Thursday, May 19, 2016
LACBA Elections Committee Restores Two Candidates
Philip Lam, Running for Senior Vice President, Says Committee Decided to Be ‘Open and Inclusive’
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Two candidates who were previously disqualified from running in the upcoming Los Angeles County Bar Association elections have been restored to the ballot by the Elections Committee.
In a press release yesterday, the association provided an updated list of candidates, which included previously disqualified candidates Philp Lam, running for senior vice president, and Edwin Summers III, running for trustee in the category of members of affiliated bar associations.
A LACBA spokesperson said he could not explain why the candidates were reinstated, as the committee—President-Election Margaret Stevens, President Paul Kiesel, and past President Linda Curtis—“meets in confidence.”
Lam, however, told the MetNews that he was informed yesterday morning by LACBA General Counsel W. Clark Brown that the committee had decided to be “open and inclusive” and that he would be on the ballot. His opponent is David K. Reinert, a deputy district attorney and the current vice president. Reinert was the choice of the Nominating Committee, while Lam was nominated by petition, signed by at least 100 members.
Lam, who is intellectual property counsel to the Los Angeles city attorney, is endorsed by the recently formed Council of Sections, which is chaired by former LACBA President John Carson. He said he had a “substantive exchange of email” with Brown last week, and a “very cordial debate” with him on Monday, concerning his disqualification.
Lam was disqualified because his employer, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, failed to pay his LACBA dues by the March 31 cutoff date for determining eligibility. Among the arguments he made in his exchange with Brown, he said yesterday, was that the wrong cutoff date was used.
The bylaws, he explained, set the cutoff as the last day of the calendar month preceding the petition deadline, which is April 30. The Elections Committee, however, told the candidates that the last day that petitions would be accepted would be April 29, since April 30 was a Saturday.
Because that date fell on a weekend, Lam said, the usual rule should have been applied and the deadline carried over to the next business day, May 2, meaning the cutoff date would have been April 30. Since his dues were paid April 8, his candidacy was timely, he said.
A similar issue may have affected Summers, who was disqualified for failure to belong to an affiliated bar association by the March 31 date. Another candidate for trustee in that category, Kelly Ryan, was disqualified and not reinstated.
Yesterday’s press release also omitted one name that was on the original list, that of Bankruptcy Judge Sheri Bluebond, who had petitioned as a candidate for trustee-at-large and was endorsed by the Council of Sections. Bluebond apparently dropped out amid ethical concerns regarding a judge running in a contested bar association election.
The final listing sets up the first contested election of a president-elect in 35 years, between Michael K. Lindsey, a corporate and transactional lawyer at Steinbrecher & Span downtown, and Michael E. Meyer, a real estate attorney who is a former vice president of LACBA and chairs the Los Angeles offices of DLA Piper. The winner becomes LACBA’s second-in-command on July 1, and automatically moves up to the presidency a year later.
Running for vice president are Annaluisa Padilla, an immigration attorney who is the Nominating Committee choice, and Tamila Jensen, a sole practitioner who handles elder law, estate planning, real estate, and family law matters, and who qualified by petition and has been endorsed by the Council of Sections.
The Nominating Committee choices for member-at-large are James “Jim” P. Clark, Miguel Tomas Espinoza, and Diana K. Rodgers. With Bluebond out, they are opposed by Bradley Pauley, and Ronald Brot, each of whom was nominated by petition and endorsed by the Council of Sections.
Running to represent sections, are John F. Hartigan, Marc L. Sallus, and Roxanne Wilson, all endorsed by the Nominating Committee, and William L. Winslow, who was nominated by petition.
The Council of Sections is backing Hartigan, Sallus, and Winslow.
Running to represent affiliated bar associations, besides Summers, are Oscar Rene Gutierrez, Princeton H. Kim, and Angela Reddock. The latter three were chosen by the Nominating Committee.
Richard Lewis was nominated by petition and endorsed by the Council of Sections, as was Summers. Ballots are due to be sent to members later this month, with voting to close June 10.
The contest between Lindsey and Meyer is the first since Richard M. Coleman defeated Robert S. Warren in 1981.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company