Aggressive, Client-Centered Tenant Lawyers
Tobener Law Center focuses on tenant rights in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Fremont, San Rafael, Berkeley and surrounding Bay Area cities. We have helped thousands of tenants and victims of landlord caused injuries, including with fires, mold, accidents, rats and mice, cockroaches, bed bugs, no heat, bad water, leaks, asbestos, electrical issues, inadequate weatherproofing, and sewage and plumbing issues. If you have been injured or your landlord is harassing you out, has lost the property to foreclosure, or is evicting you, we can restore your rights to remain in the property or help you negotiate a move-out payment. We stop landlord harassment, refusal to repair, and wrongful evictions. In rent-controlled jurisdictions, we fight illegal rent increases, landlord move-in evictions (OMIs and LMIs), Ellis Act evictions, and evictions for renovations and capital improvements. The Tobener Law Center is dedicated to fighting for your tenant rights.
Joseph Tobener Biography
Joseph Tobener is the managing attorney of Tobener Law Center. He has been a lawyer for more than a decade. Mr. Tobener draws on his specialized legal expertise to provide caring, easy-to-understand assistance to a diverse clientele. He is an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University. Mr. Tobener has counseled thousands of Bay Area residents on housing and tenant law issues, including at the San Francisco Tenants Union.
JD, UC Hastings
MS, San Francisco State University
BA, University of California, Los Angeles
Tom Elke Biography
A San Francisco native, Mr. Elke has counseled hundreds of Bay Area residents on tenant law and renters rights issues. In 2012, the San Francisco Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services Program named Mr. Elke an Outstanding Volunteer Attorney. He has also been recognized as a Northern California “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine. Mr. Elke received his A.B. from Harvard University in 2001 and his law degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. While in law school, Mr. Elke was active in the El Centro legal aid program and received an Imelda Rosenthal Bar Scholarship for Public Interest Law from the California State Bar. Mr. Elke has personally tried more than twenty-five jury trials to verdict. He is of counsel at Tobener Law Center.
JD, University of California, Los Angeles
AB, Harvard College
Alex Merchant Biography
Alex Merchant is an associate at Tobener Law Center. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 2007. During law school, Mr. Merchant volunteered at the East Palo Alto Community Legal Services Housing Clinic assisting low-income tenants. Upon graduation, he worked as a litigator at Morrison & Foerster LLP. While there, he provided pro bono representation to tenants facing eviction.
JD, Stanford Law School
MA, University of California, Berkeley
BS, Iowa State University
Stephen Noel Ilg
Stephen Noel Ilg is an associate at Tobener Law Center. He graduated from the NYU School of Law in 2010 and UC Berkeley in 2005. Before law school, Mr. Ilg volunteered as a counselor with UC Berkeley Renters’ Legal Assistance. After law school, he worked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as a Legal Affairs Clerk and then as a class action litigator with Scott Cole & Associates. While there, he received the San Francisco Bar Association’s 2011 Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Award for his pro bono work with the Consumer Debt Defense and Education Clinic.
JD, NYU School of Law
APC, NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business
BA, UC Berkeley
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