Dan Siegel (attorney)
Daniel Mark "Dan" Siegel is a civil-rights attorney at the Oakland-based law firm, Siegel & Yee, former legal adviser to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, and candidate in the 2014 Oakland mayoral race. He specializes in employment and labor law.
Early life and education
Siegel graduated from UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall in 1970.
Siegel was a student activist in 1967-1970 while he attended UC Berkeley's University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He was also a leader in the local Students for a Democratic Society. As UC Berkeley Student President-Elect in 1969, Siegel is known for his role in the student rebellion on "Bloody Thursday," when thousands of students clashed with hundreds of California Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff's deputies sent by the office of then-California governor Ronald Reagan to assert control over a piece of property known as "People's Park." The 2.8 acre People's Park was, in 1969, in the midst of a stalled redevelopment plan, littered with debris and abandoned cars. During a rally on Sproul Plaza on that day, May 15, 1969, Siegel received the microphone as the crowd of 3,000 agitated to reclaim what was perceived as their community space, when he yelled "Take the park!" His exhortation was perceived as the start of a riot, which featured protestors marching against riot police, who responded with shotgun fire among other acts, killing one and blinding another.
State Bar of California controversy
Upon receiving his J.D. degree from the University of California School of Law in 1970 and passing the California bar examination, Siegel was denied a license to practice law by a subcommittee of the State Bar of California. According to the Long Beach Independent, his admittance to the bar was denied on moral grounds because he allegedly "advocated violence and the seizure of property and lied when he denied advocating those things". Earlier in the year, he had been charged with inciting a riot, but had charges dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Siegel and his lawyer Malcolm Burnstein appealed the subcommittee's decision, taking his appeal to the California Supreme Court, which overruled the State Bar and found that Siegel possessed the requisite "moral character" to practice law.
Siegel & Yee
Today, Siegel is a civil rights attorney at the Oakland-based law firm, Siegel & Yee. In recent years, he has won a series of high-profile sexual harassment and employment discrimination lawsuits,[specify] and has represented clients such as the National Union of Healthcare Workers. He has served as both general counsel and Interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Radio Foundation, and has served as a director on both the Pacifica National Board and the Local Station Board of KPFA-FM in Berkeley. In 2006 he completed an eight-year tenure on the Oakland Unified School District Board of Directors.
City of Oakland
Siegel, a long-time friend of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, served as her Legal Adviser until November 14, 2011, when he resigned in protest of her decision to clear protestors associated with Occupy Wall Street from their camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Siegel subsequently announced, via Twitter: "No longer Mayor Quan's legal advisor. Resigned at 2 am. Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators."
Siegel and his wife, Anne Butterfield Weills, have lived in Oakland since 1977. Weills is an attorney who is listed "of counsel" at Siegel & Yee. Their son, Michael, is also an associate at Siegel & Yee. Weills' son from a previous marriage, Christopher Weills Scheer, is an author and journalist.
- "Dan Siegel". Siegel & Yee. Retrieved Dec 2011. Check date values in:
- "Dan Siegel's biography". Oakland, California: Siegel & Yee. Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- Lowe, Joan. "People's Park, Berkeley". Stories from the American Friends Service Committee's Past. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Weiss, Norman. The Daily Californian. "People's Park: Then & Now." 17 March 1997.
- Locke, Michelle (1999-04-19). "Berkeley Battling Over People's Park 30 Years After Clash". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
But 30 years ago this spring, Siegel was a counterculture catalyst, the man whose exhortation to 'Take the park!' was the precursor to a bloody clash between University of California students and police that left one man dead, another blinded and a city locked in martial law.
- Long Beach Independent December 1, 1972
- Supreme Court of California (1973-10-09). "Siegel v. Committee of Bar Examiners, 10 Cal.3d 156". Mountain View, California: Justia Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- Siegel & Yee
- Jason Cherkis. "Mayor Jean Quan’s Legal Adviser Quits Over Clearing Of Occupy Oakland Camp" Huffington Post, 11/14/2011, accessed 30 May 2017
- Gabbatt, Adam (2011-11-14). "Occupy Oakland: demonstrators prepare for police action – live updates". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
Quan's legal advisor, Dan Siegel, has resigned from his position in protest at the eviction.
- "Siegel's tweet". Twitter. 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
No longer Mayor Quan's legal advisor. Resigned at 2 am. Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators.
- Kuruvila, Matthai (2011-11-14). "Quan's top legal adviser resigns over raid". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
Dan Siegel, a civil rights attorney and one of Oakland's most active and vocal police critics, said the city should have done more to work with campers before sending in police.
- Bowe, Rebecca (2014-01-09). "Dan Siegel announces candidacy for Oakland mayor". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
- "Anne Butterfield Weills' biography". Oakland, California: Siegel & Yee. Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
- "Michael Siegel's biography". Oakland, California: Siegel & Yee. Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-14.