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Four candidates running for District 3 seat on bar board

Three sole practitioners and a law professor have tossed their hats in the ring for election to the District 3 seat on the State Bar Board of Governors.

All four want the bar to put its members first. Stephen Barnett, 66, is a professor at Boalt Hall in Berkeley. A longtime critic of the bar, he is the attorney for the plaintiff in a lawsuit currently pending against the bar, and filed amicus briefs in two other cases in which the bar was sued.

The other three candidates all have run for office before.

Michael Gabriel, 48, of San Mateo and Michael Schmier, 57, of Emeryville ran last year for the District 3 seat. Vivian L. Kral, 48, of Redwood City, ran in 1997. Gabriel is an MCLE provider who has prepared 17 legal books on topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate planning. He thinks the bar should do a better job of offering user-friendly MCLE to its members.

Kral has a lengthy list of professional and civic activities, including past service as president of the California Women Lawyers. She has been endorsed by the four county bar associations within the district.

Schmier has served on the Emeryville school board and ran unsuccessfully for both attorney general and the U.S. Senate. His key issue is an ongoing battle to eliminate unpublished appellate decisions, a practice he says undermines the legal system.

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