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LOCAL LAWYERS ON THE BIG SCREEN IN “GIRL TROUBLE” For four local lawyers, the daily grind in criminal court has led to roles on the silver screen. In filming three girls’ run-ins with the San Francisco juvenile court system for the documentary “Girl Trouble,” producer/directors Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko couldn’t help but weave some attorneys into the storyline. Jean Amabile, of the San Francisco public defender’s office, represented Stephanie on an outstanding warrant. Fellow defender Patricia Lee helped Shangra fight a drug possession charge, and court-appointed defense counsel Ira Barg appeared on behalf of Sheila, charged with attempted murder. Assistant DA Rahni Singh appears as a prosecutor. The Bar Association of San Francisco will co-present a screening of “Girl Trouble” Saturday at the Roxie Cinema, as part of this week’s Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema. The 74-minute film, which premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April, follows the defendants inside and outside of court over four years beginning in their mid-teens. The filmmakers met their subjects while filming a promotional video for a nonprofit organization where the girls worked, The Center for Young Women’s Development. “We really felt that the only representations of these young women in the mainstream media were pretty sensationalistic,” Szajko said. Barg speculates the filming may have helped his client, Sheila, follow through with a deal she reached with the DA. “My understanding now is that she’s doing really well.” But the San Francisco solo says the film didn’t really impact his work in court, or his future plans. “My part is all of 27 seconds’ worth. I’m not looking to change careers based on that.” — Pam Smith THE ART OF PRO BONO In the mid-1970s, Jerry Carlin was a Berkeley painter who had turned to law after becoming disillusioned by the abstract art movement. Hamish Sandison was a British attorney who had come to Boalt Hall School of Law to study the American legal system. Sandison had a passion for art law. Carlin was doing clinic work for the poor. Combining their passions, they decided to create a legal clinic for artists. In 1974, the pair opened Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts in the basement of a parking garage near Grant Avenue in a space provided free by the city of Berkeley. Within five years, the brainchild of Carlin — who eventually returned to painting — and Sandison — now chairman of London-based Bird & Bird — expanded past the Bay Area to become California Lawyers for the Arts. The two founders were honored last month during a celebration of the not-for-profit’s 30th birthday at Fort Mason Center’s Cowell Theatre. Over the years, CLA has donated more than 14,000 hours of free legal services to emerging arts and arts organizations. The event was attended by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Assemblyman Mark Leno. For all involved, it was a chance to reflect on the program’s growth. Sandison recalled working during the program’s first year with a young musician who wanted help negotiating his first recording contract. After leafing through the 20-page document, Sandison turned to the musician and said, “I see you’ve signed it.” It was too late — there was nothing the lawyer could do. “These young artists are very naive, very vulnerable,” Sandison said. “They want the contracts; they want the deals. But they do things like sign the contract before consulting a lawyer.” Today, CLA has offices in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Santa Monica. Over the years, it’s helped shape innovative legislative initiatives — for instance, California’s law granting artists resale royalties. New York artist Robert Rauschenberg, angered that a work he sold for $900 resold for $85,000, helped the group lobby for the statute’s passage. The agency also contributed to making contract issues part of art school curriculum. The group also provides arbitration services, housing referrals and advocacy as well as a community development program. Marie-Anne Hogarth JENNIFER WATCH: WEEK 9 Jennifer Massey finally dropped her aloof persona. In the ninth episode of “The Apprentice” the Clifford Chance associate emerged as one cold, conniving player. When her team lost the competition for the week, she encouraged Raj, the project manager, to blame their defeat on Ivana. “You need me to go after Ivana,” Massey told him. “I’ll do it.” “I hope members of the team will be scared of me,” she said in an aside to the camera. Massey then pounced on Ivana, telling her she was only good at putting figures in an Excel spreadsheet. “You think you’re going to take me down?” Massey snapped at Ivana. “Good luck.” For their task this week, each team renovated a house on Long Island. Appraisers then evaluated the two properties, and the team that had increased the value of its house by the highest percentage was declared the winner. Massey’s team made several mistakes. Raj decided to knock down a wall in the house to eliminate one of the bedrooms. Massey disagreed with the move. “Raj lacks common sense,” she told the camera. “Four bedrooms will get better value.” The team also hired a bad contractor that didn’t finish the renovation in time. When the appraisers arrived, a new toilet and other appliances were sitting on the bathroom floor. Raj brought Kevin, who’d selected the contractor, and Ivana into the boardroom with him to face Donald Trump. But following Massey’s advice in targeting Ivana was part of Raj’s undoing. “Ivana shouldn’t have been here,” Trump told Raj. Instead, he said, Raj should have brought in a teammate who had complained about the entire group. You’ve made “too many mistakes,” he said. “You’re fired.” Fired this week: Raj — Brenda Sandburg

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