SUBJECT

Redistricting and Reapportionment of State Bar Districts - 45 Day Public Comment Period

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.

BACKGROUND

The 23 members of the Board of Governors include 15 lawyer-members who are elected from 9 State Bar Districts. The Legislature established this structure for the election of the lawyer-governors in 1933. (Stats. 1933, ch. 430, § 1, pp. 1087-1088.)

In 1989, the Legislature changed the law. Except for District 1, it repealed the provisions specifying the counties and representatives included in each district. Instead, beginning on July 1, 1990, and every 10 years thereafter, the Board is required to adopt a redistricting and reapportionment plan that would improve the equity in the distribution of the 15 elected governors to the lawyer population in each district except District 1. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6012.5.) The Board Committee on Operations has authorized for public comment proposed amendments to Rules of the State Bar, title 6, division 1, chapter 3, recommended by the Redistricting Subcommittee of the Board.

The Subcommittee's recommendation includes amendments to State Bar Rule 6.30, which would change the counties making up current State Bar Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9, as well as the number of elected seats in Districts 3, 7, 8 and 9. It also includes new State Bar Rule 6.32, which would adjust the seats in the current sequence for the staggered election of 5 of the 15 district representatives every three years to conform with how the seats are reallocated under the proposal.

PROPOSAL

The amendment to State Bar Rule 6.30 would adjust the districts and seats as follows:

  • District 2 loses Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado and Tuolumne
  • District 3 loses San Mateo and Santa Clara and one governor
  • District 4 adds San Mateo
  • District 5 adds Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, San Luis Obispo and Tuolumne
  • District 6 loses Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura and adds Santa Clara
  • District 7 loses one governor
  • District 8 adds Santa Barbara and Ventura and one governor
  • District 9 adds Riverside and San Bernardino and one governor

New State Bar Rule 6.32 would adjust the sequence for electing governors as follows:

  • In 2011, under the existing sequence, one governor will be elected from Districts 4, 6 and 8 and two District 7. New Rule 6.32(A) would incorporate the change that moves one governor from District 7 to District 9. Beginning in 2011 and every following third year, it would provide for the election of one governor from State Bar Districts 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
  • In 2012, under the existing sequence, one governor will be elected from State Bar Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. New Rule 6.32(B) would incorporate the change that moves one governor from District 3 to District 8. Beginning in 2012 and every following third year, it would provide for the election of one governor from State Bar Districts 1, 5, 7, 8 and 9.
  • New Rule 6.32(C) retains the current sequence that in 2013 and every following three years, will provide for the election of one governor from State Bar Districts 2, 3 and 4 and two governors from State Bar District 7.
ANY KNOWN FISCAL/PERSONNEL IMPACT

None

ARGUMENTS FOR PROPOSAL

The membership of the State Bar has increased significantly since State Bar Districts were last redrawn, with the largest shifts in Southern California. Because of these changes, there is a 74.1 percent total deviation in the current distribution of elected governors to lawyer population in the districts.

Population data shows Districts 8 and 9 have nearly twice as many attorney members per governor as District 5. Any plan increasing equity will tend to shift representation towards Southern California and away from the Central Valley, Los Angeles and portions of the Bay Area.

Under the proposed plan, deviation would be reduced to 38.6 percent. While two other scenarios presented to the Subcommittee provided for a larger reduction in deviation, both required that San Mateo County be moved to District 5. This created community of interest concerns as San Mateo clearly identifies with the Bay Area while District 5 is largely a Central Valley district.

This scenario keeps San Mateo in the Bay Area pool while bringing District 5 as close to equity as possible without adding any Bay Area counties and keeping the district contiguous.

ATTACHMENTS
SOURCE

Board Committee on Operations, March 29, 2010

COMMENT DEADLINE

May 14, 2010

DIRECT COMMENTS TO:

Pat Bermudez
The State Bar of California
Office of General Counsel
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-538-2270
415-538-2321 Fax