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Ballots mailed for District 3 board of governors election

Ballots in the election for the open District 3 seat on the State Bar Board of Governors were mailed Sept. 19 and voting will continue until Nov. 19. The election is being held to replace Marie Weiner, who recently joined the San Mateo County Superior Court. District 3 includes Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Any active member of the bar who maintains his or her principal business office in one of those counties is eligible to run and vote. The term expires in 2004. The candidates are Stephen Barnett, professor at Boalt Hall, Michael Lynn Gabriel of San Mateo, Michael Schmier, of Emeryville and Valerie Kral of Redwood City. The latter three are sole practitioners. Full details about the candidates begin on page 1. Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Ravel has filled Weiner's position on an interim basis, as she did when another former board member from District 3, Erica Yew, also was named to the bench. Complete details about the election are online at Questions may be directed to Biljanna Sivanov, 415/538-2274.

Fee arb training scheduled

Recent developments in fee arbitration will be discussed at a training program in Solano County next month sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration. The free training, scheduled for Nov. 14 from 5-8:30 p.m. offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of legal ethics. Open to fee arbitrators from Solano County and all State Bar fee arbitrators, the session will be held in the jury assembly room at the Hall of Justice, 600 Union Ave., Fairfield. Among the topics for discussion are how to write an enforceable award, conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements and how to control the proceeding. To register, contact Julie Hilt, 707/422-5087. For more information, call Jill Sperber, director of the State Bar Office of Mandatory Fee Arbitration, at 415/538-2023.

Evidence code study

The California Law Review Commission has begun a study of whether the Evidence Code should be revised to incorporate approaches used in the Federal Rules of Evidence. Two portions of the study - hearsay and its exceptions, and expert testimony and the opinion rule - have been completed and six remaining areas are under study. They are the role of judge and jury; evidence excluded by extrinsic policies; presumptions and burdens of proof; authentication and the best evidence rule; competency of witnesses and witness credibility; and judicial notice. Individuals interested in participating in the study should notify the commission at 4000 Middlefield Rd., Room D-1, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4739. The first two background studies may be downloaded at and

MCLE compliance group 2 faces Feb. 1 deadline

Members of MCLE compliance group 2 (last names H-M) who are not part of an exempt group must complete 25 hours of continuing legal education by the compliance deadline of Feb. 1, 2003. Attorneys who comply after that date may be subject to a $75 fine. Information about MCLE compliance rules is available at by clicking on the MCLE link on the right-hand menu.

Nominations sought for Aranda award

The California Access to Justice Commission is seeking nominations of a California judge for the Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award. The award honors a judge for his or her efforts to improve access to the judicial system for low- and moderate-income persons. Nominees should be individuals who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to equal access to the courts and who have personally done significant work to improve access. The commission will select the recipient in consultation with the Judicial Council, the State Bar and the California Judges Association. A full description of the criteria for the award and a nomination form can be found at The deadline is Oct. 18. For more information, contact Chris Zupanovich at chris.zupanovich or 415/538-2534.

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