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Two seek bar presidency

Two third-year members of the State Bar Board of Governors, both longtime bar activists and each offering a focus on services to members, announced last month they are running for bar president.

Anthony Capozzi
Nancy Zamora

Nancy Zamora, 43, a bankruptcy lawyer from Los Angeles, and Tony Capozzi, 57, a white collar civil and criminal defense attorney in Fresno, are the only two of the five eligible board members to seek the top job.

Third-year members Judy Copeland, Carl Lindstrom and Bob Persons decided against seeking the top spot. The vote is scheduled for May 17.

Capozzi and Zamora, who joined the board in 2000, stressed an interest in providing increased services to California's lawyers.

Zamora, who chairs the stakeholder relations committee, pointed to the bar's group improved insurance offerings and said new benefits will be introduced soon, including an online risk management program and an online legal database service which should be particularly useful to small firm or solo practitioners.

A proposed member services center, which was axed this year due to a lack of funding, should be revived if possible, she said.

Zamora wants the bar to make better use of its own website and the internet by offering online dues payment and MCLE compliance, and communicating with members via e-mail. She also would like to use what she calls attorneys' "mighty collective buying power" to obtain discounts on goods and services, and she wants to make bar members more aware of the Lawyers Assistance Program for drug- and alcohol-addicted attorneys.

And in tough economic times, Zamora believes the bar can maximize its limited resources by partnering with other bar associations to use common resources to accomplish more without duplicating efforts.

"Outreach to stakeholders, as well as the bar's planning functions, have been my priorities (during her three-year term)," Zamora said. "I believe I can be a good steward of the organization and continue to lead us in the direction in which we're heading.

"I bring a set of skills that would be extremely useful in leading the State Bar next year. My leadership style is teamwork and consensus building."

Capozzi, who ran for the board three years ago on a platform of making the bar relevant to the state's attorneys, said that remains his goal. "I still believe we have a long way to go to show how we relate to members," he said. "What can we do to help the member who's practicing law every day and is concerned with his or her practice?"

Capozzi also strongly supports the bar's search for non-dues revenue to make ends meet. A special committee is examining an improved insurance program, possibly with an inhouse broker, and other affinity programs to both benefit bar members and raise extra money. "I think we have to look at every measure possible to raise money in order not to raise dues," he said.

Capozzi wants the bar to be vigilant in protecting access to the justice system for everyone, and wants to increase diversity of both thought and ethnic background in the bar. "We need a president who doesn't merely preside but brings people together and leads to a common goal for all of us," he said.

In his term on the board, Capozzi was active in helping attorneys who scale their dues, served on an elections task force which is expected to soon approve online voting in board elections, and helped the bar to sign on to a statewide travel program expected to save thousands of dollars in travel costs.

This year, he chairs the board's planning, program development and budget committee.

Capozzi, who is studying at Fresno State for a master's degree in international relations, also is active politically, having run Gov. Davis' campaigns in central California and served as a delegate to presidential nominating conventions and as a member of the Democratic National Committee. He believes his political contacts can help the bar in Sacramento.

Capozzi's wife, Paula, is a former public relations executive who now raises and trains horses. The couple's 15-year-old daughter is a statewide equestrian champion and they have a 20-year-old son who is majoring in political science at Fresno State.

Zamora has a longtime interest in women's issues, serving as president of both California Women Lawyers and the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. She sat on the board of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and was treasurer of the National Women's Political Caucus.

She and her husband, Tony Zamora, have practiced together since 1994 as bankruptcy lawyers and bankruptcy trustees. They have no children but rescue dogs she describes as "all-American mutts.

"I have a soft heart when it comes to canines."

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