It has become distressingly routine at this time of year to be addressing the consequences of wildfires. And as if fire victims needed any more challenges, this year we added blackouts to the mix. I would like to extend my sympathy to all of those affected by the fires and remind our readers that our December 2017 issue was, and remains, a helpful resource for fire victims. In particular, it contains Fred Hertz’s advice on dealing with the twin challenges of rebuilding and insurers and Michael Estrada’s extensive advice on interpreting your insurance policy. You can access the issue here.

One effect of the loss of housing from a wildfire can be increased rents. As most of you know, California passed the nation’s first statewide rent control and just cause eviction statute this year. Vince DeMartini outlines the law’s basic provisions, while Len Rifkind and David Levin offer their respective anti- and pro-rent control opinions, each laying out their case for why the law is a bad or good idea. It is not terribly surprising that both David and Len agree on the ultimate solution to rising rents: more housing.

I would like to thank Deputy District Attorney Andy Perez for serving as this month’s Guest Editor. Aside from exploring our new rent control law, he has put together an issue reflecting the broad expertise in our District Attorney’s office, starting with an interview with our new District Attorney, Lori Frugoli. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about her and her plans for the office. You can also read Andy’s article about Lawyers for America, the innovative Hastings Law School program changing the format of legal education and providing an intern to the D.A.’s office for two years as part of his law school education.

And you may not know that the District Attorney’s office doesn’t just prosecute crimes. Kristina Warcholski tells us about its Consumer Mediation Unit, which offers free mediation of a wide array of consumer complaints, as well as neighbor disputes. And finally, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dori Ahana educates us about gun violence restraining orders, which will soon be available to a wider range of citizens.