Monday, May 6, 2002
Herman, Villa, Wylie to Seek State Bar Presidency
By NAZANIN AGANGE , Staff Writer
State Bar Board of Governors members James E. Herman, Maria D. Villa, and Scott Wylie will seek the organization’s presidency, a State Bar spokesman said Friday.
The three are among five members eligible to run for the office. The winner of the June 22 balloting by board members will succeed President Karen Nobumoto, who cannot run for a second term. The new president will serve for one year beginning at the Annual Meeting in October.
All three candidates are in the final year of their board terms, a prerequisite for running for the presidency. The president chairs the Board of Governors, which works closely with state legislators and courts to set policies that affect every lawyer in the State Bar.
The official announcement was scheduled to be made at Saturday’s board meeting at the State Bar’s Los Angeles headquarters. The deadline to state intention to run was April 26. All three candidates were said to be in committee meetings and unavailable for comment Friday.
Herman is a civil litigation partner at Santa Barbara’s Reicker, Clough, Pfau, Pyle, McRoy & Herman specializing in business disputes. He has served on several board committees including the Review Committee of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation.
Master of Laws
Herman earned his law degree in 1975 from California Western Law School and master of laws from New York University School of Law in 1976. He is a past president of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.
Villa practices business litigation as a partner with the law firm of Lathrop & Villa in Los Angeles. She was admitted to practice law in California in 1989 and is currently a member of various bar organizations including the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, of which she is also a founder and trustee.
Wylie is director of the clinical program and externships at Whittier Law School and has taught at Chapman University School of Law, Western State University College of Law and California State University-Fullerton. He has served on the Orange County Bar Association’s Board of Directors and was named Orange County Women Lawyers attorney of the year in 1999.
Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Patrick Dixon and San Francisco attorney Scott McNutt, who were also eligible, decided not to try for the office.
Dixon cited commitments at the District Attorney’s office—he’s currently assigned to the Robert Blake murder case—as his reason for not running. He also commented that his chances were slim.
“I think that there are a number of people who’ll make great presidents and who will run,” Dixon said. “Candidly, I didn’t think there was any chance the Board of Governors would elect two deputy district attorneys from the same district in a row.”
Nobumoto was the first deputy district attorney ever to serve as State Bar president. She serves in the same office as Dixon, but is working in a non-trial assignment during her presidential term.
The president is responsible for assigning members to boards and committees as well as acting as the chief spokesman for California lawyers. The position is unpaid.
A majority vote of the board’s 22 members is necessary for election. If no one gets a majority, the lowest vote-getter will be eliminated prior to a runoff.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company