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PUBLIC DEFENDER ADACHI ADVERTISES FOR CLIENTS Public Defender Jeff Adachi continues to work the crowd and finagle more resources for his office. With a little help from Mayor Willie Brown, Adachi has persuaded private companies, including law firms O’Melveny & Myers and Pillsbury Winthrop, to help pay for ads to increase his office’s visibility. The effort comes on the heels of another successful Adachi pitch, to get the city to increase his annual budget from $13.4 million to $16 million. “We just wanted to educate the public about their right to counsel and what we do,” Adachi said of the planned ads. “The idea is that we’re going to get private firms to pay for getting the message out there. “We’re still looking for more sponsors,” he added. O’Melveny and Pillsbury have each given about $2,500 to pay printing costs, Adachi said, and Clear Channel Outdoor and Viacom Outdoor are donating space on billboards and bus shelters, respectively. One billboard design reads, “Accused? Can’t afford a lawyer? Call the Public Defender. It’s your right.” The first ones were put up last week, in time for — and not accidentally — the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, and the 40th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335. The U.S. Supreme Court held indigent defendants have a constitutional right to counsel in state as well as federal criminal trials. “This is a critical right,” said F. Curt Kirschner Jr., partner with O’Melveny & Myers and point person for donations in the firm’s S.F. office. Thomas Loran, a litigation partner in Pillsbury Winthrop’s San Francisco office and co-chair of its pro bono committee, said his firm is a longtime supporter of the public defender’s office. Mayor Brown also lent a hand — he got on the phone to help secure the donated billboard space. – Pam Smith ON THE BALLOT John Russo may become both the first and last elected city attorney in Oakland history. Russo is laying plans for his March 2004 reelection campaign, but it’s unclear whether his job will exist after 2009. Oakland voters have yet to approve an extension of Measure X, the 1998 ballot measure that handed Mayor Jerry Brown sweeping political powers and created an elected city attorney. Unless voters renew Measure X, it sunsets in November 2004 and the city attorney could revert back to an appointed post following the next term, in January 2009. Today, a 15-member committee appointed by Oakland officials is expected to advise the City Council to put a slightly revised Measure X on the ballot that would keep Russo’s elected post. An elected city attorney is an important check in a strong mayor system, said two committee members — Benjamin Fay, a partner with Oakland’s Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson, and R. Zachary Wasserman, of Oakland’s Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean. Russo said that he was disappointed the panel didn’t put the city attorney and mayor issues in different ballot measures. If there is strong opposition to part of Measure X, the whole thing could go down in flames. “I think voters should have more choices,” Russo said. The issue could go before voters as early as March 2004, which means citizens could decide whether Russo should keep his job, and whether that job should exist, on the same ballot. – Jahna Berry A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS BROTHER After two Palo Alto police officers pulled Albert Hopkins out of his parked car on the evening of July 13, beat and pepper- sprayed him, one of the first calls Hopkins made was to his brother Joe. Joe just happens to be Pasadena attorney Joe Hopkins, who had filed a civil rights suit against the Los Angeles Police Dept. for beating a handcuffed man’s head against a car hood. The July 2002 beating of Donovan Jackson, caught on videotape, is arguably the next-generation Rodney King. Famed L.A. attorney Johnnie Cochran has since taken over the Jackson civil rights case. Given Joe Hopkins’ civil rights background and experience in the Jackson case, there was no question he’d help his brother. “It’s one of life’s little coincidences,” said Joe Hopkins. “I was surprised it happened to him, I guess, but not surprised it happened. Basically, he is a black man in America. It can happen anywhere.” Joe Hopkins filed a claim for damages with the city of Palo Alto on July 18. The Santa Clara district attorney charged officers Craig Lee and Michael Kan on Wednesday with felony assault and battery by a police officer. Prosecutors say Lee approached Albert Hopkins as he was sitting in a parked car. Lee asked Hopkins for identification. When Hopkins didn’t produce it, Kan and Lee tried to pull Hopkins from the car. The two officers repeatedly hit Hopkins with their batons and pepper-sprayed him. Hopkins, 59, was transported to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries, including abrasions on his body and a raised welt near his eye. – Shannon Lafferty

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