It may be impossible to get Union Bank general counsel Morris Hirsch on the line Aug. 25 – and for good reason.
Hirsch and four of the bank’s 15 San Francisco in-house lawyers have signed up to defend tenants facing eviction through the S.F. Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services Program.
Hirsch says he’s already been through VLSP’s half-day training program to learn the basics of a landlord-tenant settlement conference. On the last Wednesday of August, Hirsch will head over to San Francisco Superior Court to spend the afternoon helping tenants work out a rent adjustment or other changes in their lease conditions. The volume of cases at the court is too big, he said, and most end in settlement. “It’s a fact of life that these cases really don’t go to trial,” Hirsch said. “The whole point is to get them resolved voluntarily.”
Hirsch said that his job keeps him plenty busy, but he believes that you should leave the world a better place than you found it. “It just happens this sort of thing is a priority for me.”
Lawyers from eight law firms that work as outside counsel or bank with Union Bank are joining Hirsch’s team in the effort (and grabbing an excellent opportunity to get close to a senior in-house lawyer - a win for all sides!):
Briscoe Ivester & Bazel
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro
Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor
Morrison & Foerster
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Severson & Werson