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ALUMNI NEWS

ALUMNA WINS HIGH-STAKES POLICE MISCONDUCT CASE Three years after freeing her client from a wrongful murder conviction, Kate Chatfeld ’06 and her team won $10 million in civil damages for police misconduct related to the case. Such verdicts are extremely rare, according to Lara Bazelon, associate professor and director of the USF School of Law Criminal and Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice law clinics. “It’s about as common as fnding a unicorn in your backyard,” she says. “It does not happen.” The $10 million suit was against the City of San Francisco and was based on evidence that came to light after Jamal Trulove’s 2010 conviction — a conviction that was overturned by an appellate court — as well as on information that Chatfeld and her former law partner uncovered during the 2015 retrial of Trulove. The evidence, Chatfeld says, showed that San Francisco police investigators fabricated evidence and withheld evidence that could have helped Trulove's defense in his frst trial in 2010. San Francisco has appealed the $10 million jury decision.

FINALLY, A SENSE OF JUSTICE “This verdict helps bring about a sense of justice,” Chatfeld says. “People need to know about this so that it doesn’t happen anymore. It reveals how law enforcement ofcers can abuse their power and do so especially against people of color. The hope is that legislators will examine these cases and come up with meaningful reforms.” It was work on Trulove’s cases that in part spurred Chatfield to co-found Re:store Justice, a nonproft focused on reforming California’s criminal justice system. Re:store Justice is working with students in USF’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice law clinics to narrow California’s legal definition of felony murder, which allows murder convictions against ofenders who did not directly participate in a killing. Their research guided legislation that became the bipartisan bill that has been approved by both houses of the California Legislature and now waits for Governor Brown’s signature. The group is also opening a re-entry house for people leaving prison after serving decades in prison. “My overall goal with Re:store Justice is to transform our system of crime and punishment into a humane system, one in which justice and compassion are valued equally,” she says.

INSPIRED IMPACT Chatfeld’s also dedicated to mentoring the next generation of USF attorneys. She works directly with law students, including as an adjunct professor in USF's Criminal and Juvenile Justice Law Clinic, providing them with the opportunity to represent clients in parole hearings at San Quentin. “It’s so important that new lawyers coming into the legal feld are inspired to help those who really need their help,” Chatfeld says. “I want to show law students that there’s this work out there and it is valuable. You can defnitely have an impact.” “As an alum of USF Law, Kate wonderfully represents our school's values and the value of our degree,” says Interim Dean Susan Freiwald. “What makes our law school so special is the way Kate and other incredible alums share their talents, skills, and passion with our students through their teaching, mentoring, and job counseling.” n

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USF SCHOOL OF LAW

Profile for USF School of Law

USF Lawyer Fall 2018  

All Rise - From the NFL to the federal bench, California Court of Appeal Justice Martin J. Jenkins ’80 has made a career of helping others g...

USF Lawyer Fall 2018  

All Rise - From the NFL to the federal bench, California Court of Appeal Justice Martin J. Jenkins ’80 has made a career of helping others g...

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