New President, Board Members Sworn in at State Bar Annual Meeting
FRANCISCO, Oct. 12, 2013 – Luis J. Rodriguez of Los Angeles was sworn in as president of the State Bar of California at the bar’s Annual Meeting in San Jose today, along with five new members of the Board of Trustees.
As the first Latino to lead the regulatory body for the state’s 244,000 lawyers in the organization's 86-year history, Rodriguez said it was fitting he took the oath on a holiday known as Día de la Raza, a celebration of culture in many Latin American countries.
Rodriguez, 46, said his role is not merely symbolic, but important in light of new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week concerning the immigrant community. Rodriguez's own parents immigrated to Los Angeles from Mexico when he was a child.
"I am not the exception. I am just another example of what happens when we come together as a community," he said. "I see it as a very special gift that I've received."
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye administered the oath of office.
Rodriguez has worked as an attorney in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1994, rising from deputy defender to division chief. A past president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles and the California La Raza Lawyers Association, Rodriguez succeeds Patrick M. Kelly of Los Angeles for a one-year term.
Five new board members also took the oath of office. Miriam Aroni Krinsky of Los Angeles and Hernán Vera of Los Angeles were appointed by the California Supreme Court. Daniel Dean of San Francisco and Joanna Mendoza of Granite Bay were elected by their fellow lawyers. Glenda Corcoran of Sacramento was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. The new members will serve three-year terms.
Dennis Mangers of Carmichael was sworn in for a second three-year term on the Board of Trustees, having been reappointed by Steinberg.
Also at the ceremony, former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno received the Bernard E. Witkin Medal. The award recognizes a member of the legal community who has helped to shape the legal landscape through their extraordinary body of work.
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 2013, membership reached 244,000.