Tuesday, July 27, 2010
S.F. Attorney Bill Hebert Elected State Bar President
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Bill Hebert, a partner at Calvo and Clark in San Francisco, has been elected the 2010-2011 president of the State Bar of California.
Hebert, 49, was elected on Saturday and is set to be sworn in as the 86th president of the 228,000-member organization at its September annual meeting in Monterey.
All five third-year members of the Board of Governors ran for the top position for the first time in nine years. Hebert, after four rounds of voting, edged out Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner Rex Heinke of Los Angeles, former State Bar Court Judge Michael Marcus of Los Angeles, Littler Mendelson partner Patti White of San Jose, and California Energy Commission Administrative Law Judge Paul Kramer Jr. of Sacramento.
Hebert promised that, as president, he would do what he has done as chair of the Discipline Oversight Committee and involve all members in decisions.
“One of the jobs of the president is to ensure cohesion among the board,” he said.
The president-elect also told board members that while he favors the current configuration of the board with a majority of lawyers and a minority of public members, he would not be averse to studying a proposal from an academic watchdog group that calls for a different appointment/election system and a different proportion of public and attorney members.
He also said he favors requiring malpractice insurance for lawyers under certain conditions, such as making sure it is affordable and making sure it doesn’t discourage lawyers, especially those who are retired, from doing pro bono work.
Last month, Hebert indicated that, if elected, he would like to shepherd several initiatives into practice, particularly new rules for the State Bar Court that he said would streamline the discipline process, lower costs and ultimately benefit the bar and its members.
A graduate of Stanford University and Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, Hebert represents clients in business litigation, patent and trademark infringement, false advertising and California’s Unfair Competition Law. He joined the State Bar in 1988 and serves on the boards of the San Francisco Legal Aid Society and the Public Interest Law Project.
Hebert lives in Oakland with his wife, Morrison and Foerster attorney Lori Schechter, and their two children, Nicole, 11, and Jordan, 9.
Upon being sworn in, Hebert will work with a reconstituted group of bar executives—currently, the jobs of executive director, general counsel, chief trial counsel and chief information officer are open.
Longtime trial attorney James E. Towery, who served as State Bar president in 1995-96, was appointed last month as chief trial counsel, but that appointment remains subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Interviews for the general counsel position have been completed, but no announcement has yet been made, a State Bar representative said yesterday. The search for a new executive director and chief information officer remains ongoing.
The State Bar also is recovering from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of last year’s dues bill—a new one was signed in January—and attempting to address his criticisms about inefficiencies. In addition, like all public agencies, the State Bar is operating in a difficult financial climate, although its fee bill for next year, which has been approved in the Assembly, keeps dues flat at $410.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company