About Dan Fost

Dan Fost Articles written 4

Articles written by Dan Fost

The Artful Dance

Jennifer Hartman King brings harmony when developers and state regulators start butting heads

After landing an internship with the U.S. State Department, Jennifer Hartman King, an undergrad at UC Davis, went on her first European trip. But this was no sightseeing tour. It was 1997, and she was sent to Bosnia to help run a voter-registration center, hoping to restore some semblance of normality to a region wracked by war and ethnic cleansing. “It was eye-opening for a kid from California,” she says of the town on the Croatian border where she was based. “Nearly every building, if …

Future by Design

How real estate lawyer James Abrams has helped shape his adopted town

James H. Abrams gets to see San Francisco in a way few people do.  He doesn’t just enjoy visiting the newly enlarged San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; he helped get a fire station moved to make the expansion possible. He’s not just another music lover enjoying the dazzling SFJAZZ Center—the first standalone building in the country designed for jazz—he worked with First Republic Bank on financing the project.  From the Presidio to the burgeoning port along the bay—both of which are …

Uncommon Courtesy

Bill Smith is determined to bring back good manners

Nice guys don’t have to finish last—not if you ask Bill Smith, a partner with Abramson Smith Waldsmith and a longtime advocate for more civility in the legal profession.  “In movies, you have to hire the meanest, nastiest junkyard dog,” says Smith, 67, whose commitment to common courtesy was recognized with a Don E. Bailey Civility & Professionalism Award from the San Francisco chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2014.  “If you’re civil, you will be …

‘We All Need Help Sometimes’

Why Russell Austin can’t say no to community service

In 2010, Russell Austin took a tour of a homeless shelter run by Saint John’s Program for Real Change, led by a woman who had been living there for about six weeks. “This woman had a couple of small kids and had lost her home to foreclosure, and her husband had disappeared,” says Austin, who heads the commercial real estate team at Sacramento’s Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld. “She had nowhere to go, and she was ready, willing and able to sign up for Saint John’s [shelter]. It’s a …

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