Friday, August 31, 2001
Matthew Cavanaugh Pulls Off Upset in Board of Governors Race
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
Long Beach attorney Matthew Cavanaugh narrowly upset San Dimas lawyer Patricia Lobello-Lamb yesterday for the District Seven seat in race for the State Bar Board of Governors.
With a call for “everyday members” to lead the State Bar, Cavanaugh, 38, edged out Lobello, the choice of the influential Breakfast Club, by a margin of just 120 votes.
His victory marks the first time in over 20 years a candidate endorsed by the Breakfast Club has lost a Board of Governors election, a fact not lost on the newly elected candidate.
Calling his win “gratifying,” Cavanaugh said everyday lawyers now will not have to stand idly by while “bar junkies” handpick candidates who control the governance of the State Bar.
“I think [Los Angeles lawyers] are happy to have an informed choice at last,” Cavanaugh said. “I will try to live up to my campaign promises and be responsive to the practical needs of the ordinary lawyer.”
Cavanaugh left Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld on Aug. 17 to concentrate on his real estate brokerage business, teaching law at Whittier Law School, and studying for the patent attorney exam.
Lobello, a former Breakfast Club president and a partner in the firm of Lamb, Morris & Lobello, left Cavanaugh a message to congratulate him on his victory, but was unable to reach him in person.
“I’m disappointed,” Lobello said. “I wouldn’t have run if I didn’t think I would have added something to the Board of Governors.”
Lobello said Cavanaugh has given the term “bar junkie” a negative connotation rather than using it to refer to everyday lawyers who devote their free time to improving the legal profession.
“I don’t know why people would vote against a lawyer because they volunteer their time to improving our profession,” Lobello said.
Breakfast Club President Jo-Ann Grace also expressed disappointment over the election results, saying Lobello possesses impressive credentials.
“It is regrettable that a slim majority of the lawyers in District Seven were swayed by her opponent’s promises of devoting his attention to helping lawyers make more money,” Grace, co-publisher of the MetNews, said. “The Breakfast Club is committed to continue supporting responsible candidates of accomplishment and merit.”
During his campaign, Cavanaugh ran on promises of helping the everyday lawyer compete economically.
“The bar should drop its expensive crusades, like those over MCLE and public policy, and make its chief goal helping lawyers succeed in the modern economy,” Cavanaugh wrote in his campaign statement.
Cavanaugh also urged elimination of “outmoded rules” that “prevent [attorneys] from competing in the modern economy” by barring multidisciplinary practice.
Former California Attorney General John K. Van de Kamp, also a Breakfast Club candidate, ran unopposed for District Seven’s seat two and was deemed elected under State Bar rules.
He is currently of counsel to Dewey Ballantine.
Van de Kamp said he looks forward to meeting Cavanaugh and working with him.
The winners will each get a three-year term on the State Bar’s governing body. Of the 16 lawyer members of the board, five are elected each year by attorneys in the various districts, with the California Young Lawyers Association choosing one annually.
Fresno attorney James C. Sherwood was elected by CYLA as its representative for a one-year term on the Board of Governors.
Five of the 15 elected lawyer members represent Los Angeles County.
Marie Weiner of Cotchett, a partner at Pine & Simon in Burlingame, won the only other contested seat in this year’s election in District 3.
Weiner defeated Michael K. Schimer of Emeryville, Michael Lynn Gabriel of Redwood City and Holden W. Green of Los Gatos to win the seat, which represents the eastern side of San Francisco Bay.
Joining Van de Kamp as automatic winners are Windie Scott and Russell Roeca.
Scott, who works for the California Workforce Investment Board in Sacramento, will represent District 2, covering Sacramento and adjacent foothill areas. Roeca, of the San Francisco firm of Roeca, Haas and Hager, will be the new member from District 4, covering San Francisco and Marin counties.
Election winners will take office at the conclusion of the State Bar’s annual convention in September.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company