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Criminal defense attorney Joseph Rhine of the former San Francisco firm Kennedy & Rhine died May 14. He was 67. The cause was a heart attack, said his sister, Barbara Rhine. Rhine and former partner Michael Kennedy gained prominence representing San Francisco porn moguls Jim and Artie Mitchell and LSD advocate Timothy Leary. Founded around 1970, Kennedy & Rhine disbanded about five years later. After the firm dissolved, Rhine moved first to Los Angeles and then Spokane, Wash., where he continued a solo practice focused on First Amendment work. He was counsel for the Adult Film Association and later managing attorney for Protection and Advocacy Inc. He returned to California and built a solo practice as an advocate for the disabled, based in Pomona. In 2002, was elected president of the Tourette’s Syndrome Spectrum Disorder Association in Southern California. “He was a very stand-up guy,” said attorney Patrick Hallinan, of Hallinan & Wine. “He was almost blind — he could barely see — but not on principle.” Hallinan said Rhine was one of his closest friends at Hastings College of the Law. Rhine later appeared before the Board of Permit Appeals, of which Hallinan was a member, on behalf of the Mitchell brothers. “I guess the city didn’t have a chance,” Hallinan said. “I wasn’t going to rule against Joe in his First Amendment issue.” Prior to launching a firm with Kennedy, Rhine was an early manager of St. Francis Square, a low-cost cooperative housing project sponsored by the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen’s Union in San Francisco’s Western Addition. “My brother was a very kind-hearted man and remained dedicated to the underdog,” said his sister Barbara, a former law professor at Golden Gate University School of Law. “He was tenacious in his beliefs and the defense of causes even if they were unpopular.” She said her brother’s level of accomplishment was “quite amazing” given that a genetic eye disorder left him with limited vision. He started his education at a school for the blind but his mother soon moved him to a public school. Rhine graduated from the University of Colorado in 1956 and from Hastings in 1962. Both of his sisters also went to law school. His sister, Jennie Rhine, is a retired Alameda County judge. Rhine is survived by his wife Ann, daughters Rebecca and Stephanie, stepson Greg Yedding, sisters Jennie and Barbara and granddaughter Dylan Gibbons. A memorial service will be held June 28 at 4 p.m. in Pomona, and Barbara Rhine will host an event to share remembrances at her house in Oakland June 14 at noon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Kenneth Michael Stabler Tourette Syndrome Camp. For information about the memorials, call 510-528-3553.

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