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SLAPP SUIT COMES BACK TO SLAP S.F. SUPERVISOR Former deputy public defender turned San Francisco supervisor Gerardo Sandoval has doggedly pursued a claim alleging dirty politics in the final days of the November election. But now his suit is coming back to bite him. Sandoval was disturbed at mailers that depicted a swastika, compared him to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and accused him of not caring about the AIDS crisis. So, he sued in San Francisco Superior Court, alleging the mailers violated local election law limiting contributions for expenditures opposing or supporting candidates. Defendants in the suit included well-known political attorney James Sutton, who served as treasurer for the “Yes on Citizenship, No on F” campaign, as well as Republican consultant Duane Baughman. They argued the mailers violated no laws. Sandoval won round 1 before voters cast their ballots, persuading San Francisco Superior Court Judge A. James Robertson II to grant a temporary restraining order against Baughman — stopping distribution of the mailers. The order did not apply to Sutton and the committee. Although Sandoval beat the smear campaign and got voters to elect him to a second term with the Board of Supervisors, Sandoval pressed ahead with an amended complaint post-election. Besides accusing the defendants of violating local election law, Sandoval alleged they attempted “to corrupt the political process” and “improperly influence public policy decisions” through their political fundraising and support of candidates. Another judge, Peter Busch, recently granted a defense motion to toss Sandoval’s suit based on California law prohibiting strategic lawsuits against public participation. That statute also allows attorneys fees, and the defense has asked for about $142,000. Sandoval’s attorney, Robert Bunzel, called the fee request “unreasonable.” He is scheduled to file papers this week for a July 8 hearing on the fee request. Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted a supporter who said Sandoval’s house was at risk if he stays on the hook for all the fees. Sutton pointed out that the fees have only become an issue because Sandoval pushed on with his suit. Sutton said he asked Sandoval to drop the matter to avoid the anti-SLAPP motion. “This should have been over in November,” Sutton said. “We did everything we could to get out of this case.” Sutton added that talk of Sandoval losing his house is exaggeration. “We’re not going after his house,” Sutton said. — Jeff Chorney ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTIONS Oakland Mayor and Attorney General candidate Jerry Brown might be a featured speaker at the California Judges Association fall conference in San Diego — or he might not. CJA insiders say Brown, a Democrat, was invited by the group’s conference planning committee to address judges in early September — and CJA printed out brochures about the conference that included Brown’s name as a speaker. But apparently, CJA executive committee members — who hadn’t been consulted about the Brown invite — raised concerns about inviting only one of the three candidates for state attorney general to address the judges, who have no plans to endorse anyone in the run for top cop. A source familiar with the situation says the mix-up resulted in Brown being “disinvited” as a conference speaker, although the official word is that he’s still being considered for the fall conference, along with the sole Republican candidate, Sen. Charles Poochigian. “There is absolutely no decision that has been made yet, regarding the total number of speakers [at the fall conference],” said Sacramento Judge James Mize, CJA’s current president. So far, campaign coordinators for the third declared candidate in the race — Los Angeles City Attorney Rockard “Rocky” Delgadillo — say he hasn’t been asked to address the judges. But that, of course, could change. “We would, obviously, welcome an opportunity to address the CJA,” said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the Delgadillo campaign. — Jill Duman TWO SENTENCES SEDUCE HIGH COURT Thousands of lawyers each year petition the California Supreme Court to review their cases, using elegant prose and legal citations to get their points across. Most wind up with a terse “review denied.” And that’s bound to make them scratch their heads in wonderment at Gary Kelly. The San Jose resident — and non-lawyer — got the high court to take his DUI case two weeks ago with a two-sentence brief. “The Sixth District appellate court failed to respond to my supplemental brief in which I included important procedural and discovery issues,” Kelly wrote. “I thereby believe a review of this case by the California Supreme Court is warranted.” The seven justices agreed, voting unanimously on June 8 to grant review. Kelly, contacted by telephone on June 13, said he had become frustrated with lawyers and decided to chance making his own plea. “It just seems like down here in this area they didn’t want to spend the time on it, because evidently it costs a lot of money and there’s no sure outcome,” he said. “So I just decided to make my own fingers wiggle and trust the system to at least consider what I’m saying.” Santa Clara County jurors had found Kelly guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol with a prior arrest and of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer. On appeal, his lawyer, Santa Rosa’s Thea Greenhalgh, filed a so-called Wende brief, stating the case and facts but saying there were no specific legal issues to raise. Kelly filed a separate brief of his own — as is allowed by law — but San Jose’s Sixth District Court of Appeal affirmed the jurors’ decision in an unpublished ruling. Kelly, however, shouldn’t expect to argue the facts of his case before the Supreme Court. The justices indicated that they’re trying to decide whether the state constitution’s requirement that appellate courts put the reasons for their decisions in writing also applies in Wende cases in which defendants submit their own written arguments. That’s a fairly weighty legal issue for a pro per defendant, such as Kelly, to tackle. Asked if he’ll hire an attorney, Kelly said he was “just taking it one day at a time at this point” and that he would be “taking advice from the Supreme Court itself as this thing unfolds.” The case is People v. Kelly, S133114. — Mike McKee PD PUTS ON ONE-MAN SHOW Like other public defenders grappling with stressful and emotionally exhausting work, Mark McGoldrick needs a way to “get the shit out.” McGoldrick’s way is to write — a habit that recently brought him from the courtroom to the theater stage. “The more I got into this work, the more all these amazing characters and stories and dramas were part of my working world,” McGoldrick said. “The other thing I find important about writing is it helps me decide what to believe about all these other troubling issues that go on around me.” Some of those beliefs might be found in “The Golden Hammer: Wounds, Booze and Forgotten Misconduct,” McGoldrick’s solo performance piece that opened at The Marsh in San Francisco on Saturday. The show draws on the Alameda County deputy public defender’s past as a drinking, pot-smoking, fighting, stealing teenager, habits that led him to being expelled from school. As McGoldrick and director David Ford tell it, “The Golden Hammer” presents the cloudy relationship between guilt and innocence, and truth and fiction, with alternating storylines. The subject matter is difficult — McGoldrick was paralyzed in a car accident before his 18th birthday — but there’s humor, too, Ford said. “It’s really smart stuff,” Ford said. “[McGoldrick] kind of takes that sympathy he has for people who are on the margins of society and he’s able to kind of translate that to talking about this work of defending them.” McGoldrick, 40, said he wanted to be a lawyer since the eighth grade, when he began developing a reputation as a smartass eager to put authority figures to the fire. He figures it’s why he loves his work. “In a strange way,” he says, “the government pays me to resist the government.” — Warren Lutz INTEL GC HONORED BY LAW SCHOOL Santa Clara University School of Law honored F. Thomas Dunlap, the former vice president and general counsel of Intel Corp., for his contributions to the development of high-tech and intellectual property law and policy. Dunlap, a 1979 graduate of the law school, was honored June 14 at a small ceremony in the university’s Mission Gardens. Dunlap was a key contributor to the passage of numerous pieces of litigation important to the chip industry, including the Chip Protection Act of 1984 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Tom had a sterling reputation at the time, and it’s grown over time,” said Tyler Ochoa, the director of the university’s High Tech Law Institute, during the ceremony. Dunlap joined Intel in 1974 as a product engineer. Upon graduating from law school, he joined the company’s legal department as senior attorney, European counsel. In 2001, he became a senior vice president. Edwin Taylor, a partner with Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor & Zafman, had a few fun stories about Dunlap to share with the crowd assembled in the outside garden June 14. Most people choose to travel when they take sabbaticals from work, Taylor pointed out. Not Dunlap. “On his sabbatical, Tom wanted to learn to write patent applications.” — Julie O’Shea

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