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Eight Members to Be Recognized at Annual Luncheon on December 17


November 7, 2013 -- San Francisco -- The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) will honor eight members at its December 17 Annual Luncheon for their unique and critical contributions to the association and its continued efforts to promote policies that align with its mission.

The following members are being honored with an Award of Merit:

Fred Fields, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy, & Bass, was the second signatory to the Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) Right to Civil Counsel pledge, in which his firm committed to taking six cases involving basic human needs within one year. His leadership in the first months of the project inspired other San Francisco based firms to join the effort. Through Fields’ mentoring of associates and working with fellow partners, Coblentz handled JDC’s full scope eviction defense cases; staffed its limited scope Housing Negotiation Project on a monthly basis; continued their work with low-income taxpayers, and defended consumers against unscrupulous debt collectors.

Joanne Garvey, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, has always been a pioneer among women in the legal profession. Her list of honors and recognition include many firsts. She was the first woman president of The Bar Association of San Francisco, the first woman governor on the State Bar of California’s ruling body, and the first woman partner in a downtown San Francisco law firm. She is a co-founder of California Women Lawyers and a founding member of the ABA’s Women’s Caucus. She is being recognized with the Award of Merit for her service as BASF’s delegate to the House of Delegates for more than 14 years.

Amitai Schwartz, Law Office of Amitai Schwartz and Steve Hirsch, Keker & Van Nest, are co-chairs of BASF’s Amicus Curiae Committee. They have been instrumental in vetting requests for amicus participation to assist the board in determining when BASF might become involved as an amicus in current litigation. They have helped provide such analysis in various cases vetted by BASF and then have coordinated with the authors of briefs to ensure that the briefs reflect BASF’s positions. Schwartz and Hirsch have provided clear and concise guidance on requests for amicus involvement in a number of cases involving complicated legal issues.

Retired San Francisco Commissioner Agatha Hoff is being recognized for her years of service to BASF’s San Francisco Attorney magazine, where she penned her Tales from the Bench column, for more than 15 years. Her columns provided readers a humorous glimpse into the life of a court commissioner while on the bench.

The Barristers Club will honor three of its members with the Outstanding Barrister Award, which recognizes attorneys for their contribution and dedication to developing attorneys in their first ten years of practice.

Ben Feuer, California Appellate Law Group, is being recognized for creating the Barristers Club Appellate Section in 2010 and planning some of the largest Barristers CLE seminars each year.

While on maternity leave, Morrison & Foerster’s Diana Kruze co-chaired both the annual Art Benefit and the 29th Annual Judges Reception.

Ann Nguyen, Phan Nguyen & Associates, was instrumental in starting what is now known as the Barristers Annual Meeting.

For more information about the Annual Luncheon, visit


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