WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 18, 2014 -- Lisa Foster, formerly Of Counsel to Phillips & Cohen LLP, is the new director of the Access to Justice Initiative at the US Department of Justice.
The Access to Justice Initiative was created in 2010 to help increase access to counsel and legal assistance and to improve the justice systems at the federal, state, local and tribal levels for people who are unable to afford lawyers.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm by her former colleagues at Phillips & Cohen, where she represented whistleblowers in "qui tam" cases brought under the False Claims Act.
"'Access to Justice' is a good description of Lisa's entire career, a partner at Phillips & Cohen in San Francisco. "In every position she's held -- from Common Cause to Legal Aid, from law professor to Superior Court Judge -- she has provided legal access for those who otherwise would have been denied justice. Her deep compassion and exemplary legal skills make her an ideal choice for this position."
US Attorney General Eric Holder announced her appointment last month.
"Lisa is a staunch defender of due process, a champion of the rights of all Americans, and a passionate advocate for equal justice under law," Holder said in a written statement. "I have no doubt that, under Lisa's leadership, this important initiative will continue to expand its groundbreaking work to build the more effective justice system - and the more just society - that all Americans deserve."
Ms. Foster started her legal career as a staff attorney at the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles, where John Phillips was co-director at the time. She later joined the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and then became executive director of California Common Cause. She later joined Phillips & Cohen as Of Counsel. Before joining the Justice Department, she served for ten years as a California Superior Court judge in San Diego where she presided over criminal, civil and family law departments.