ACVA Member Spotlight

BALI Attorney Brings High Profile Cases Demanding Economic Justice for Domestic Violence Survivors

Last year, ACBA and VLSC launched the Bay Area Legal Incubator (BALI) –a social-mission incubator community supporting attorneys building modest means solo practices. Already, attorneys in the incubator program are achieving significant impact in the legal community.

BALI Attorney
Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas, BALI Attorney

Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas is a BALI attorney and the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Alipato Project. Alipato is the first and only nonprofit organization of its kind. Its mission is to obtain financial justice for resisters of domestic violence by suing their abusers in civil court. Alipato shared two important moments in just one week in July.

Civil Suit v San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald

Alipato’s client Kendra Scott, former fiancé of San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald, filed a suit July 18th to hold him accountable for the physical, mental and verbal abuse that she was subjected to during and after their relationship. The civil suit claims damages from domestic violence, stalking, IIED, and negligence. Ms. Scott alleges that the abuse began in 2014, soon after their engagement, and continued after they broke up. 

Alipato is working collaboratively with Glen Katon, who serves as co-counsel, representing Ms. Scott. Canlas says she hopes that the case will raise awareness about the existence of Civil Code Section 1708.6, the California statute that gives survivors of domestic violence a right to recover financial damages from their abusers. Canlas notes that the statue allows Ms. Scott to have her voice heard in a way that doesn’t happen in criminal and family courts.

Frivolous Lawsuit Dismissed

Two days after filing the Scott matter, an Alameda County Superior Court Judge dismissed a frivolous lawsuit (Clyde Berg v. Alipato Project et. al., Oakland, CA) filed on behalf of Clyde James Berg, a multimillionaire real estate mogul against Canlas and Alipato. The original suit rises from the years of physical and psychological abuse that Mr. Berg’s former spouse alleges she suffered  at his hands. Mr. Berg eluded civil and criminal liability for the abuse. He recently brought a meritless malicious prosecution claim as retaliation against the advocates who represented his former spouse: Canlas, Maier Shoch LLP, Eric Robert Maier, and Louis Elwood Shoch III. Mr. Berg’s case was dismissed under the California Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation Statute (SLAPP).

Alipato ProjectACBA and BALI are honored to help support the development of Canlas’ practice and her work impacting lives and empowering her community in the struggle to obtain economic justice for survivors of abuse. Learn more about Canlas and Alipato at http://www.alipatoproject.org. BALI and ACBA are always looking for attorneys to co-counsel with, coach, refer cases to, and contract BALI attorneys.

To learn more about BALI and to get involved, visit the BALI website or contact BALI mentoring attorney Cynthia Chandler at cynthia@acbanet.org.