Paula & Barry Litt are two rather conventional people who have led very unconventional lives. Born in 1945, they met in high school during times of great social and political upheaval where they began to dedicate their lives to racial and economic justice.
Paula and Barry witnessed and participated in the Civil Rights Movement, anti-Vietnam War and Women’s movements. In 1970, they co-founded with other radical lawyers and paralegals the Bar Sinister Legal Collective which worked on the Pentagon Papers case, the Chicago 8 conspiracy case, defense of Black Panthers and Brown Berets, and insurgent labor groups. They both also engaged in community and political organizing throughout the 1970’s.
In the early 1980’s Barry founded a private civil rights/public interest law firm, and Paula became the office manager. Barry continues to practice civil rights law and currently is a partner in the firm of Kaye, McLane, Bednarski and Litt. Over the last 45 years, Barry has litigated important cases such as:
Lawson v. LAPD — a $3.4 million for settlement for LAPD use of dogs to routinely attack and bite suspects, and a policy change from “find and bite” to “find and bark.”
MIWON v. City of Los Angeles — a $13.8 settlement on behalf of immigration protestors attacked by LAPD on May 1, 2007.
Nozzi v. HACLA — a pending case on behalf of 20,000 Section 8 recipients in which a Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Housing Authority violated their rights to due process before raising their rental contribution.
In 1992 Paula left the law firm and has since devoted her time as a volunteer at the Liberty Hill Foundation. She used her expertise in office management to help build Liberty Hill’s growing infrastructure, organized its donor advised program, and is continually involved in major gifts fundraising and philanthropic programs. Paula also volunteers her time to work with community organizations, such as Community Coalition, to develop their individual fundraising and organizational capacity.
Paula and Barry began donating money in the 1980’s. Their donations focus on community organizing and civil rights in Los Angeles. They have been married for 52 years, and have three children, seven grandchildren, and a great-grandchild on the way.