Senate confirms Kim as State
Bar’s top prosecutor
Contact: Laura Ernde 415-538-2028 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacramento – May 23, 2012 – The Senate Rules Committee today
unanimously confirmed Jayne Kim to a four-year term as chief trial counsel, the
State Bar announced.
Kim, 43, has served as interim chief trial counsel since
September. Under her leadership, bar prosecutors eliminated a
long-running investigatory backlog, defined as a complaint pending in
investigations for more than six months.
At the end of 2010, there were more than 1,200 active
investigations pertaining to complaints six months old or older. By the end of
2011, there were eight, all of which were in the hands of outside examiners.
The Office of Chief Trial Counsel also made significant
progress in reducing its backlog of post-investigation matters that were
awaiting the filing of formal charges or resolution. At the end of 2010,
there were 822 such post-investigation complaints more than six months old. By
the end of 2011, that number was reduced to a historic low of 188.
To tackle the backlog, Kim improved the office’s
organizational structure, increasing staff accountability and emphasizing
training and development. All along, Kim has practiced a zero tolerance policy
for attorney professional misconduct.
Rules Committee Chairman Darrell Steinberg commended Kim for
the progress her office has made on a problem that had plagued the bar for
decades. By statute, the chief trial counsel’s position requires Senate confirmation.
State Bar President Jon Streeter, who testified on behalf of
Kim at today’s confirmation hearing, said Kim is a natural leader who inspires
the prosecutors in her office to do their best work.
“This is an intangible that one finds in few people,”
Streeter said. “I could not be more proud to have this true professional
serving in an agency I’ve been privileged to lead.”
In 2011, OCTC received more than 16,000 complaints against
California lawyers and opened nearly 5,000 new investigations, according to the
most recent Annual Discipline report.
Formal discipline was imposed in 1,573 cases, resulting in the disbarment or
suspension of 394 lawyers.
Kim, who started her career as a public defender in Los
Angeles County, has also worked as a bar staff prosecutor and assistant chief
trial counsel. She spent three years as assistant U.S. Attorney before
returning to the bar as acting chief trial counsel .
Kim is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.
Editor's note: On June 11, Kim was unanimously confirmed by the full Senate.
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
May 2012, membership reached 237,000.