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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Friday, January 4, 2013

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Pledges $38,000 to Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County

Firm pledges financial support for five years; bolsters Champions of Justice fundraising efforts

Santa Barbara, CA – All 22 attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s (BHFS) Santa Barbara office made a five-year financial commitment to support the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County.


The firm will match the efforts of the attorneys bringing the total to $38,000 over the next five years to the non-profit organization, which provides live saving free legal services those in need.

Steven A. Amerikaner, a partner at BHFS and a long time personal supporter of Legal Aid, challenged a standing-room-only audience of more than 200 people last Thursday at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Hotel to invest in the stability of the Legal Aid Foundation.

Legal Aid Foundation hosted its Annual Campaign for Equal Access Fundraising Luncheon on December 4, 2012. Legal Aid’s Executive Director Ellen Goodstein talked about her vision for the agency—when there might be a time when no one is denied access to justice in Santa Barbara County. “I see a time when Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County serves as a ‘shining star’ to the entire State of California; where Legal Aid is able to fully assist every resident of this county that walks through its doors,” said Goodstein.

This vision-driven event was underwritten by BHFS, Lori Lewis and Ron Perry, Law Office Saji D. Gunawardane and Ron Cole of Digital Media Productions.

It included a powerful rendition of “The Voice Within” by Christina Aguilera sung by local musician Vera Clay a short film produced by Legal Aid Board Member Saji D. Gunawardane that highlighted the work of the foundation, a visionary speech by Legal Aid’s executive director Ellen Goodstein and finally the challenge by Steven A. Amerikaner for others to join him in becoming members of Champions of Justice – a multi-year giving society charged with helping establish the sustainability and long-term stability of the 53-year old agency.

Following the lead of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Wilson & Pettine, Law Office of James Cordes, Santa Barbara Housing Assistance Corp., Omega Point Institute, Karen Atkins, Board Member Alan Blakeboro, Katy and Robert Graham and Lessie Nixon and Gordon Schontzler all rose to the challenge and pledged multi-year commitments to Champions of Justice.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has 13 offices with more than 250 attorneys and legislative consultants, most of which are in the Western United States. The firm is best known nationally for its natural resources, private equity and gaming practices. In California, the firm’s focus includes natural resources and real estate, including real property transactions, environmental compliance and land use permitting. The firm’s professionals are deeply involved in supporting community organizations, including Legal Aid, in a manner consistent with the firm’s belief that lawyers and other highly-trained professionals have an obligation to provide those skills at no charge to individuals and organizations needing that assistance. “I am proud of the fact that Jerry and Stan’s (founders of Hatch and Parent Law Firm, now BHFS) commitment to Legal Aid is still an important part of our law firm’s core values” said Steve.

Jerry Parent and Stanley Hatch, founders of Hatch and Parent were deeply involved in setting up Legal Aid in the 1960s. Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County provides free civil legal services to victims of domestic violence, seniors and low-income individuals throughout the county. Last year Legal Aid assisted over 6,000 residents of the county in matters of domestic violence, family law, elder law, housing and eviction defense, consumer law and benefits assistance.

For more information about Champions of Justice, contact Legal Aid’s development director

Niki Richardson at 805.963.6754 x109 or nrichardson@lafsbc.org

Billy Collins & Aimee Mann

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