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Local Bar Associations Organize Fundraiser for Victims of Cyclone in Burma

June 2, 2008 - San Francisco -- Several local bar associations held an event recognizing those individuals and law firms that donated to the relief effort supporting the cyclone victims of Burma . The fundraiser was held on May 28 at the Bently Reserve and served as an opportunity for individuals that had not donated yet to support the cause.

More than 300 people attended the event which capped two weeks of fundraising where nearly $140,000 in confirmed donations from legal organizations, individuals and law firms, plus an additional $20,000 that law firms have set aside to match employee donations. More than 30 local businesses donated silent auction items, provided the food and beverages for the reception and donated the reception space , including Bently Holdings and Le Meridien Hotel.

Organizers of the event encouraged people to donate to one of several charities that work in Burma *. Hal Nathan of the Foundation for the People of Burma spoke on his group's relief efforts and Ko Ko Lay, an exiled Burmese activist, spoke about the Burmese political situation.

One of the fundraiser's main organizers, Vid Prabhakaran of Goodin, MacBride, Squeri, Day & Lamprey, commented on the event, "I'm very proud that the legal community came together when they saw this great need that was not being met.  Over 100,000 are dead, one million have been displaced or are homeless, and over two million are in danger of sickness, starvation, or death in Burma .  So many people have shied away from giving to the charities that are helping the cyclone survivors because of their fear of the repressive military junta.  We hope that by showing over 15 legal organizations coming together to support these charities that others in the Bay Area and the national legal community will step up as well."

Firms that have already generously donated include Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe; Fenwick & West; Farella Braun + Martel; Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner; the Chugh Firm; Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; Littler Mendelson; and Sidley Austin.

"This fundraiser's primary purpose was to spark fundraising here in the Bay Area and throughout the legal community for this important humanitarian cause.  The Bar Association of San Francisco is proud to be able to play a part in serving as a catalyst and conduit for the remarkable generosity of its members and its community," said BASF Executive Director Daniel Burkhardt.

Fifteen Bay Area organizations came together as the Northern California Legal Coalition to organize the reception and fundraiser in under one week's time. Those organizations include: The Bar Association of San Francisco, South Asian Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association, Charles Houston Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Alameda, Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers, Queen's Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area, Iranian American Bar Association, Korean American Bar Association, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association, the Barristers Club of The Bar Association of San Francisco and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.

*Suggested Charities

Foundation for the People of Burma:
Thirst Aid:
MSF Holland :
Save the Children:
CHF International:

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104