Governance in the Public Interest Task Force

In 2011, Business and Professions Code section 6001.2 required the creation of a Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, charged with improving the public protection function of the State Bar. Appointed by the President of the State Bar, the task force was made up of seven lawyer and three public members of the board. It also included five ex-officio members. On May 11, 2011, the task force submitted its report to the Supreme Court, the governor and the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees "containing recommendations for enhancing the protection of the public and ensuring that protection of the public is the highest priority in the licensing, regulation, and discipline of attorneys.”

In 2012, Business and Professions Code section 6001.2 (added Stats. 2011, ch. 417, § 2.5) was repealed and a new provision enacted, effective in 2013, restructuring the Governance in Public Interest Task Force.  Section 6001.2(a) provides that the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force shall be comprised of 7 members, including 6 members selected from specified categories of members of the board of trustees and the President of the State Bar: two elected attorney members; two attorney members appointed by the Supreme Court; and two public members.

As reconstituted, the task force is required to, commencing in 2014 and every three years thereafter, submit by May 15  to the Supreme Court, the Governor, and the Assembly and Senate Committees on Judiciary a report on its measures and recommendations for enhancing the protection of the public and ensuring that protection of the public is its highest priority.  Under Business and Professions Code section 6140.12, the Bar is also required to annually report to the Supreme Court, the Governor, and the Senate and Assembly Committees on Judiciary, in conjunction with the Bar’s annual filing of its budget, on the measures the board has taken to implement its strategic plan.  Under section 6001.2(b), the task force also makes recommendations to the board regarding possible additions to, or revisions of, the strategic plan required by section 6140.12. 

To comply with both these provisions, the State Bar’s Board of Trustees annually holds a planning session to review the State Bar’s progress in implementing its strategic plan and to consider and propose other measures to enhance its mission of public protection, including proposals to ensure access to justice and diversity in the justice system consistent with that mission. As a result, the full Board, instead of only 7 its members as provided in Business and Professions Code section 6001.2, participates in the development of the measures and recommendations under both statutes. 

Report to the Legislature

Final Governance in the Public Interest Task Force Report

List of Materials

For meeting materials or information for past and current iterations of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, contact Francisco Gomez at francisco.gomez@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2170.

  1. Questions for 2016 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force Work Plan - December 9, 2015
  2. Large Bars Program Areas Chart - February 25, 2016
  3. Unified State Bars Chart - February 25, 2016
  4. Voluntary State Bars Chart - February 25, 2016
  5. Mandatory State Bars - Officers Chart - April 4, 2016
  6. Regulatory - Associational Continuum with Staff and Cost Chart - April 4, 2016
  7. State Bar Trustee Dennis Mangers Talking Points - April 4, 2016
  8. State Bar Trustee Dennis Mangers - Proposal for Deunification of State Bar - April 4, 2016
  9. State Bar Trustee Joanna Mendoza Statement re Reform Proposal - April 4, 2016
  10. Summary of Proposal for De-Unification Reform of the California State Bar April 2016
  11. Donna Parkinson - Business Law Section Voluntary Task Force Recommendation - April 4, 2016
  12. Alon Rotem - Rocket Lawyer General Counsel April 4, 2016 Testimony
  13. Corcoran, Mangers, Mendoza & Rosing letter re AB 2878 (State Bar Fee Bill): Support if Amended, April 18, 2016
  14. California Lawyers Guild Letter to Legislature, April 19, 2016
  15. Responsive Law comments to Task Force, April 22, 2016
  16. California Supreme Court Historical Society Letter to Governance Task Force, April 22, 2016
  17. Antitrust Section Letter Opposing Deunification, April 22, 2016
  18. Law Practice Management and Technology Section Letter Opposing Deunification, April 22, 2016
  19. Letter from Council of Section Chairs to Board of Trustees Opposing Deunification, April 22, 2016
  20. Center for Public Interest Law, Univ. of San Diego, Governance in the Public Interest Task Force Testimony, April 2016
  21. Tore Dahlin, Californians for Attorney Regulation Reform (C.F.A.R.R.), April 25, 2016
  22. Center for Public Interest Law, Univ. of San Diego, Deunification Plan, May 10, 2016
  23. California Project Directors Association - Public Comment - May 25, 2016
  24. A.B. 2878 (State Bar Fee Bill): Additional Amendments Required - Mangers, Mendoza, et al. May 30, 2016
  25. Q & A re Decoupling Bar’s Regulatory & Professional Association Functions and Advocacy for Access to Justice and Diversity in the Profession - Mangers, Mendoza, et al., May 30 2016
  26. Testimony of the Center for Public Interest Law regarding Organizational Structure of the Bar to Enhance Public Protection, February 9, 2017

Members

The following 2016 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force recommendations were adopted at the September 12, 2016  meeting of the Board of Trustees: (1) establishment of an enhanced orientation and training for State Bar Trustees;  (2) assessing key reporting relationships, assigned to the Regulation and Discipline Committee for report back to the Board at its January 2017 planning meeting; (3) further clarification of the Bar’s Public Protection Mission, assigned to the Executive Committee for report back to the Board at its January 2017 planning meeting; (4) addressing the impacts of “Silo Funding,” assigned jointly to the Stakeholders, Access to Justice, and Appointments and Planning and Budget Committees for report back to the Board at its January 2017 planning meeting; and (5) determination of funding adequacy for the State Bar Discipline System, assigned to the Planning and Budget Committee, with progress reports to be provided to the Board at each of its meetings.  Other recommendations were deferred for subsequent study or legislative action.

 The following 2016 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force recommendations were adopted at the September 12, 2016  meeting of the Board of Trustees: (1) establishment of an enhanced orientation and training for State Bar Trustees;  (2) assessing key reporting relationships, assigned to the Regulation and Discipline Committee for report back to the Board at its January 2017 planning meeting; (3) further clarification of the Bar’s Public Protection Mission, assigned to the Executive Committee for report back to the Board at its January 2017 planning meeting; (4) addressing the impacts of “Silo Funding,” assigned jointly to the Stakeholders, Access to Justice, and Appointments and Planning and Budget Committees for report back to the Board at its January 2017 planning meeting; and (5) determination of funding adequacy for the State Bar Discipline System, assigned to the Planning and Budget Committee, with progress reports to be provided to the Board at each of its meetings.  Other recommendations were deferred for subsequent study or legislative action.

At its initial October 2 organizational meeting, the new Board of Trustees acted to reconstitute the membership of the 2017 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, pursuant to the statutorily prescribed procedure.   Accordingly, the Supreme Court attorney appointees selected Alan Steinbrecher and Mark Broughton; the public members selected Richard Ramirez and Renée LaBran; and the elected attorney members selected Joanna Mendoza and Sean SeLegue.  By statute, the President chairs the task force.

 As President and Task Force Chair, President Fox indicated that he intended to use the recommendations of the 2016 Task Force Report, filed with the Supreme Court and both houses of the State Legislature on August 2, 2016, as the initial agenda for the next report due on May 15, 2017.  Four meetings were scheduled: December 12, 2016, January 17, 2017, February 9, 2017, March 8, 2017 and April 24, 2017.  The 2016 Task Force Report will also be used to inform and the five year strategic plan which was the focus of the State Bar’s annual planning meeting in January 2017.

The Amended Task Force Charge

 At its initial December 12, 2016 meeting, the 2017 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force (“Task Force”) considered three topics which had been recommended for further consideration by the 2016 Task Force and identified additional related issues for consideration.  These additions, noted in italics below, together with subsequent developments, form the agenda for the three 2017 Task Force meetings.

 A.    Clarification of the State Bar’s public protection mission, taking into account how it will be impacted by the State Bar Sections’ December 22, 2016 decision to proceed with separation, likely by 2018.

 B.    Changes in Board composition, size and term of office (e.g. Public members, elected members, extended officer terms) for better functioning; and  consideration of how new senior management positions, created in 2015 (a change in role for the Chief Executive Officer, the creation of a new Chief Operating Officer and adjusting the General Counsel role to require direct reporting to Board) may impact Board functioning.

 C.   The role of various sub-entities (e.g. committees and volunteers) and their relationship to the State Bar, along with how the Board of Trustees and its own committee should be structured for improved functioning.


Reports

For meeting materials or information for past and current iterations of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, contact Francisco Gomez at francisco.gomez@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2170.

Notices and Agendas

Board of Trustees - March 26, 2015
Governance in the Public Interest Task Force - March 26, 2015
June 1, 2015 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
September 18, 2015 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest
December 9, 2015 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
February 25, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
February 25, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force Transcript
April 4, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
April 4, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force Transcript
April 25, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
April 25, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force Transcript
May 26, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force

2016 Governance in the Public Interest Task Final Task Force & Minority Report
2016 Governance in the Public Interest Task Final Task Force Report Appendices A-O

December 12, 2016 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
January 17, 2017 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force
February 9, 2017 Governance in the Public Interest Task Force

For all materials related to the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force contact Francisco Gomez at francisco.gomez@calbar.ca.gov or 415-538-2170.

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News

California Bar Journal, May 2016
Courthouse News Service, April 26, 2016
April 25, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, Preliminary Notes
April 4, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, Preliminary Notes
California Bar Journal, "From the President," April 2016
California Bar Journal, March 2016
Feb. 25, 2016 Meeting of the Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, Preliminary Notes
California Bar Journal, January 2016
California Bar Journal, "From the President," April 2015
California Bar Journal, June 2011
California Bar Journal, "From the President," June 2011
California Bar Journal, April 2011
California Bar Journal, March 2011
California Bar Journal, February 2011
California Bar Journal, December 2010
California Bar Journal, November 2010