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Lawyers in San Francisco and Marin counties who want a say about who will represent them for the next three years on the State Bar Board of Governors should get on the ball. Today’s the last day to vote. Their choices are James Penrod, a partner in the San Francisco office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; San Francisco solo practitioner Barry Tagawa; and Jennifer DePalma, who will join O’Melveny & Myers’ San Francisco office July 11. Penrod, 63, a civil litigator who has practiced law since 1967, said he decided to run for the District Four seat — being vacated by Jones Day partner Roderick McLeod — because he felt it “was time to get involved and give something back.” Penrod, listed in three legal categories in the book “The Best Lawyers in America,” said experienced attorneys need to “stand up for the judicial branch of government,” which has come under “political attacks” in recent months — with politicians and organized groups threatening retaliation for rulings. “People have lost sight of our foundations, our whole system of government,” he said. “They’re trying to turn it into a government of men and not laws.” As a Bar governor, he said, he would have a “higher profile” to tackle such issues. Penrod graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1963 and from the George Washington University Law School in 1967. He lives in Piedmont with his wife, Susan, and has three grown children. Tagawa, 46, a general civil litigator who has practiced law since 1984, said he wants to join the Board of Governors to “make a difference.” “I think our Legislature is challenged by partisan politics, our judiciary system is challenged financially, and I believe that as lawyers we have the obligation to use our reason and intellect to resolve differences of opinion and disputes,” he said. “And it would be my hope if elected to use my judgment and legal skills to make the system work better.” Tagawa began his legal career at Honolulu’s Cades, Schutte, Fleming & Wright. He moved to San Francisco in 1988, working first for Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton before joining Long & Levit. He now runs his own practice, representing individuals and small businesses. Tagawa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA in 1980 and got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1984. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, Maureen, and a stepson. DePalma, 31, admitted to the Bar in 2002, worked until recently as an associate in the capital markets practice group of Shearman & Sterling. She joins O’Melveny next month. DePalma was traveling abroad for much of June. But in her candidate’s statement filed with the State Bar, DePalma vowed to oppose dues increases, reform the continuing legal education program and find ways to encourage attorneys to provide more pro bono services. “The Bar is in a unique position to provide educational opportunities for volunteerism to the legal community of California,” she wrote. “As a governor, I will work to ensure that the Bar’s resources are used to facilitate and enhance the careers of all members.” In a short e-mail responding to questions, DePalma, who failed to unseat U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi in a run for Congress last year, promised to upset the apple cart, if necessary. “A good governor will question the status quo and communicate well with members,” she wrote. “I pledge to do just that and would enjoy doing that.” DePalma is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School.

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