Thursday, March 18, 2004
Candidacies of Van de Kamp, Three Others For Post of State Bar President Confirmed
By DAVID WATSON, Staff Writer
Four of the five lawyers eligible—including former Attorney General John Van de Kamp—will run for president of the State Bar of California in May, a bar official has confirmed.
In a memorandum to members of the Board of Governors, Executive Director Judy Johnson said Van de Kamp, Redwood City attorney Vivian Kral, state Deputy Controller for Policy Windie O. Scott, and Russell Roeca of Roeca, Haas, Hager in San Francisco have advised her they will seek the group’s top post for 2004-2005.
Van de Kamp, now with Dewey Ballantine, is one of two eligible members who represent District 7, which consists of Los Angeles County. The other third-year District 7 member, Matthew E. Cavanaugh, will not run, Johnson’s memo said.
The memo, dated March 10, was distributed this week with agenda materials for the board’s meeting in Los Angeles March 27. Current President Anthony Capozzi is to set the date for a vote at the Los Angeles meeting, and he has said he plans to schedule it for May 22 in San Francisco.
The special session at which the board members elect a new leader will take place during the board’s scheduled May 21-22 meeting, Capozzi said.
Cavanaugh, a persistent critic of the State Bar who ran for the Board of Governors as an “outsider” candidate, said last week that given the role he has played on the board he did not think a run for the presidency would be appropriate.
“I’m quite certain there’s no way I could win,” he added.
The new president will take office at the conclusion of the State Bar’s convention in Monterey Oct. 7-10. State law requires the election to be held between 270 and 90 days before the convention.
All members of the board in the final year of their three-year terms are eligible for the State Bar presidency. That includes two non-lawyer members, Marin Community Foundation program officer Chantel L. Walker and Los Angeles psychologist Dorothy Tucker.
Tucker ran for the office in 1998, but the group has never elected a non-lawyer president.
Walker and Tucker could not be reached for comment yesterday, and Johnson’s memo did not say whether either of them would run.
Van de Kamp declined to comment, citing a board rule which states members are “expected not to engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering for any office, including solicitation of support or votes, or announcement of candidacy, prior to the formal announcement by the Secretary of names of the candidates made at the regular meeting of the Board next preceding the special meeting for election of officers.”
None of the other three attorney candidates returned calls from the MetNews.
All four candidates and Cavanaugh have served this year as board vice presidents. Roeca is also treasurer and chairs the board’s influential Planning, Program Development, and Budget Committee, as Capozzi did the year before his election.
Three candidates have said they will run for the District 7 seats being vacated by Van de Kamp and Cavanaugh. Deputy Public Defender Marguerite D. Downing and Sherman Oaks attorney Phillip Feldman have declared they will run for Van de Kamp’s seat, while MetNews Co-Publisher Jo-Ann W. Grace has said she will seek to succeed Cavanaugh.
If Van de Kamp is chosen president, he would remain on the board for another year, giving Los Angeles County lawyers an additional representative.
There are two second-year District 7 representatives on the board—Deputy District Attorney Steven J. Ipsen and Century City attorney David M. Marcus—and one first-year member, Century City lawyer Sheldon H. Sloan.
In addition to the District 7 seats, three seats in other districts are to be filled, with replacements being selected for Kral, Scott and Roeca.
Nominating petitions for the board seats must be turned in by April 1. Voting is by district, with ballots being mailed out to members April 30 and due back June 30.
Votes are to be canvassed July 12-15.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company