Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Statement In Honor of William A. Newsom

May 24, 2002





Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Justice William A. Newsom as he is recognized by the San Francisco Forum as the "San Franciscan of the Year." The San Francisco Forum, dedicated to preserving the cultural, social, and philosophical values of San Francisco, has made an excellent choice by selecting Bill Newsom for this award. A man with a kind heart, diverse interests, and great abilities, Bill embodies the best of San Francisco.

A native of San Francisco, Bill earned his bachelor's degree in French Literature from the University of San Francisco. Following graduation, he served for two years on active duty as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Artillery and then for four years on reserve duty as a First Lieutenant. While in the Reserves, he completed his law degree at Stanford University and then stayed at Stanford to receive a Master of Arts degree in English Literature.

His early career as a lawyer included time spent working as an Associate Attorney with Willick, Wheat, Geary, Adams, & Charles, with James Martin MacInnis, and with Getty Oil Italiana, serving as in-house counsel for the corporation's office in Rome. His responsibilities to the Getty Family would later include service as a Trustee for several of the family's trusts and foundations. His current business, Newsom Associates, directs the personal business operation of his longtime friend, Gordon Getty.

Bill became an Attorney at Law in Tahoe City, California. He specialized in environmental litigation, and his clients included the Sierra Club, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, and the Audubon Society. After eight years in private practice, he was elected to the Superior Court of Placer County where he served as a member of the Juvenile Justice Commission and coordinated the creation of a county-wide child abuse prevention program.

His work in Placer County was highly regarded, and in 1978 he was appointed to be an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal at San Francisco. He was then elected twice to twelve-year terms. Bill served with distinction on the bench and earned a reputation for fairness, diligence, and his commitment to his principles.

Bill has also been an outstanding environmental champion. He is a Trustee for the Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Legal Defense, the Sierra Club Foundation, and the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund. He is a Director of The Wildlife Conservancy and the Mountain Lion Foundation.

Bill Newsom has been a wise judge, a trusted counselor, a great father, and a loyal friend. He is engaged in the issues of his day and always of service to his community. I am proud to join his daughter, Hillary, his son, Gavin, and the San Francisco Forum in saluting him.