SAN FRANCISCO – The board of trustees has elected James P. Fox as president of the State Bar of California for the 2016-2017 year.
Fox is a longtime attorney who already has experience within the State Bar Board of Trustees as vice president, according to a State Bar press release.
Jason Lee (left), James Fox and Danette Meyers | California Bar Journal
“The board president plays a critical leadership role in overseeing the state agency’s public protection efforts,” the release said.
Fox will be sworn in Oct. 1 at the State Bar’s 2016 annual meeting in San Diego. He will be the 92nd president of the largest State Bar in the country, with more than a quarter of a million members.
“I’m honored to serve in this role to ensure the State Bar fulfills its mission of regulating attorneys and improving the justice system to protect the public,” Fox said to California Bar Journal reporter Amy Yarbrough in an article published this month.
As a former San Mateo County District Attorney, Fox practiced law for more than 46 years and retired from the San Mateo District Attorney’s office in 2010 after serving for 29 years.
The press release said that Fox is currently board of trustees vice president, serving on committees that oversee the bar’s budget and regulation and discipline functions.
“Before he was appointed to the board, he spent nearly three years as a special assistant to the chief trial counsel, where he helped the office transition to a vertical prosecution model, which eliminated delays in moving cases from investigation to prosecution,” the press release said.
Furthermore, Danette E. Meyers was elected as vice president and Jason P. Lee as treasurer by the board. Meyers is a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County, while Lee is an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Los Angeles.
Executive Director Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker congratulated the new officers in the press release, saying that their responsibility will be to take on important reforms for the State Bar to protect the public.
“The board will be extremely well served next year by having three officers whose full-time jobs have been focused on public protection for many, many years,” current State Bar president David Pasternak said in the Journal article.
The State Bar’s website said the board of trustees meets approximately eight times a year to consider organizational, policy and regulatory matters. The board is made up of 19 trustees, including six lawyer members elected from districts based on California’s six appellate court districts, five lawyer members appointed by the California Supreme Court, two lawyer members appointed by the legislature, six non-lawyer members, four appointed by the governor, one by the Senate Committee on Rules and one by the speaker of the assembly.
Additionally, the site explained that a president may continue to serve an extra year if his or her term as one of the appointed or elected members has expired. In such a case, the president would become the 20th board member. The 2015-16 board currently has 18 members, including Pasternak, and there are currently two vacant public/non-lawyer member seats.