Contact: Laura Ernde  415-538-2028

San Francisco, July 20, 2012 – Patrick M. Kelly, a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, was elected today as president of the State Bar of California for 2012-2013.

Patrick Kelly

Kelly, 69, will be sworn in as the 88th president of the 238,000-member organization at the bar’s Annual Meeting in October in Monterey. He bested Loren Kieve of San Francisco and Wells B. Lyman of La Mesa in the voting by fellow board members.

In addition, under a new governance structure that took effect this year, the board for the first time elected a vice president and a treasurer. Luis J. Rodriguez, 45, of Los Angeles, was elected vice president and Gretchen Nelson, 58, of Los Angeles, was elected treasurer.

Kelly, who chairs the board’s Planning, Program Development and Budget Committee, campaigned on a platform of carrying out the bar’s strategic plan and getting younger and older lawyers more involved in pro bono legal work.

He also expressed commitment to public protection, public service and encouraging lawyers to become problem-solvers rather than relying on litigation.

“We are in a severe economic crisis that threatens our courts, other institutions of government, and even this Bar. Perhaps more troubling, there is an ever growing lack of public trust in our institutions of government, our legal system and our lawyers.” he said in his candidate statement. “The challenges we face also create a tremendous opportunity that calls for the very best in leadership and commitment to service each of us can bring.”

A former president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Kelly is a graduate of Loyola Law School. He is married to Gail Gibson Kelly and has two children, Patrick and Laura.


The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By July 2012, membership reached 238,000.