5th Annual LAM Jam for Justice – Celebrating 60 years of Legal Services
This year Legal Aid of Marin invites you to join us in celebrating our 60th year of legal services for the vulnerable population of our community. Please join us at a run-of-the-house event at Terrapin Crossroads for dinner, drinks, and dancing.
Our special honorees at the event will be the Honorable Roy O. Chernus and Renee R. Chernus, in gratitude for their years of service to and support of the organization.
We will also be thanking Nancy Murphy for her many years of dedicated work for the organization and wishing her all the best in retirement.
We will be honoring others in our first ever “Lammy” Awards. Move over, Grammy and Bammies!
"At a time when so many in this community – one of the most affluent in the entire nation – feel so defenseless, and so uncared for, we stand for them and with them."
The earthquake that occurred on November 8th was not caused by faults in the rock deep within the Earth, running along the California coastline. It was caused by even deeper faults in the bedrock of our society, and running largely along class and race lines. The fear that is being felt – this night – in the communities Legal Aid serves is more profound than following almost any California earthquake. It will also be harder to dig and lift our people out of fear.
We protect the most vulnerable in Marin – the more than 10,000 children living in poverty within the County, and their families; the thousands of elders living on fixed incomes throughout Marin; persons of color with and without documentation; families with no money that are breaking apart; and the lowest wage earners. We protect them from physical and financial abuse, cheating, homelessness, wage theft and the other devastating attacks on their rights and well-being
At a time when so many in this community – one of the most affluent in the entire nation – feel so defenseless, and so uncared for, we stand for them and with them. And we stand for you, in preserving the kind of community that represents your values, your compassion, and your dedication to the ideal that social justice is not just compatible with the American dream, but essential to it. We strive to be a reflection of your values, to be who you would hope we could be. It isn’t easy.
Please help us. This year, more than ever, we need resources to reach and reassure our people.
Please give what you can. We are grateful for your support, and will honor your investment with our own industry.
President, Board of Directors
Legal Aid of Marin
$150 -protects a senior citizen’s rights to make her own financial decisions
$500 -empowers a family to break the cycle of domestic violence with LAM attorney representation
$1,000 -provides LAM attorneys to fight for tenant’s rights and against unlawful evictions
Or you can mail a check to:
Legal Aid of Marin
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 220 San Rafael, CA 94903
LAM Set to Celebrate 5th Anniversary of Marin Community Court
Award-winning collaboration has helped hundreds of homeless and financially strapped make fresh start
Legal Aid of Marin is proud to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the award-winning Marin Community Court – an alternative sentencing program that has helped more than 1,000 homeless or financially strapped defendants in Marin County to clear up minor infractions and turn their lives around to gain a fresh start.
The first of its kind in Marin County, the MCC debuted as a pilot project in 2011 through a collaboration with Legal Aid of Marin, the Marin Superior Court and St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County. Demand for MCC’s services grew so rapidly, that the pilot project quickly developed into the most steady and reliable resource for those in Marin’s homeless community seeking to resolve noncriminal violations such as sleeping in a park or vehicle, jaywalking or having unpaid vehicle registrations.
For far too many Marin County residents who are either homeless or precariously housed, the loss of a license or registration leads to the loss of jobs, homes and even their families. The Honorable Beverly Wood took note of this problem in 2011 when she served as a traffic Commissioner in the Superior Court. Judge Wood’s courtroom was flooded with defendants trapped in a downward spiral.
“I saw defendants so deep in fines and caught in a vicious cycle with no way to get out. I saw the negative effect these fines were having on families, seniors and residents in Marin and I wanted to do something about it.”
In 2011, Legal Aid of Marin’s Maura Prendiville and St. Vincent’s Cris Jones noted the same problem, and collaborated with Judge Wood to create the Marin Community Court, which took off from there.
In 2015 alone, 223 MCC participants cleared over 314 (non-criminal) citations, representing 416 infractions and $200,000 in court fines through alternative sentences such as community service, sobriety programs, parenting courses/life skills courses, employment support training, traffic or DUI courses, vehicle insurance and/or registration, following through on physical/mental health care or seeking veterans support services.
The MCC, which won the 2012 Hearts of Marin Award for Excellence in Innovation, is held on the second Tuesday of each month at St. Vincent’s Dining Hall in Downtown San Rafael, where Marin Superior Court Judge Beverly Wood presides alongside volunteers such as retired Bailiff Vince Simpson and retired court clerk Hoang Leclerc amidst a backdrop of donated food on the shelves and inspirational proverbs on the walls.
The MCC now receives committed funding from Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund, van Loben Sels/RemeRock Foundation, the Fullerton Family Foundation, the County of Marin and Silicon Valley Bank Foundation. A growing network of dedicated Pro Bono attorneys and community volunteers work alongside MCC staff to keep up with growing demand for services.
“Because of the MCC I was able to get my military back pay, my mental health diagnosis and treatment,” said Iraq War Army Veteran and Marin City native Steven Ashby Anderson, who is completing his alternative sentence through gardening work at the Marin Community Gardens. “I am doing a lot better. With my back pay, I paid for a year of rent to get off the streets and am working with the Veteran’s association to explore going to school and be retrained.”
PLEASE NOTE:No walk-in services are available. Interested participants can inquire about eligibility with MCC Coordinator Susana Romo(415) 492-0230 Ext. 313. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA: For more information or to schedule an interview with a member of the Community Court team or a defendant, call: Delfin Vigil (415) 492-0230, Ext. 315. Email: email@example.com.
David Snyder Appointed Legal Aid of Marin Executive Director
The former Executive Director of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, strategic planning and partnership growth.
The Legal Aid of Marin Board of Directors has appointed David G. Snyder as the agency’s new Executive Director. Snyder brings a wealth of experience in non-profit management, fundraising, board and staff development, strategic planning, and partnership growth.
Prior to moving to California in 2009, David served as Executive Director of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation and for six years managed the state’s IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts) program. Serving as an advocate for legal services, Snyder was able to deepen and expand a nationally recognized partnership with the New Hampshire Bar and the local banking community effectively increasing access to legal services for the underserved.
“David Snyder’s work in New Hampshire allowed the Bar Foundation to achieve the best IOLTA performance in its history,” said Attorney Paul Chant, who served as the NHBF Board Chair during Snyder’s tenure as the agency’s Executive Director. “David worked effectively with many organizations to further the purpose and breadth of Foundation giving. He was a key player in the New Hampshire legal services community during his work as Bar Foundation Executive Director.”
As Executive Director of the Berkeley Public Library Foundation, Snyder launched The Neighborhood Libraries Campaign, a $3 million capital campaign providing interior items required for a branch renovation project. Most recently, Snyder served as the Director of Development for International Rivers, a Berkeley-based nonprofit that protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them.
Snyder’s passion for community service, public education, and social justice spans over 20 years of working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. He recently served as Board Secretary and Development Committee Chair with Novato Human Needs Center.
Since 2012, Snyder has hosted a monthly “Development Coffee,” in Richmond, where a network of Bay Area development professionals address topics and issues concerning the growth of local nonprofit organizations.
“I am honored to be able to serve my local community by helping to ensure that Marin continues to provide access to legal services for all. Our society has developed laws and a system of justice that requires legal assistance for many situations that are beyond the capabilities of most residents. We are thus obligated, as a society, to provide a means for insuring that justice is open for all, not just those of wealth.”
The Legal Aid of Marin Staff and Board of Directors are pleased to welcome Snyder to LAM.
David Snyder can be contacted directly at (415) 492-0230, Ext. 310.
LAM receives Cy Pres Award
Greenbrae-based firm Wynne Law Firm directs award to LAM for case concerning rights of security guards
Legal Aid of Marin wishes to thank the Wynne Law Firm for directing a recent Cy Pres award to our agency.
For the past year and a half, Greenbrae-based attorneys Edward J. Wynne and J.E.B. Pickett worked diligently on behalf of a group of Bay Area security guards whose legal rights had been violated. As the wage-and-hour dispute case reached a class-action settlement this year, the Wynne Law Firm recommended that a Cy Pres amount of over $13,000 be awarded to Legal Aid of Marin.
“Both the judge and the defendant felt that Legal Aid of Marin was an excellent fit because of LAM’s mission of providing access to the court system for people who are otherwise underrepresented,” said Wynne Law Firm attorney J.E.B. Pickett, who personally hand-delivered the award to the LAM staff earlier this month.
Both J.E.B. Pickett and Ed Wynne have long-standing roots to Marin County and a deep commitment to serving those in our community. Ed Wynne grew up in Marin where he currently resides and has devoted his legal career to protecting the rights of individuals and employees both locally and across the state.
In addition to his work litigating over 40 wage and hour class action suits, J.E.B. Pickett has been participating in Legal Aid of Marin’s Pro Bono program since early 2007.
“J.E.B. has been a tremendous asset to our Pro Bono program – helping dozens of clients with issues ranging from employment to personal injury and medical malpractice,” says LAM Pro Bono Manager Nancy Murphy.
For more information on nominating Legal Aid of Marin for a Cy Pres Award, or to participate in our Pro Bono Program, contact Nancy at (415) 492-0230, Ext. 308; firstname.lastname@example.org
LAM Creates Safety Net for Families In Marin
Since 1958, Legal Aid of Marin has been protecting families, homes and jobs for Marin County's most vulnerable citizens.
When a West Marin farm faced closure this year, it proved to be a polarizing debate.
Caught in the middle was a tightly knit community of workers and families whose entire livelihood was deeply rooted within the Point Reyes National Seashore farm. Suddenly, more than 30 Drakes Bay families – some with ties to West Marin going back generations – were losing both their jobs and their homes.
To inform the workers of their rights, Legal Aid of Marin (LAM) stepped in. Collaborating with the County of Marin, LAM guided each household through the legal system and found that several were entitled to federal relocation benefits.
“LAM was there for our family when we had nowhere else to turn,” said Martin Alonso. LAM helped the Alonsos secure benefits to purchase a new family mobile home, which helped them focus on finding new jobs. “We are forever grateful to LAM for providing us with the legal advice we needed to make a new start.”
The Alonsos are one of nearly 1,800 Marin households benefitting from LAM’s free legal services this year. Since 1958, LAM has been providing practical solutions to complex legal problems that range from unlawful eviction to employment discrimination and financial elder abuse. To help our historic agency continue serving the most vulnerable members of the Marin Community, we ask that you please donate to LAM today.
Tip Your Hat For Neal Simon on Thursday Dec. 03 at Panama Hotel
Join LAM at the Panama Hotel on Dec. 03 as we honor the memory of Neal Simon
When Neal Simon passed away suddenly earlier this year, he left behind a treasured legacy at LAM.
For more than 20 years, Neal trained, mentored and inspired hundreds of social work students who interned at LAM. Our agency and the Marin community at large benefitted tremendously from Neal’s expertise in handling case involving clients in crisis.
Please join LAM for a breakfast benefit on Thursday December 03 at the Panama Hotel in San Rafael as we take time to honor and remember Neal as the extraordinarily generous and caring gentleman who never hesistated to help others.
8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Panama Hotel & Restaurant
4 Bayview Street, San Rafael
Only street parking available. www.panamahotel.com
David Levin appointed Legal Aid of Marin Interim Executive Director
Maura Prendiville to continue career in public service at Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at the City of San Francisco.
The Legal Aid of Marin Board of Directors has announced that David Levin has been appointed as the agency’s Interim Executive Director. Levin brings a wealth of experience having worked as a housing attorney for more than ten years at Bay Area Legal in Richmond, where he also directed a HUD-financed regional fair housing program.
“As a resident of Marin County for nearly 18 years, I am excited to help serve the community where I live with these vital legal programs for our clients,” said Levin, who before attending law school, spent five years in Niger, West Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer and associate director.
Throughout his career, Levin has represented hundreds of indigent clients in housing cases that were litigated in both state and federal court, and presented trainings for the California State Bar and National Housing Law Project.
Levin assumes leadership following a successful six-month tenure of longtime Senior Staff Attorney Maura Prendiville who served as temporary Interim Executive Director. Prendiville will be continuing her career in public service at the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at the City of San Francisco.
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to give back to my hometown by representing the most underserved members of our community for the past seven years,” said Prendiville who joined LAM in 2008. Prendiville was instrumental in establishing the award-winning Marin Community Court and spent the past several years in the leadership role of Senior Staff Attorney advising staff on cases ranging from housing subsidies to landlord tenant matters and debt collection.
The Legal Aid of Marin Staff and Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Levin to LAM in this new role and congratulates Prendiville on her new public service endeavor.