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Welcome!

City Attorney Dennis HerreraSan Francisco has long been at the forefront of legal efforts to protect consumers, defend the integrity of our public institutions and advance civil rights for every American. I'm proud to continue that tradition as City Attorney, and my office remains committed to providing our City with the highest caliber legal representation. It is my pleasure to offer this Web site as a means to make my office more open and accessible to the people it serves. Thanks for visiting.

Sincerely,

DENNIS J. HERRERA
City Attorney of San Francisco

Herrera sues contractor for exposing residents, unlicensed workers to asbestos and lead

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sued a local construction contractor for an array of unlawful business practices that includes obtaining permits for work illegally performed by unlicensed contractors, and for exposing residents and workers to asbestos and lead. The 66-page pleading filed in San Francisco Superior Court details a years-long pattern in which Henry Karnilowicz defied multiple cleanup and abatement orders from San Francisco's Department of Public Health, and routinely flouted state and local laws by holding himself out to be a "permit expediter" who is blameless for the illegal work performed under his permits that endangered public health and safety.

Said Herrera: "The permits at issue in this case involve work to fix violations of housing, health and safety codes. Yet despite being the permit-holder and contractor of record for these projects, Mr. Karnilowicz flouted the law by allowing his unlicensed agents to perform the work without supervision in a way that actually exacerbated -- rather than solved -- serious health and safety issues. Beyond the housing violations, of course, are the grave occupational dangers to which these workers were subjected, possibly without even being aware of them. The law is clear that Mr. Karnilowicz's business practices were illegal, and there is no exception in the law for 'permit expediters.' I hope today's action puts an end to these egregious practices, and that it also sends a strong message to those who would consider similar wrongdoing that San Francisco takes housing, health and safety codes seriously, and that we'll enforce the law aggressively."

[Read more...]

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Fighting to save City College of San Francisco
City Attorney Herrera won a key legal victory in January when a San Francisco Superior Court granted his motion for preliminary injunction against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC. Under terms of the ruling, the ACCJC is barred from finalizing its planned termination of City College of San Francisco's accreditation as it had planned to do on July 31. Still, Herrera's litigation -- which alleges that the private accrediting body has allowed political bias, improper procedures, and conflicts of interest to unlawfully influence its evaluation of the state's largest community college -- continues.

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Abating lead paint hazards in California
After a thirteen year battle that broke new legal ground and consumed years of work by public and private attorneys, the City and County of San Francisco along with Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County and seven other California cities and counties won a $1.1 billion judgment from the Honorable Judge James P. Kleinberg of Santa Clara Superior Court, who ruled that three manufacturers of lead-based paints are jointly liable for the cost of removing their products from homes around the state.

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Suing Nevada over 'patient dumping' practices
City Attorney Herrera has filed a class action against the State of Nevada for its controversial "patient dumping" practices -- busing hundreds of indigent people who suffer from mental health afflictions to out-of-state locations, including San Francisco, "with inadequate provisions of food and medication, and without prior arrangements for their care, housing or medical treatment upon arrival." The lawsuit is on behalf of all California localities affected by the practice.

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Monster Energy's shameless marketing to kids
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is engaged in litigation against Monster Beverage Corporation for violating California law with its marketing of highly-caffeinated energy drinks to children as young as six-years-old, despite scientific findings that such products may cause "significant morbidity in adolescents" from elevated blood pressure, brain seizures, and severe cardiac events.

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Defending common-sense gun safety laws
City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed suit against three gun accessories companies and a gun show promoter for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines in California in violation of a state law that prohibits the sale, manufacture, or import of gun ammunition feeding devices that accept more than 10 rounds. The equipment is marketed as gun magazine "repair kits" in a barely-disguised attempt to skirt a 14-year-old California gun safety law, according to Herrera's complaint.

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LAW OF THE CITY

San Francisco Charter and Codes

The entire San Francisco Charter and all San Francisco codes are available online through American Legal Publishing Corporation. Click the link above to see the table of contents for San Francisco's governing documents. (External link)
MAJOR CASE

S.F.'s legal fight for marriage equality

In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Hollingsworth v. Perry that the plaintiffs lacked standing to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. The decision reinstated a victory for the City, for gay and lesbian couples, and for believers in equality everywhere.
MAJOR CASE

Nevada 'patient dumping' lawsuit

The City has filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Nevada, after a four month investigation revealed that a state-run hospital in Las Vegas was extensively involved in "patient dumping" -- busing hundreds of indigent people who suffer from mental health afflictions to out-of-state locations, including San Francisco.
RFP

Reconstruction and remediation services

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is seeking proposals from qualified vendors to provide emergency and non-emergency reconstruction and remediation services. The RFP deadline is May 9, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.
INTERNSHIP

How to apply for internship program

Students currently enrolled in accredited law schools are eligible to participate in the City Attorney's intern program.  Learn more here.

Office of the City Attorney