PLEASE NOTE: 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.

Proposals for Sequence of Elections Under Revised State Bar Districts Effective Jan. 1, 2012

Newly enacted California Statutes 2011, Chapter 417 (SB 163), effective Jan. 1, 2012, amends the governance structure of The State Bar of California, reducing gradually the number of members of the governing board from 23 to 19 by Oct. 31, 2014, and renaming the board from “Board of Governors” to “Board of Trustees.” SB 163 repeals the current system of nine State Bar Districts for staggered elections of 15 attorney-members of the board with elections of five attorney-governors to three-year terms every three years. In its place, SB 163 provides for six new State Bar Districts based on California’s six appellate districts, from which six new attorney-trustees, each with three-year terms, will be elected. However, each of the current 15 elected governors shall serve their full terms. Among other things, SB 163 requires the State Bar to provide for the order for holding elections in the new districts as terms of the current governors expire, five each year in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Under SB 163, the new State Bar Districts for election of attorney-members to the Board of Trustees are as follows:

  • District 1 is the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma.
  • District 2 is the counties of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
  • District 3 is the counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.
  • District 4 is the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.
  • District 5 is the counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne.
  • District 6 is the counties of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.

The Board of Governor’s Committee on Planning, Program Development and Budget is seeking public comment on a proposal for determining the staggered sequence of elections in these new districts in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and every three years thereafter.

Random process

This proposal allows random chance to select the sequencing of the election. If this process is adopted, the sequence for the elections would then be immediately determined by a drawing by lot during the open session of a meeting of the board and the sequence then added in the order drawn to new State Bar Rule 6.21:

Rule 6.31 Sequence of election of attorney members

The six attorney members of the board are elected as follows:

       (A) In 2012 and every three years thereafter, one member each from State Bar Districts [ ] and [ ].

       (B) In 2013 and every three years thereafter, one member each from State Bar Districts [ ] and [ ].

       (C) In 2014 and every three years thereafter, one member each from State Bar Districts [ ] and [ ].


Indeterminate savings that may occur in costs of elections


Agenda Item IIIA. Proposals Providing for Sequence of Elections -- Release for Public Comment; original Attachment 1 and Attachment 2.

Board Committee on Planning, Program Development and Budget
Nov. 3, 2011
Agenda Item III.A.

Dec. 19, 2011 


Pat Bermudez
Office of General Counsel
180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-538-2270
FAX: 415-538-2321