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Candidate Statement

Dear Colleagues:

I am honored to be nominated for the position of Secretary of the Orange County Bar Association which, if elected, leads to the position of President of the OCBA.  I firmly believe I can make a positive impact on the direction of the OCBA in the years to come, and would very much appreciate your support.

I have lived in Orange County nearly my entire life, and have worked here for all but one of my fifteen years in the practice of law – first at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and since 2006 at the boutique business litigation firm of Stephens Friedland LLP.  Wild horses could not drag me, my wife D’Ann, or our three kids (Ashlyn, Aubrey and Aidan) away from Orange County.  I am extremely invested in making Orange County a great place to practice law.

As a current member of the OCBA Board of Directors, I have personally witnessed the great work performed by the Board and, in particular, the Executive Committee.   Just over the last couple years alone, the OCBA has been successful in purchasing a new building that will serve as its headquarters and provide valuable benefits to our members, in increasing the number lawyers involved in the OCBA as mentors and mentees, in achieving new levels of scholarship giving to support students in need, in establishing a great number of community outreach events, and in starting new sections (such as the Healthcare section and Entertainment section) and interest groups (such as Mommy, Esquire).

I will continue that strong tradition and, over the coming years, raise the level of benefits and services that the OCBA provides for its members.

 

My Vision:

Raise our profile:  I believe all OCBA members benefit from greater promotion of the OCBA and its members so that the perception and reputation of our Bar as a whole is raised and spread across the state.  At a recent OCBA event, one speaker commented that Orange County is no longer being perceived as a second tier legal market.  I hope this is the case; I want this to be the case.  We at the OCBA should work hard to ensure that the business community, the general public, California’s legislators and legal practitioners throughout the state understand that our Bar and Bench are second to none.

Professionalism and Ethics:  We face an interesting time.  The lawyers in OC have a reputation for acting professionally and ethically, even when advocating zealously for their clients.  I recently spoke to a judge who commented on how OC lawyers are a pleasure to work with and that cooperation among counsel and the Bench is the accepted norm.  We need to work to maintain and even heighten this reputation.  Untoward tactics, ethical lapses and decreased professionalism will not serve us or our clients well in negotiations, transactions or litigation.  It is incumbent upon all of us to set an example to be followed in our tight-knit legal community.  Mentoring, training and outreach assist in maintaining the high level of professionalism and ethics enjoyed practiced in OC.

 

My Service:

Over the years, I have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving Orange County.  As an elected member of the OCBA Board of Directors, among other things, I contributed to the Mentoring Committee, Facilities Task Force, Orange County Lawyer Editorial Committee and the Charitable Fund Annual Benefit Committee.  I routinely attend OCBA events such as section meetings, community outreach events and socials to ensure there is a Board presence accessible to our members.

I have proven leadership experience.  I served as President of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County which, for over thirty years, has provided civics education and related programs for Orange County students.  CRF-OC’s programs include Mock Trial, Peer Court, Constitution Day, the Orange County Career Forum and Law Day.  I lead a professional networking group, am co-founder of a USC Law alumni group, am a member of a managing partner roundtable, and am past recruiting chair for an Adventure Guides (Dads & Daughters) nation.

 

My Commitment:

Whether you typically participate in OCBA activities or not, the OCBA is always working behind the scenes to improve the conditions under which we practice through such things as educational opportunities, member benefits, and weighing in on State Bar issues.   If I am so fortunate as to be elected Secretary, I will work diligently to continue these traditional avenues of outreach and assistance, to raise our local, statewide and national profile, and to enhance the Orange County legal community’s reputation for the professional and ethical practice of law.

Finally, if there is an issue that concerns you, please take a moment to call me at 949.468.3200 or email me at todd@sf-lawyers.com.  I am always interested in hearing how we at the OCBA can improve.

Thanks, and I look forward to your support in the October election.

Todd.