RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Retired Judge and University of California, Riverside graduate Ronald Stovitz was selected Nov. 15 by the Board of Directors of the UC Riverside Alumni Association to serve as alumni representative to the UC Board of Regents.
His two-year appointment will begin July 1, 2008. Stovitz, a 1964 graduate of UCR, served as president of the UCR Alumni Association from 2004 to 2006.
“This year’s pool of candidates was the largest and most competitive ever,” said Kyle Hoffman, Assistant Vice Chancellor Alumni and Constituent Relations, and Executive Director of the UCR Alumni Association. “After significant effort it was narrowed to five finalists who were interviewed. Ron Stovitz, who has contributed his time serving the university for almost two decades, is one of the most dedicated volunteers we have seen.”
Stovitz, who was presiding judge for the State Bar Court in San Francisco, first volunteered to help his alma mater with scholarships and student recruitment. In 1993 he became a member of the UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors.
He also has been a trustee of the UCR Foundation since 1998 and a member of the Board of Visitors of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, from 2003 to present. In June of this year he was awarded the UCR Medallion for distinguished service to the campus.
In the summer of 2008 he will begin his term as Regent-designate and Secretary of the Alumni Associations of the University of California until 2009 when he rises to president of the organization and will have voting powers as a Regent. His primary responsibility in his new position will be to serve on the Board of Regents as an alumni representative where he will help facilitate system-wide concerns of the alumni.
“There are numerous challenges facing the university,” Stovitz said. “Perhaps the lead issue is access to the university for all eligible students, and making tuition affordable. Also, will the university reflect diversity that is California in the 21st Century? I’m very honored and humbled to serve as the newest Alumni Regent and look forward to the challenges and the opportunities.”
Stovitz also acknowledged the UC System as the driving engine through all of the state’s growth, whether it is in medical research, the citrus industry, the multi-billion dollar wine industry or technology of the Silicon Valley.
“It’s all fostered and driven by the University of California System,” he said.
In a stunning new development and a victory for Leslie Brodie and TLR, Ronald Stovitz, the former presiding judge of the State Bar Court is no longer a judge.
This development resulted from the recent exposure and the filing of an ethics complaint for misconduct by Brodie and TLR, which brought about an abrupt end to the career of this controversial judge.
Ronald Stovitz, known to many State Bar insiders as “Judge Ron,” listed himself as an “active attorney,” rather than an “inactive, serving as judge,” on the State Bar website this month, ipso facto acknowledging that he is no longer a judge with the State Bar Court.
Stovitz, who served as the presiding judge of the State Bar court, retired in November of 2006 and was replaced by Judge JoAnn Remke. Stovitz indicated then that he would like to serve as a part-time, volunteer judge after his retirement. In March 2008, the Supreme Court of California, which is solely authorized to appoint judges to the Review Department, appointed Stovitz as a judge pro tem for a period of eight months, until newly-appointed Judge Purcell was to take office in November 2008.
Mr. Ronald Stovitz (Photo:courtesy of Cal Bar Journal)
Nonetheless, from November 2008 until recently, Stovitz acted as a Review Department Judge, despite the fact that the Supreme Court never authorized him to do so and never extended his appointment as a judge pro tem.
Brodie, who discovered these improprieties while investigating Stovitz and Remke in connection with allegations of misconduct relating to different cases, immediately informed Presiding Judge Remke and State Bar Deputy Executive Director Mr. Robert Hawley of these facts.
Additionally, Brodie filed an ethics complaint against Stovitz, and intends to soon file additional complaints with the Office on Judicial Performance concerning this matter.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a State Bar insider who is familiar with the scandal opined, “The latest development is certainly a minor step in the right direction. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg as the State Bar Court is a creature of statutes and rules …. the Court is not a place where any one can volunteer.” The insider further stated, “There are still many unanswered questions which I hope Brodie will explore. I, for example, ask myself why this was not discovered by the members of the Association of Discipline Defense Counsel.” “It would certainly be better if David Cameron, Diane Karpman, Ephraim Margolin, or one of the Margolises who have both the clout and the knowledge to take on such an undertaking would be more proactive in exposing this and other State Bar scandals.”
Additionally the insider questioned Stovitz’s motives in wishing to delay his departure from the court. “He certainly overstayed his welcome, and he needs to let JoAnn Remke and the rest of them develop their own independent style and fly on their own. I am very suspicious of his motives.”
The latest revelations concerning Stovitz come in the aftermath of revelations of numerous scandals involving the integrity of several judges and executives of the State Bar of California. Most notable among these are the bribery of Judge Patrice McElroy and the forced departure of Executive Director Johnson, which came on the heels of a crisis of confidence in State Bar leadership.
As previously mentioned in this column, Brodie does not intend to speculate whether the many rulings, decisions, and recommendations made after November 1, 2008 by any panel which included Stovitz are void, voidable, or valid. However, any developments relating to this and related issues will be covered by TLB.