Monday, May 22, 2017
LACBA Renominates February Nominees; Lawsuit Nonetheless Continues
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Bar Association, through a newly constituted nominating committee, on Friday renominated persons for officer and trustee posts who had been chosen by the initial nominating committee on Feb. 27, and whose election to office was announced March 23 when no one became a rival candidate by the previous day’s deadline for filing nominating petitions.
However, the election results were nullified April 26 by what has been described as a “rump board”—11 members of the 28-member Board of Trustees, with more than half the members recused, some voluntarily, and others not. They acted, on a 6-5 vote, in light of alleged breaches of confidentiality and lobbying.
A lawsuit was filed last Monday to force LACBA to recognize the election of the three officer candidates and nine trustee candidates who had been the committee’s choices.
The lawsuit will not be dismissed however, because the nomination by the new committee is not tantamount to election. Others can run, under a new election time table, by filing a nominating petition by June 15 with signatures of 100 or more LACBA members.
Former LACBA President Charles E. Michaels, speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs, said:
“We are pleased to see that LACBA’s second Nominating Committee nominated the very same candidates for the elected officers and trustees positions that were previously selected. These were always the best candidates, and despite the ‘redoing of the process,’ the best candidates were once again selected.
“The lawsuit, Booth v. Los Angeles County Association, will be held in abeyance pending final developments at the Association.”
LACBA President Margaret Stevens commented:
“On behalf of the Nominating Committee, we urge all stakeholders in LACBA to return to a more collegial and collaborative community, and refocus our efforts back to our mission of serving our members and the greater legal community.”
It was Stevens’s refusal to take a step on March 23, required by a bylaw, that caused a Los Angeles Superior Court judge last Tuesday, in denying a temporary restraining order to the plaintiffs, to declare that no election had taken place. Art. VII, §4 of the bylaws provides that if no nominating petitions are filed by the deadline, “then the President shall instruct the Chief Executive Officer to cast a ballot for those nominated on the next business day after the deadline for filing” the petitions, “thus unanimously electing all candidates.”
Stevens did not do so, and has declined to state a reason.
The nominees are:
President-Elect: Brian S. Kabateck
Senior Vice President: Tamila C. Jensen
Vice President: Philip H. Lam
Susan J. Booth
Jennifer W. Leland
LACBA Section Trustees:
Matthew W. McMurtrey
Kevin L. Vick
Firoozeh (Faye) Nia
Michael R. Sohigian
Copyright 2017, Metropolitan News Company