Anne Butterfield Weills

From KeyWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Anne Butterfield Weills

Template:TOCnestleft Anne Butterfield Weills has been a civil rights and equity activist since her teenage years. She was one of the first organizers of the women's liberation movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to becoming an attorney, Weills worked as a union organizer for the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union and the International Garment Workers Union .

She is an Attorney at her husband Dan Siegel's law firm, Siegel & Yee in Oakland, California.[1]

Her son Michael Siegel, is also an associate at Siegel & Yee. Weills' son from a previous marriage, Christopher Weills Scheer, is an author and journalist.


Weills also taught women's studies at Antioch College's San Francisco campus until she was fired for helping students organize their strike against excessive student fees and inadequate standards of instruction. Weills worked for Caterpillar Tractor in San Leandro from 1977 to 1982 as a machinist, was a union activist and an Executive Board member of the International Association of Machinists , Local 284.[2]

Legal activism

After Caterpillar closed its San Leandro plant, Weills went to law school and received her law degree from the Golden Gate University Law School in San Francisco in 1988. Since graduating, she has specialized in employment discrimination law, especially in academia, representing both faculty and students.

Her first case out of law school was Jenny Harrison's suit against the Regents of the University of California for sex discrimination in the denial of tenure in the U. C. Berkeley Mathematics Department. The case resulted in a University settlement which led to Dr. Harrison's appointment as a tenured full professor and a substantial financial settlement. In March, 2000, the jury in the case of Colleen Crangle v. Stanford University returned a verdict of $545,000 for Dr. Crangle. Dan Siegel and Weills represented Dr. Crangle, a Stanford research scientist, who had sued for gender bias and retaliation. The verdict, later increased to over $1 million when the trial judge awarded attorney's fees and costs to Dr. Crangle, was the first trial loss ever sustained by Stanford in a civil rights case.

In June, 2003, she and co-counsel Dan Siegel won at trial against Brown University, (Providence, R. I.) in a tenure denial case of Fred Shoucair, an electrical engineering professor of Lebanese descent. Dr. Shoucair was subject to discrimination at Brown because of his ethnic heritage, one manifestation of this was being told that he "looked like a terrorist" by the Dean of Engineering who orchestrated his tenure denial.

In her current practice, Weills handles wrongful termination, civil rights and employment cases. Currently she has several active cases at California universities and colleges, including the representation of a Native American professor at U.C. Berkeley in her disability discrimination case against the Regents of the University of California and a Title IX-related case against Diablo Valley College. Weills was a member of the American Association of University Women's (AAUW) Legal Advocacy Fund's (LAF) Advisory Committee for six years. [3]

The People's Convention

On July 14-16 (probably 1984) The Coalition for a People's Convention "a broad grouping in the Bay Area", organized The People's Convention in order to "unite on and present a people's program to the DNC and to network the many local efforts to win people's power from around the country. Its purpose is to enhance local efforts and amplify them into a united voice and demonstration for reorienting our society away from military aggression and towards meeting the needs of all our people".

Endorsers from the San Francisco-Bay Area included Anne Weills Oakland Progressive Political Alliance.[4]

DataCenter Donor

In 2007 Anne Butterfield Weills and Dan Siegel were listed on the DataCenter's annual report as donors to the organization. The Oakland, California based DataCenter is widely regarded as the intellegence wing of the United States Left and has close ties to Cuba.[5]

"Support Bill Ayers"

In October 2008, several thousand college professors, students and academic staff signed a statement Support Bill Ayers in solidarity with former Weather Underground Organization terrorist Bill Ayers.

In the run up to the U.S. presidential elections, Ayers had come under considerable media scrutiny, sparked by his relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack...
We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.

Anne Butterfield Weills of the National Lawyers Guild signed the statement.[6]