Morgan Lewis Pro Bono Team Enables More Stable Housing for Family

As the housing crisis continues, pro bono attorneys from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius came to the aid of a family of four facing eviction after 14 years of living in a Mission District studio apartment. We thank the team of lawyers, who practice environmental, employment and intellectual property law: Rita Tautkus, Ella Foley Gannon, Angela Gandhi and Theresa Mak.

From left, Rita Tautkus, Ella Foley, Angela Gandhi, and Theresa Mak

From left, Rita Tautkus, Ella Foley, Angela Gandhi, and Theresa Mak

In the second eviction attempt in two years, the landlord claimed the tenants refused entry into the unit to treat for bed bugs. However, when the pro bono attorneys interviewed the pest control worker, he said was allowed in. The pro bono attorneys also discovered the landlord refused to address a burst sewage pipe under the tenants’ unit, and began eviction proceedings after they complained to the San Francisco Housing Authority.

After numerous communications between Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and the landlord, the tenants understood eviction attempts would continue until they agreed to move out. The pro bono team negotiated a favorable and substantial settlement agreement, including waiver of all back rent, four months rent-free to find another home, and necessary repairs to the unit while they lived there. With a friend’s help, the clients found a rental home nearby, enabling their developmentally disabled son to stay at his school. The clients used some settlement funds to secure the new home, where they no longer face regular eviction threats.

The Justice & Diversity Center thanks Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for its dedication and persistence for our clients.

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