Remembering Stonewall

safe_imageAugust 25, 2016 — As BayLegal continues to grieve the tragedy of Orlando and the ongoing physical and emotional violence against the LGBT community, we also soldier on to fight for equality.

Today, on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, let us take a moment to remember the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and honor the Stonewall National Monument, the newest national monument designation in the National Park Service.

BayLegal Teaches at UC Hastings College of Law

Juliana Kari and Claire at UC Hastings 2August 24, 2016 — This semester Bay Area Legal Aid attorneys — Juliana Fredman, Kari Rudd, and Claire Johnson Raba — are teaching the next generation of consumer law attorneys at UC Hastings College of Law. Cheers to these three consumer law experts!

Taking Money from Food Stamp Recipients

CalFresh is California's Food Stamps ProgramAugust 17, 2016 — Food stamp recipients, already on the poverty line, are being pushed further into desperation by California’s aggressive debt collection practices. Today, Bay Area Legal Aid filed suit to force the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to follow the law and stop demanding cash for old debts.

“The regulations only allow the state to go after food stamp recipients for debts up to three years old,” said Bay Area Legal Aid attorney Cynthia Chagolla. “CDSS is ignoring the law and demanding payment for debts twice that age.”

The plaintiffs are two East Bay residents who were inadvertently given too many food stamps (now called “CalFresh”) more than three years ago, which they used for food. Now CDSS wants to be paid back — in cash. The suit asks for a statewide order halting these improper collection efforts.

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Free Training on How to Change a Person’s Life


August 1, 2016 –  Are you a pro bono attorney looking to make a dramatic difference in the course of someone’s life? Come learn about Reentry in California from experienced faculty, including BayLegal Attorney, Adam Poe. Learn how barriers to employment, housing, and self-sufficiency prevent formerly incarcerated individuals from breaking free from the cycle of poverty and violence. Change a person’s life.

Click to Register

Community Brings Lawsuit to Force San Jose to Comply with State Affordable Housing Law

logo_city-of-san-joseJuly 21, 2016 – “The City is draining the cultural richness out of San José,” said Cristina Peña, staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid. “By handing over one of its most powerful affordable housing tools at a time when we are facing a statewide housing crisis, San José is reducing the supply of affordable housing. The effect discriminates against racial and ethnic minorities, and that contradicts San José’s long history of embracing its vibrant diversity.”

Public Advocates, Inc.; Public Interest Law Project; Weil, Gotshal, and Manges LLP; and Bay Area Legal Aid are working togehter to preserve affordable housing and keep the City of San José diverse.

Read the Press Release

Read the San Jose Mercury News Article

Read the Silicon Valley Business Journal

Watch BayLegal Attorney Cristina Peña’s Interview with Univision

We Stand for Racial Justice

r10kRWjX_400x400July 14, 2016 – This heartbreaking summer of tragedy will not defeat us. Bay Area Legal Aid joins our national partners in reaffirming the centrality of racial justice to our communities. There can be no justice without racial justice.

Read NLADA and Shriver Center’s joint statement.

California Court of Appeals Broadens Scope of Restraining Orders After BayLegal’s Brenda Adams Wins Case

July 14, 2016 – pHvrzV90Bay Area Legal Aid’s Brenda Adams fights for her client and wins! In publishing the decision, the California Court of Appeals protects domestic violence survivors and broadens the scope of restraining orders.

Read article here

BayLegal Managing Attorney Protima Pandey appointed to ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence

BayLegal Protima Pandey (2)July 5, 2016 – Congratulations BayLegal Managing Attorney, Protima Pandey, on your appointment to ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Thank you for strengthening the lives of survivors!

[photo left to right: Vivian Huelgo (ABA Commission Chief Counsel), Protima Pandey, and Angela Vigil (Baker & Mackenzie Partner, Chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence]

BayLegal Executive Director Alex Gulotta elected Board Chair of NLADA

r10kRWjX_400x400June 29, 2016 – Exciting news! Today BayLegal Executive Director, Alex Gulotta, was elected Board Chair of NLADA. BayLegal staff is thrilled to share our Executive Director with an organization that has dedicated 100 years to fighting for justice.

Bay Area Legal Aid at the White House Summit on the United State of Women

June 16, 2016- Protima Pandey, Managing Attorney, is representing Bay Area Legal Aid at the White House Summit on the United State of Women.

US summit State of Women BadgeProtima at White House Summit of State of Women

Click here to follow along!

Bay Area Legal Aid and Coalition Partners File Lawsuit Challenging Harmful Driver’s License Suspension Policies

4543027041_88d4a4d290_oJune 15, 2016—Bay Area Legal Aid and our coalition partners filed a lawsuit this morning against Solano County Superior Court challenging the court’s practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of people who are too poor to pay exorbitant traffic fines. In California, millions of people do not have valid driver’s licenses because they cannot afford to pay traffic fines and fees. This is the first lawsuit in California to challenge the suspension of driver’s licenses as a means of collecting unpaid traffic fines. “A driver’s license is key to economic survival, and no one should lose their license just because they are too poor to pay a ticket. The courts shouldn’t be funded off the backs of poor people,” said Rebekah Evenson, Director of Litigation and Advocacy at Bay Area Legal Aid.

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Contra Costa County Announces Moratorium on Drivers License Suspensions

pceo_logo_web_stdMay 24, 2016—Contra Costa County Superior Court will stop suspending licenses for failure to pay fines. Read about Bay Area Legal Aid’s work here.

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