Fall Appeal Brings Critical Aid to LAM

Fall funding is crucial to continuing LAM’s work empowering Marin elders, protecting family life, helping debtors, and lessening the burden on our Superior Court.

This Fall’s year end appeal from November 1st-December 31st will bring critical funding to Legal Aid of Marin. Following the loss of two major funding sources in 2016, LAM has dramatically reduced revenues, forcing the Agency to reduce its overhead and administrative costs by 15 percent. Under the direction of LAM’s new Executive Director, David Snyder, the nonprofit is vigorously working to shift its future primary funding to new grants, local businesses, and individual donors. LAM is already seeing positive results from these efforts; however, year-end donations now are critical to avoiding further staff cutbacks in early 2017.

LAM provides high quality, free legal services to Marin’s older residents (regardless of income) and to vulnerable, low-income persons in our community. In 2015 LAM closed 1,348 cases, benefitting 969 children, 405 seniors; 317 persons with disabilities; 57 veterans, and 402 clients for whom English was not their first language. LAM helps clients with housing needs, job rights, family safety, and elder law issues. The innovative Marin Community Court and the Superior Court -Mandatory Settlement Conference programs continue to thrive, along with our Pro Bono Clinics at Whistlestop and the Mill Valley Community Center.

Bridging the “justice gap” in Marin provides significant economic benefits to the entire community. A recent study determined that LAM’s services and operations during a three-year period produced an economic multiplier effect of $2.2 million revenue brought into Marin County, plus an estimated $3.1 million cost savings for the community due to the reduced need for emergency shelter, saved eviction costs for landlords and local governments, and reduced incidence and cost of domestic violence. LAM’s critical work helps Marin County children stay in school, contributes to a more stable workforce for employers, and lessens the burden on our Superior Court.

Donate Online

Please consider making a financial contribution to Legal Aid of Marin this year. You may Donate Online or send a check to:


Legal Aid of Marin
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 220
San Rafael, CA 94903

May 20 at Sweetwater: 3rd Annual LAM JAM For Justice – Honoring Andrew Giacomini

LAM is proud to honor Past Board President Andrew Giacomini with an evening of exciting food and lively music benefiting Legal Aid of Marin.

6 p.m. Friday May 20, 2016

Sweetwater Music Hall

19 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley

TICKETS $175

 

For ticket and sponsorship information visit our event registration page.

To download a Sponsorship Form, please right-click on the link below:
Download Sponsorship Form
To download an Auction Form, please right-click on the link below:
Download Auction Form

To become an event volunteer or for additional questions, contact David Snyder at (415) 492-0230, Ext. 310; dsnyder@legalaidmarin.org

Our Sponsors

ROCK STAR of JUSTICE

HERO of JUSTICE

 

CHAMPION of JUSTICE

ADVOCATE of JUSTICE



DEFENDERS of JUSTICE

Arnold & Porter, LLP
Bank of Marin
Hemming Morse, LLP

 

FRIENDS  of JUSTICE

Alexandra Mussallem & Renée Chernus
Philip Levin & Associates
Emison Hullverson
Presidio Bank
Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP
Law Office of Megan Yip

 

Program

6:00pm
Cocktails, dinner by Sweetwater
7:30pm
Special program
Recognizing The Honorable Beverly K. Wood
Fund-A-Need
8:30pm
Musical entertainment
Marin All Star Band
For more information, please contact our David Snyder at (415) 492-0230 x310 or email
snyder@legalaidmarin.org

Auction Highlights

Among the exciting auction items for this year’s Jam For Justice include Golden State Warriors four-near-the-floor tickets (for 2017 season); four tickets to Giants KNBR luxury suite and the ever-popular Legal Aid of Marin Board of Directors Wine Cellar.

To preview the Live Auction lineup, please right-click on the link below:
Preview Live Auction Lineup

Event Committee

Jonathan Gertler, Event Chair
Philip Levin
ANASTASIYA KOROLEV
David G. Snyder
holden sperling
david sutton

 

LAM y MCBA serán los anfitriones del Almuerzo de Agradecimiento Pro Bono 2016

Reserva la fecha: Legal Aid de Marín presenta en conjunto con la Asociación de Abogados del Condado de Marin el Almuerzo 2016 Pro Bono Apreciación.

Legal Aid de Marín y la Asociación de Abogados del Condado de Marin estan orgullosos de su co-anfitrión de la Almuerzo 2016 Pro Bono Apreciación honrar pro bono proveedores de nuestra comunidad del pasado año.

El almuerzo de premiación especial se llevará a cabo en conjunto con la reunión general MCBA al mediodía el miércoles 23 de marzo en el McInnis Park Club Restaurant en San Rafael. Los honores del evento más de 200 abogados y voluntarios con un reconocimiento especial dado a los destinatarios del Premio Manuel W. Wiley. Publicado por la Barra de Abogados de California para los que tienen 50 o más horas de servicio pro bono, el premio lleva el nombre en honor a Wiley W. Manuel, un juez asociado de la Corte Suprema de California desde 1977 hasta 1981.

Juez Manuel fue el primer afroamericano en servir en el alto tribunal. Los oradores invitados, entradas e información de patrocinio se actualizarán aquí. Para obtener información adicional, comuníquese con LAM Pro Bono y Voluntariado Gerente Nancy Murphy: nmurphy@legalaidmarin.org

Segundo Concierto anual para la Justicia en Sweetwater Music Hall

Legal Aid de Marín se enorgullece en presentar la Segunda Concierto Anual para la Justicia - una noche de delicias gourmet con música de un grupo Marin All Star Band a Sweetwater Music Hall en Mill Valley el viernes, 29 de mayo.

Legal Aid de Marín se enorgullece en presentar la Segunda Concierto Anual para la Justicia – una noche de delicias gourmet con música de un grupo Marin All Star Band a Sweetwater Music Hall en Mill Valley el viernes, 29 de mayo. Todas ganancias ventaja Legal Aid de Marín y ayuda apoyar los servicios jurídicos para los miembros más vulnerables de la Comunidad de Marin.

Ahorre la fecha – 6 pm del viernes 29 de mayo en Sweetwater Music Hall. Comprobar de nuevo aquí para más actualizaciones sobre la música y el programa, porque esta noche promete ser una juerga.

Para información sobre boletos o el patrocinio, por favor llame al (415) 492-0230, Ext. 316 o e-mail: krivera@legalaidmarin.org.

Almuerzo para los Premiados Wiley W. Manuel de 2015

Legal Aid de Marín y la Asociación de Abogados del Condado de Marin se enorgullecen de organizar el Almuerzo de Apreciación Pro Bono para honrar proveedores de derecho en nuestra comunidad del pasado año.

Legal Aid de Marín y la Asociación de Abogados del Condado de Marin se enorgullecen de
organizar el Almuerzo de Apreciación Pro Bono para honrar proveedores de derecho en nuestra comunidad del pasado año. El almuerzo de premiación especial se llevará a cabo en conjunto con la reunión general MCBA en mediodía del Miércoles, 25 de marzo en el Parque Club Restaurant McInnis en San Rafael.

Las entradas para el evento es de $ 45 para miembros MCBA; $ 50 para los no miembros, y se pueden adquirir a través de la MCBA sitio web .

Los oradores invitados para el evento incluyen abogados Carlos Ostertag y Christina Sherman. Directora LAM Ejecutivo Paul Cohen y el Hon. Faye D’Opal introducirán y presentarán los premios Wiley W. Manuel de este año. El evento honra más de 200 abogados y no abogados, con un reconocimiento especial dado a los destinatarios del Premio Manuel W. Wiley. Publicado por la Barra de Abogados de California para los que tienen 50 o más horas de servicio pro bono, el premio lleva el nombre en honor a Wiley W. Manuel, un juez asociado de la Corte Suprema de California desde 1977 hasta 1981. Juez Manuel fue el primer afroamericano en servir en el alto tribunal.

Los destinatarios del Premio 2015 Wiley W. Manuel incluyen los abogados Laura Haley, Shirley Hochhausen, Robert Kane, Carlos Ostertag, James Poindexter, Michael Samuels, Colleen Shaw, Christina Sherman, Candice Shih, Kyle Smith, Sara Wilson y El Honorable Beverly Wood; Reconocimiento a los que no son abogados va a Bet Brandes, Nicole Cabrera, Christina Fathi, Jenny Finden-Watson, Jessica huéspedes, Ridhi Goswami, Karen Karlow, Iris Kokish, Hoang Leclerc, Linda Patch, María Rodríguez, Roberta Schwarz, Vince Simpson, y Alex Taufer.

Mención de Honor el reconocimiento se realice con los siguientes abogados y no abogados, quienes proporcionaron una valiosa ayuda a LAM y/o contribuyeron 20-49 horas en 2014: Gordon Atkinson, Lisa Bellard, Luisa Bigornia, Larry Bragman, Matthew Briggs, Tim Chambers, Karen Carrera, Nathaniel Cooper, Jennifer Ellis, Richard Helzberg, Debbie Holstedt, Kadhine Fitz-Patrick, Johanna Gómez, Robert Harrison, Neha Hemmad, Clarisssa Kearns, Hanna Kecskes, Shelley Kramer, Marc Litchenberg, Goli Mahdavi, Janice Mock, Phillip Neiman, Leonard Rifkind, Ryan Russell, Robert Sammis, George Shea, Andrew Schwartz, Frank Sommers, Sander Stadtler, Linda Swanson, Larry Strick, y Debra Whitehouse.

GRACIAS A NUESTROS PATROCINADORES

Hanson Bridgett LLP (Patrocinador Principal)

Goldman Law Firm

Keegin Harrison, Schoppert Smith & amp; Karner

Marne Law Group

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Oficinas Legales de Christina Sherman

Presidio Bank

Annual Report 2014

LAM Annual Report for 2014 documents the impact we make for Marin's most vulnerable residents.

In 2014, Legal Aid of Marin served more than 2,000 households, and in the new year we are working hard towards even more effective outreach and advocacy.

The 2014 Annual Report documents the stories, facts and figures that made 2014 a better year for us and our clients. It is available for download here.

Download LAM’s 2014 Annual Report

Legal Aid reaches deal in eviction, billing case with Marin housing agency

This story by reporter Richard Halstead appeared in the Marin Independent Journal on September 4, 2014
This story by reporter Richard Halstead appeared in the Marin Independent Journal on September 4, 2014

Legal Aid of Marin says it has won a victory for tenants following settlement of a class action complaint against the Marin Housing Authority over eviction and billing practices.

“We set out to change what we believed to be unfair practices by MHA. As a result of our action, MHA made changes to these practices, which is a victory for all housing authority residents,” said Paul Cohen, Legal Aid of Marin’s executive director, in a prepared statement.

The Housing Authority, which manages much of Marin County’s public housing, said that the changes were the result of its “independent, voluntary decisions.” The Housing Authority’s executive director, Lewis Jordan, could not be reached for comment.

Legal Aid of Marin’s suit, filed in September 2012, alleged that the Housing Authority billed a number of tenants for questionable repairs and fees and then evicted them when they couldn’t pay their rents.

Legal Aid also alleged that the Housing Authority was failing to timely decrease rents when tenants’ income decreased.

The complaint asserted that the Housing Authority violated federal regulations relating to eviction and grievance procedures, rent payment allocations, collection of late fees, legal fees and maintenance fees.

Prior to the settlement, which was approved by the court in July, the Housing Authority agreed to refund more than 1,000 transactions to 565 present and former tenants totaling some $104,000, according to Legal Aid officials. The transactions involved rent, maintenance and other fees that were repeatedly miscalculated or misallocated by the Housing Authority, according to officials.

The Housing Authority also agreed to two years of community oversight by the United States District Court, Northern District of California if it violates any terms of the settlement. Cohen said Legal Aid of Marin will monitor the Housing Authority’s service to its tenants for the next two years.

Legal Aid of Marin was assisted by lawyers Frank Sommers and Andrew Schwartz of Sommers & Schwartz, a San Francisco firm with experience in civil rights cases. The Housing Authority’s insurers will pay $400,000 in legal fees to Sommers & Schwartz and Legal Aid of Marin as part of the settlement agreement.

Spring Bash 2014

An evening of exciting food and lively music benefitting Legal Aid of Marin
6 p.m. Friday
May 30, 2014
George’s Nightclub
842 4th Street, San Rafael

Tickets: $150 from 6 p.m.- Closing (includes dinner and drinks); $20 entrance after 9 p.m. (at the door only)
Buy Your Tickets Now
To download a Sponsorship Form, please right-click on the link below:
Download Sponsorship Form!

Our Sponsors

BENEFACTOR of JUSTICE

PATRONS of JUSTICE

SUPPORTERS of JUSTICE

DEFENDERS of JUSTICE

Arnold & Porter
Bank of Marin
Chavez & Gertler
Duane Morris, LLP
Hemming Morse, LLP
Shartsis Friese LLP

FRIENDS of JUSTICE

Emison Hullverson
JAMS The Resolution Experts
Philip Levin & Associates
Peter & Ellen Obstler
Strick Law Offices
Umpqua Bank
Warren Law Firm

Program


6:00pm

Silent Auction, cocktails, dinner by Sol Food


7:45pm

Special program


8:30pm

Musical entertainment by Marin’s law community:

Peter Obstler of Arnold & Porter and band Paul Gordon of Hanson Bridgett and band Todd Schneider of Schneider Wallace Cottrell & Konecky and band Scot Candell of Law Offices of Scott Candell and band

Nightclub attire

For more information, please contact Jan Baldwin at (415) 492-0230 x309 or email

jbaldwin@legalaidmarin.org

Fiesta de Primavera!

Una noche de comida y música animada en beneficio de LAM

Reserve la fecha para la
Fiesta de Primavera!

Una noche de comida y música animada en beneficio de Legal Aid of Marin

May 30, 2014 6:00pm

George’s
842 4th Street, San Rafael
415.492.0230

Marin Community Court marks three years of helping poor defendants

Megan Hansen reports on LAM's success with Marin Community Court in the Marin Independent Journal.
Dede Teeler confers with Elizabeth Davis of Marin City
Marin Community Court Coordinator, Dede Teeler, confers with a disabled client, Elizabeth Davis of Marin City, after her case of outstanding fines was successfully resolved. Davis is now on track to get her driverís license back.

It’s been three years since Marin Community Court started helping homeless and financially strapped residents deal with their outstanding citations, and the program has grown to include a list of more than a thousand participants.

A collaboration among Legal Aid of Marin, the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County and Marin County Superior Court, the community court set up shop in the St. Vincent de Paul Society free dining room in San Rafael in April 2011, hoping to help about 30 people each month. That number has surged to 50 people a month within the last year, with 80 to 100 people a month asking to participate.

“It’s so popular that the demand is higher than what we can actually help with each month,” said Legal Aid of Marin attorney Maura Prendiville, who helped found the program.

The court, held on the second Tuesday of each month, is presided over by Judge Beverly Wood, who hears noncriminal cases ranging from unpaid vehicle registrations to tickets for sleeping or urinating outside. In exchange for voiding unpaid fines and tickets, Wood gives sentences such as community service hours or attending parenting classes.

“We do it by having them give back to the community or doing something that’s tailored to them to help improve their situation,” Wood said.

Prendiville said the experience is less intimidating than going to a courtroom, and the sentences are meant to help, not harm, participants.

“They may be required to go meet with a caseworker at a social services agency or they may do a job hunting log,” Prendiville said.

When Marin resident Terry Cates received a traffic ticket in December, he had no idea he’d eventually end up attending Marin Community Court — twice. His $300 ticket grew to $600 when he forgot to pay it off, and he couldn’t afford the bill.

“In the meantime, I lost my job and my home,” Cates said. “Everything went to hell.”

Though still homeless, Cates is doing what he can to get back on his feet. On Tuesday he asked Wood, who agreed, to extend his deadline for completing 10 hours of community service as he’s also taking multiple classes through the county’s Children and Family Services department in an effort to see his children more.

“I didn’t finish all of my hours,” Cates said. “She’s very reasonable.”

Wood was also able Tuesday to resolve a legal matter for Mary Elizabeth Davis of Marin City that has her on track to obtain a driver’s license again.

When Davis was stopped recently by the sheriff’s department for having an expired registration and not having proof of insurance on hand, she received a $350 ticket. Before she was able to pay the ticket, she traveled to Hawaii to help her daughter through a difficult pregnancy.

When she came back, the ticket had been submitted to a collection’s agency and had increased to $1,600.

“I’m a single mom and grandmother on disability,” Davis said. “I live on a very tight budget.”

Unable to pay the fine, Davis made a deal with Wood to complete 20 hours of community service and obtain car insurance. Even though she’s done with her sentence, Davis said she plans to continue her community service work.

“It makes so much more sense to do community service hours because I know there’s a lot of other people like me who can’t afford the tickets,” Davis said. “When I do get my license back, it’ll be golden.”

Before starting the community court, Prendiville said she was already holding office hours at St. Vincent’s twice a month to help clients with legal issues. She got the idea to start the program after contacting officials in Humboldt County, where there is a homeless court, to help a client resolve a ticket for sleeping outside. With the help of Cris Jones, a volunteer director at St. Vincent’s, and Wood, the program took flight.

Paul Cohen, executive director of Legal Aid of Marin, said the court program has been a labor of love, involving volunteer attorneys, a volunteer court clerk and a volunteer bailiff. He said last year was the first year the program received stable funding from the Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund, which gives grants in support of the mission of the Marin Community Foundation.

Cohen said funds that were traditionally given to Legal Aid of Marin were redirected specifically to the court. Though the court has a part-time worker overseeing the program, Cohen said they’d like to be able to make that a full-time position.

In addition to applying for grants, Cohen has dabbled in online crowd-funding campaigns to support the program. A monthlong campaign asking people to support the court ends Sunday, but an anonymous donor has pledged to match all donations made to the court through Legal Aid of Marin through June. As of Tuesday evening, the site had raised $3,280 of its $15,000 goal.

“I learned about crowd-funding from my daughter’s boyfriend,” Cohen said. “I tried it for an affordable housing campaign, but this one has been more successful.”

Though the court is currently at capacity and can’t handle much more expansion, Wood said she hopes the program will be adopted in other communities.

“I’d love to see this expanded to other counties in the state,” Wood said.

Contact Megan Hansen via email at mhansen@marinij.com or via Twitter at http://twitter.com/hansenmegan. Follow her blog at http://blogs.marinij.com/bureaucratsandbaking.

How to help

  • To donate to the Marin Community Court program’s online campaign, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/marin-cares through Sunday. Donations made to the program through June will be matched by an anonymous donor.
  • Donations can also be made to the program through Legal Aid of Marin, 30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 220, San Rafael, CA 94903.