• Coblentz Named Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year By California State Bar

    SAN FRANCISCO, August 13, 2010 – Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP has been recognized as the California State Bar President’s 2010 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year. The prestigious award, which annually honors a California law firm for extraordinary pro bono service, will be bestowed in a presentation with California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Monterey, Calif. on September 24.

    Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass is being honored by the State Bar for the firm’s pro bono efforts throughout 2009, a remarkable year in which the firm’s attorneys contributed over 4,700 pro bono hours across a wide variety of practice areas in matters including:

    • Direct representation of a federal inmate in a federal civil rights action against a doctor at Salinas Valley State Prison, culminating in a 7-day jury trial;
    • Providing legal services for more than 60 matters from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights on issues ranging from unlawful detainer, debt collection, administrative agency disputes, and evictions;
    • Representation of several criminal record expungement cases with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office Clean Slate Program;
    • Representation of a complex immigration case before the Board of Immigration Appeals regarding a Togolese man denied asylum who was detained and tortured by his government;
    • Staffing seasonal tax clinics to assist low-income taxpayers with the preparation of income tax returns; and
    • Coaching 20 high school students from San Francisco’s School for the Arts in preparation for the annual Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Constitutional Rights foundation.

    “2009 was an incredible year of service for the firm,” said Pam Duffy, name partner and co-chair of the firm’s pro bono committee. “Service is not only our duty as members of the Bar, it is also an incredible opportunity to give back to the broader Bay Area community and to directly affect the lives of underserved individuals. We’re thrilled that our lawyers continue to embrace this important commitment and especially proud that the State Bar has recognized our efforts.”

    Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass maintains an active pro bono committee of attorneys and staff who are committed to supporting and encouraging pro bono efforts in all of the firm’s practices. The firm is a signatory to the National Pro Bono Project and the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Pledge in Support of Pro Bono Service. The firm also has pledged to both the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the San Francisco Superior Court to devote a minimum of three percent of billable hours to pro bono matters and has exceeded the pledge annually.

    This honor by the State Bar is the most recent for the firm, which has also been recognized in recent years for pro bono service throughout the state. In 2009, Coblentz litigation partner Frederick Fields was awarded the Keta Taylor Colby Award by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in recognition of his outstanding commitment to and representation of the poor and under-represented. In 2010, corporate group partner Sara Finigan was honored by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights with the James T. Caleshu Award for her extraordinary pro bono contributions to the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs Program.

    The firm’s senior partner, William Coblentz, has been a leader and inspiration to the firm in its pro bono and community commitments. In 2008, the firm established the William K. Coblentz Endowment Fund at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law to support research on racial and ethnic justice. In 2010, Coblentz was honored with the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) Distinguished Service Award.

    About the President’s Pro Bono Service Awards

    The President’s Pro Bono Service Awards were established in 1983 by the State Bar Board of Governors to recognize California attorneys who provide or enable the direct provision of legal services to poor persons or to organizations whose primary purpose is to provide legal services to the poor, free-of-charge, without expectation of compensation from the client.

    Categories: News
  • Coblentz Lawyers Named to Annual Super Lawyers List

    SAN FRANCISCO, August 12, 2010 – 14 Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP partners have been recognized by Law and Politics as 2010 Northern California Super Lawyers.

    Published by Law & Politics, the 2010 Northern California Super Lawyers list is compiled through peer nomination and research.  Approximately five percent of the Northern California Bar received the distinction. The list appears annually in San Francisco magazine.

    Selections for the annual list are made by the research team at Super Lawyers, which is a service of the Thomson Reuters Legal Division. The rigorous selection process includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area and a good-standing and disciplinary check.

    This year’s Super Lawyers from Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass are: Jonathan R. Bass – Business Litigation; Jeffry A. Bernstein – Tax; Pamela S. Duffy – Real Estate; Philip B. Feldman – Estate Planning & Probate; Gregg M. Ficks – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights; Frederick S. Fields – Business Litigation; Alan C. Gennis – Real Estate; Susan K. Jamison – Business Litigation; Jeffrey G. Knowles – Business Litigation; Barbara A. Milanovich – Real Estate; James P. Mitchell – Estate Planning & Probate; Harry O’Brien – Real Estate; Richard R. Patch – Business Litigation; and Tay C. Via – Real Estate.

    CPDB partner Pamela S. Duffy was also named to the distinguished list of the Top 50 Women Lawyers, and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California. Ms. Duffy has been recognized since 2004 by Super Lawyers.

    Another feature of the annual Super Lawyers publication is the 2010 Northern California Rising Stars, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the region – those who are 40 years old or younger or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less. Approximately two percent of the Northern California Bar received the distinction. Real estate associate Eileen Chauvet was named to this year’s prestigious list.

    Categories: News
  • City Person: Pamela Duffy loves San Francisco

    Coblentz Partner, Pamela Duffy, discusses the personal and professional path that lead her to being named as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California, in the 2010 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers magazine.

    In the insightful profile, Duffy speaks about the unique real estate development projects she has helped to shape, her dedication to legal services and social policy, and the fulfillment she finds in navigating the intricate path of a complex development.

    “I love finding a pathway to a shared conclusion,” says Duffy in the profile, “Then we can build something great.”

    For a copy of the profile, please click here.

    Categories: News
  • Real Estate Update: What Do the New Air Quality Guidelines Mean for Urban Infill Projects in the Bay Area?

    On June 2, 2010 the Bay Area Quality Management District (BAAQMD) adopted stringent new guidelines for analyzing air quality impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  Advocates for urban infill development are concerned about the timing, cost and risk implications of the guidelines.  Although BAAQMD purports to support smart growth and infill development, many fear that the guidelines will make urban infill projects more difficult to process and defend against challenge.

    This alert answers frequently asked questions about how the guidelines impact urban infill projects.

    Click here to read more.