Updated: Sep 29, 2021
The Federal Bar Association selected past San Diego Chapter President Joseph S. Leventhal as the 2021 recipient of the Elaine R. “Boots” Fisher Award. This national award memorializes “Boots” Fisher’s outstanding and unselfish contributions to improve the quality of life and opportunities of all persons. The award recognizes exemplary community, public, and charitable services by an FBA member and includes a charitable contribution made in the name of the recipient.
Joe Leventhal epitomizes the criteria for the “Boots” Fisher Award. His contributions to community, charitable, and public service are inspirational and beneficial to many. Beyond serving as President of the San Diego Chapter in 2015, Joe has served on several national FBA committees, including the Community Service Committee, the Government Relations Committee, and the Nominations and Elections Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the San Diego Chapter, where he regularly offers mentorship, guidance, resources, and support for Chapter initiatives. And when the San Diego Chapter tragically lost a dear friend and past Chapter President Peter J. Mazza to cancer in 2020, Joe helped transform grief into action by working to create the national Peter J. Mazza Outstanding Federal Lawyer Award supported by the Mazza Memorial Fund.
Joe volunteers his time to assist the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, with a particular focus on making the court more accessible to practitioners and litigants. He served as Co-Chair of the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representatives for the Southern District of California and chaired the Southern District of California’s Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel five times. He also chaired the Southern District of California’s 50th Anniversary Committee.
On the charitable front, Joe has spent years focused on eliminating food insecurity by regularly
volunteering his time at San Diego’s food banks and serving on the Advisory Board for the North County Food Bank, which is the largest hunger-relief organization in San Diego County. Joe also volunteers his time with Father Joe’s Villages to help end the cycle of homelessness. Further, Joe serves on the steering committee for San Diego’s Just the Beginning program, which encourages students of color and from other underrepresented groups to pursue career and leadership opportunities in the law. Joe also regularly volunteers with the San Diego Rotary Club, a service organization of business and professional leaders.
Joe began his legal career in public service and has continued to find ways to serve his community after transitioning to private practice. He worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide and later as an attorney in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the Vice President. More recently, Joe was selected to serve on the Public Policy Committee for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as a Commissioner on the City of San Diego Ethics Commission, which is an independent department that monitors, administers, and enforces the city’s governmental ethics laws. Finally, as Managing Partner of Dinsmore’s San Diego office, Joe supports increasing opportunities for diversity in the legal profession by serving on his firm’s Diversity Committee.
The San Diego Chapter congratulates Joe on his award and thanks him for his exemplary and tireless service to the FBA, the community, and the public.