Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Client


    • You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your lawyer.
    • You are entitled to an attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to withdraw from the attorney-client relationship at any time (court approval may be required in some matters and your attorney may have a claim against you for the value of services rendered to you up to the point of discharge).
    • You are entitled to your lawyer’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.
    • You are entitled to be charged a reasonable fee and to have your lawyer explain at the outset how the fee will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing. You are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill from your attorney at reasonable intervals. You may refuse to enter into any fee arrangement that you find unsatisfactory. In the event of a fee dispute, you have the right to seek arbitration; your attorney will provide you with the necessary information regarding arbitration in the event of a fee dispute, or upon your request.
    • You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone calls returned promptly.
    • You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of your matter and to request and receive copies of papers. You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter.
    • You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle your matter (court approval of a settlement is required in some matters).
    • You have the right to privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved by your lawyer.
    • You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
    • You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

Reciprocal trust, courtesy and respect are the hallmarks of the attorney-client relationship. Within that relationship, the client looks to the attorney for expertise, education, sound judgment, protection, advocacy and representation. These expectations can be achieved only if the client fulfills the following responsibilities:

    • The client is expected to treat the lawyer and the lawyer’s staff with courtesy and consideration.
    • The client’s relationship with the lawyer must be one of complete candor and the lawyer must be apprised of all facts or circumstances of the matter being handled by the lawyer even if the client believes that those facts may be detrimental to the client’s cause or unflattering to the client.
    • The client must honor the fee arrangement as agreed to with the lawyer, in accordance with law.
    • All bills for services rendered which are tendered to the client pursuant to the agreed upon fee arrangement should be paid promptly.
    • The client may withdraw from the attorney-client relationship, subject to financial commitments under the agreed to fee arrangement, and, in certain circumstances, subject to court approval.
    • Although the client should expect that his or her correspondence, telephone calls and other communications will be answered within a reasonable time frame, the client should recognize that the lawyer has other clients equally demanding of the lawyer’s time and attention.
    • The client should maintain contact with the lawyer, promptly notify the lawyer of any change in telephone number or address and respond promptly to a request by the lawyer for information and cooperation.
    • The client must realize that the lawyer need respect only legitimate objectives of the client and that the lawyer will not advocate or propose positions which are unprofessional or contrary to law or the Code of Professional Responsibility.
    • The lawyer may be unable to accept a case if the lawyer has previous professional commitments which will result in inadequate time being available for the proper representation of a new client.
    • A lawyer is under no obligation to accept a client if the lawyer determines that the cause of the client is without merit, a conflict of interest would exist or that a suitable working relationship with the client is not likely.

Jen Ani Awarded For Outstanding Service


March 27, 2009 – San Francisco — The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program celebrated its most exceptional volunteers at its annual Outstanding Volunteer Appreciation Party on  March 26.

More than 200 people were in attendance at the event, which was held at the Green Room of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco. Chief Justice Ronald George, California Supreme Court; Presiding Judge James McBride, San Francisco Superior Court and Judge Patrick Mahoney, San Francisco Superior Court, Family Court, were on hand to pass out the awards.

More than 150 volunteers were honored as recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service certificates. Additionally, VLSP also recognized four volunteers and a law firm with special awards.

The James P. Preovolos Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Services in Family Law was presented to solo practitioner Jennifer Ani.  She began volunteering with VLSP’s Family Law Project in 2007. In 2008 alone, she represented at least a dozen clients, and devoted approximately 400 hours of pro bono service to their cases.

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George and San Francisco Family Law Judge Patrick Mahoney presented this award to Ms. Ani at a ceremony held in the Green Room at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center.

Ms. Ani is a 1992 graduate of Mc George Law School. Ms. Ani began her career in the private sector working locally for Headlands Mortgage Company. After taking time off to start a family, in 2006 Ms. Ani began what would become an  intensive one-year  internship with The Family & Children’s Law Center in San Rafael where she learned the specialized practice of Juvenile Law from Child Welfare Law Specialist Kelly Y. Reiter.  In 2007, Ms. Ani started a private practice that includes Juvenile Dependency and Family Law litigation.  Ms. Ani continues to give back to the non-profit organizations that gave her experience and training that made possible the mid-career change to the practice of Family and Juvenile Law.  Ms. Ani continues to provide pro bono services through the Family Law Project of The Bar Association of San Francisco, and has received their “Outstanding Contribution to Public Service” awards in both 2007 and 2008.

Ms. Ani appears regularly in San Francisco, Sonoma, San Mateo and Lake counties in Family Law and Juvenile Dependency matters.  

Photo, From left, Chief Justice Ronald George, James P. Preovolos Award recipient Jennifer Ani, Judge Patrick Mahoney and Judge James McBride.

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.

Jennifer Ani Receives Life-saving Hero Award


by Katie Marzullo

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — You don’t have to wear a uniform to be a hero. Thursday, the American Red Cross of Marin County honored several ordinary citizens who did some extraordinary things.

With ABC7’s Cheryl Jennings at the helm, the American Red Cross of Marin County handed out hero awards. In most cases, the recipients didn’t even know the person they helped, yet they risked their lives to save someone else’s.

“I was not breathing. I’m not sure I had a heartbeat or not,” said rescued kayaker Jim Thompson.

Thompson and his wife were kayaking when they capsized in the bay and Jim got sucked under a ferry. It was his worst day and his lucky day. The crew of a ferry turned around and the right people were in the right place.

“Good series of events where three guys, collegiate swimmers and water polo players happened to be on a boat 50 yards away from Jim,” said Mike Sample, one of the American Red Cross heroes. “I swam up to Jim and I told Martha to grab the kayak and I grabbed Jim from behind and my two buddies, Chris and Kenny, grabbed his legs and all three of us got him over.”

“I certainly would have died if not for Mike and his two friends,” said Thompson.

Two young men put their Boy Scout training to good use when a house caught fire.

“The fire department was worried that [the fire] would spread to her house,” said Jim Kelly, a 13-year-old hero.

They helped the woman who lived next door save the valuables from her home, just in case. They also pitched in to care for an injured cat.

“They handed us the oxygen mask and we knew what to do with it, so we helped the cat,” said Sawyer Shine, a 12-year-old hero.

They boys are being shy, but Mill Valley Fire Chief Jeff Davidson said their actions should serve as an example for others.

“They don’t necessarily see it as a heroic act, but I think it’s important for others to be able to recognize that because it can be a very inspiring moment for people to see,” said Davidson.

And that goes for all the heroes.

List of Heroes:
Life-Saving Hero Award: Jennifer Ani
Public Safety Hero: Justin Barrow, Debbie Little and Paul Bradley
Act of Courage Hero/Organization: Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co.
Act of Courage Hero: Sawyer Shine and Jim Kelly
Acts of Kindness Hero: Chloe Bohannon
Community Service Hero Award, Organization: St. Vincent de Paul Society

Community Service Hero Award, Individual: Robert Tanem and Animal Rescue Hero Award: Lisa Cohen

Tamalpais High School Wins Marin County Mock Trial Competition


The winner of the 2013-14 Marin County Mock Trial Competition is Tamalpais High School. The competition, coordinated by the Marin County Office of Education, was held on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 at the Marin County Superior Court. Tamalpais High School will represent Marin County at the State Mock Trial Competition on March 21-23, in San Jose.

The following judges presided this year’s competition: Verna A. Adams, Terrence R. Boren, Roy O. Chernus, James T. Chou, Paul M. Haakenson, James R. Ritchie, Kelly V. Simmons, Vernon F. Smith, Andrew E. Sweet and Mark A. Talamantes.

Attorney scorers were: Jennifer Ani, Otis Bruce, Robert Casper, Jr., Alan Charmatz, Marisa Chaves, Renee Chernus, Houman Chitsaz, Carrie Ann Colton, Antonio Cortes, Sydney Fairbairn, David Feingold, Laura Flynn, Suzanne Fogarty, Kevin Gray, Sandra Groven, Eric Grover, Allen A. Haim, Bryna Holland, Beth Jordan, Jessica Karner, Dennis Kavanagh, Maryam Khorasani, Martin Malkin, Lisa Maslow, Nancy McCarthy, Mary McLain, Gail E. Mitchell, Timothy Nardell, Jessica Pliner, Ruth Rosen, Geoffrey Rotwein, Barrett Schaefer, Andrew Schwartz, Colleen Shaw, Richard Stromberg, Jose Varela, Margaret Weems, Robert Weems, Nancy Willet, Wendy Wyse and Edward Yates.

Each year the Constitutional Rights Foundation creates the Mock Trial for students across the state of California. The case provides students an opportunity to wrestle with large societal problems within a structured forum and strives to provide a powerful and timely educational experience. This year’s case, the People v. Concha, was a murder trial.

There were nine Marin County High Schools participating this year: The Branson School, Marin Academy, Marin Catholic, Redwood, San Marin, San Rafael, Sir Francis Drake, Tamalpais and Terra Linda. Each team of students prepared both the prosecution and defense positions for the case. More than 200 students participated in the event this year and more than 30 attorneys have worked with the school teams since September 2013. In addition, almost 40 local attorneys volunteered their time to score the competition.

Special recognition awards for outstanding performance included: Charlotte Kwok of Marin Catholic for Outstanding Prosecution Pretrial Attorney; Kenan Perry of Redwood for Outstanding Prosecution Pretrial Attorney; Sam Allen of Tamalpais for Outstanding Prosecution Pretrial Attorney; Samar Amidi of Terra Linda for Outstanding Prosecution Pretrial Attorney; Zoë Levine of Branson for Outstanding Defense Pretrial Attorney; Sunayana Basa of Marin Academy for Outstanding Defense Pretrial Attorney; Jason Freeberg of San Marin for Outstanding Defense Pretrial Attorney; Peter Swanson of Tamalpais for Outstanding Defense Pretrial Attorney; Gabriel Rosen-Duran of Branson for Outstanding Prosecution Attorney; NoahLani Litwinsella of Marin Academy for Outstanding Prosecution Attorney; Bilal Mubarack of San Marin for Outstanding Prosecution Attorney; Russell Wirth of Tamalpais for Outstanding Prosecution Attorney; Jason Hirose of Terra Linda for Outstanding Prosecution Attorney; Michelle Pereira of Branson for Outstanding Defense Attorney; Eva Wang of Marin Catholic for Outstanding Defense Attorney; Scott Sheron of San Marin for Outstanding Defense Attorney; Arielle Zoken of San Rafael for Outstanding Defense Attorney; Isabella Chayet of Sir Francis Drake for Outstanding Defense Attorney; Sarah Robertson of Terra Linda for Outstanding Defense Attorney; Natalie Yates of Branson for Outstanding Prosecution Witness; Claire Joyce of Marin Academy for Outstanding Prosecution Witness; Joseph Moore of Redwood for Outstanding Prosecution Witness; Tommy Doherty of San Marin for Outstanding Prosecution Witness; Chloe Hunwick of Sir Francis Drake for Outstanding Prosecution Witness; Julia Pickel of Marin Academy for Outstanding Defense Witness; Grace Lombardi of Marin Catholic for Outstanding Defense Witness; Lior Cohen of San Rafael for Outstanding Defense Witness; Kasha LaRoche of Sir Francis Drake for Outstanding Defense Witness; Carla Cardamone of Tamalpais for Outstanding Defense Witness; Grace Kyle of San Rafael for Outstanding Bailiff; Pearl Lynch of Marin Catholic for Outstanding Clerk; Sonia Sondheim of San Rafael for Outstanding Courtroom Artist; Lauren Bollinger of San Marin for Outstanding Courtroom Journalist.

Jennifer Ani Helps Save Life Of Man Who Had Been Clinically Dead


CPR at Ross party saves life of man who had been clinically dead. Two Marin moms are still reeling after they saved a San Francisco man’s life last weekend using CPR techniques they learned as children. On Sunday afternoon, San Rafael resident Jennifer Ani and San Anselmo resident Michal “Miki” Goralsky were at a party in Ross for first-grade students at the Brandeis Hillel Day School when parent Mike Ryan collapsed and turned purple. “We were all outside, and it was time for the piñata and all the kids were in line,” Ani said. “I was about 10 feet from him and his eyes rolled back in his head and his knees buckled and he fell to the ground.”

After a few moments of chaos, Goralsky began administering compressions to Ryan’s chest and Ani performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The older brother of one of the first-graders whisked all of the small children to another part of the property. Paramedics arrived several minutes later and took Ryan to Marin General Hospital, where doctors told him he had suffered a heart attack and had been clinically dead for a short time.

Ryan, a 51-year-old diabetic who had no previous problems with his heart, underwent quadruple bypass surgery Thursday morning and is doing well, said his wife, Hagit Glickman. “CPR not only saved his life but brought him back to life … with no damage from the heart attack due to how quickly the women acted and how well they did what they did,” Glickman said.

Dr. Brian Strunk, chief of cardiology at MarinGeneral, said Ryan had blockages in all three of his arteries and would have died or ended up in a vegetative state without CPR. Strunk emphasized the need for lay people to take CPR classes, saying every minute after a heart attack is critical and emergency personnel rarely get to the patient immediately. “Without those two ladies doing the CPR, he would have been brain dead,” Strunk said. “As it is, his head is completely intact, and they saved his heart enough.” With surgery, Ryan will be able to lead a normal life, he added.

Ryan told the Independent Journal on Wednesday that he remembered falling and then returning to consciousness from a strange, dream-like state. “They’re wonder women that saved my life,” said Ryan, chairman of the Executive Impact Group, which advises companies on business strategy and development.

The experience made such a profound impression on Ani, Goralsky and other Brandeis parents that a group of first-grade families are planning to take a CPR class together. “The lesson here for me is that you cannot wait and think that somebody else will do it — you need to act,” Goralsky said.

A recent American Red Cross survey found that one in four people have been in a situation in which someone required CPR, said Cynthia Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross’ Bay Area chapter. “You never know when you’ll need to respond to an emergency,” Shaw said. “You never know when you’re going to see somebody in front of you collapse with a heart attack.” With proper training, everyday people have the power to stabilize a patient while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, potentially saving a life, she said.

Ani and Goralsky didn’t know Ryan and Glickman before the birthday party, but now all four parents say they’re eager to spend time together. “I expect to live until at least 80 or 100, and we’ll keep Jennifer and Miki in our lives,” Ryan said. “My birthday’s now Sept. 18 instead of Jan. 19. It’s a whole new life.”

Contact Jessica Bernstein-Wax at

See full article here.

This story was also reported in the Pacific Sun, 9/28/2011, in the “Hero and Zero” weekly column by staff writer Nikki Silverstein:

HERO: A party for first-graders is usually exciting, but last week, in the yard of a Ross home, the festivities turned chaotic. While the children prepared to hit the pinata, parent Mike Ryan collapsed and stopped breathing. Two other parents, Jennifer Ani of San Rafael and Michal Goralsky of San Anselmo, administered CPR, continuing until paramedics arrived. According to reports, Marin General physicians indicated that Ryan suffered a heart attack and was clinically dead for a short time. The efforts of Ani and Goralsky literally brought him back to life. After quadruple bypass surgery, the prognosis for Ryan’s full recovery is excellent. We applaud the quick thinking of our Heroes, Jennifer Ani and Michal Goralsky. You two ladies saved the day and saved the life of a grateful father and husband.