My Law Practice

25 Years!

In 2011 I am celebrating 25 years as a California attorney.  I am a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law, 1986. After 15 years of practicing from an office in downtown Oakland, I now work from an office in my home in North Berkeley.

I take selected cases in certain specific practice areas, see below. I accept cases that are the right size for me to handle, where the cause is worthy, and where I like the client(s). Because of low overhead, I can keep my rates within reason.

My clients get my full personal attention. I am a solo practitioner. I have gone up against some of the biggest firms in the business and held up my end in the paper wars. I can do that because I have an organized mind, a strong academic background, good research skills, and I type faster than most legal secretaries. I know my way around computers. I don’t intimidate easily. I love helping the underdog win.

  • In the intellectual property area, I handle cases involving copyright, trademark, and trade secret issues. I do trademark registrations and trademark litigation in the Trademark Office and in the federal courts. I do copyright consultation and copyright litigation in the federal courts. I don’t do patent law. See the Intellectual Property section of this website for details.
  • In the tenant law area, I handle cases involving serious habitability issues or discrimination and harassment issues. I generally defend evictions only in connection with affirmative suits for damages on account of habitability, discrimination, harassment or personal injuries caused by conditions on the premises. I don’t represent landlords. See the Tenant’s Rights section of this website for details.
  • In the personal injury area, I handle medium-size cases. If your medical bills are less than $5,000, it might not be economical for me to take your case. If your injuries are extremely serious and liability is contested, I will probably refer you to your choice of big plaintiff’s personal injury firms who have the necessary resources to hire the required high-priced experts. Anything in between, I’ll consider. See the Personal Injury area of this website for details.
  • In the nonprofit area, I can help you incorporate and apply for federal charitable status under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. I can help you file your Form 990 and I may be able to assist you with licensing, mergers, and related issues. See the Nonprofit section of this website for more.
  • If you think you have grounds for an appeal in a civil case, I will look at your case and tell you quickly whether I think it’s within my competence. I’m not an appellate specialist but I have strong research and writing skills and may be able to be of service to you in this area. I don’t do criminal law at any level. Please see the Appeals area.

My clients get my cell phone number and can call me 24/7 in an emergency. If appropriate, I will set up a private section on this website for your case, protected by a password, where you can look up your current case status and review documents in your file. If you have a legal issue that may fit in with what I do, please get in touch.

Intellectual Property

[Translate] In the intellectual property area, I mainly handle matters involving copyrights and trademarks.  I do trademark registrations, trademark consultation, and trademark litigation in the Trademark Office and in the federal courts.  I do copyright consultation and copyright litigation in the federal courts.  I’ll represent plaintiffs or defendants.  I have also handled matters involving trade …

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Tenant Law

[Translate] In the tenant law area, I represent tenant plaintiffs in cases involving serious habitability, discrimination, harassment or injury issues. I generally defend evictions only in connection with affirmative suits for damages. I don’t represent landlords in tenant/landlord cases. Good landlords never hear from me. If they charge fair rents, take care of their property, …

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Personal Injury

[Translate] In the personal injury area, I handle medium-size cases.  If your medical bills are less than $5,000, it might not be economical for me to take your case.  If your injuries are extremely serious, your medical bills are in six figures, and liability is contested, I will probably refer you to your choice of big …

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Non-Profit Law

[Translate] In the nonprofit area, I can help you incorporate and apply for federal charitable status under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. I can help you file your Form 990 and I may be able to assist you with licensing, mergers, financial sponsors, and related issues.  

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Appeals

[Translate] If you think you have grounds for an appeal in a civil case, I will look at your case and tell you quickly whether I think it’s within my competence. I’m not an appellate specialist but I have strong research and writing skills and may be able to be of service to you in …

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War Stories

[Translate] One of my favorite moments in the law came when we ran First Interstate Bank out of cash. Jay Koslofsky, another attorney, and I represented a class made up of tenants and former tenants of the Acorn Housing development in West Oakland. Conditions there were some of the worst any of us had ever …

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Getting There

[Translate] I resisted going to law school until I was 42. Early Years Teachers and classmates in high school — it was Shawnee-Mission North in Merriam, Kansas — urged me to aim for the law. I was a champion debater — best speaker points at the state tournament — and chairman of my pretend party …

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