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Five win election to State Bar board; CYLA taps Diaz again

Five lawyers will take a seat on the State Bar Board of Governors in October after winning three-year terms last month. After two years in which no women won seats in regular elections, which prompted some governors to make an all-out pitch for female candidates, three women won their races this year.

The winners are:

Ruthe Ashley

District 2: Ruthe Catolico Ashley, director of career services at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Ashley was a founding partner of the first Asian-American women-owned law firm in the greater Sacramento area.

James Scharf

District 3: James A. Scharf, house counsel for the California State Automobile Association in San Jose. He served eight years on the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s board of trustees, including five years on its executive committee.

Jeffrey Bleich

District 4: Jeffrey L. Bleich, a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olsen LLP in San Francisco. A former president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Bleich was director from 1999-2000 of the White House Commission on Youth Violence and was named last month as a trustee of the California State University system.

JoAnn Grace

District 7, Office 1: Jo-Ann Whitney Grace, an attorney and owner of the Metropolitan News-Enterprise in Los Angeles. Grace has been active in women lawyers groups and is treasurer of the Foundation of the State Bar.

Marquerite Downing

District 7, Office 2: Marguerite D. Whichard Downing, a Los Angeles County public defender. She also is president-elect of California Women Lawyers and has served as president of Black Women Lawyers and the California Association of Black Lawyers.

Anthony Diaz

CYLA: Anthony Paul (AP) Diaz was selected to serve a second one-year term representing the California Young Lawyers Association on the State Bar board. He is the first CYLA member ever sent back to the board for a second term.

Also elected were five new members of the CYLA board of directors. They are: Jonathan Stein of Elk Grove (District 2), Feb Roman Cabrasawan of Sunnyvale (District 3), Deborah A. Smith of San Francisco (District 4), Joshua C. Walsh-Benson of Los Angeles (District 7, office 1) and Katherine M. Harwood of Los Angeles (District 7, office 2). The terms are for three years.

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