California - News

Feb 4, 2011 8:45 AM

Judge Oks lawyers seeking to represent Oakland men

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) A judge has ruled that a group of lawyers with connections to Oakland City Hall does not have to disqualify itself from representing alleged Nortenos gang members named in a city lawsuit.

Oakland City Attorney John Russo is seeking a gang injunction against the men that would prevent them from hanging out in the city's Fruitvale neighborhood.

Russo had asked the judge to disqualify lawyers from the firm of Siegel and Yee from representing the men because of what he saw as a potential conflict of interest. Oakland City Councilwoman Jane Brunner works at the firm and the head of the firm, Dan Siegel, is an unpaid adviser to Mayor Jean Quan.

But Alameda County Judge Robert Freedman said Thursday the lawyers seeking to represent the men had put up a "firewall" between their work and the city-sought injunction.

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