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Public Defender Jeff Adachi headlines Bayview Legal’s Third Annual Gala Nov. 16

November 1, 2014

by Patti Wells

Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal cordially  invites you to our Third Annual Gala Nov. 16 at the Russian Center of San Francisco. This event will feature a deluxe auction with a variety of items from local merchants and artisans, wine and beer from local vendors, hors d’oeuvres crafted by a local chef, and great music performed by a local blues artist.

Elected Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal co-founders Virginia Taylor and Adrian Tirtanadi are some of the most innovative and dedicated legal professionals in the movement for social justice in the San Francisco. This photo was taken in the Russian Center ballroom at last year’s gala.

Elected Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal co-founders Virginia Taylor and Adrian Tirtanadi are some of the most innovative and dedicated legal professionals in the movement for social justice in the San Francisco. This photo was taken in the Russian Center ballroom at last year’s gala.

Our featured speaker will be Jeff Adachi, elected public defender of San Francisco. Mr. Adachi began his legal career as a deputy public defender and served in that capacity for 15 years, being promoted to the rank of chief attorney during that time. He has been re-elected twice since 2002 and has nearly doubled the public defender’s budget since his election.

He oversees several innovative programs, including Drug Court, a program providing alternatives to traditional sentencing for drug offenders, the Clean Slate Expungement Program, a program that assists qualified individuals in clearing their criminal record so they can pursue employment, housing and other opportunities without fear of discrimination, and a full service juvenile division. Mr. Adachi has been a great supporter of Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal and will share his thoughts on justice, the legal system and potential change – for the better – in San Francisco.

At Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal, we believe that injustice can be solved by providing access to the justice system. We are a community based nonprofit that offers legal services to everyone in Bayview Hunters Point on any viable issue. Our mission is to solve injustice by creating the country’s first system of universal access to civil justice, serving residents in SF’s highest need neighborhood. We provide legal services to anyone who lives or works in 94124 regardless of income, and on any issue, from family law, housing and canceling debt to personal injury.

The need for legal services in low-income neighborhoods is great. There is only one legal aid lawyer for every 14,000 legal needs of low-income Americans. This lack of availability creates a huge barrier and results in only 20 percent of low-income individuals receiving the help they need. Yet, legal representation is incredibly effective, making it up to 10 times more likely to achieve a favorable outcome for a client.

At Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal, we believe that injustice can be solved by providing access to the justice system. We are a community based nonprofit that offers legal services to everyone in Bayview Hunters Point on any viable issue.

Since opening our doors in 2013, we have achieved much, including :

  • canceling over $72,000 in fraudulent debt and acquiring $104,000 in awards
  • preventing 20 evictions
  • restoring parental custody rights in five cases
  • opening 395 cases and closing 295 with only a 3 percent failure rate; 53 percent of the cases have resulted in a positive outcome while 44 percent remain neutral.

Currently, our full scope services include investigation, drafting, settlement and litigation but, as we grow, we want to do more. We are working to increase our reach, strengthening wraparound services that assist clients in receiving not just legal aid, but other forms of social services as well.

We have existing relationships with several organizations that offer social services and recently added a new screening form that will streamline the process for connecting our clients with these services. We also recently announced a new partnership with the Salvation Army, whose case managers will help our high-need clients on an individual basis.

By extending these services to our clients, we aim to reduce the number of cases with neutral outcomes, which is often due to extraneous circumstances in the client’s life that make it difficult or impossible for the client to participate in their case.

Currently, our full scope services include investigation, drafting, settlement and litigation but, as we grow, we want to do more. We are working to increase our reach, strengthening wraparound services that assist clients in receiving not just legal aid, but other forms of social services as well.

The gala will be an event that offers a unique opportunity for individuals who are engaged either professionally, personally or within their community with a process that seeks social justice. Last year this event hosted over 200 professionals connected to the legal community and this year that number is expected to increase.

With Jeff Adachi as keynote speaker, and co-founders Virginia Taylor and Adrian Tirtanadi in attendance, this event will host some of the most innovative and dedicated legal professionals in the movement for social justice within the San Francisco community.

For more information about the Gala and to purchase tickets, please go to https://bhpclgala3.eventbrite.com.

Patti Wells volunteers at Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal, 4622 Third St. in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco. To reach her, email tiffany@bhpcommunitylegal.org.

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