NOTE TO MEDIA: Interviews may be arranged with authors and panelists prior to May 18. There will also be several media availability times at the event.


San Francisco, CA — On the heels of major change in San Francisco’s law enforcement leadership, the 2011 Public Defender’s Justice Summit: Justice By The Book promises a fascinating discussion about the city’s most challenging and controversial criminal justice issues.


Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Police Chief Greg Suhr and DA George Gascón will join bestselling authors, law professors, prominent defense attorneys and civil rights experts on Wednesday, May 18 for the free forum, which is open to the public. The 2011 Justice Summit will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium in San Francisco Main Library. Seating is limited and all attendees must register at


Adachi, who is co-hosting the summit, said this year’s event represents the most diverse group of panelists in the forum’s seven-year history.


“When it comes to crime and punishment, these panelists represent every side of the most pressing issues,” Adachi said. “It’s a chance to have a frank discussion about when justice works, when it doesn’t, and what to do about it.”


The day will kick off with the panel By the Book: Authors on Criminal Justice, moderated by Adachi. The discussion will feature John J. Osborn, author of The Paper Chase, crime novelist and attorney Sheldon Siegel, author of Perfect Alibi and numerous other titles; Mary McDonagh Murphy (via Skype), author of To Kill a Mockingbird retrospective Scout, Atticus and Boo, Paulette Frankl, author of Lust for Justice; and the subject of Frankl’s biography, legendary defense attorney Tony Serra.


The Ethics of Law Enforcement: Preventing the Abuse of Power will be moderated by Judge Lee Baxter (retired) and feature newly-sworn-in San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr; civil rights attorney John Burris, who had handled some the most notorious police misconduct cases in recent history; former Tiburon Police Chief Pete Herley, now a consultant dedicated to improving police departments; defense attorney Stuart Hanlon, whose high-profile career has spanned 36 years; and San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Anne Irwin, who has recently represented victims of illegal police searches that were caught on video.


Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, will moderate the forum’s final panel, From San Francisco to the High Court: The Future of the Death Penalty. The discussion includes San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón; Jeanne Woodford, executive director of California Death Penalty Focus and former warden of San Quentin State Prison; and Natasha Minsker, death penalty policy director for the ACLU.


The Justice Summit is co-sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco, Criminal Trial Lawyers Association of Northern California, and Farella, Braun + Martel, LLP.  Attorneys attending the conference will earn 4 MCLE units.


To register to attend this free event and for information on additional speakers, please go to




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