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Public Lawyer of the Year

Call for Nominations for the 2019 Public Lawyer of the Year

The Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association Public Law Section is pleased to announce that its now accepting nominations for the 2019 Public Lawyer of the Year.

The Executive Committee supports the goal of diversity in the membership and leadership of the State Bar. As such, promoting and achieving diversity is considered carefully in selecting an outstanding member of the State Bar who practices public law as the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year.

Nominations are due by May 1, 2019.

Click here for the Nomination Form.

The Award

Every year, the Public Law Section presents this award to recognize a public law practitioner who has provided outstanding service to the public and possesses an exemplary reputation in the legal community and the highest of ethical standards. In 2008, the Public Law Section named the award in honor of now-retired Chief Justice Ronald M. George in recognition of his distinguished career dedicated to serving the public and longtime support of the Section.

The Executive Committee supports the goal of diversity in membership and leadership. As such, promoting and achieving diversity is considered carefully in selecting an outstanding member of the State Bar who practices public law as the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year.

2018 Public Lawyer of the Year: Bruce Reed Goodmiller

Bruce Reed Goodmiller, City Attorney for the City of Richmond, has been named the 2018 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California Lawyers Association’s Public Law Section.

Mr. Goodmiller will be honored at a reception on September 14th during the California Lawyers Association Conference in San Diego. The Public Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes Mr. Goodmiller as an exceptional attorney who has demonstrated a commitment to public service throughout his career.

“The selection of Bruce Goodmiller as the 2018 Public Lawyer of the Year continues the rich tradition of honoring lawyers who have dedicated their careers to providing sound advice to public sector clients on a broad range of legal issues, bringing strong leadership skills and the highest degree of ethical standards, both personally and professionally.” said Ryan Baron, Chair of the Public Law Section. “He has successfully blended his passion for the law and public service and embodies the ultimate public servant dedicated to improving the community that he serves.”

Goodmiller began his career as an attorney in 1985 and has been employed by the City of Richmond since 2009, first serving as a Senior Assistant City Attorney before appointment to serve as City Attorney by the City Council in 2012. In his current role, Bruce has guided the City of Richmond through many significant and cutting-edge legal issues including the settlement of major litigation regarding the use of land at the Point Molate, as well as settlement of litigation with Chevron over the 2012 Richmond refinery fire. He also advised the City with regards to the permitting for a major refinery modernization project, which also resulted in a Community Investment Agreement with Chevron Corporation that provides a complex package of community benefits.

“While Bruce is a zealous advocate on behalf of Richmond, I have always found that his dealings with opposing counsel and third parties are both professional and collegial. He never lets his role as advocate interfere with his inherent personal decency. In that regard, as in many others, he is a role model for other public agency attorneys to emulate,” said former Richmond City Attorney Randy Riddle.

Before his term in Richmond, Mr. Goodmiller was a partner at Morrison & Foerster, where he was the Co-Chair of the Local Government and Land Use team. There, he regularly worked with local government agencies on land use matters. Before joining Morrison and Foerster, Mr. Goodmiller spent 10 years in the City of Vallejo’s City Attorney’s Office, where he rose to the position of Assistant City Attorney. While there, Mr. Goodmiller helped lead the City through the closure and early transfer of Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Mr. Goodmiller received his undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley and his Juris Doctor from John F. Kennedy School of Law where he graduated 1st in his class. He is a member of the California Lawyers Association (Public and Environmental Law sections) and past recipient of the Wiley Manual State Bar Award for pro bono service on behalf of low income clients and the Contra Costa County Homeless Continuum of Care Board’s “People Who Care” Award.

Past Honorees

Each year the Public Law Section honors a public lawyer selected by the Public Law Section Executive Committee from nominations sent in by members of the Section and the public at large.

Click here for more information about past honorees. In addition, the Section also gave the award in 1995 to Anthony Alperin, in 1994 to N. Eugene Hill, in 1993 to Elizabeth Strauss, and in 1991 to Ted Prim.

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