Education

  • Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, J.D., 1983
  • Northwestern University, M.A., Sociology, 1979
  • Brandeis University, B.A., cum laude, 1977

Admissions

  • California
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T: 415-433-6830
F: 415-433-7104
E: jkahn@rbgg.com

Jane Kahn is of counsel at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, where her practice focus is constitutional and civil rights law. Prior to joining Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, Ms. Kahn was a staff attorney at the Prison Law Office and the Legal Aid Society of Marin County, as well as a family law mediator.

Ms. Kahn has played a lead role on several prisoner class actions, including Coleman v. Brown (a case brought on behalf of California prisoners with serious mental illness) and Armstrong v. Brown (a case brought on behalf of California prisoners with mobility, vision, hearing and learning disabilities). Full bio »

vCard icon

Download vCard
T: 415-433-6830
F: 415-433-7104
E: jkahn@rbgg.com

Jane Kahn is of counsel at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, where her practice focus is constitutional and civil rights law. Prior to joining Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, Ms. Kahn was a staff attorney at the Prison Law Office and the Legal Aid Society of Marin County, as well as a family law mediator.

Ms. Kahn has played a lead role on several prisoner class actions, including Coleman v. Brown (a case brought on behalf of California prisoners with serious mental illness) and Armstrong v. Brown (a case brought on behalf of California prisoners with mobility, vision, hearing and learning disabilities). Ms. Kahn was also a member of the legal team who proved at trial—and successfully defended in the United States Supreme Court—that overcrowding in California’s prisons is the primary cause of the constitutionally deficient medical and mental health care. A panel of three federal judges in August 2009 ordered the State to reduce its prison population by approximately 40,000 prisoners by July 2013.

Ms. Kahn has lectured concerning prisoner rights, mental health care in prisons, the effect of segregation and other topics at conferences at USC and Yale Law Schools, Brandeis University and at the annual Capital Case Defense Seminar in Monterey, California. She has mentored numerous law students, attorneys and paralegals engaged in prisoner rights litigation and published and spoken on the issue of secondary trauma in the legal profession.

Ms. Kahn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University, a Masters degree in sociology from Northwestern University and a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law.

She has been active volunteer for numerous community organizations, including the Prison University Project, the Disability Task Force of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Camp Tawonga, Brandeis Hillel Day School, and Congregation Beth Shalom. Ms. Kahn is the 2012 Recipient of the California Women Lawyers’ Fay Stender Award.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
  • Coleman v. Brown/Plata v. Brown: In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that overcrowding in California’s prisons resulted in cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court affirmed a January 2010 order issued by a three-judge federal court after an extensive trial directing California officials to reduce the State’s severe prison overcrowding down to 137.5% of design capacity. The order was issued after the judges found that overcrowding is the primary cause of ongoing unconstitutional conditions in California’s prisons, such as the system’s inability to provide minimally adequate medical and mental health care for prisoners.  See Brown v. Plata, 131 S. Ct. 1910 (2011).
  • Coleman v. Brown: RBGG represents a class of the more than 30,000 men and women in California’s prison system with serious mental illness. After a contested trial, the district court held that the prison mental health delivery system violates the Eighth Amendment and ordered systemwide injunctive relief. See Coleman v. Wilson, 912 F. Supp. 1282 (E.D. Cal. 1995). The court determined that the constitutional violations remain ongoing in 2013 after the State attempted to terminate the injunction.       See Coleman v. Brown, 938 F. Supp. 2d 955 (E.D. Cal. 2013). Through hard-fought litigation over the last two decades, RBGG has secured a number of significant systemic changes on behalf of the class, including, most recently, reforms to policies and practices regarding the use of force against prisoners with mental illness, as well as the overuse and misuse of solitary confinement. See Coleman v. Brown, 28 F. Supp. 3d 1068 (E.D. Cal. 2014). RBGG also recently secured an order requiring the State to provide emergency access to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, which was affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit in an unpublished decision.  For more information see Coleman v. Brown: Court Orders, Reports, Photos, Expert Declarations and Media Coverage.
  • Armstrong v. Brown: RBGG proved in federal court that California’s prison and parole systems violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by discriminating against prisoners and parolees with mobility, sight, hearing, learning, mental and kidney disabilities. We secured systemwide injunctive relief to end the discrimination, which was upheld on appeal.  See Armstrong v. Wilson, 942 F. Supp. 1252 (N.D. Cal. 1996), aff’d 124 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 1997). We also established that the State is responsible for taking steps to ensure the rights of prisoners and parolees with disabilities are accommodated when it chooses to house them in third-party county jail facilities. See Armstrong v. Brown, 857 F. Supp. 2d 919 (N.D. Cal. 2012), aff’d 732 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2013), cert denied, 134 S. Ct. 2725 (2014); and 622 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2010).
  • Hecker v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: RBGG brought this disability discrimination class action on behalf of all California prisoners with serious mental illness.  On March 2, 2015, the court approved a final settlement in the case, which includes several statewide policy changes to end discriminatory practices and gives the federal court the power to enforce implementation of the changes as necessary.

Published Decisions

  • Brown v. Plata, 131 S. Ct. 1910 (2011)
  • Coleman v. Brown, 28 F. Supp. 3d 1068 (E.D. Cal. 2014)
  • Coleman v. Brown, 938 F. Supp. 2d 955 (E.D. Cal. 2013)
  • Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, 922 F. Supp. 2d 882 (E.D. Cal. and N.D. Cal. 2009)
  • Armstrong v. Brown, 732 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2013), cert denied, 134 S. Ct. 2725 (2014)
  • Armstrong v. Schwarzenegger, 622 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2010)
  • Armstrong v. Davis, 318 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 2003)
  • Armstrong v. Davis, 275 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2001)

Honors & Awards

  • California Women Lawyers, 2012 Fay Stender Award

Education

  • Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, J.D., 1983
  • Northwestern University, M.A., Sociology, 1979
  • Brandeis University, B.A., cum laude, 1977

Admissions

  • California

Professional Experience

  • Staff Attorney, Prison Law Office, San Rafael, California, 1991-1996
  • Family Court Mediator, Alameda County, 1987-1989, and Marin County, 1986-1987
  • Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Marin County, 1984-1986
  • Associate, Law Offices of Peter Sandmann, 1983-1984

Community Service

  • Officer, board member or committee member for numerous community organizations, including the Disability Task Force of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Camp Tawonga, Brandeis Hillel Day School, Congregation Beth Shalom and Prison University Project.

Jane Kahn is of counsel at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, where her practice focus is constitutional and civil rights law. Prior to joining Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, Ms. Kahn was a staff attorney at the Prison Law Office and the Legal Aid Society of Marin County, as well as a family law mediator.

Ms. Kahn has played a lead role on several prisoner class actions, including Coleman v. Brown (a case brought on behalf of California prisoners with serious mental illness) and Armstrong v. Brown (a case brought on behalf of California prisoners with mobility, vision, hearing and learning disabilities). Ms. Kahn was also a member of the legal team who proved at trial—and successfully defended in the United States Supreme Court—that overcrowding in California’s prisons is the primary cause of the constitutionally deficient medical and mental health care. A panel of three federal judges in August 2009 ordered the State to reduce its prison population by approximately 40,000 prisoners by July 2013.

Ms. Kahn has lectured concerning prisoner rights, mental health care in prisons, the effect of segregation and other topics at conferences at USC and Yale Law Schools, Brandeis University and at the annual Capital Case Defense Seminar in Monterey, California. She has mentored numerous law students, attorneys and paralegals engaged in prisoner rights litigation and published and spoken on the issue of secondary trauma in the legal profession.

Ms. Kahn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University, a Masters degree in sociology from Northwestern University and a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law.

She has been active volunteer for numerous community organizations, including the Prison University Project, the Disability Task Force of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Camp Tawonga, Brandeis Hillel Day School, and Congregation Beth Shalom. Ms. Kahn is the 2012 Recipient of the California Women Lawyers’ Fay Stender Award.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
  • Coleman v. Brown/Plata v. Brown: In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that overcrowding in California’s prisons resulted in cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court affirmed a January 2010 order issued by a three-judge federal court after an extensive trial directing California officials to reduce the State’s severe prison overcrowding down to 137.5% of design capacity. The order was issued after the judges found that overcrowding is the primary cause of ongoing unconstitutional conditions in California’s prisons, such as the system’s inability to provide minimally adequate medical and mental health care for prisoners.  See Brown v. Plata, 131 S. Ct. 1910 (2011).
  • Coleman v. Brown: RBGG represents a class of the more than 30,000 men and women in California’s prison system with serious mental illness. After a contested trial, the district court held that the prison mental health delivery system violates the Eighth Amendment and ordered systemwide injunctive relief. See Coleman v. Wilson, 912 F. Supp. 1282 (E.D. Cal. 1995). The court determined that the constitutional violations remain ongoing in 2013 after the State attempted to terminate the injunction.       See Coleman v. Brown, 938 F. Supp. 2d 955 (E.D. Cal. 2013). Through hard-fought litigation over the last two decades, RBGG has secured a number of significant systemic changes on behalf of the class, including, most recently, reforms to policies and practices regarding the use of force against prisoners with mental illness, as well as the overuse and misuse of solitary confinement. See Coleman v. Brown, 28 F. Supp. 3d 1068 (E.D. Cal. 2014). RBGG also recently secured an order requiring the State to provide emergency access to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, which was affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit in an unpublished decision.  For more information see Coleman v. Brown: Court Orders, Reports, Photos, Expert Declarations and Media Coverage.
  • Armstrong v. Brown: RBGG proved in federal court that California’s prison and parole systems violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by discriminating against prisoners and parolees with mobility, sight, hearing, learning, mental and kidney disabilities. We secured systemwide injunctive relief to end the discrimination, which was upheld on appeal.  See Armstrong v. Wilson, 942 F. Supp. 1252 (N.D. Cal. 1996), aff’d 124 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 1997). We also established that the State is responsible for taking steps to ensure the rights of prisoners and parolees with disabilities are accommodated when it chooses to house them in third-party county jail facilities. See Armstrong v. Brown, 857 F. Supp. 2d 919 (N.D. Cal. 2012), aff’d 732 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2013), cert denied, 134 S. Ct. 2725 (2014); and 622 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2010).
  • Hecker v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: RBGG brought this disability discrimination class action on behalf of all California prisoners with serious mental illness.  On March 2, 2015, the court approved a final settlement in the case, which includes several statewide policy changes to end discriminatory practices and gives the federal court the power to enforce implementation of the changes as necessary.

Published Decisions

  • Brown v. Plata, 131 S. Ct. 1910 (2011)
  • Coleman v. Brown, 28 F. Supp. 3d 1068 (E.D. Cal. 2014)
  • Coleman v. Brown, 938 F. Supp. 2d 955 (E.D. Cal. 2013)
  • Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, 922 F. Supp. 2d 882 (E.D. Cal. and N.D. Cal. 2009)
  • Armstrong v. Brown, 732 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2013), cert denied, 134 S. Ct. 2725 (2014)
  • Armstrong v. Schwarzenegger, 622 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2010)
  • Armstrong v. Davis, 318 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 2003)
  • Armstrong v. Davis, 275 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2001)

Honors & Awards

  • California Women Lawyers, 2012 Fay Stender Award

Publications

Presentations

  • Mental Health Claims: Moving Past Traditional Models, Prisoners’ Rights Workshop, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT, March 4, 2010
  • Investigating Prison Mental Health for Trial and Post-Conviction, 2010 Capital Case Defense Seminar, Monterey, CA, February 12-14, 2010
  • “Strategies for Challenging the Housing of Prisoners with Mental Illness in Administrative Segregation, Secured Housing and Super Max Environments”, Michael Bien, Jane Kahn, Craig Haney, Ph.D., and Terry Kupers, M.D., Prisoners’ Right Litigation: Workshop for Plaintiff Attorneys, University of Southern California Law School,October 14-15, 2005
Full list of presentations »
  • Mental Health Claims: Moving Past Traditional Models, Prisoners’ Rights Workshop, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT, March 4, 2010
  • Investigating Prison Mental Health for Trial and Post-Conviction, 2010 Capital Case Defense Seminar, Monterey, CA, February 12-14, 2010
  • “Strategies for Challenging the Housing of Prisoners with Mental Illness in Administrative Segregation, Secured Housing and Super Max Environments”, Michael Bien, Jane Kahn, Craig Haney, Ph.D., and Terry Kupers, M.D., Prisoners’ Right Litigation: Workshop for Plaintiff Attorneys, University of Southern California Law School,October 14-15, 2005
  • “Investigating Prison Mental Health History”, Sarah Chester and Jane Kahn, Capital Case Defense Seminar, February 13-16, 2009, Monterey, California