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San Francisco’s new public defender has been busy beefing up his staff in the three months since he took office. Jeff Adachi has hired 11 attorneys since being sworn in Jan. 8, part of what he describes as his ongoing effort to lighten caseloads and do a better job for clients. Five of the most recently hired deputy public defenders are returning employees who were fired — like Adachi — or who quit when mayoral appointee Kimiko Burton took over the public defender’s office in 2001, Adachi said. Two, Christina Alvarez and David “Adam” Lipson, had worked in the office for only about two weeks when Burton fired them, Adachi said. Elizabeth Hilton, Phong Wang and Roger Chan were deputy public defenders who decided to leave after Burton took office, he said. Four of the incoming deputy public defenders are new to San Francisco’s public defender’s office: Jacque Wilson, Helena Kim, Eric Luce and Brian Pearlman. At the beginning of his term, Adachi also named Teresa Caffese, a longtime defender who left the office after Burton demoted her from head of the investigations unit, as his chief attorney. Mart�n Sabelli, former federal public defender and more recently a partner and criminal defense attorney with Hallinan, Wine & Sabelli, was also picked early on to be Adachi’s director of training. Six of the 11 recently filled positions had essentially been frozen vacant when the city’s budget was adopted during the summer — after Adachi was elected, but before he took office. At the time, Burton told the city’s supervisors those cuts would be manageable, but Adachi vehemently disagreed. Those positions are “critical to adequate representation of my clients,” he said in a recent interview. Though Mayor Willie Brown had appointed Burton and supported her candidacy, “the mayor told me that he would allow me to open the budget when I came in, to reflect my policies,” Adachi said. Citing his own assessment of the public defenders’ caseloads, Adachi said he persuaded Mayor Brown to reauthorize the positions, which will add about $800,000 a year to the PD’s current $13.2 million annual budget. “Clearly we need more attorneys, paralegals and investigators to meet the challenge of serving over 20,000 indigent clients every year,” the PD said. Since Adachi took the helm of the PD’s office, he said, “Nobody has been fired, no one was terminated. Everyone was offered a position in the organization.” But two attorneys departed between the time he was elected and when was sworn in, and another resigned rather than take a lesser position after he took over, he said. Two managers under Burton accepted Adachi’s offers of non-management positions, he said. Adachi said the returning five attorneys worked in public and private offices before rejoining the PD’s office: � Alvarez, now a public defender for Santa Cruz County, will join San Francisco’s misdemeanor unit at the end of April. � Lipson was in civil practice at the Narayan Law Firm in Burlingame before recently joining the misdemeanor staff. � Hilton was in civil practice during her time off from the public defender’s office and has joined the felony unit. � Wang went from the city’s public defender’s office to the state’s. She has joined the PD’s felony unit. � Chan, formerly an Alameda County public defender who specialized in juvenile law, works in the San Francisco PD’s office at the city’s Youth Guidance Center. Chan is handling educational advocacy for the PD’s juvenile clients and helping to find out-of-home placements for them, said Adachi. The four new attorneys also come from both private and public practice: � Wilson was with the Mendocino County PD’s office before joining San Francisco’s misdemeanors unit. � Kim worked at O’Melveny & Myers before joining the misdemeanor staff. � Luce worked in house for Esprit and did some solo criminal defense work before joining the public defender’s misdemeanor staff. � Pearlman was a volunteer attorney with the San Francisco PD’s office for about a year before joining the misdemeanor unit.

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