MEDIA CONTACT:  Howard Miller   213-977-0211

San Francisco, October 12, 2009 — State Bar President Howard Miller today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Schwarzenegger's veto of SB641, the State Bar fee bill:

"The Governor's veto of the State Bar dues bill is regrettable, but we must take the Governor's concerns seriously. Many of them are justified. There have been serious management and financial issues at the State Bar, starting with the embezzlement by a single employee over an eight-year period of $675,000.

"The State Auditor, and others, have also criticized with precision the management of the Office of Chief Trial Counsel. We will look closely at these and all other issues raised by the Governor. Events such as his veto message can challenge the State Bar to renew itself as an institution and its service to the public and the legal profession. I am confident the Board of Governors is up to that challenge."

SB641 veto message from Gov. Schwarzenegger

Founded in 1927 by the state legislature, 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 October 2009, membership reached more than 223,000.