New President, Board Members
Sworn in at State Bar Annual Meeting
Monterey, Oct. 13, 2012 – Patrick M. Kelly of Los Angeles was sworn in
as president at the State Bar's Annual Meeting in Monterey today, along with
four new members of the Board of Trustees.
A partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Kelly said his
top priority will be "securing full and fair access to justice for the
citizens of our state" who have been hard hit by the "devastating and
unacceptable underfunding of the courts."
"We in the legal community cannot turn a blind eye to the issue,"
Kelly said in remarks after taking the oath of office administered by Chief
Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. "Because of limited court funding, justice
is now being rationed in our state."
Kelly used the acceptance speech as a call to action among lawyers, urging them
to become "the U.S. Marine Corps of the judiciary." He said lawyers
need to educate the public and the legislature about the importance of the
court system to protect the rights of society's most vulnerable as well as
ensure a healthy economy. Businesses can't function without a swift and fair
way to resolve disputes, the civil litigator said.
A former president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Kelly succeeds
Keker & Van Nest partner Jon Streeter of San Francisco for a one-year term.
Kelly is a graduate of Loyola Law School and chaired the board's Planning,
Program Development and Budget Committee.
Four new attorney board members also took the oath of office. Christopher W.
Todd of San Diego and David A. Torres of Bakersfield were elected by their fellow
lawyers earlier this year. David Pasternak of Los Angeles was appointed by the
California Supreme Court and Michael G. Colantuono of Penn Valley was appointed
by Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez.
The new members will serve three-year terms.
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 2012, membership reached 238,000.