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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024
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North Chamber’s Legislative Advocate No Grad of Famous Law School

BY CANDICE REED

He’s originally from a small burg in Canada and he never attended a class at a law school, but David Gettis managed to become an attorney of Roth Law Firm as well as win an award for local politics.

In late June, Gettis was announced the Legislative Advocate of the Year during the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce’s officer installation and awards dinner at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.

“I’m really into politics, American politics,” Gettis, now a U.S. citizen said. “As an immigrant to this country I appreciate the liberties the Founding Father’s set forth for us.”

Gettis never dreamed growing up in the isolated community of Vernon, British Columbia, that he would be involved in the passing of American law.

“It was very interesting growing up out there, kind of in the wilderness, much different than San Diego,” Gettis said. “I was home schooled, never set foot in a school house, instead I was outdoors when I wasn’t studying at the kitchen table.”

Not only did Gettis skip traditional grade school and high school, but he also didn’t attend college, at least in the traditional sense.

In 2000, he graduated cum laude from Oak Brook College of Law.

“It was a correspondence course,” Gettis said laughing. “You do the course work and pass the bar. Not everyone knows you don’t have to go to law school to be a lawyer. But there it is.”

The online law-and-government school Oak Brook College of Law states on its Website that it was ‘founded in 1994.

“It is the high aspiration of the college to provide highly motivated and disciplined individuals with an innovative alternative to the traditional model of legal education,” the site states.

“I have a pretty diverse background,” Gettis said. “I try to bring that to my job as well as the chamber.”

The attorney has served as general counsel of a corporation with interests in health care, real estate, engineering, wireless telecommunications, venture capital, and fine art, but it’s politics that really get him energized.

“David has helped steer us in the direction of what bills to study and which ones to endorse,” said Gary Powers, president and CEO of San Diego North Chamber of Commerce. “David does his homework and studies a bill before making a recommendation. He deserved this award and we’re glad he’s working with us.”

The North Chamber encompasses eleven communities: Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Rancho Pe & #324;asquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch, North Poway, Scripps Ranch, Torrey Highlands, Sabre Springs, Miramar, Mira Mesa, Sorrento Mesa.

Gettis, who resides in Clairemont and works in Rancho Bernardo, studies policy and politics for the fun of it and works with the chamber pro bono working and writing about executive departments, independent agencies and quasi-governmental entities.

“I love it; it’s not really work to me,” he said. “I get to attend conferences with delegates and prepare political proposals, which to me, is almost fun.”

Gettis was the first recipient of the award given by the chamber; Powers said the award was designed with the local attorney in mind.

“He gives so freely of his time,” Powers said. “By using his resources he’s helped us make many decisions in regards to bills statewide, citywide and federal.”

Gettis recently flew back to his hometown to introduce his family to his fianc & #233;e. He said that more than likely he will cut back “a little” on the extra curricular work after he is married, but that the chamber and politics are such an important part of his life it may be hard to do.

“When it comes to politics I want to share my knowledge with high school kids as well as chamber members,” he said. “This is a great country and I’m proud to be a part of it.


Candice Reed is a freelance writer based in Vista.

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