Friday, July 14, 2006
Howard Miller Wins Seat on Bar Board of Governors
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Girardi & Keese partner Howard B. Miller defeated two opponents to win a seat on the State Bar Board of Governors representing  District 7, which consists of Los Angeles County, State Bar officials said yesterday.
Miller, 68, told the MetNews he was “deeply honored to have this opportunity.”
He added that he “hopes to be effective in helping lawyers do their jobs better,” and wants to promote civility among attorneys and protect the attorney client privilege.
Miller received 3,513 votes to 2,101 for Richard P. Longaker and 810 for Theodore P. Byrne.
Miller said he was “delighted” that former Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Sheldon H. Sloan will be the new bar president. “He will provide outstanding leadership,” he added.
Specializing in plaintiff consumer litigation and appellate work, Miller said he was “especially pleased” that he was endorsed by both the Consumer Attorneys  Association of Los Angeles and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.
Miller had the backing of the Breakfast Club, an influential group of lawyers whose preferred candidates have won most Board of Governors elections in recent years, although three of its choices were defeated in 2001 and 2002.
Prior to the election, he told members of the group that, if elected, he would work to oppose the “federalization” of the legal profession.
“The attorney-client privilege as we have known it is under attack,” he said at the time, citing disclosure requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and efforts by the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to link waivers of the privilege to favorable treatment at sentencing in criminal cases.
Miller also sought Breakfast Club backing last year, but withdrew his candidacy when the club instead gave its support to John P. McNicholas and Holly J. Fujie, both of whom were elected.
Miller, who graduated from Pepperdine University and the University of Chicago Law School, was admitted to practice in California in 1961. He clerked for then-California Supreme Court Justice Roger Traynor in 1960 and 1961.
He taught at USC’s law school from 1965 until 1977, as a full professor for the last eight of those years. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in 1974.
Miller was a controversial member and president of the Los Angeles Unified School District board in the late 1970s, serving as its president until 1979, when he was removed from office as a result of a recall campaign waged by opponents of the district’s desegregation plan. He later served as the school district’s chief operating officer in 1999 and 2000.
He was executive editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal from 1979 to 1981, and joined Girardi & Keese in 2002.
District 7 has five of the 15 elective seats on the 23-member board. Attorney members are elected to three-year terms in mail balloting conducted in May and June there are also six public members and a California Young Lawyers Association representative, along with the State Bar president.
Also elected to the board were Auburn attorney John J. Dutton in District 1 former Contra Costa County Bar Association President Richard A. Frankel, who ran unopposed in District 3 Fresno lawyer John E. Peterson in District 5, and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis in District 9.
Dumanis defeated two opponents, including San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre, who also lost to Dumanis in the primary for district attorney in 2002.
State Bar officials also said yesterday that members of the California Young Lawyers Association had elected Pamela Kong of Oakland, Zachary Rothenberg of Santa Monica and Joanne Doughty of San Diego to the CYLA board. The CYLA board will elect one of its members to the State Bar board in August.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company