Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Page 3


Sheldon H. Sloan Sworn In as State Bar President, Calls for Civility


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Former Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Sheldon H. Sloan began his term as president of the State Bar Saturday with a call for civility, mutual respect, and a commitment to helping those in need.

“We...ask of our members that they afford each other, the courts and the public simple civil courtesy, to behave as lawyers should be expected to behave,” Sloan said after taking the oath as the State Bar’s 82nd president.

“We will create our own code of professionalism and civility and seek to have all lawyers, firms and public offices up and down the State of California sign on to abide by these common courtesy rules, he continued. “And, while we are at it, we will seek to have the same folks sign our already developed Diversity Pledge and Pro Bono Pledge as well,” he added.

Sloan, now of counsel to Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, was sworn in by Chief Justice Ronald M. George in Monterey where the State Bar, California Judges Association and Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations held their annual conferences Thursday through Sunday.

Solano Superior Court Judge Scott L. Kays was sworn in separately as president of the California Judges Association during a joint ceremony with Sloan. Joan Stone, the new president of the conference of delegates, was sworn in during a separate ceremony.

Acknowledging the achievements of his predecessors, Sloan said:

“Two years ago, President John Van de Kamp spoke of ‘pipeline’ issues. This last year, under President Jim Heiting’s guidance, we developed a set of programs for approaching young people and getting them involved in the law.”

“We have made a great amount of progress this year, and now have a pretty good model pipeline program in place,” Sloan said. “But, the work is not yet completed. We must continue to hone and improve these programs.”

Noting that the bar’s budget for discipline runs in the neighborhood of $50 million, which he characterized as “a very expensive neighborhood,” Sloan said:

“With our recommendation of permanent disbarment on the agenda for this year, along with many other challenges to keeping the public protected while being fair to our members . . . the [Regulation, Admission and Discipline Committee] has a huge responsibility.”

 Sloan said the board is involved in many long-term efforts to better attorneys:

“We are looking into insurance products, making our real estate holdings more efficient and examining a long list of goods and services to be made available with cost savings and/or increased benefit for our members.”

Saying that he “knows from experience” that he cannot do this by himself, Sloan said he plans to ask members of the State Bar staff and Board of Governors, as well as all leaders of the bar and bench to join together in order to have a successful year, Sloan joked:

“By the way, you all know the difference between a contribution and a commitment, don’t you. Well, suppose you had ham and eggs for breakfast this morning. You see, the chicken made a contribution; but the pig made a real commitment. So, I’m going to ask for commitments, not contributions.”

Sloan, a former president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, defeated Oakland Deputy City Attorney Demetrius Sheldon and Fresno attorney Paul Hokokian in the race for bar president.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company