Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein partner Kelly Dermody was sworn in as the Bar Association of San Francisco's 99th president Thursday, vowing to continue BASF's efforts to support court funding while emphasizing diversity in the profession and legal services for the poor.
"California is regrettably part of a national trend of defunding state courts," Dermody told about 500 lawyers and judges at the Four Seasons Hotel. "I can assure you that right now people are standing in long clerk's lines around the state" seeking critical orders to block evictions or restrain perpetrators of domestic violence.
BASF formed three task forces last year to support San Francisco Superior Court as it faced laying off 175 employees and closing 25 courtrooms. The court eventually negotiated a $2.5 million loan from the Administrative Office of the Courts that saved 100 jobs and 14 courtrooms. It was "a viable short-term solution, but this work is not done," Dermody said.