Public Law

Public Law Journal: 2017, Vol. 40, No. 3

Message from the Chair

By John M. Appelbaum*


This is my final Chair statement and it has been an honor to serve you. Together, we have accomplished so much. During the six years I have been on the Executive Committee, we saw our membership grow by 25%, we greatly expanded our signature Open Meeting and Public Records Act Conference, which is widely recognized as the leading conference of its kind in California, and we launched other conferences on cutting-edge issues including public environmental law, privacy, and use of force. We also expanded our webinars and E-news. We forged strong bonds with some of California’s leading law schools and continue to offer our law school panel/ receptions allowing students to meet and obtain advice from high-ranking public officials and practitioners. This year also marked the first time the Bar Sections held their own Convention independent from the State Bar’s Board of Trustees. The convention roared to success featuring keynote speaker Erwin Chemerinsky, sponsored by the Public Law Section.

But challenges lie ahead, and we are actively meeting them. As of the date this statement was written, the Legislature is poised to pass S.B. 36, which I have mentioned in my previous statements. S.B. 36 will split the State Bar’s educational sections off into an independent voluntary non-profit corporation dedicated to providing you low-cost, high-quality educational programs and publications. The resulting voluntary Bar association will be the nation’s second largest, behind only the ABA. S.B. 36 will enable the sections to transfer most of their current reserves, subject to negotiation with the State Bar, and to transfer their existing programs, while remaining a check-off on your dues statement.

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