Redistricting and Reapportionment of State Bar Districts - 45 Day Public Comment Period
Publication for public comment is not, and shall not be construed as, a recommendation or approval by the Board of Governors of the materials published.
The 23 members of the Board of Governors include 15 lawyer-members who are elected from 9 State Bar Districts. The Legislature established this structure for the election of the lawyer-governors in 1933. (Stats. 1933, ch. 430, § 1, pp. 1087-1088.)
In 1989, the Legislature changed the law. Except for District 1, it repealed the provisions specifying the counties and representatives included in each district. Instead, beginning on July 1, 1990, and every 10 years thereafter, the Board is required to adopt a redistricting and reapportionment plan that would improve the equity in the distribution of the 15 elected governors to the lawyer population in each district except District 1. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6012.5.) The Board Committee on Operations has authorized for public comment proposed amendments to Rules of the State Bar, title 6, division 1, chapter 3, recommended by the Redistricting Subcommittee of the Board.
The Subcommittee's recommendation includes amendments to State Bar Rule 6.30, which would change the counties making up current State Bar Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9, as well as the number of elected seats in Districts 3, 7, 8 and 9. It also includes new State Bar Rule 6.32, which would adjust the seats in the current sequence for the staggered election of 5 of the 15 district representatives every three years to conform with how the seats are reallocated under the proposal.
The amendment to State Bar Rule 6.30 would adjust the districts and seats as follows:
New State Bar Rule 6.32 would adjust the sequence for electing governors as follows:
The membership of the State Bar has increased significantly since State Bar Districts were last redrawn, with the largest shifts in Southern California. Because of these changes, there is a 74.1 percent total deviation in the current distribution of elected governors to lawyer population in the districts.
Population data shows Districts 8 and 9 have nearly twice as many attorney members per governor as District 5. Any plan increasing equity will tend to shift representation towards Southern California and away from the Central Valley, Los Angeles and portions of the Bay Area.
Under the proposed plan, deviation would be reduced to 38.6 percent. While two other scenarios presented to the Subcommittee provided for a larger reduction in deviation, both required that San Mateo County be moved to District 5. This created community of interest concerns as San Mateo clearly identifies with the Bay Area while District 5 is largely a Central Valley district.
This scenario keeps San Mateo in the Bay Area pool while bringing District 5 as close to equity as possible without adding any Bay Area counties and keeping the district contiguous.
Board Committee on Operations, March 29, 2010
May 14, 2010
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