Winter 2018 Edition

LevittQuinn presents So Cal's first Family Law-focused technology conference coming to LA on Saturday, July 14. 

LevittQuinn is a recipient of the GuideStar Gold rating for our commitment to transparency

Our Founders
Ziva Sirkis Naumann
Ethel Levitt (1911-1995)
Grace Quinn (1915-2006)


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 A Message from the  Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our first 2018 newsletter. We have a lot of pretty exciting news to share, so let's get started!

Our Board of Directors welcomed three members who begin their terms in 2018: Hon. Joseph M. Quinn and Ziva Sirkis Naumann rejoin the board. We are so honored that they, with long-time board member and Treasurer Michael Levitt, continue to legacy of leadership and support begun by our 3 founding mothers. Finance Committee volunteer Jeff Eisfelder comes on as a new full board member. Welcome!
Begun as a loving gift in tribute to her mother, Sharon Hulse has helped us to launch a fund to prioritize free legal help for seniors and those with disabilities who would not otherwise qualify for a no-cost LevittQuinn program.  We share with you "Angela's" story to help illustrate why this work is so critically important.

I am so proud that we continue to make meaningful progress on our goal to build on our community engagement efforts. Below we share how two foundations made our critical technology overhaul possible, and how we are using technology to work with a variety of partners to make it easier for clients throughout Los Angeles County to access our services .

This is an exciting time to be part of Team LevittQuinn. Come join us!


Ana M. Storey
Executive Director 
LevittQuinn Board News

2018 brings the return of Judge Joseph Quinn and Ziva Sirkis Naumann to LQ's Board of Directors. Jeff Eisfelder, most recently a volunteer serving on our Finance Committee, joins our board as a new member. 

Jeff Eisfelder serves as a Managing Director for First Foundation Advisors. Jeff has 20 years of investment and wealth management experience, and is a Certified Financial Planner CFP®. Prior to joining First Foundation Advisors, he was a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at City National Bank, and Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at Lido Advisors.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jeff graduated from University High School in West Los Angeles before attending the University of Arizona and graduating with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing. Jeff will serve on the board's Finance Committee.

Ziva Sirkis Naumann   is a founding mother of LevittQuinn. She first met Ethel Levitt while working as a  Vista Volunteer Coordinator/Trainer. When the nonprofit law firm where Ethel and Ziva volunteered lost significant federal funding in 1981, the retired grandmothers stepped in to save over 400 clients from losing access to critical legal help.The two opened a small storefront office with one telephone and one typewriter on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. With the addition of Grace Quinn in 1983, the firm eventually became the LevittQuinn of today. Ziva was instrumental in securing the funding to purchase the building that is LevittQuinn's home. The board christened it the "Ziva Building" in her honor.  

The Hon. Joseph M. Quinn currently serves on the San Francisco Superior Court. He is the grandson of LevittQuinn co-founder Grace Quinn. Judge Quinn served on LevittQuinn's board from 2007 until Governor Brown appointed him to the superior court in 2015. Prior to joining the bench, he had been a partner at Hanson Bridgett LLP, and served as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School of Law and at St. Mary's College of California. Judge Quinn earned a Juris Doctor degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA. Judge Quinn will lead LevittQuinn's Program Committee.


Retiring from our board after years of extraordinary service are Katherine Adkins and Harold Cohn . Katherine was instrumental in facilitating years of support from Toyota Financial Services for our Adoption Project. We thank Hal for his countless contributions to our organization.

The Beulah Fund - Prioritizing Legal Help For Those Often Left Behind

Most traditional legal services organizations do not prioritize family law services for seniors or disabled adults with no minor children. Even when services are available, those living on a fixed income may not qualify for legal aid, yet lack the resources to pay private counsel.

In response to this community need, LevittQuinn unveiled the Beulah Fund in January 2018. Initiated by a gift from Director of Operations Sharon Hulse in honor of her recently deceased mother, Beulah Hulse, the Beulah Fund is a resource to provide no-cost family law services for seniors or adults with disabilities living at or below 150% of poverty. This fund focuses on the family law needs of clients who are over the age of fifty-five and/or are disabled, do not have minor dependents, and who do not qualify for free services under any other LevittQuinn program. Join our cause and support the Beulah Fund today!

Expanding Access To Our Services

During evening intake this January and February, volunteers working in our Echo Park office met via videoconference with participants located in community partner Families Uniting Families ' Long Beach office using  RClinic's  videoconference platform. We have been working with RClinic's founder, Vinod J. Mapranath, to bring this platform to LevittQuinn. "RClinic is excited to partner with LevittQuinn to offer the Q.Me™ platform for underserved families. Q.Me is a cloud based video streaming platform that automatically connects large groups of attorneys or service providers to people who need assistance most, all in different locations. We hope to help fulfill Ana Storey's vision and enhance LevittQuinn's leadership role in connecting with and helping families across Los Angeles County and Southern California."

The participants and the volunteers told us they loved the option of connecting via videoconference, finding it convenient and useful. 


Maya is a volunteer who participated in the videoconference intake. She said, "As a LevittQuinn volunteer I believe that the video experience is a great way to help more clients throughout the Los Angeles area. Oftentimes participants tell me the reason it took them so long to make an appointment with LevittQuinn is the time and distance it takes them to come to the office. Videoconferences enable us to help more participants. The convenience of having videoconferences will encourage more participants to seek help immediately and will provide them greater accessibility."

We are so excited to be in a space where community-minded people are coming together around common goals and cutting edge technology to meet the legal needs of people who might otherwise go without the legal help they desperately need.

LevittQuinn Receives Critical Technology Overhaul

In 2016, we began an assessment of organizational needs to better fulfill our mission and vision. We identified infrastructure as a critical area requiring attention. Like many small nonprofits, we relied on donations and only replaced hardware when something broke. This impeded our goal to use our technology to develop a richer understanding of our work's impact on our clients' lives as well as to provide more service with current staffing.

Resulting from our 2016 assessment, our 2017 board-driven operating plan included a mandate to continue to "assess and improve the organization's technological systems and support." We established a Technology Committee, and developed  a tactical technology plan that facilitated the submission of successful grant applications. The Ahmanson Foundation and Annenberg Foundation stepped in to fund critical systemic change to our organization's infrastructure to include new computers, updated software, a new phone system, and an upcoming refresh for our website.

These improvements will strengthen our ability to deliver rapid, effective, and innovative legal services to clients facing a family law crisis. We are honored to have this support.

Struggling To Make Ends Meet
"Angela" is 65 years old. She speaks only Spanish. When her long-term marriage ended in divorce a few years ago, the court ordered her ex-husband to pay Angela monthly spousal support. The support is Angela's sole income and she relies on that monthly check to survive. She first came to LevittQuinn in 2015 when her ex-husband stopped paying the court-ordered support. We helped Angela get an order directing the ex-husband's employer to send the money directly to Angela each month.
A year and a half later Angela returned. This time it was the employer who was not sending Angela the full amount of spousal support each month. Angela was meticulous and kept a copy of every check she received. She tried for months to handle the problem herself through her ex-husband's employer, but she was getting nowhere. The payroll person would either fail to return her phone calls or gave Angela explanations that did not account for the discrepancy in the pay records.
LevittQuinn attorney Elvia Cruz prepared a letter to the employer on Angela's behalf asking for an explanation of the discrepancy. The employer responded that the problem was with Angela, who did not understand how their payroll system worked and that she was not owed any arrears. Sensing a problem, Elvia scheduled another appointment with Angela, reviewing all her documentation of support received for the prior year. Elvia conducted an accounting of those records and discovered that the ex-husband's employer was garnishing less than the court-ordered amount for past months. Where Angela thought the support was one month behind, Elvia discovered Angela was owed close to two months of past due support. Elvia sent the detailed accounting to the employer requesting that they follow the court order and garnish the full amount owed to Angela immediately. Within a month, Angela reported that she received a check for the full amount due to her.
Angela was elated to have such a critical issue resolved and was grateful that LevittQuinn was there for her when she most needed us.

Sponsor Highlight - Partners In Diversity, Inc.

Partners In Diversity, Inc. is proud to support LevittQuinn and the critical role it plays in ensuring justice in our family courts for thousands of poor and modest means families each your throughout Los Angeles County and beyond. 
Founded in June 2002, Partners In Diversity, Inc. is a 100% women owned and operated enterprise. We specialize in sourcing, recruiting, and placements that are tailored to meet a client's diverse staffing requirements. Partners In Diversity thoroughly qualifies all candidates to ensure that their knowledge, skills, and ability exceed client expectations. In 2015 and 2016, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Partners In Diversity, Inc. one of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses.

To learn more about giving to LevittQuinn - a nonprofit family law center, contact Ana M. Storey, Executive Director, at  (213) 482-1800 ext. 301 or [email protected]