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Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Ruben Duran has been appointed to serve as chair of the State Bar of California Board of Trustees for a second consecutive term. He is the first person to ever be appointed to serve two terms and is the second Latino to serve in this role. Duran will be sworn in on Sept. 16 and his second term will officially commence at the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 23.

“I am beyond honored to once again assume the role of Board of Trustees chair,” Duran said. “When I was appointed to serve my first term, I knew there were steep mountains ahead, but each challenge opened doors for incredible opportunities to drive change. It will be a privilege to continue driving progress and momentum in a way that benefits the entire state. I look forward to the new year ahead with my dedicated Board colleagues!”

The State Bar of California oversees the licensing, regulation and discipline of more than 280,000 attorneys in the state, including investigating approximately 16,000 complaints of attorney misconduct annually. It is also charged with advancing the ethical and competent practice of law and supporting access and inclusion within California’s legal system. The Board of Trustees is the Bar’s governing body. Attorneys on the 13-member Board are appointed by either the California Supreme Court or the State Legislature, while six non-attorneys are appointed by the Governor and the Legislature.

Duran’s initial term as chair commenced at a time of regulatory reformation for the Bar. Over the past year, Duran has executed on numerous initiatives to further this reformation:

  • He oversaw a national search and selection for the Bar’s Chief Trial Council, George Cardona, who serves as head prosecutor for the organization’s disciplinary system. The position had gone unfilled for more than five years.

  • He coordinated a comprehensive state audit of the Bar’s disciplinary and operational procedures and has identified next steps to address each of the findings within the audit report.

  • He, alongside his Board colleagues, successfully implemented the Client Trust Account Protection Program specifically aimed at protecting the public against potential attorney wrongdoing.

  • He helmed commission of a study to address racial disparities in the Bar’s disciplinary system. The independent study found that Black male attorneys are disciplined at a higher and tougher rate than white male counterparts. Consequently, Duran convened an ad hoc commission comprised of 35 people who have direct experience with the disciplinary system.

Duran has worked with and for public agencies for the entirety of his career. As managing partner of the firm’s Ontario office, he brings a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the practice of public law. With an emphasis on open government and transparency and complex conflicts of interest issues, as well as elections law, land use and planning issues, Duran also provides special counsel to cities, school districts, public health plans and special districts. He serves as city attorney for the cities of Ontario and Fontana and general counsel for the Stallion Springs Community Services District near Tehachapi; the Oxnard Harbor District, which owns and operates the commercial Port of Hueneme in Ventura County; and the Crescent City Harbor District at the Oregon border. He also serves as board counsel to the Southern California Association of Governments, the state’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization representing more than 190 jurisdictions across six counties.

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