, we chose the best of the best. In the end,
there was unanimous support for Judy Johnson.
Andy laid the foundation for the bars future
Andy has been in the forefront of the effort to examine how the legal
profession should adapt in this coming century. As a member of the Futures Commission, he
called to our attention the issue of multijurisdictional practice. He has appointed a
commission to look into how California should respond to the challenges of multidiscipline
practice. He tirelessly called our attention to the need to improve access to justice and
to increase the diversity of the bar. He gave pointed support to the effort of our staff
to upgrade our computer capability and to make our website useful to the profession.
Finally, Andy helped the board of governors by shepherding us towards a governance model
that will avoid the type of micro-management that interferes with the staffs work.
Andy, you have made great contributions to our profession. Thank you.
Palmer Madden can be reached