Public Defender Honored by the Organization of Chinese Americans at 20th Annual Asian American Achievement Awards Gala

San Francisco, CA – On September 15, 2007, the Organization of Chinese Americans, San Mateo Chapter, honored San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi at their 20th Annual Asian American Achievement Awards Gala. The Awards Gala was held at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the OCA,” says Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “The OCA is committed to advocating for social justice, equal opportunity and fair treatment of the nearly 13 million Asian Americans in the United States. This is certainly a goal that I share and one that has driven many of my professional choices in life. In fact, it was through my work on the case of Chol Soo Lee, a Korean immigrant on death row who was wrongfully convicted of murder, that I found my calling as a criminal defense attorney and advocate for minority and disenfranchised communities.”

Public Defender Adachi is San Francisco’s first Asian American Public Defender. Before being elected in March 2002, Adachi spent two years in private practice and nearly fifteen years as a deputy public defender. Working his way up from misdemeanors to felonies, Adachi has tried over 100 jury trials and has handled over 3,000 criminal matters throughout his career, including some of the Bay Area’s highest profile cases.

Recently, Adachi wrote, produced, and directed The Slanted Screen, an award-winning documentary film confronting Asian American stereotypes in American cinema. The film, which aired nationally on PBS in May 2006, garnered top awards at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, and the Berkeley Film Festival.

Other honorees at the Awards Gala included Noel Lee, Head Monster of Monster Cable, and Yvonne Lee, Principal of Lee Asian Community Affairs and Member of the San Francisco Police Commission.

The mission of the Public Defender’s office is to provide vigorous, effective, competent and ethical legal representation to persons who are accused of crime and cannot afford to hire an attorney. Established in 1921, the San Francisco Public Defender has a long, proud history of providing top-notch representation to its clients, and championing programs that help people turn their lives around.

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