December 2011 • Vol. 31 No. 11 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Come Join Me on the Delegation!

Those were my colleague’s words five years ago as we were waiting in court. She had talked about it before, but I really didn’t know what it was or what it did. She explained that the Conference of California Bar Associations was a statewide group of lawyers from all practice areas who appreciate good debate, are interested in the legislative process, and love a good laugh along with a good glass of wine.

What really interested me was the potential to shape the law by writing a “resolution” that, if passed by the conference, could someday become a new statute. How exciting! So I joined.

One thing I learned is that LACBA’s delegation has a lot of friendly, passionate, talented lawyers who have all sorts of interests, from legalizing prostitution (yes, a conference resolution) to yacht brokers (yes, another resolution) and pretty much every other legal area imaginable. Even though we might disagree about a particular resolution, the debate is always respectful. I’ve made some good friends, including Mark Harvis, who has written a number of resolutions, not all of which I supported. Oh, did I mention he’s a public defender?

Mark came to the delegation before me when he was asked by a member to draft a resolution. And since Mark did such a good job with the drafting, maybe he could present the resolution to the delegation. And maybe join the delegation. Which he did, only to learn that his mentor had moved and was no longer on the delegation! Despite being “abandoned,” Mark has stayed with the delegation and has become a friend.

The Conference of Delegates consists of approximately 300 lawyers who are members of local bar associations throughout California. The delegates are free to write up whatever resolutions they want with the hope the resolution will be “sponsored” by their home delegation and then debated and passed when the conference meets. It’s quite gratifying to see your handiwork turned into a new law! 

So, if there’s a law out there that needs to be written or rewritten, why not join me on the delegation, and try your hand at resolution writing? Who knows, today’s resolution could very well be tomorrow’s new law.

By Teresa Tracy Sullivan, member, LACBA Delegation. Sullivan is a deputy district attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Family Violence Division.

Apply now for the 2012 LACBA Delegation. The application form must be submitted by April 6, 2012. Find a formatting exemplar for submitting a resolution here. Submission must be received by February 3, 2012. Additional questions may be directed to Grace Danziger at (213) 896-6407 or gdanziger@lacba.org.
 




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