State Bar Board Candidate Drops Out, Leaving Three in Race
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Sherman Oaks attorney Phillip Feldman yesterday withdrew his candidacy for the State Bar Board of Governors, reducing the field of candidates to three, and endorsed opponent Howard B. Miller.
Miller is now opposed by Santa Monica Bar Association President Richard P. Longaker and Federal Aviation Administration attorney Theodore P. Byrne. Two other candidates who had preliminarily filed, downtown lawyer Bradley R. Marsh and Century City attorney Marty O’Toole, were disqualified after their nominating papers did not arrive at the State Bar’s offices by last Thursday’s deadline.
Feldman told the MetNews that he was “wholeheartedly” endorsing Miller because of the candidate’s background in education. He is a former president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Feldman said Miller was “much better able than I to...carry the flag” for the improvement of legal education, Feldman’s pet issue.
Another consideration, although a less serious one, is the fact that Miller was endorsed by the Breakfast Club, a group of bar activists who meet each year to back a candidate for each contested board seat representing Los Angeles County. Feldman, a member of the group, said he intends to seek its backing for election next year.
Feldman has run for the board four times, the first about 30 years ago. He was also a candidate in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
He is a Sherman Oaks practitioner who has been a member of the State Bar since 1967. He has long been involved with the bar disciplinary system, first as a prosecutor and now as a defense attorney.
He has written extensively and ethics and professional responsibility. He is a former chair of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, has been heavily involved in arbitration and mediation of attorney-client and other disputes, and is a certified specialist in both legal and medical malpractice.
Feldman said yesterday that his vision for the future of legal education in California includes the elimination of unaccredited law schools—he said they were useful when there were obstacles to traditional legal education for women and minorities, but not today—and the eventual creation of mandatory, rotational internship programs in which the pay would be “meager to nil,” but which would better prepare attorneys for legal careers.
Miller yesterday made clear that he was not endorsing Feldman’s ideas. He would say only that the proposals raised “interesting and important issues that have to be thought through.” He added that he agreed with the general thesis that “it would be good for the State Bar and the law schools to have closer relationships.”
Miller disclosed yesterday that he has also been endorsed by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company