The University of California has fired the professor who sexually harassed four students represented by our office along with several of our Oakland Law Collaborative colleagues, other lawyers, nearly two years after campus investigators first concluded he had made unwanted advances and violated school policies. Read the Guardian article.
Our client Vanessa Dundon is interviewed in this article about the appeal in our class action lawsuit against North Dakota law enforcement for excessive force.
As people nationwide rallied last year to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s attempts to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, a private security firm with experience fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan launched an intrusive military-style surveillance and counterintelligence campaign against the activists and their allies, according to internal company documents. Read full article here.
The systemic failure to hold white police officers accountable for racist killings and the Black Lives Matter movement sparked a demonstration on December 6, 2014. The march began peacefully on the UC Berkeley campus, but when it reached the city police station, the police blocked the marchers’ path and began using their wooden batons indiscriminately against both protesters and journalists. Read the full article.
We have filed tort claims for fourteen people who were injured by the Berkeley Police and assisting agencies during December 6 and 7, 2014, demonstrations over the failures to indict the officers who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The tort claims are the first step toward bringing a lawsuit for an injunction to stop the police misconduct and monetary compensation for our clients. Our clients include a Chronicle photographer and a minister who were clubbed on the heads for no apparent reason; a 55 year old Berkeley Rent Board counselor who was clubbed in the back from behind while she was urging other demonstrators to give the police space; and a visitor from Los Angeles who happened on the demonstration and had been there for only minutes when he was shot with a “less lethal” munition, fracturing his knee. Rachel Lederman and Jim Chanin are representing the demonstrators and journalists on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild. Read the Mercury News article here.
Under pressure from businesses after a large May Day demonstration in which dozens of new cars and bank windows were smashed, Oakland’s new mayor, Libby Schaaf, has instituted a ban on nighttime street marches that has outraged the Oakland activist community. The mayor’s directive violates a federal court order, and has escalated ongoing tension between police and protesters — while doing nothing to address the serious issues of state-sponsored racism, extrajudicial killings, and police impunity that are at the heart of the growing national movement.
We obtained a $9,500 settlement for Jacob Crawford, an investigative videojournalist and copwatcher, for his unlawful detention and citation by the Oakland Police on July 19, 2013. Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent had just instituted a policy of ticketing persons going to and from demonstrations for pedestrian and bicycle violations. Chief Whent and Mayor Quan claimed this ongoing policy was intended to deter vandalism and other serious unlawful activity, by openly gathering personal information on persons who attend protests, but the persons who have been ticketed are simply demonstrators and journalists, whose First Amendment activity is being chilled by the selective traffic enforcement. In Jacob’s case he was lawfully filming the police and asking their identities as a rally protesting George Zimmerman’s acquittal for killing Trayvon Martin was beginning, when Sgt. Darrin Downum detained Jacob and gave him a ticket for jaywalking. The ticket was completely unfounded and was thrown out in court. Jacob now works with Rachel full time as an investigator and paralegal.
Read the Courthouse News article.
We have a new, second office in downtown Oakland, near 19th St. BART. We are part of the newly formed Oakland Law Collaborative of five law firms providing social justice oriented legal services in multiple practice areas. Our main office is still in San Francisco in the National Lawyers Guild / San Francisco Tenants Union building on Capp Street.
Top 20 legal expenses for the
#Oakland Police Department, 2013.