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.
The Alonso Family have been a part of the West Marin Drakes Bay Community for nearly ten years.

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
Neal Simon, pictured here with his wife Nancy Boughey, was known for his extraordinarily giving nature.

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.

Tickets are $65. Checks payable to Legal Aid of Marin.
Click here to purchase tickets online or to make a donation in memory of Neal.

8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Panama Hotel & Restaurant
4 Bayview Street, San Rafael
Only street parking available.



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.
David Levin and Maura Prendiville

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.

Raise Your Paddle(Board) for LAM @ 101 Surf Sports on Halloween

101 Surf Sports to donate all Paddleboard and Kayak rental proceeds to LAM from 11 am.-3 p.m. on Halloween
Join LAM at 101 Surf Sports in San Rafael from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Halloween Saturday.

Join Legal Aid of Marin and 101 Surf Sports on Halloween for a family fun day of Paddleboarding and Kayaking to support the work of Legal Aid of Marin. During the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., San Rafael’s 101 Surf Sports will generously donate all Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard rental proceeds to LAM.

Never paddled? No worries — introductory lessons from 101 Surf Sports included as part of the deal.

Bring the family, bust out your best costumes and grab your paddles to support LAM’s programs of free legal services for low-income families and households in Marin.

11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, October 31
101 Surf Sports
115 3rd Street, San Rafael

Paddleboards and Single Kayaks: $20 per hour
Double Kayaks – $30 per hour (holds two adults and one kid)
Use Code Word: “LAM” at check-in.
Event Chaired by LAM Board Member Captain Ron Steinau


– BBQ Hot Dogs and Veggie Dogs
– Candy for kids
– Costume Contest
– Raffle Prizes
– And some surprises…

Maura Prendiville appointed Legal Aid of Marin Interim Executive Director

Prendiville a longtime LAM senior staff attorney with deep roots in Marin County. Paul Cohen assumes leadership of Eviction Defense Collaborative of San Francisco.
Interim Executive Director Maura Prendiville (at center) was instrumental in establishing the award-winning Marin Community Court.

The Legal Aid of Marin Board of Directors is proud to announce that Maura Prendiville has been appointed as Interim Executive Director.

Prendiville joined LAM in 2008 and has spent the past several years in the leadership role of Senior Staff Attorney advising staff on cases ranging from employment to housing and debt collection. Prendiville has been instrumental in establishing the award-winning Marin Community Court, which is approaching its fifth year and has received national recognition and acclaim for its innovative methods of serving the homeless community. Prendiville, who earned her law degree from UC Berkeley, was also the lead attorney in a 2014 class-action settlement that improved rent collection practices for more than 500 Marin public housing tenants.

“As a native of Marin County, I welcome this new opportunity to continue serving the community where I was raised,” said Prendiville, who will be building on the successful tenure of Paul Cohen.

After nine years of dedication to Legal Aid of Marin’s mission of increasing access to justice, Paul Cohen announced his decision today to dedicate his time exclusively to protecting and preserving housing for the residents of San Francisco as he assumes leadership of the Eviction Defense Collaborative of San Francisco.

As Legal Aid of Marin’s Executive Director, Paul oversaw the provision of free legal services to nearly 20,000 Marin households.

“I have had the great privilege of working with the Marin community and especially the Board and Staff of Legal Aid of Marin,” said Cohen. “I will remain connected to Marin through all of the friends, colleagues and connections that I have developed at and through LAM.”

During his tenure as Executive Director, Paul created several programs and clinics to reach more Marin County residents in need of LAM services including the Marin Mandatory Settlement Conference calendar for Residential Evictions, the Marin Medical-Legal Partnership, the Marin Opportunity Centers and the Marin Lawyer Referral Service. Most recently, Paul was very proud of his assistance to residents of Parnow House and the workers at the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company.

Legal Aid of Marin’s staff and Board of Directors wish to express gratitude to Paul for his many years of dedicated service to the agency and wish him well in his next endeavor.

Prendiville will guide LAM through a leadership transition while continuing the agency’s mission to provide free legal services to the most vulnerable members of the Marin community. The Legal Aid of Marin Board of Directors plans to announce a permanent executive director by the end of this year.

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:

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.


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

Tip Your Hat for Justice

Join LAM on December 4 at the Panama Hotel and support our work on behalf of older adults in Marin County like Audrey McNamara Nevis (pictured here with actor Tyrone Power).

As a pioneering flight attendant with Trans World Airlines, Audrey McNamara Nevis dedicated more than 40 years of her life to serving and helping others. But when she reached retirement, Audrey became a victim of financial elder abuse through predatory lending. Her Lucas Valley home was refinanced 15 times. Without any family and facing homelessness at age 81, Audrey came to Legal Aid of Marin for help.

Representing Audrey for nearly six years up until she passed away in 2013, LAM helped reach a settlement that secured housing for the remainder of Audrey’s life, restoring her dignity and respect at a time when she needed it most.

If someone you know or love is a victim of financial elder abuse, know that our community has an ally in LEGAL AID OF MARIN. Please “Tip Your Hat For Justice” with LAM on December 4 at the Panama Hotel and help support our work on behalf of older adults like Audrey.

This event is generously sponsored by Bank of Marin.

LAM Attorney Araceli Ontiveros-Venegas speaks at College of Marin

Uncover your tenant rights with LAM Staff Attorney Araceli Ontiveros-Venegas.
LAM Staff Attorney Araceli Ontiveros-Venegas has extensive experience empowering tenants on housing matters.

Join LAM Staff Attorney Araceli Ontiveros-Venegas for a special discussion on renter’s rights at College of Marin on Wednesday, November 12.

Ontiveros-Venegas’ discussion, “Renter’s Rights: Uncover Your Rights As a Tenant,” is part of the free “Student Success Speaker Series,” hosted by College of Marin at noon on Wednesdays in the Deedy Lounge of the Student Services building.

“Knowing your rights as a tenant is so important — especially in areas like Marin where there is no rent control,” said Ontiveros-Venegas, who has been empowering tenants on housing matters since joining LAM as a Staff Attorney in 2012. “I’m looking forward to speaking to COM students about their rights, and offering tips they can use to advocate for themselves.”