By Jahna Berry
The Recorder, May 2, 2001
Countless times, Freya Home has walked into a courtroom tall and impeccably dressed and convinced wary jurors that her client is a flesh-and- blood human being. Bay Area attorneys say. The Women Defenders plans to honor the accomplishments of Home's 24-year career during the organization's annual Spring Event on Friday. "Primarily we try to look at people who have made contributions to the criminal defense bar," said Women Defenders chairwoman Kimberly Kupferer. "The more people we talked to, the more we heard what a wonderful and dedicated person she was, said Kupferer, an Alameda County assistant public defender. Home is well regarded on both sides of the aisle for her courtroom skill and her longtime dedication to criminal defense said Kupferer, noting that Home was an educator, a former public defender
and a private practitioner. Home earned her law degree at Golden Gate University School of Law. She later joined the San Francisco public defender's office, handling both misdemeanors and felony work. Home was a director and taught at the University of San Francisco law school's law clinic for 10 years before going into private practice in 1990. Appellate attorney Frances Ternus said Home's prowess with juries has made her a top criminal defense attorney. Ternus, an attorney with the First District Appellate Project, is familiar with Home's handiwork because she has read court transcripts and attended law school with Home. "She is quick on her feet and eloquent," said Ternus. "When you look at the transcript you can tell that she is well spoken." "She is intelligent and has a good sense of people," said Douglas Schmidt, an attorney who says he watched Home charm juries when he was co-counsel with her. That has helped her achieve? an "enviable win ratio", said Schmidt. Home says that she doesn't keep stats on her cases, but quickly adds that she wins more cases than she loses. "You feel that you are working in the trenches and that you are just doing your job," said Home. The Spring Event will be held at the Delancey Street Foundation on May 4. For more information call (510) 525-0995.