Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, April 3, 2008


Page 1


Angela Davis Elected to State Bar Board of Governors Unopposed




Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Davis has won a seat on the State Bar Board of Governors, after no one stepped forward to challenge her byTuesday’s deadline.

Under State Bar rules, Davis is “deemed elected” as the board member from District 7, Seat 2. District 7 consists of all of Los Angeles County and has a total of five lawyer representatives on the board, only two of whom are being elected this year.

Three candidates filed for Seat 1—Los Angeles attorney James Aguirre, Century City sole practitioner Marty O’Toole, and Diamond Bar sole practitioner James Li. Aguirre is with the law firm of Richardson and Fair, and is also house counsel to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

‘Pleasantly Surprised’

Davis said she was “pleasantly surprised” at becoming the first board candidate since John Van de Kamp in 2001 to run unopposed in District 7. “I was certainly prepared to campaign and to ask people for their support.”

She said she still intends to attend bar meetings and functions prior to the election, in order to thank the bar leaders who supported her, “to let people know that I am open to their advice and input,” and to help Aguirre. Both Davis and Aguirre were endorsed by the Breakfast Club, a group of bar activists that meets once a year to endorse candidates for the board, who are usually elected.

The only other candidate to seek endorsement by the club this year was Los Angeles lawyer Nancy L. McCullough, who did not file a petition to run in the election.

Former CWLPresident

Davis serves as community outreach and education liaison with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and specializes in the prosecution of major corporate and financial crimes. She is a former president of the California Women Lawyers and a graduate of Stanford University, where she studied comparative literature and foreign languages, and UCLA Law School, where she served as a editor of the law review.

Davis has practiced law in California for 21 years, having worked in major civil firms before going to work for the federal government.

Aguirre, who could not be reached for comment late yesterday, is a UCLA School of Law graduate and 30-year practitioner. He began his career as a poverty attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Pasadena, where he set up one of the first domestic violence clinics in California.

He later became first managing attorney of the United Auto Workers Legal Services Plan in 1983, and then assistant general counsel to the Los Angeles Community College District in 1988 before joining Richardson and Fair in 1990.

He is a longtime participant in the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations, having served as chief executive officer and chair of the group in 2005.

Li, who also went to law school at UCLA, after graduating from California State University, Fullerton, was admitted to the State Bar in 1995.

Li told the MetNews that he was running to “motivate lawyers and law schools to solve the problems of the poor and indigent...and to encourage people to help the less fortunate.” He has placed biographical and campaign information on a Web site,

O’Toole ran for the board in 2005, finishing third in a four-candidate race won by Holly Fujie, whose term is expiring this year along with that of John McNicholas. He said yesterday that his reasons for running are the same this year as in his previous bid.

“The focus of the bar should be on the profession,” he said, complaining that the disciplinary system focuses too much on “people’s private lives” and not enough on uncivil conduct by attorneys in the conduct of their practices. He also said that more small-firm lawyers and sole practitioners should be on the board.

O’Toole graduated from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota and Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1992.

Three members of the board will be elected in other parts of the state this year. Candidates for those seats are Elizabeth England, Jon Streeter, and Joe Alioto Veronese of San Francisco and Ronald P. Goldman of Tiburon in District 4 (San Francisco and Marin counties), Andrew Benjamin Aames of Riverside, Bryan C. Hartnell of Redlands, and Michael Tenenbaum of Thousand Oaks in District 6 (Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties); and Joseph L. Chairez of Costa Mesa  in District 8 (Orange County.)

Chairez, like Davis, is deemed elected by reason of being the only candidate to file for the seat.

Tuesday was also the deadline to file for election to the Board of Governors of the California Young Lawyers Association, which elects board members from the same districts. Candidates for District 7 are Christopher L. Dengler of Jones Day’s downtown Los Angeles office, Rhonda A. Haymon of the Office of the Public Defender, and Steven H. Sutow of the Mid-Wilshire firm of Pierce & Weiss, LLP.


Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company