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Seaside Legal Services

 301 FOREST AVE
 LAGUNA BEACH, CA 92651
[P] (949) 494-9411
[F] --
www.seasidelegalservices.org
[email protected]
Jane Fulton
FOUNDED: 2014
INCORPORATED: 2014
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 46-3725244 00000

Summary


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Mission StatementMORE »

Seaside Legal Services is a nonprofit public interest law firm providing professional civil legal assistance free of charge to individuals in south Orange County who cannot afford counsel.

Mission Statement

Seaside Legal Services is a nonprofit public interest law firm providing professional civil legal assistance free of charge to individuals in south Orange County who cannot afford counsel.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2015
Projected Expenses $30,242.00
Projected Revenue $36,133.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Tenant-landlord disputes
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview


Mission Statement

Seaside Legal Services is a nonprofit public interest law firm providing professional civil legal assistance free of charge to individuals in south Orange County who cannot afford counsel.


Background Statement

Our founder and executive director is AV-rated Laguna Beach attorney A. Jane Fulton, 77, an AV-rated attorney who was admitted to the California State Bar Association in 1966. As a student at University of the Pacific–McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, her constitutional law professor was Anthony Kennedy, now a U.S. Supreme Court justice. She attended law school at night and by day worked for the Sacramento County Welfare Department as a social worker. After her admission to the bar, Fulton worked for the State of California as chief counsel for the California community college system. In the 1970s, Fulton was a public defender for the County of Los Angeles, preparing and arguing appellate briefs before the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Fulton spent two decades in private practice in Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach, covering matters pertaining to criminal and family law, contracts, appeals, and charitable foundations. She retired in 2000 to teach painting classes and travel. In 2008-09 she was instrumental in establishing the City of Laguna Beach’s Alternative Sleeping Location for homeless individuals. Fulton returned to law in 2014 when a close friend and local philanthropist offered to fund the nonprofit’s startup and launch her dream of using her legal skills to help people in need.

 

Impact Statement

Civil legal problems can threaten to disrupt a person's way of life, health, and future life plans. Many of our clients do not necessarily fit the typical description of “poor” or “low-income.” Often they are middle-class, retired, or fixed-income individuals. When a legal problem looms for a person unable to pay for an attorney, there are few options except the Legal Aid Society and the Public Law Center. Legal Aid used to send a representative to Laguna Beach each month to cover the needs of south Orange County residents, but that resource has dried up because the agency is overwhelmed with cases. The Public Law Center in Santa Ana has a similar situation – there are far too many cases for them to reach south. It is commonly known that south OC is neglected when it comes to accessible legal aid services.

Seaside Legal Services answers this need. Our goal is to provide free legal help to as many residents as possible. We do this with a tiny budget and the help of several local attorneys who are willing to work pro bono on cases we refer to them.
 
Our accomplishments are many, and (in general terms to protect the anonymity of our clients), we have helped cash-poor residents ­– many of them elderly – remain ensconced in their equity-rich homes in a market gone wild. Fewer law-abiding renters have been evicted from leased units. Insidious instances of elder abuse – both financial and physical – have been stopped or averted. Children with parents locked in custody battles have maintained working relationships with both of those parents. The bitterness of drawn-out divorces has been abbreviated; spousal abuse has likely been prevented. Personal wills and trusts have been established, avoiding probate, with fewer deaths needlessly intestate. 

Needs Statement

Seaside Legal Service's needs are simple. With our caseload growing daily,  we very much need to hire a full-time legal advocate – a paralegal or attorney – to assist us in our mission. We would like to also hire a social worker to follow up on cases that have been finalized to ensure that everyone involved – especially children and the elderly – are in an improved and beneficial situation. 

In both cases of additional personnel, salary and hours would be negotiated based on the resources available to our organization.

CEO Statement

Life-altering civil legal matters can upend, even derail, a person's life if they cannot afford representation. The results are considerably beneficial to our community: cash-poor residents ­– many of them elderly – will remain in their equity-rich homes in a real estate market gone wild. Fewer law-abiding renters will be evicted from leased units. Insidious instances of elder abuse – both financial and physical – will be averted. More children with parents locked in custody battles will maintain working relationships with both of those parents. The bitterness of a drawn-out divorce can be abbreviated, even spousal abuse prevented. Personal wills and trusts will be established, avoiding probate, with fewer deaths needlessly intestate.

Many of our clients do not necessarily fit the typical description of “poor” or “low-income.” Many are middle-class, retired, or fixed-income individuals. All of our clients must complete a detailed income and expense declaration to determine their eligibility for our services, based on cost-of-living standards set by the County of Orange. We do not serve homeless clients, as this would be duplicative of other low-income-serving legal aid entities.

When a legal problem threatens to uproot residents from their peaceful, productive way of life because of attorney expenses, there have been few options except the Legal Aid Society and the Public Law Center. Legal Aid used to send a representative to Laguna Beach each month, but that resource has dried up because the agency is overwhelmed with cases. The Public Law Center in Santa Ana has a similar situation – there are far too many cases for them to reach south. It is commonly known that South OC is neglected when it comes to accessible legal aid services.

Seaside Legal Services’ goal is to provide free legal help to south OC area residents, especially seniors. We do this with a tiny budget and the help of several attorneys who are willing to work pro bono on cases we refer to them. This is wonderful of these generous souls, but it is proving insufficient. We cannot keep up with our number of cases; we need more dedicated help in-house to work.

When people have access to quality legal representation, they are more in control of their lives. The overall community becomes more solidly moored, secure and well balanced. Seaside Legal Services helps engender stability, peace of mind and offers that rare “even break” to Laguna Beach residents when it comes to civil matters that carry profound personal impacts.


Board Chair Statement

In the mid-1960s when I was attending McGeorge Law School by night, I also worked by day as a social worker in Berkeley in the 1960s. I saw firsthand the effects of grinding poverty and the toll it can take on individuals and families with children. I have watched with alarm as the gap between rich and poor in our nation has widened in the last several decades, and worried about those whose lives are ruined because they cannot afford decent legal counsel in what to a wealthy person might be a minor legal nuisance. I call this the "justice gap" and I decided to do what I could about it by starting Seaside Legal Services to give people of lesser means an even break in civil law matters. This work means a great deal to me. As I approach my 80th year, I can say unequivocally that I have never worked harder or with more joy. 

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Checks may be mailed to our address. Attorneys and law students willing to offer ongoing pro bono work for civil cases are invited to volunteer their expertise. 

Geographic Area Served

South Orange County
We serve those Orange County residents who live south of the Santa Ana/Tustin area, where clients can access the Public Law Center's services.  

Organization Categories

  1. Crime & Legal - Related - Legal Services
  2. Crime & Legal - Related - Public Interest Law
  3. Public & Societal Benefit - Consumer Protection

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Programs


Tenant-landlord disputes

As the rental market skyrockets and home ownership slips further from the grasp of many residents, some unscrupulous landlords take advantage of tenants. Those who are barely hanging on economically cannot afford to fight such an owner, and that's where Seaside Legal Services comes in. We offer free legal representation to tenants in such cases. All SLS clients must complete a detailed financial form to qualify for our services. 
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Administration of Justice
Population Served Adults Families
Program Short-Term Success  Staying in one's rented unit at a fair rate helps a person or family remain rooted and focus on their jobs, school, and family. It is a stabilizing force in a community when residents stay put. 
Program Long-Term Success 

When people have access to quality legal representation in a landlord-tenant dispute, they are more in control of their lives. They have a voice, can fight for their rights, and as a result when they can stay in their homes, the overall community becomes more solidly moored, secure and well balanced. Seaside Legal Services helps engender stability, peace of mind and offers that rare “even break” to Laguna Beach residents when it comes to civil matters that carry profound personal impacts.

Program Success Monitored By  Renters who stay in their units and pay a rate they can afford are the mark of our success.
Examples of Program Success  We protect the anonymity of our clients. However, we have had clients who were so pleased with our ability to keep them in their homes that have sent us hand-written thank-you notes. 

Divorce

Some marriages are not made in heaven. In fact, it is sometimes an essential step for the health and well-being of both parties to end a marriage. Seaside Legal Services handles divorces free of charge for those who cannot afford to file on their own. 
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Administration of Justice
Population Served Adults Females Males
Program Short-Term Success  In the worst of cases, divorce can prevent domestic abuse. In most cases we see, it allows people to get on with their lives in a productive fashion. 
Program Long-Term Success  Divorce can often free both spouses from unproductive lives spent in rancor and disagreement. Our clients can go on to self-actualize their lives and find happiness. 
Program Success Monitored By  Most of our clients have considered the action of divorce well before going to us, and almost all are pleased to complete the paperwork required to end a marriage. 
Examples of Program Success  Most of our clients have considered the action of divorce well before going to us, and almost all are pleased to complete the paperwork required to end a marriage.

Child Custody

One of the most sensitive and painful areas of civil law, our attorneys offer fair legal consideration in cases of child custody. 
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Administration of Justice
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  Both parents/guardians can have their voices heard and their needs met in sensitive custody cases without worrying about the legal bills they are incurring. 
Program Long-Term Success 

When people have access to quality legal representation, especially in custody cases, they are more in control of their lives. The overall community becomes more solidly moored, secure and well balanced. Violence and child abduction can be averted. Seaside Legal Services helps engender stability, peace of mind and offers that rare “even break” to Laguna Beach residents when it comes to civil matters that carry profound personal impacts.

Program Success Monitored By  When children are well cared for and are given the opportunity to retain relationships with both parents/guardians, the entire community benefits from the feeling of stability it engenders. 
Examples of Program Success  Dozens of parents and children have maintained open communication and have been able to continue with their lives.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Jane` Fulton
CEO Term Start July 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

A. Jane Fulton is an AV-rated attorney who was admitted to the California State Bar Association in 1966. As a student at University of the Pacific–McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, her constitutional law professor was Anthony Kennedy, now a U.S. Supreme Court justice. She attended law school at night and by day worked for the Sacramento County Welfare Department as a social worker. After her admission to the bar, Fulton worked for the State of California as chief counsel for the California community college system. In the 1970s, Fulton was a public defender for the County of Los Angeles, preparing and arguing appellate briefs before the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Fulton spent two decades in private practice in Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach, covering matters pertaining to criminal and family law, contracts, appeals, and charitable foundations. She retired in 2000 to teach painting classes and travel. In 2008-09 she was instrumental in establishing the City of Laguna Beach’s Alternative Sleeping Location for homeless individuals. Fulton, who is also Seaside Legal Services' founder and board chair, returned to law in 2014 when a close friend and local philanthropist offered to fund the nonprofit’s startup and launch her dream of using her legal skills to help people in need.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Seaside Legal Services is by its very nature a collaborative effort among attorneys willing to give their time to people in need. We are casting our net ever wider to find reliable attorneys and law students willing to consistently donate their time and energy to our mission of providing free counsel to people in need. 

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 5
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development No

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy --
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Government Licenses

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CEO Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Governance


Board Chair Jane Fulton
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term July 2014 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Tracy Christopherson Paralegal Voting
Lesanne Coffin LCSW Voting
A. Jane Fulton Attorney at law NonVoting
Vicki Gumm Philanthropist Voting
Ruth Stafford Ph.D. Psychologist Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 40%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

The board is deliberately small to ensure efficient governance and to allow for streamlined decision-making process. The board chair and executive director, Jane Fulton, does not vote on matters pertaining to her position. 

Foundation Comments

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Standing Committees

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Revenue $36,133.00
Projected Expenses $30,242.00
Form 990s

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 -- --
Total Revenue $46,850 -- --
Total Expenses $46,378 -- --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2015 -- --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$46,850 -- --
Government Contributions $0 -- --
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2015 -- --
Program Expense $40,588 -- --
Administration Expense $5,790 -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.01 -- --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 88% -- --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% -- --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2015 -- --
Total Assets $4,634 -- --
Current Assets $3,713 -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities $660 -- --
Total Net Assets $3,974 -- --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 -- --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 5.63 -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 -- --
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% -- --
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal $50,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Feb 2016 - Dec 2016
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $5,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

Founder and CEO Jane Fulton works for $20,000 a year. A campaign is being mounted to raise money to hire another full-time professional attorney. Donations are requested to for hiring additional legal staff and to cover operating expenses. 

Foundation Comments

This organization received IRS letter of determination in July 2014 with no income to report. There is no financial history.

Documents


Other Documents

Fulton document r3.pdf (2016)

No Other Documents currently available.