Who We Are
Erin Smith is the co-founder and Executive Director/CEO of Family Violence Appellate Project, the only organization in California dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of domestic violence survivors and their children. Erin has led the organization from its inception in 2012 to its current status as an established statewide legal services provider, with a staff of 9 and budget of over $1,100,000. Erin has spent more than 16 years working on behalf of domestic violence survivors, as appellate advocate, trial lawyer, legislative and policy advocate, and community partner, actively participating in domestic violence-related speaking engagements, committees, and community activities. From 2006-2012, Erin acted as lead counsel in a case representing an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence before the parole board and in a challenge to her criminal conviction with a habeas corpus petition under California Penal Code section 1473.5. Erin successfully secured the client’s release from prison after more than 27 years of incarceration. Read Full Bio
Nancy has been a leading authority on domestic violence for more than 30 years, pioneered its study in law schools and is the author of Domestic Violence Law, the premiere textbook on the subject. Nancy has been teaching the Domestic Violence Seminar at UC Berkeley Law – the first law school class of its kind – since 1988, and also directs the Domestic Violence Practicum. Read Full Bio
Director of Programs
Jennafer Dorfman Wagner
Jennafer Dorfman Wagner is the Director of Programs at Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP). She has been a legal services attorney since 1997, including 16 years in a supervisory or managerial role. She has practiced in diverse geographic regions and in multiple subject areas in previous positions at Mental health Advocacy Project (a project of Law Foundation of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California; Legal Action of Wisconsin; Washington (DC) Legal Clinic for Homeless; and Nevada Legal Services. Read Full Bio
Shuray GhorishiSenior Attorney
Shuray has been practicing litigation at the trial and appellate level since January, 2010. Before joining FVAP, she managed the Legal Services department at a domestic violence shelter in San Francisco, La Casa De Las Madres, where her practice focused on domestic violence law, family law, immigration law, and victims’ rights in criminal matters. She joined FVAP in 2014 to help guide and empower survivors in defending their rights in civil appeals. Read Full Bio
Arati was previously at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO) for 7 years, where she represented clients and coordinated the Domestic Violence Project. Prior to APILO, Arati had her own family law practice and worked with Bay Area Legal Aid. Arati has her Domestic Violence Counselor training from Asian Women’s Shelter. She has been licensed to practice law in California since 2008.
Housing & Employment Justice Attorney
Taylor Campion has been advocating for marginalized communities’ housing and economic rights since 2012. She comes to FVAP from Bay Area Legal Aid and has years of experience working in direct services as a legal aid attorney in housing and economic rights.
Cassandra has been advocating for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault since 2008. Before joining FVAP, Cassandra was a trial attorney at Family Violence Law Center in Oakland, where she assisted survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking through all stages of the civil restraining order process. Read Full Bio
Michelle KimBerkeley Law Public Interest Fellow
Michelle Kim is a recent graduate of Berkeley Law. During law school, Michelle volunteered at various legal aid organizations around the Bay Area where she assisted survivors with employment, immigration, and family law issues arising out of domestic violence. As a Berkeley Law Public Interest Fellow, Michelle’s project will center around issues particular to immigrant survivors of domestic violence.
Paul T. JonesFinance & Administration Manager
Before joining FVAP in 2018, Paul worked for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in San Francisco for 23 years. Most recently as a Business Analyst / Manager for the Access and Entitlements unit managing access projects and individual requests to client and firm data, assessing access needs, determining and mitigating risk, and finally ensuring both client and firm data was safe and secure. Read Full Bio
Charity PeetsDevelopment Manager
Passionate about social justice and amplifying the voices of underserved and marginalized people, Charity’s work experience has focused on a number of causes including disability accessibility and inclusion, racial equity, and now domestic violence. Read Full Bio
Prior to joining FVAP in 2016, Renee worked as an investigator for the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, a California state agency that prepares habeas corpus appeals in capital cases. Renee holds a B.A in Urban Planning and Community Development from the University of Kansas City, Missouri, and in 2015 she received an ABA-Approved paralegal certificate from West Los Angeles College.
Before joining FVAP in 2017, Meg was the Office Manager at La Selva Residential, a nonprofit Residential Mental Health Facility. Prior to that, she served as Volunteer Case Manager and Co-Head of the Fundraising Committee at Friends Outside, an organization providing support and resources to incarcerated individuals and their families. Meg holds a B.A. in Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.