I am a candidate for the State Bar Board of Governors (BOG) seeking to represent District 8, and I appreciate this opportunity to make your members aware of my goals and qualifications.
The legislature mandated in the 2011 fee bill that the BOG form a governance task force to enhance and ensure that public protection is the top priority in the licensing, regulation and discipline of attorneys. After reading the proposals being considered by the task force, I decided to run for this position because they failed to address critical substantive issues.
The governance task force merely suggested changing the number of members and the method of selecting the BOG, ensuring that in the future most or all will be appointed rather than elected. Thus, our profession will be controlled by those with political connections. This will not assuage the legislature’s concerns or misconceptions about the BOG’s role and priorities but will have the opposite effect.
California has one of the toughest bar exams, rigorous rules of professional conduct, mandatory continuing education and the only independent disciplinary court in the country. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and reforms are needed to determine how our legal system can provide meaningful access to justice for all citizens and how we can more quickly discipline the small minority of practitioners who perform inadequate legal services or take advantage of their clients. The BOG needs to make a greater effort in educating the legislature and the public about what it actually does and can do.
I believe that I have the qualifications and experience to make a difference if I am elected. Having served 8 years on two State Bar committees and as president of California Women Lawyers, a statewide bar association, I have traveled all over California to address the needs of constituents. I am active in my local bar, teach and mentor law students and lawyers, volunteer as a temporary judge, and represent litigants who cannot afford a lawyer.
I would appreciate your support. If I am fortunate and win the election, I look forward to visiting the Ventura County Bar Association in the near future.
Pearl Gondrella Mann
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As you know, I am the only candidate from Ventura County running for the State Bar Board of Governors in District 8 and ran primarily so Ventura County can have a stronger voice within the State Bar Board of Governors. Below is my candidate statement. Ballots will be mailed on May 2nd and members will have the opportunity to vote by either mailing in their ballot or by voting online.
I am running for the position because I want to make the State Bar more accountable to its members. I believe that this can be accomplished through the reduction of bar dues, reforming the discipline system, reducing the bureaucracy, cutting costs and lowering the budget while ensuring a high level of service and performance of mandatory duties fairly and with respect for its members and the public at large.
Having a diverse background, including private practice experience, working in-house at a large corporation, volunteering as a judge pro tem with the Los Angeles Superior Court and with legal service organizations, teaching law students, as well as being a young lawyer, I am particularly attuned to the challenges facing the profession, new lawyers and law students.
As an active member of several legal organizations including the American Bar Association International Law Section and Business Law Section, where I serve as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Business Law
Network, as well as the Association of Corporate Counsel, my professional experience and involvement makes me a strong candidate for the position.
Lastly, as a member of the State Bar Board of Governors I will be a strong voice for our members and will conduct my actions with a commitment to hard work, high ethical standards and good governance.
Thank you and I respectfully ask for your vote.