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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

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Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

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  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
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  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
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Inmates of Santa Clara County Jails File Class Action Lawsuit to Enjoin the Department of Corrections

On Tuesday, February 15, 2005, four inmates in Santa Clara County Jails—represented by attorneys from Public Interest Law Firm and Fenwick & West LLP—filed a class action complaint in Superior Court against the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections for the improper administration of a fund intended to benefit all county inmates.

The suit alleges that the Inmate Welfare Fund, a fund created by statute primarily for the benefit, education and welfare of the inmates of Santa Clara County jails, is being improperly administered by the Department of Corrections in violation of Penal Code Section 4025 and the Department's duties as trustees of the fund. According to the complaint, monies that should be allocated to the Inmate Welfare Fund are being improperly diverted to the General Fund, and services the Department of Corrections is required to pay for from the General Fund, such as guard salaries, are being charged to the Inmate Welfare Fund. The result is severe cut backs in already sparse services to inmates.

In the past, the Inmate Welfare Fund has provided funding for important education programs like conflict resolution, domestic violence prevention and substance abuse prevention. These programs benefit the inmates and the community alike, helping sentenced inmates become productive members of the community when they have finished their jail terms and providing pretrial detainees with educational and other opportunities while they await trial. The Inmate Welfare Fund has also funded services that assist inmates and their families through organizations like Friends Outside. The complaint seeks the restoration of misallocated and misspent funds and an injunction requiring proper administration of the Fund.

"Because the Department of Corrections has unlawfully used money from the Inmate Welfare Fund to fund things like expensive guard and administrative positions, programs that help inmates succeed once they return to the community have been drastically cut," said Kyra Kazantzis, directing attorney for the Public Interest Law Firm. "This lawsuit is about making sure that inmates are not deprived of the programs and services that will help them become productive citizens once they are integrated back into our community."

For more information regarding the class action, please contact Saundra Riley of Fenwick & West, LLP, at 650.335.7170 or sriley@fenwick.com.