Past Presidents Reflect

e. bob wallach, 1975

An Unprecedented Act

The Bar Association of San Francisco in 1975
by e. bob wallach, 1975 BASF President

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) was a domino refuge for older lawyers complete with a full bar atop the Mills Tower and little else when I decided to run for President-Elect against the nominated candidate, an unprecedented act and unique to this day.

I had completed two years as Chair of the San Francisco Delegation to the Conference of Delegates after two years as Vice Chair, a long-established pathway to the officer ranks. Jack Sutro called me to tell me that Bill (later Judge) Orrick would replace me though he had no history of BASF participation. A phalanx ranging from the General Counsel of Standard Oil to the General Counsel of the ACLU championed my campaign. Jim Brosnahan and John Finger were co-chairs.

As President, I was supported by the Board in expanding the activities to include pro bono efforts in the arenas of criminal justice reform, civil litigation, juvenile court and the formation of focused undertakings in a multitude of San Francisco municipal challenges, including reorganization of the Courts. BASF was a pioneer in civic undertaking, inspiring other lawyer associations to emulate our commitment. BASF's dedication has been enhanced by successive leadership of stellar renown. I submit the pathway began with the estimable decision to replace me. Jack Sutro supported my efforts as President and was a cherished friend. Judge Orrick took the federal bench never serving as an officer.

e bob wallach PP75

e. bob wallach, 1975 BASF president

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