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Working with Immigrants: The Intersection of Basic Immigration, Housing, and Domestic Violence Issues in California 2016


Speaker(s): Amanda Case, Brenda Star Adams, Catherine Seitz, Cindy C. Liou, Eunice Lee, Karlo Ng, Monique Farris, Nicole Ford, Protima Pandey, Stephanie Penrod, Tirien Steinbach, Trina Chatterjee
Recorded on: May. 10, 2016
PLI Program #: 150589

Tirien Steinbach
East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC)
Executive Director

 

Education:

J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley (1999)
B.A., Art History, University of California at Santa Cruz (1994)

 

Steinbach is the executive director of the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), the community-based clinic for Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall).  She is a lecturer-in-residence and teaches a companion course on applied legal ethics and community lawyering.  Steinbach joined EBCLC in 2001, where she incubated the Clean Slate Clinic, a community reentry program.

Steinbach graduated from Boalt Hall in 1999, where she was co-president of the Berkeley Law Foundation and Vice President for Law Students of African Descent.  Upon graduation, Steinbach received several recognitions, including Equal Justice Works and Berkeley Law Foundation fellowships and the inaugural Thelton Henderson Social Justice Prize, the BJALP Adhama Award, the 2010 Sisters of Fire Award, the 2011 LSAD Alumna of the Year Award, and the 2015 Berkeley Law Young Alumna Award. She served on the board of Berkeley Law’s Initiative on Mindfulness and the Law from 2010-14.


Amanda Case is an experienced family law attorney who has spent the majority of her career representing survivors of domestic violence. She previously worked with La Casa de las Madres, the Family Violence Appellate Project and other leading domestic violence agencies in the Bay Area and in Canada.

Ms. Case is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto, Canada.


Nicki Ford is a bilingual (Spanish) family law attorney in private practice after over 10 years in the non-profit sector, most recently over 6 years as a staff attorney for Bay Area Legal Aid.

A Bay Area native, she earned her BA and BS from Santa Clara University in 2002 and her law degree from UC Davis School of Law in 2005.  She began her work in the field of domestic violence in Aug. 2004 as a 3rd year law student at UC Davis where she worked at the Family Protection Clinic.

Following graduation, she went on to head the legal department at the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center (SADVC) where she was a certified DV and Sexual Assault counselor before heading back to the Bay Area to work at another non-profit, Family and Children’s Law Center as a bilingual staff attorney.

Finally, she returned home to the South Bay in 2009 when she joined Bay Area Legal Aid in May 2009 before moving on to private practice in Aug 2015.  Her practice currently includes family law, as well as representing victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in criminal court and other civil matters.  She has recently been appointed through the county as a commissioner on the County’s Domestic Violence Council.

When not moonlighting as a lawyer by day, she can be found playing soccer, training for triathlons and Tough Mudders or simply hanging out with friends.


Protima has been an advocate for gender justice and is the newly appointed Director for the Office of Women’s Policy at Santa Clara County. Working for the County Executive, her office works to bring a gender lens to policy decision-making, building a pipeline to leadership, and demand equity in governance. Prior to that, she was the Managing Attorney and Regional Counsel for Immigration at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she started as a staff attorney litigating on family law and immigration cases for survivors of domestic violence, as well as allied legal relief in areas of public benefits, housing preservation, and economic justice. Most recently she co-counseled on a precedent setting case in California, Kumar v. Kumar, a complex immigration and family law cross-over case. She also led the firm-wide post-graduate Fellowship program to shepherd and develop fellowship proposals through the national selection process. She is also one of 17 lawyers nation-wide appointed as a Commissioner to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence to work on issues impacting delivery of legal services to survivors, where she is also a litigation skills faculty. She also serves as faculty for Practicing Law Institute in San Francisco, training on issues relating to housing rights for immigrants and representation of domestic violence survivors in family courts as well as on understanding personal bias, working with diverse populations, and on domestic violence awareness. Being passionate about giving back to the legal profession, Protima has served as the Chair of San Mateo County Bar Association's Diversity Committee (2014), has been integral to the work of BayLegal's diversity initiative, and the Racial Justice Initiative. Prior to joining BayLegal, Protima was the Public Policy specialist for California Partnership to End Domestic Violence in Sacramento, California where she worked on legislation and advocacy on behalf of agencies serving survivors and their families.

Education: Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law, 2001; National Law School of India University Practice Areas: Family Law, Immigration Law, Housing protections for DV survivors.

Bar Admissions: California, 2003; India, 1999

Awards: South Asian Bar Association Northern California Community Impact Award (2014), South Asian Bar Association Northern California Foundation Public Interest Attorney of the year (2012), Woman of Color Scholarship from National Network to End Domestic Violence (2007)


Trina Chatterjee is a partner at MVTC Family Law. She is a certified as a family specialist with the California Bar Association. Since 2007, Trina has practiced primarily in family law and appears in court regularly in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Depending on her client’s needs, Trina can assist clients with finalizing an amicable divorce or vigorously represent her clients in high-conflict cases including domestic violence restraining orders, custody disputes and complex property division.

Trina currently conducts a legal clinic twice a week at the Alameda County Family Justice Center whereby she advises clients on domestic violence and family law issues. She is co-chair of the Alameda County Family Law Association. She presents regularly on family law issues for Practising Law Institute and provides trainings in family law for local legal associations. She was on the Executive Committee for the Solo and Small Firm section of the California Lawyer’s Association. She is a member of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, Contra Costa Bar Association Family Law Section, the Alameda County Bar Association, and California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

Trina has deep roots in the Bay Area non-profit community. She was previously a volunteer attorney with Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, served on the Board of Directors of Narika, a Berkeley-based organization that aids South Asian victims of domestic violence, and served on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.

Trina obtained her J.D. from U.C. Hasting College of Law in 1998 and her B.A. from San Francisco State University in 1994. Prior to joining the firm, Trina worked on criminal appeals as a panel attorney with the First District Appellate Project and Sixth District Appellate Project and worked as an associate attorney at Katzoff & Riggs specializing in real estate litigation. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Oakland, California.


Karlo Ng is the Supervising Attorney at the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) where she focuses on housing issues impacting survivors of domestic and sexual violence and trafficking; fair housing and civil rights, with a focus on the special needs and housing issues of immigrants and people with limited English proficiency. Before joining NHLP, Karlo was an attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C.  Karlo received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.


Brenda Star Adams has been litigating cases on behalf of low income clients for over ten years. She began her career representing low income tenants in unlawful detainer jury trials with the Eviction Defense Center in Alameda County. After four years, she began representing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law and immigration cases with Bay Area Legal Aid. She is currently the Family Law Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Unit in Alameda County where she supervises the direct legal services provided to survivors of domestic violence and coordinates regional advocacy efforts.  The unit's work involves contested custody matters, restraining orders, paternity, legal separation, and dissolution cases, as well as U-Visas and VAWA petitions. Ms. Adams' specializes in complex and lengthy trials and enjoys training other legal professionals on trial practice. Ms. Adams is a native of San Francisco and when she is not working she enjoys hiking, gardening, and spending time with her parents, husband, and daughter.


Eunice Lee is a Co-Legal Director at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. Previously, she worked at the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project (ACLU IRP), where she began as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the New York office, focusing on the education rights of immigrant students. She later joined ACLU IRP's San Francisco office as a Detention Attorney, litigating class action challenges to prolonged and mandatory immigration detention. Eunice also practiced and taught refugee and asylum law as the Albert M. Sacks Fellow at Harvard Law School's Immigration and Refugee Clinic. She received her B.A. from Stanford University with honors and distinction and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was co-President of the Pacific Islander/Asian/Native American Students Association and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. After graduating from law school, Eunice clerked for the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Stephanie Penrod has ten years of experience providing family law services to domestic violence survivors.  Stephanie joined the Family Violence Law Center in 2010 and currently serves as the Senior Staff Attorney.  FVLC provides a full range of comprehensive and integrated services, both legal and non-legal, to survivors of domestic violence in Alameda County.  At FVLC, Stephanie supervises the legal team, represents clients in domestic violence restraining order and family law cases, and provides information and assistance for pro per clients.  Stephanie has also served as a Mobile Response Team advocate, providing emergency overnight relocation and direct support to clients and their children.  Previously, Stephanie worked at the YWCA Legal Advocacy Program in San Diego, which also provides family law representation for domestic violence survivors.  Stephanie received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, and she received her Bachelor of Science with a degree in Women’s Studies, cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.


Catherine Seitz is the Legal Director at the International Institute of the Bay Area. She is a former Chair for the Northern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and co-author of the ILRC’s U Visa Manual. Catherine has a J.D. from U.C. Hastings and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from U.C. Berkeley. She has been working in the field of immigration law since 1990 starting out as a legal assistant and then a BIA Accredited Representative before her admission to the California Bar in December of 2001. Before joining the International Institute in February of 2019, she worked at Legal Services for Children as their Legal Director and Bay Area Legal Aid as their Regional Immigration Coordinator where she focused on immigration relief for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to that, she worked at Canal Alliance, the International Institute of the East Bay, and the private immigration law firm of Simmons & Ungar. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.


Cindy C. Liou, Esq. is currently the State Policy Director at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national non-profit working to provide legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States. Prior to this role, she served as the Deputy Director of Legal Services at KIND. Previously, she was the Director of the Human Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, where she also co-counseled several civil litigation cases on behalf of human trafficking survivors, and represented survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and hate crimes. She continues to provide consulting and training on topics ranging from human trafficking, domestic violence lethality, to best practices on how to collaborate in cross-disciplinary teams to support survivors of violence. She is also formerly the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the Freedom Network to Empower Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (USA), a network of over 40 individual and member agencies representing trafficking survivors, and the winner of the 2013 San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking Modern Day Abolitionist Award for Policy and Advocacy. Cindy is also the co-author of several articles and the second edition of the manual Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking. Before working at API Legal Outreach, Cindy handled a variety of pro bono cases at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, ranging from asylum to police misconduct cases. Cindy is a graduate from Stanford Law School and the University of Washington.


Monique is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) where she was a recipient of the Hon. Cruz Reynoso Social Justice Fellowship. After law school, Monique spent five years as the managing attorney of the Eviction Defense Center in Oakland where she defended thousands of low-income, disabled, and elderly tenants against eviction in Alameda County and parts of Contra Costa County in both jury and bench trials. More recently, Monique was a housing staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid where her practice focused on defending low-income tenants in subsidized housing from eviction as well as fair housing issues. Monique is currently the Managing Attorney of the Tenants' Rights Program at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland.