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12 vie for five seats on board of governers

Assistant U.S. Attorney ANGELA JOY DAVIS of Los Angeles and former Orange County Bar Association President JOSEPH CHAIREZ of Costa Mesa have been “deemed elected” to the State Bar Board of Governors. Davis and Chairez, running unopposed, were among 12 candidates, including two with discipline records, seeking five open seats on the board. Ballots were mailed April 30 and must be returned by June 30.

Angela Davis

Davis, an assistant U.S. attorney, is immediate past president of California Women Lawyers, chair-elect of Los Angeles Lawyer and one of 11 attorneys representing the California State Bar in the ABA House of Delegates. As an assistant U.S. attorney, Davis, 46, serves as community outreach and education liaison and specializes in the prosecution of major corporate and financial crimes. She says that as a governor of the board, she will address such issues as safeguarding judicial independence, making sure Los Angeles attorneys’ views are represented on the board and, in a larger context, ensuring a just society.

Joseph Chairez

Chairez, 53, a partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP in Costa Mesa and former president of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, also was a member of the State Bar Task Force on Diversity and co-chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice. “I strongly favor a bar that is receptive to its members’ needs, be it low-cost dues, quality education programs, an informative Web site, responsiveness to member inquiries, and a supportive atmosphere for the practice of law,” he said in his campaign statement.

With the election of Davis, from Office #2 in Los Angeles County, and Chairez, from District 8 in Orange

County, seats remain open in District 4, Marin and San Francisco counties; District 6, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; and District 7, office 1, Los Angeles.

District 4

The race with the most candidates — four — is in District 4, where Joe Alioto Veronese, grandson of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto and son of former San Francisco Supervisor Angela Alioto, is battling Elizabeth England, a partner with San Francisco’s Carroll, Burdick & McDonough; Ronald Goldman; of The Goldman Law Firm of Tiburon, and Jon Streeter, a partner at San Francisco’s Keker & Van Nest.

Elizabeth England

ELIZABETH ENGLAND is chair of the real estate practice at Carroll, Burdick & McDonough and has a long history with the State Bar real property and litigation sections in leadership positions. In 2005, she was listed by San Francisco Magazine as one of Northern California’s “Super Lawyers.”

“My focus has been education of members of the California bar,” England, 61, said in her campaign statement. She published the California Real Property Journal and has created statewide educational programs for the Litigation Section.

“My leadership positions have prepared me to serve on the board of governors,” she said. “I hope to continue my State Bar service in a different capacity as a member of its board of governors.”

RONALD GOLDMAN, whose Marin County practice consists primarily of civil trial work and business law for health care practitioners, says the State Bar needs to improve its offerings to members.

“This is an area of particular concern to small firms and solo practitioners who will benefit most from having a better selection of sponsored products and services,” he said in his campaign statement.

He also said the bar should take a leadership role in advancing uniform court rules for paperless filings and uniform online access to courts as well as promote use of technology for more efficient use of time by lawyers and the courts.

The State Bar Court has recommended to the California Supreme Court that Goldman, 51, receive a private reproval for signing a document for his wife in a real estate case.

Jon Streeter

JON STREETER, a partner with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe for almost 16 years before joining Keker 11 years ago, is vice chair of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, president of the Edward McFetridge Chapter of the American Inns of Court and past president of the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers of Northern California.

Streeter, 51, said he would bring to the board of governors a broad knowledge of the justice system, commitment to diversity and pro bono service and interest in improving how the State Bar can serve its members.

“Each governor should, by example, demonstrate a commitment to high ethical standards and good governance,” he said in his campaign statement.

Joe Veronese

JOE ALIOTO VERONESE is a principal at the Law Offices of Mayor Joseph L. Alioto and Angela Alioto and a former San Francisco Police Commissioner, Senate appointee to the California Criminal Justice Com-mission and assistant to Attorney General Jerry Brown. He also spent five years in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.

In his ballot statement, Veronese, 35, noted that he has fought and won major employment litigation, including a recent $25 million verdict named in the Top 100 Verdicts by Verdicts Search. In pro bono work, he also helped return the AIDS quilt to San Francisco.

District 6

Andrew Aames

ANDREW “BEN” AAMES, 52, a former administrative law judge who now works for the State Compensation Fund in Riverside, said in his campaign statement he would fight to prevent or delay further increases in State Bar dues and supports new specialization and educational programs. He also said the bar should study the possibility of requiring out-of-state students to take the Baby Bar exam, raising the passing score or making the current exam more difficult.

“Let’s face it,” he said in his campaign statement, “there’s a glut of attorneys in California. In some parts of town, there’s a law office on every corner . . . For lawyers, the best way to gain some control over the supply of lawyers in California is to decrease the bar pass rate a bit.”

Aames was suspended in 1995 for failing to pay child support.

Bryan Hartnell

BRYAN HARTNELL, a partner in Red-lands’ Hartnell Lister & Moore, is also a commissioner for the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Advisory Board of the State Bar.

“Lawyers and the State Bar must take the lead in restoring public confidence in our profession and the judicial system,” Hartnell, 58, said in his campaign statement. “Promotion of civility and professionalism with the active discouragement of fraudulent and frivolous lawsuits will help restore the faith.”

Hartnell said “better defined” educational opportunities should be made available to State Bar members as well as more specialization opportunities.

Michael Tenenbaum

MICHAEL TENENBAUM, 39, a principal with Tenenbaum & Associates in Thousand Oaks and a member of the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, promotes a platform with three goals: ensure that bar dues are reduced from year to year and spent effectively; reform the discipline system to make sure that serious offenders can’t continue to harm the public, and stop such practices as malpractice disclosure and “pointless” MCLE requirements.

“As a lawyer who has worked in offices large and small, I believe the bar should exist to serve lawyers — and not the other way around.”

District 7, Office 1

James Aguirre

JAMES AGUIRRE is with the law firm of Richard and Fair and is house counsel to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Chief Executive Officer of the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations in 2005, Aguirre, 55, began his career as a poverty attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Pasadena and set up one of the first domestic violence clinics in the state.

“I have never seen the demands on attorneys at a higher level, nor have I ever seen the public perception of attorneys lower,” he said in his campaign statement. “I believe I, working with the State Bar, can be an asset to practicing attorneys in facing the challenges of the profession.”

James Li

JAMES LI, a Diamond Bar sole practitioner, calls himself a human rights hero and civil rights hero and goes into detail about his background fighting discrimination and prejudice on his Web site,

“I run for this seat because I believe I have a great deal to contribute to the State Bar, making it a more effective organization for improving the quality of life for legal practitioners through improving the quality of justice for all,” Li, 42, said in his campaign statement. “What enabled me to overcome enormous odds to succeed in life also enables me to serve you well.”

Marty O’Toole

MARTY O’TOOLE, a Century City sole practitioner, said in his campaign statement that he believes the State Bar focuses too much on the private lives of attorneys in discipline matters rather than what they do in court.

“If a member uses drugs in her private life or gets into a fight away from work, the bar springs to life,” he said. “File a frivolous lawsuit or a false affidavit or mislead a court or conduct prosecutorial misconduct and the State Bar pleads poverty and mopes moribund. . . As its first priority, the State Bar must address conduct of attorneys that ‘touch and concerns’ the practice of law.”

Five candidates also are seeking two seats on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association and another was deemed elected. The candidates in District 1 are EMILY PROSKINE and MARIA WEYDEMULLER, both of San Francisco. Squaring off in Los Angeles are CHRISTOPHER DENGLER, RHONDA HAYMON and STEVEN SUTOW.

FRANCES PAI of Irvine was deemed elected in District 8, and a District 6 appointee will be named later.

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