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Los Angeles Attorney Becomes First Latino to Lead State Bar of California

Los Angeles attorney Luis J. Rodriguez on July 19 was elected president of the State Bar of California for 2013-14, making him the first Latino and the first public defender to hold the office.

Rodriguez – who has been an attorney with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1994 – will be sworn in as the 89th president of the 243,000-member organization in October at its annual meeting in San Jose.

Rodriguez, 46, has previously served as president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, California La Raza Lawyers Association and the Latino Public Defenders Association, along with chairman of the State Bar’s Council on Access and Fairness.

“Because of the obstacles that I faced and the support that I received from many, I have committed myself to being the voice for those who have no voice,” said Rodriguez, who is currently serving as the group’s vice president.

He said he plans to work to ensure that the state’s court system is adequately funded and to protect the public against immigration fraud by attorneys.

Craig Holden, a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP of Los Angeles, was elected vice president of the organization, while Heather Linn Rosing of Klindest PC in San Diego was elected treasurer.