It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our colleague John Peara Baba on March 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. John was a passionate attorney, a tough competitor, and a man who enjoyed life to the fullest.
John was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Turlock, California with his family when he was a child. He graduated from high school in Turlock and then set off to pursue a career in rugby in Australia. He later went on to receive his bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He received his law degree from Golden Gate University in 2001, where he participated in the Landlord-Tenant Clinic with Professor Myron Moskovitz.
In 2000, John began his legal career at the law office of Wiegel & Fried, LLP where he worked as a summer associate. He subsequently worked for two semesters during his third year of law school as a legal extern in the Law and Motion Department of the San Francisco Superior Court with Judges David A. Garcia, Ronald Evans Quidachay, and A. James Robertson, II. John later rejoined Wiegel & Fried as an attorney where he focused his practice of law in the areas of civil writs and appeals, commercial and residential lease disputes, and pre-trial motion pleading. John was selected as a Rising Star in Super Lawyers Publications for 2009 through 2011.
Before John, landlords in San Francisco had no First Amendment rights. John was the lead plaintiff in the case of Baba v. Board of Supervisors of the City & County of San Francisco, a case that challenged San Francisco's eviction control laws. It was this published decision from 2004 that upheld a landlord's right of free speech when communicating with tenants and led the way for thousands of tenant buy-out agreements in San Francisco and elsewhere. John did much of the legal work on this case. The case is still good law and is often cited in other published rent control cases. Ironically, Baba v. San Francisco Superior Court was cited in one of John's last appellate victories in 2011, Norman T. Larson v. City & County of San Francisco. The Baba and Larson decisions went a long way to secure the rights of property owners and for that we thank John.
John was also passionate about cars, the San Francisco Giants, coffee, fishing and hunting, and all rights afforded under the United States Constitution, especially his Second Amendment rights.
Fried & Williams gives John P. Baba his Twenty-One Gun Salute!
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