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Pro Bono Bulletin (Fall 2007)

VIEWS: 231 PAGES: 48

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SHoWCASINg DLA pIpEr’S pro BoNo WorK


TEAmINg Up For SporTS Making Sports Available to All

Protecting Victims of Political Persecution Page 08 Why Larry Wojcik Gives Back Page 17 Fostering a Greener Africa Page 33

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03 | 08 | 10 | 15 | 17 | 22 | 24 |

Teaming Up for Sports
How DLA Piper Lawyers are Making the Benefits of Sports Available to Everyone

Protecting Victims of Political Persecution
Highlighting the Firm’s Political Asylum Work

National News
Seven Stories From Across the US

Four Answers to One Question

An Interview with Larry Wojcik
Partners Share their Thoughts and Experiences

Mapping Impact
DLA Piper Pro Bono Projects Across the Nation

Signature Project Update
Introducing Pathways to Freedom for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence Making Learning Possible Protecting the Confidentiality of Juvenile Records

30 | 33 | 34 | 36 | 40 | 45 |

Mark Ellis
Profile of New Perimeter Board Member

New Perimeter Update
Introducing the New Climate Change Project

CSR Update
Our People, Our Commitment, Our Community

Awards and Recognition What Our Clients Say About Us US Pro Bono Committee


Like so many of you, I grew up playing sports in school. I remember showing up every morning before school for basketball practice—so early it was still pitch black and well before the boys’ practice times; playing tennis, but on the courts at the bottom of the hill—the ones with the scary cracks in the uneven, cement surface and gravel outside the sidelines. I remember playing basketball and tennis matches at odd times to keep the schedule free for the boys’ primetime games. And I remember wearing old, shabby uniforms—if we were provided uniforms at all—while the boys always had glorious uniforms purchased anew every year. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to play sports in school, but I also have come to realize what was going on then for all the girls who cared for sports. I certainly do not want my daughter to be treated as unfairly. Like every parent, I want my daughter to have every opportunity to realize her full potential as an athlete, the same right I want for my sons. These same sentiments are shared by everyone who worked on the Title IX project to update Breaking Down Barriers. As you read on page 4, the members of our team who worked with the National Women’s Law Center did so because of the historical impact this work has had on their lives as well as the impact it will continue to have on their daughters’ and granddaughters’ lives. The advances in athletic opportunities created by Title IX have created significant health, emotional, and academic benefits for women and girls. I also remember my delighted surprise when Phil Cohan, a senior litigation partner in the Washington, DC office agreed to take on his first pro bono case to represent a group of parents in Michigan who wanted their high school daughter athletes to have the same opportunities as the boys did. The case charged the Michigan High School Athletic Association with gender discrimination, and the firm co-counseled with the National Women’s Law Center on the matter and led the trial team to victory in the Western District of Michigan. Phil later told me that his daughter and her teammates—the Williams College NCAA Division III Championship crew team—were very proud of him and the firm’s work on this case. The firm has been doing Title IX work for some time now, including negotiating favorable settlements with high schools that were in violation of Title IX. DLA Piper is honored to have worked with the National Women’s Law Center on such important and worthwhile projects. For this work, all of our daughters and sons will be proud. We welcome your participation and interest. In this area, like so many others, there is still much to do! Sincerely,

Lisa R. Dewey US Pro Bono Partner

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CovEr STory


For SporTS
Civil rights, athletic, and sports-related organizations nationwide are cheering for DLA Piper and our people who are working to make the many benefits of sports available to all through a variety of programs and activities. The following eight stories demonstrate our achievements.


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Phoenix client and rodeo champion Mary Ann Miller

Marcia Greenberger, NWLC Co-President, testifying before Congress about Title IX in June 2007.

TACKLINg DISCrImINATIoN AgAINST FEmALES Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the primary federal law barring sex discrimination against both males and females in all facets of education, including sports. Since President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law 35 years ago, it has been the subject of over 20 proposed amendments, reviews, Supreme Court cases, and other political actions. The law has made a measurable impact in sports: before Title IX, fewer than 32,000 women participated in college sports; today that number exceeds 160,000. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), also founded in 1972, has been at the forefront in educating the public about the law while monitoring and enforcing it. Its Title IX litigation manual, however, had not been updated since 1994. In 2005, NWLC turned to DLA Piper to assist in this huge task. These efforts culminated on June 19, 2007, with the publication of the second edition of Breaking Down Barriers (BDB), issued the same day that the NWLC’s copresident, Marcia Greenberger, testified about the status of Title IX before Congress. “Given the persistent discrimination against women and girls in sports, the lack of adequate federal enforcement of Title IX, and the results of a recent national survey indicating that the majority of people do not know what steps to take to enforce Title IX, Breaking Down Barriers is an invaluable resource to enable individuals to effectively assert their rights under Title IX,” Marcia testified.

“I am excited that Breaking Down Barriers will empower female athletes to understand their legal rights under Title IX so that they can create positive change if an educational institution has not been treating them fairly,” says project leader Robin Williams. Deborah Meshulam chose to join the project for a number of reasons. “As the parent of a student athlete, I want my daughter to have opportunities to pursue her sport that are equal to the opportunities her brother will have,” she says. “Also, as a young woman who played sports prior to the passage of Title IX, I had very limited opportunities to play on a collegiate level. I wanted to help ensure that our society does not backslide to that unequal and unfair environment.” BDB was a major team effort with help from Marion Nowak (Chicago), Christina Hawley (New York), Daniel Carrigan and Taron Murakami (Northern Virginia), Anne Braucher, Mary Gately, Ellen Ginsberg, Alexandra Magill, Deborah Meshulam, Maggie Vaughan, Robin Williams, and Vicky Wolf (Washington, DC). Notes team leader Mary, “I am very proud of the efforts of our team in producing this manual, which will protect the interests of our daughters and granddaughters. It also gave me the opportunity to work with so many capable colleagues in the DC and Northern Virginia offices, and it has been a real pleasure to see the contributions of such talented lawyers.”


Mike Meyer shows off some of his sports memorabilia in his office

Dikembe Mutombo and Peter Tucci

ropINg IN CorporATE SpoNSorSHIpS Phoenix attorneys represent Mary Ann Miller, the 2006 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Team Roper. Ms. Miller is a three-time Women’s National Finals Rodeo qualifier in breakaway, team roping, and barrel racing. In 2005, she was the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association National Finals Breakaway Champion. This year she aims to be the National Finals Rodeo Champion in barrel racing, and next year she has set her sights on qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in the men’s division of team roping. DLA Piper is helping Ms. Miller create a nonprofit organization through which she will donate 10 percent of her corporate sponsorships to help fund other women aiming to compete in men’s rodeo events. The firm is also helping her to secure the corporate sponsorships and financing she needs to compete in the 2007 and 2008 rodeo seasons. SCorINg NEW opporTUNITIES Michael Meyer (Los Angeles) is known for his love of sports, particularly baseball. He has turned this passion into pro bono work by serving on the boards of directors of two sports-related nonprofits. “My pro bono work allows me an opportunity to give back to the community and in some small way repay all the people who helped me along the way,” Mike says. “I am most active with organizations that focus on helping inner city kids, and it gives me sheer joy when I can help create a few opportunities for someone who might not otherwise have a chance to go to college.” Mike assists the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), a national nonprofit organization that awards four-year college scholarships to

From THE CoUrT To THE CoNgo When Peter Tucci (Philadelphia) threw his 40th birthday party, he requested that any gifts be made to the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars to help fight disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Peter’s party raised $10,000 to help the basketball legend’s foundation build the first newly equipped medical facility the DRC has seen in 40 years.
Peter and other firm lawyers have assisted with the contractual agreements and government hurdles required to build the center. In addition, Mr. Mutombo visited our Philadelphia office to share his plans for the hospital, which opened in July. Both Pennsylvania Super Lawyer magazine and the Philadelphia Business Journal have reported about Peter’s efforts and his friendship with the NBA star.

“My pro bono work allows me an opportunity to give back to the community and in some small way repay all the people who helped me along the way.”
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academically gifted students of color with financial need. The graduation rate for these scholars is 97 percent. Mike arranged for JRF to use office space in our Century City building, and JRF will soon relocate to our downtown office. Mike also sits on the board of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), which provides disadvantaged youth an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of baseball. RBI started as a local program for boys in South Central Los Angeles and has grown internationally to include 200 cities and 120,000 participants. RBI also provides academic support to participants and guidance counseling. Along with Terry O’Malley, Mike has been instrumental in providing each of these organizations access to various Los Angeles civic, business, and political leaders. CoACHINg A NEW SporT Jeff Rosenfeld and Steve Weerts (Los Angeles) and Maudy Smit (San Diego) provide corporate and tax support to the Los Angeles Waves Netball Club, currently California’s state netball champions. Netball, which is similar to basketball, now has a US team and will be an Olympic sport in 2012. “We are excited to work with the Waves and to assist the organization with its goal of fostering netball competition in the US,” Steve says. The DLA Piper team drafted bylaws and a conflict-of-interest policy for the club and is working to secure its tax-exempt status.

“It has been a great experience to watch this organization grow and become a critical provider of cancer support resources and an essential player in the fight to make cancer a national priority.”
rACINg AgAINST CoUNTErFEITINg The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) LIVESTRONG yellow wristband can be seen on the wrists of teenagers, athletes, and at least one presidential candidate. People wear the $1 bracelets as both a fashion statement and demonstration of support for those fighting cancer. LAF devotes 100 percent of the purchase price of LIVESTRONG products to educational and charitable services and cancer research. DLA Piper attorneys have worked vigilantly to protect LAF’s intellectual property rights. In addition to registering LAF’s trademarks, attorneys have helped LAF fight the unfortunately lucrative business of

counterfeiting the LIVESTRONG mark. When possible, the firm has taken action against counterfeiters and infringers, both in the US and overseas. Team leader Heather Dunn (San Francisco) notes, “It has been a great experience to watch this organization grow and become a critical provider of cancer support resources and an essential player in the fight to make cancer a national priority. Working to protect the LIVESTRONG brand is often exciting and always rewarding, and I am happy to have the opportunity to contribute my skills to the furtherance of its mission.” In addition to Heather, the team includes: Niels Mulder (Amsterdam), Allison Burn, Cheryl Goodall, Jeremy Lane, Dash McLean (East Palo Alto), Justin Davidson (Hong Kong), and Shelley Marlowe (San Francisco). DIvINg INTo SWImmINg Bryan Jones (Austin) has taken direction in his pro bono work from his experience as a member of the USA Swimming National Team by serving both on its board of directors and its supporting foundation. USA Swimming is the national governing body (NGB) authorized by the US Olympic Committee to select athletes who will represent the US in the Olympic Games. USA Swimming also focuses on swimming from the grassroots level up and serves nearly 300,000 members. USA Swimming is one of the first NGBs to implement background screening for its coaches. Bryan explains, “This screening process serves as yet another way to protect the athletes. By serving on the board of review panel, which oversees the appeals process, I am able to make sure that individuals who are denied membership are provided all rights in their application to regain membership as a coach.” As part of the board of review panel, he has served as the chair of appeals; Bryan notes


Bryan Jones competing in butterfly for The University of Texas at Austin

that it is not often a junior associate is given the ability to sit in a judicial role. He also works with the USA Swimming Foundation, which raises money to create opportunities for swimming in underprivileged areas and to teach swimming as a healthy lifestyle. In addition, Bryan recently accepted two new sportsrelated clients: Swim With Inspiration, a nonprofit that teaches swimming to underprivileged children in Austin, and Motivation and Right to Play, which uses sport and play programs to improve health, build life skills, and foster peace for children and communities affected by war, poverty, and disease. Motivation and Right to Play has projects in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. DrIvINg SUCCESSFUL ToUrNAmENTS Lacrosse fans from across the country descended on downtown Baltimore during Memorial Day weekend for the nationally telecast NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament. Division I, II, and III semifinals and finals set record attendance numbers, due in part to the work of Bob Douglas, Joe Harlan, and Paul Tiburzi (Baltimore), who raised money for more than 1,400 area youth to attend and participate. The tickets were donated to “non-traditional youth players”—that is, children whose families could not have afforded the price of admission. Lacrosse, the fastest growing sport in the US, has a significant presence in the Maryland area. US Lacrosse, which governs the sport in the US, and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame are headquartered in Baltimore. The tournament was projected to bring an additional $15-20 million to the city’s coffers. “Baltimore was the first city to hold the event in an NFL stadium,” notes Paul. “This adds a level of prestige that players and fans appreciate.” Paul and his team are working on the bid to bring the tournament back in 2009 or 2010.

SCorINg THE US opEN When the US Golf Association awarded the 2008 US Open in October 2002, it chose San Diego’s Torrey Pines—one of the few public golf courses ever to host this prestigious event. The course had recently been reconstructed with funds raised by Jay Rains (San Diego), who also led the city’s bid to host the tournament. Jay also is the local co-chairman of the championship, sits on the USGA 15-member USGA executive committee, and is a member of Friends of Torrey Pines, the fundraising and organizing committee. Jay and the Friends of Torrey Pines have pledged that money raised from the 2008 US Open will be given to charity. Jay says, “It is great that we could help the community benefit from the opportunity to host our national championship.” Jeff Baglio (San Diego) also works in the golf arena. He serves on the board of directors and provides corporate and securities advice to the Century Club of San Diego. The Century Club hosts an annual golf tournament, the net proceeds of which are distributed locally; this year, over $2 million was given to over 200 charities.

“ Working to protect the LIVESTRONG brand is often exciting and always rewarding, and I am happy to have the opportunity to contribute my skills to the furtherance of its mission.”

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DLA Piper continued to successfully advocate for asylum seekers in two recent court cases. In the first, Norman Leon and Holly Spurlock (Chicago) won a Seventh Circuit Appeal on behalf of Mr. A., who applied for asylum based on his political activity in Togo. In the second, Kristin Barrett and Michael Carlson (Philadelphia) won asylum for their clients Mr. and Mrs. B., who escaped persecution for their political activity in Liberia.
ASyLUm WoN For Togo rEFUgEE A Togo national, Mr. A. became politically involved when he founded a student organization and later joined the Union of Forces of Change (UFC), a Togolose opposition party. Soon after, Mr. A. and other student leaders were detained and, for two weeks, imprisoned in a bare, rat-infested cell without a restroom or lights. Here, Mr. A. was strapped to a table and whipped, kicked, and punched by his interrogators. The beating was so severe that it knocked out his four front teeth. After his release in 1993, Mr. A. went into hiding, and his name was placed on a government-generated list of people to be arrested on sight. In Togo, this list is generally understood to be synonymous with a death warrant. Mr. A. remained in hiding for the next decade. Mr. A.’s father-in-law, a captain in the government, was also put on the list because he had provided the UFC with privileged information. In January 1996, the Captain was shot in the back by members of the Togolese military; his body was left in the street for a time, then picked up and taken away. His family never saw him again. After this killing, Mr. A., his wife, and his daughter went into deeper hiding. In August 2001, Mr. A. escaped Togo by winning a poetry contest that gained him entry into the United States, where he applied for asylum. But the asylum officer denied the claim and put Mr. A. in removal proceedings. Following immigration procedures, Mr. A. renewed his application before an immigration judge (IJ), who also denied his application. That was when Holly Spurlock entered the case. She appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, arguing that the IJ focused improperly on immaterial discrepancies in Mr. A.’s testimony and failed to properly consider corroborating evidence. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s denial, but the Seventh Circuit reversed, agreeing with Holly and Norman Leon. The IJ has been directed to reconsider her denial of asylum.
Holly Spurlock and Norman Leon work in the firm’s Chicago office.


LIBErIANS’ ASyLUm grANT SECUrED In DLA Piper’s second recent success, a team of Philadelphia attorneys secured a grant of asylum for Liberians Mr. and Mrs. B., who also faced political persecution if they returned home. In October 2002, the B.s’ home was attacked by loyalists to President Charles Taylor, marking the culmination of a long period of harassment, persecution, and death threats. During the attack by masked government security forces armed with assault weapons, Mr. B. was kidnapped and tortured, and members of their family were beaten, raped, and murdered. When Mr. B. was released, he went into hiding and, a year later, made his way to the United States. The B.s were persecuted because they were active in the opposition Union Party. Moreover, Mr. B.’s late brother was a Unity Party national candidate in Liberia’s first post-civil war elections in 1997 and Mr. B. was active in his brother’s campaign, criticizing then-candidate Charles Taylor. Mrs. B. was involved with Voice of the Children (VOC), a small volunteer group that worked to dissuade families from sending their children to serve as soldiers, encouraged families to educate their children, and assisted in raising money for village schools. Although the VOC’s activities were nonviolent

and nonpartisan, Taylor’s government treated them as a threat. When President Taylor gained power, he implemented a brutal regime and targeted those who opposed him. (Taylor fled Liberia in 2003 during the second civil war. In 2006, he was extradited from Nigeria. His prosecution in the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone on 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity began on June 4, 2007.) Despite the recent election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the presence of UN peacekeepers, the B.s believe that it is not safe for them to return to Liberia. They say that Taylor supporters still hold positions of power and that Taylor loyalists continue to attack known Taylor opponents. Kristin Barrett and Michael Carlson entered the case when it was pending before an IJ. The immigration court granted Mr. B. asylum, finding that his testimony regarding past persecution was credible and that his fear of future persecution was well founded, given the precarious conditions in Liberia. The decision terminates the government’s efforts to remove the B.s back to Liberia, allows Mrs. B. to become a permanent resident, and permits them to reunite with their two young daughters who are still living in Liberia.

Mr. B., a former business owner with a degree in business and marketing, now works two jobs. After serving as a security guard until 11 PM, he helps care for children with severe physical and mental disabilities. His wife does similar work at a facility for the elderly. They hope their daughters will soon join them in the US. Martin Dajani (Washington, DC) supervised while Brian Robinson (Philadelphia) assisted Kristin and Michael. Mr. and Mrs. B. recently stopped by the office. They wanted to personally thank Kristin and Michael, and deliver tokens of their appreciation: traditional masks and clothes they arranged to be sent from Liberia and four different thank you cards. In one card they wrote, “And may you always be as happy as you’ve made us... plus more.” A message in a second card says, “Words are not enough to express our gratitude.”
Kristin Barrett and Michael Carlson work in the firm’s Philadelphia office.

Mr. B. was kidnapped and tortured, and members of their family were beaten, raped, and murdered.
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Securing Drug Charge Dismissal M

Protecting a Victim of Sexual Assault W

hile some attorneys choose transactional practice to avoid appearing in court, Kerry Camden and Michael O’Sullivan, both real estate associates in Raleigh, sought the opportunity to enter a courtroom by signing up for Project Together, a program created by Legal Aid of North Carolina. Through the program, they represent domestic violence victims in protection order hearings. “There are a lot of pro bono opportunities out there that call on skills that we develop as corporate lawyers, but Kerry and I wanted to do something different,” Mike says. “We wanted to affect someone’s life more directly and broaden our legal skill set.” In May, they represented Ms. S., a local graduate student who had been sexually assaulted by her then-boyfriend. Before accepting the case, the defendant’s attorney tried to convince their client to accept a notarized letter that his client would leave her alone. Fortunately, Ms. S. knew that such a letter would not be enforced by the local police. On the morning of the trial, Mike and Kerry reached an agreement with his attorney, and Ms. S. obtained a fully enforceable consent order signed by the judge, a much better outcome. The protective order prevents Ms. S.’s ex-boyfriend from having any contact with her for a year. Since she will attend graduate school this fall on the same campus as her attacker, obtaining the protective order was important to her. She also may go to law school in the future. “We helped somebody with a very personal legal issue get the right result. That was very rewarding,” reflects Kerry. “We also challenged ourselves to learn something new.”

r. H. found himself in jail when the US Department of Justice initiated an effort to stop what they perceived as Jeff Coopersmith the flow of money from works in the the sale of khat to Somali firm’s Seattle office. warlords and terrorist groups. Khat is an East African plant that sometimes contains the stimulant cathinone, a Schedule I controlled substance. The initiative involved a wiretap conducted by Drug Enforcement Agency agents in Seattle and New York. The US Attorney’s Offices in Seattle and New York charged over 50 defendants with conspiracy to import and distribute khat and related charges. Both Seattle and New York have large Somali immigrant populations, and the case was marked by frequent demonstrations outside the courthouse in Seattle about the unfairness of singling out this immigrant group after years of lax or nonexistent enforcement of laws regarding khat sales. Mr. H. fled Somalia in the wake of the rise of the warlords. He was granted status as an asylee due in large part to persecution his family suffered for its religious and personal beliefs. He works as a taxi driver. The US District Court in Seattle appointed Jeff Coopersmith to represent Mr. H., and Jeff led a team that included Catherine Borden, Omar Riojas, and Anthony Todaro, to total victory: complete dismissal of the indictment against Mr. H. The litigation team attacked the mens rea underlying the charges and obtained a court ruling that required the government to prove that someone


accused of selling khat is aware he is dealing in a controlled substance. This differentiates khat from other Schedule I controlled substances. The litigation team also filed numerous motions attacking the government’s discovery disclosures (including the government’s failure to supply any English language transcripts of the Somali language wiretap tapes) and the government’s laboratory work.

In Tune with Artists A

“It was an honor to represent Mr. H., and I am very pleased for him and his family.”
At the case’s finish, Jeff said, “It was an honor to represent Mr. H., and I am very pleased for him and his family.” With the question of the effect of the indictment on his immigration status lifted, Mr. H. is now continuing the process of bringing his wife and children to the US. They fled Somalia and now reside in Kenya.

ll artists have specialized legal needs to protect their works, spaces, and organizations. Authors and musicians need to copyright their original works. Theater companies Tom O’Neil, Ann Shubert, and Heather Vogeley need to lease performance space. work in the firm’s Washington DC office. Groups bringing art to low-income children need to become nonprofit organizations to raise funds. In Washington, DC, these artists turn to Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA). The firm also works with parallel organizations in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and California. Before 2003, WALA was a thriving DC organization with paid staff, a strong referral system, and successful events. Financial troubles caused this 20-year old group to essentially shut its doors for a period of time. Another law firm allowed a senior partner to devote part of his time to keeping the referral system alive, but the clinics and classes were no longer available. DLA Piper began reviving the clinics and held the first one in January. WALA board member Tom O’Neil (Washington, DC) says, “WALA performs such an important, and often unacknowledged, role in our community. Our firm stepped in at a critical time and gave the organization a lifeline to ensure not only that it survives, but that it fulfills its charter. The board and the organization are grateful and needless to say, I am proud of what the firm has accomplished in such short order.” At the monthly clinics, attorneys answer questions that take more than a simple phone call but do not require a long-term engagement. A recent client sought help publishing a book under a pseudonym. Another needed advice about how to terminate a license agreement. A common request is for assistance forming a nonprofit organization and applying for federal and local tax-exempt status. This can be complicated and requires preparation by the group. However, most clients are not familiar with the process. To educate the WALA members and give them the tools to be better clients, DLA Piper teaches a quarterly class. People can then ask to be placed on the referral list from which attorneys at the firm and across the city accept new clients. Paralegals Ann Shubert and Heather Vogeley (Washington, DC) volunteered to handle the logistics of contacting clients, matching them with attorneys, and arranging clinics and seminars. Heather says, “Artists help to beautify the world, and I love that I can do something to support their efforts.”

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Winning FEMA Claim for Katrina Victim
Two years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast, individuals are still negotiating benefit awards with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DLA Piper has been accepting individual clients screened and referred by the Mississippi Center for Justice since summer 2006, and has now helped almost twice as many clients as any other firm. (Please see related story on page 44.) Mr. S. became a client of DLA Piper in November 2006 after FEMA denied his entire claim, stating he wasn’t yet an official resident in the flooded area at the time of the hurricane since his lease did not start until September 1, 2005. But Mr. S. actually did lose all of his furniture, cars, and other property in the storm because he had signed the lease to his apartment on August 22, 2005, and moved in at that time—before the disaster struck. Mr. S. applied for FEMA benefits to cover his destroyed property, but was denied. Two years later, signs of the destruction are still Fortunately for Mr. S., Anthony evident in Biloxi, MS. Dreyspool (New York) stepped in to assist. Through numerous phone calls and submissions of letters, photographs, other evidence, and affidavits, Tony finally convinced FEMA that Mr. S. did in fact qualify for benefits. Mr. S. received $7,900 in August, just in time for the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. “I never imagined that this case would take nine months to resolve,” Tony said. “Sometimes sheer persistence with a big bureaucracy can bring good results. Never take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Partnering With a Corporate Client I

n Chicago, DLA Piper attorneys and client Transwestern paired up to sponsor volunteers from City Year, a national organization that sends young adults from diverse economic, racial, and geographical backgrounds to spend a year volunteering. The DLA Piper/Transwestern Team spent the year in service at Bethune Elementary School on Chicago’s West Side, where the entire student body is from low-income families. Team efforts included: ! Hosting a book drive for the school ! Donating a basketball hoop and backboard ! Organizing a field trip ! Hosting a lunch for the volunteers ! Delivering Valentine’s Day treats to volunteers ! Attending volunteers’ graduation ceremony

Anne Geraghty (back right), Jonathan Gordon of Transwestern (back left) and City Year volunteers deliver donated books.


The firm and Transwestern also sponsored a visit to Exchange City for 90 fifth and sixth graders to learn about careers in business, government, and science by assuming the different roles required to run a city. (Please see related story on page 41). “This is a great example of DLA Piper partnering with a corporate client to make the world a better place,” says Rich Klawiter, who serves on the board of City Year and as Chicago’s local pro bono coordinator. “I am pleased with the support we gave to volunteers and proud of their efforts to help less-fortunate students.” Transwestern is one of the largest privately held commercial real estate firms in the US.

“I am pleased with the support we gave to volunteers and proud of their efforts to help less-fortunate students.”

ohn Whitaker (Los Angeles) is generally recognized as “Mr. Downtown” by the downtown Los Angeles development, brokerage, and media communities. As a lawyer, he is playing an instrumental role in the urban renaissance underway in downtown LA as it develops into a world-class business, cultural, entertainment, and residential district. John has represented clients involved in the most significant real estate developments in downtown LA. John was instrumental in helping Los Angeles restructure its Transferable Floor Ratio Area (TFAR) policy to allow greater square footage for affordable housing development in the city. Through the revised policy, developers will make substantial payments to the city in exchange for improved development rights in the downtown area. These payments will be added to other funds associated with the development and used for affordable housing, open space, and other community benefits. The Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA), the premier business advocacy association in LA, credits the revised ordinance to John’s efforts. John is a member of CCA’s Executive Committee and the former chair. “The TFAR Ordinance is the ultimate win-win-win ordinance,” John says. “The developer gets certainty about costs and an expedited process, the city gets new funds for affordable housing, parks, and other community benefits, and the downtown community gains as well.”

Developing Downtown LA J

DLA Piper volunteers from Chicago included: (top row, left to right) Peter Ellis, Larry Fey, Michael Kasdin, Rich Klawiter; (bottom row, left to right) Aari Kotak, Emily Schlesinger, Kate Marzo, and Larry Wojcik.

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Fred McClure addresses students at the awards ceremony

DLA Piper Motivates Students to Improve A
s part of its commitment to the community, DLA Piper has worked at West Tampa Elementary School with a bar association program that promotes good behavior and citizenship in students. In this program, students earned bingo chips by acting properly. For example, chips were awarded for following directions, listening to teachers, and not being disruptive in the hallways. At the end of each month, students who reached a “bingo” were invited to attend a special party featuring guest speakers, fun craft projects, snacks, and party favors. DLA Piper hosted midyear and final parties at which the three students who were invited to every Bingo Party during the school year were honored with a special gift. All of the students received additional treats in recognition of their year-long efforts to improve their behavior at school. In addition, at the mid-year party, Fred McClure (Tampa) challenged students to do their best and work their hardest to become the most improved students: “Just because you do not start off well, or just because you may stumble along the way, does not mean that you still cannot win.” At the end of the year, Fred awarded the four students who showed the most overall improvement their own personal DVD players with a collection of classic movies. Every student there vowed to continue to be well behaved and work hard

next year, and Fred vowed to come back to see who kept their promise. Volunteer staff and attorneys include: Tonya Bowles, Lauren Flores, Stephanie Kane, Donna Look, Marc Matthews, Kevin McCoy, and Fred (Tampa). Christina Burden and Laura Ward organized the firm’s involvement.
Christina Burden and Laura Ward work in the firm’s Tampa office.

“Just because you do not start off well, or just because you may stumble along the way, does not mean that you still cannot win.”


QUESTION: What training benefits have you received from your pro bono work?

JACqUELINE DUNgEE (Philadelphia)
“I argued an immigration appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which was an amazing training opportunity. In preparation for the argument, we held a moot court in the office, which was invaluable practice for the real thing. This pro bono matter gave me an opportunity that I would not likely have received otherwise. I would recommend taking on an immigration/asylum appeal to anyone seeking appellate practice and training.”

omAr rIoJAS (Seattle)
“I have had the opportunity to conduct two federal bench trials though my pro bono work. Preparing for trials forced me to become a better writer and to think critically about strategic issues for developing and presenting my client’s case. Preparing for trials also made me a better listener and gave me a perfect opportunity to seek advice from seasoned trial lawyers and apply their advice to my cases. Finally, conducting a trial improved my oral advocacy skills and made me better accustomed to reacting to unpredictable developments.”

DIANNE LAroCCA (Washington, DC)
“My pro bono work at the firm has provided a range of training benefits. This past winter I had the opportunity to advise and represent a tenant in a landlord-tenant dispute. While a challenge, this experience was rewarding and provided me the opportunity to improve my litigation skills—drafting pleadings, arguing motions, participating in mediations, and eventually representing my client at trial. The outcome was a grateful client and a favorable decision.”

mArC BELLoLI (East Palo Alto)
“As a first-year associate, the training benefits I have received from my pro bono work have been fantastic. The supervising attorneys on my most recent project, Reneé Chantler and Bill Goldman, allowed me to take charge of the matter we collaborated on—an unlawful detainer case. At the same time, both were there as mentors to help guide me through the case and answer any questions.”

FALL 2007 | 





uiet and unassuming, Larry Wojcik has represented pro bono clients since his first weeks as a lawyer (or, since his mother called and asked what was taking him so long). His clients’ issues have run the gamut, but most have centered around the criminal justice system. Larry’s most visible work in recent years has been in our Chicago office’s Signature Project in Juvenile Justice. In addition to supervising associates and representing youths directly in delinquency proceedings, he assumed leadership of the project. As leader, Larry has brought the policy team together to study the important issue of what happens to students who are removed from school because of their involvement with the delinquency system, and what happens when they want to return to school. He is also a member of the team representing individuals incarcerated in “Tamms C-Max,” a super maximum prison facility in Southern Illinois. Larry has mastered the art of leading from within the firm to the benefit of his colleagues and the community, and his skills have also been recognized outside DLA Piper. In July, the president of the Illinois State Bar Association appointed Larry to serve as chair of the 2007-2008 Professional Conduct Committee, which authors Illinois Ethics Opinions.
q: What was your first pro bono case?


A: It started with my dear mother, a fiery Italian. After suffering through my comments about making the world a better place, she called me two weeks after I started working and said, “Okay, big shot. What have you done for the poor this week?” I tried to explain that I was working 60 hours a week, but she said, “That doesn’t sound like a valid excuse to me,” and she hung up. The very next week, I contacted Chicago Legal

Volunteer Society and began with landlord-tenant cases. I would go to their clinics to handle cases for everything from child custody to getting a car back for a couple that couldn’t speak any English. My first jury trial was an appointed case in federal court representing Charlie, who had gone through two other court appointed attorneys. At my first appearance before Judge Flaum (who had been on the District Court and is now on the Seventh Circuit), he congratulated me as the first

FALL 2007 | 7

Larry Wojcik hiking in Aspen, Colorado

lawyer he had appointed for Charlie who had not asked to be replaced.
q: What made this client so interesting?

to handle something major at least once a year.
q: How did you become involved with our Signature Project in Juvenile Justice?

A: My client was reality challenged. Charlie would show up at our law firm without an appointment. His personal hygiene habits were not great. But my firm was certainly supportive; it was a small firm, and therefore, pro bono efforts as a percentage of the firm’s total work could really impact it, and Charlie’s case took a lot of time and energy. Justice Fortis, who had left the Supreme Court, was co-counsel with us on a case for Hughes Aircraft against the US government. I once found Charlie in reception chatting away with the Justice. In our case, Charlie claimed two police officers beat him up, and we prevailed against the City of Chicago. And on top of it, we got our fees because it was a civil rights case; the senior partners of my firm stopped laughing once they saw that we got a check. Ever since then, I try

A: I started out really just participating in direct defense cases and working at one aspect of the policy side. It became obvious that we were doing very, very well on the direct representation, but in our policy work we needed to focus our efforts on one aspect of the juvenile justice system in which we could make a difference. Then, I was asked to take over directing both the direct defense and the policy work.
q: Where has your team taken the project?

“In many respects, we are part of that system, and to make a difference, you cannot be just a critic.”
system, and to make a difference, you cannot be just a critic. So, I went back to our folks to see if they were willing to join me in focusing on how we can help a child in the judicial system return to school. We found anecdotally that there was a total lack of communication and coordination when getting a child back from the system if the child has been in detention. And, we focused on that aspect of the process. We looked around the country and found various models. Frankly, we didn’t have to look very far for a real common sense approach. In Chicago’s wealthier suburbs, high schools have a special class with tutors for any child who has been out of school, especially in a detention situation. Instead of

A: After reading several reports criticizing our city’s institutions, we realized that there were plenty of folks willing to criticize, and that our law firm should not join that critical chorus for several reasons. One, it’s not productive. Two, in many respects, we are part of that



just putting the child back in the classroom, the child is given help to be brought up to speed. This way, the school is not just introducing him into a stream that has already passed him so he is forever playing catch-up. This seems pretty logical, and obviously this takes money. Now we are talking about what we can do with something the size of the City of Chicago. And what we found was that by working with, and perhaps changing the name of, probation officers to make them advocates for a child, they can help the child get back into school.
q: What kinds of problems does the policy project address?

A: We found that when a child leaves juvenile detention, in a singleparent household, Mom takes off work and shows up with the child at school, but there is no record, and the school does not accept the child. The school tells the mother to come back. So that is another day’s wages lost. Sometimes the principal simply does not want the child back, which creates a whole host of issues. We also found that there is a variance, as you might expect, between probation officers. Some are absolutely excellent and believe that it is their job to advocate for the child, while others just go through the motions. Our policy piece, which is coming out hopefully by early fall, provides recommendations on how to improve the process.
q: Where in the process is the policy project now?

report. We have had a tremendous outpour of help in this area. We met with the Chief Judge and his Chief Assistant Judge at the juvenile division in June, and they were very receptive—not only to the work the firm has done in direct representation, but also on the expungement front and our efforts to improve the system for getting children back to school. What I have been doing is trying to manage the process. We have a lot of good people. I just try and keep them pointed in the same direction. In direct defense, we have developed a specialty that I think will continue. Representing these kids is a great training ground, and our lawyers feel very good in doing that. Our folks go the extra mile keeping the parent or guardian apprised of everything going on and in trying to supervise the transition back to school.

“ We have a lot of good people. I just try and keep them pointed in the same direction.”
q: How did the expungement project develop?

a penalty for those who violate it. Somehow employers find a way to get this information, and unless there is a sanction for using or revealing that information, there are no teeth in the expungement process. Sonya Naar deserves a lot of credit for spearheading the expungement project. We are looking at setting up an expungement desk at the juvenile court so that the expungement process will be explained to a child right there with the child’s guardian or parent. Right now we are looking for funding for that.
q: As if that work wasn’t enough, you are involved in other pro bono projects, as well?

A: Ken Schmetterer has assumed an incredible role in taking all of our research and putting it in a unified

A: As a result of anecdotal experiences we had in direct defense, another policy issue we identified is the expungement process. We realized very quickly that in an electronic information world, expungement is an oxymoron. So, we focused on the different laws and found that the best solution is an expungement process that has

A: Yes. The firm also works with the Uptown People’s Law Center in representing incarcerated individuals in Tamms C-Max, which is a super maximum prison facility. The case has gone to the Seventh Circuit once and is back down for trial. The issue is that because incarceration at a supermax is so much harsher than at any other facility, individuals who are going to be transferred there have due process rights to

FALL 2007 | 


notice and an opportunity to be heard before the transfer. The Supreme Court held in an Ohio case that conditions as harsh as those at Tamms trigger due process rights. Our summer associates prepared affidavits for our clients based on their responses to questionnaires, and then traveled to Tamms, where they met with our clients and completed those affidavits to support the summary judgment motion in District Court.
q: You have done what I was warned about, which is be modest and talk a lot about other people’s work.

think back to that first jury trial and say that was great. However, I still remember a landlord/tenant dispute in which I represented an AfricanAmerican woman. She had been put out of her apartment. There was a judgment of about $750 against her. She was a beautician and over a series of about six weeks we got the judgment reversed. I remember calling her on the phone and she yelled out and she was so happy that she just screamed. And I swear that I did not need a phone to hear her.

A: I think that in any endeavor it’s really a team approach. It really is, and frankly, whether it is handling a securities lawsuit or a commercial arbitration dispute, my job is to pick the right team members and keep them focused. I do not have to provide a lot of motivation. We have outstanding associates who have done so much on the direct defense, and we have partners who have been leaders, too. It has been a team approach here in Chicago, and that’s a real exciting aspect of the project. And we have been blessed to have Carolyn Frazier from Northwestern. For those who continue to be interested in juvenile justice issues in defense, we will take cases from the Bluhm Clinic so that we don’t lose the benefit of all this education we have gained in the last couple of years.
q: What has been your most rewarding pro bono case?

“I think there is an obligation to give back. I have also found that it is a great way, as a young lawyer, to learn about clients.”
She was that delighted! That still sticks out as a memory of what it is all about: providing good representation to someone who otherwise would not have a chance in our system. Our system is very complex. I still think it’s one of the best systems on the planet, but it’s a very costly system, and unfortunately it makes true justice unavailable to the poorest portion of our society.
q: What is one of the surprising lessons that you have learned from your pro bono work?

A: Although the juvenile justice cases have been very rewarding, I

A: That there is a limit on what you can do for someone as a lawyer. I hearken back to Charlie’s case,

which taught me that. After the appeal, he was entitled to somewhere around $50,000. He needed dental work, he was a Korean War veteran, and he also needed someone to manage his money. I contacted my own dentist who agreed to see Charlie on a reduced fee. I contacted a good friend who was a stockbroker who agreed to waive his fees to give Charlie some advice on managing his money. I brought Charlie in and told him all of this and gave him the check. The next thing I heard from Charlie, he was in Hawaii and he was having a great time. He fashioned himself a writer and he was in a writer’s conference there. I am sure that the $50,000 went to a good use but was dissipated rather quickly. It taught me that my skills as a lawyer can help an individual, but ultimately at some point, they are individuals, and you cannot substitute your judgment for theirs. I have had cases where I represented prisoners and I wanted to go to trial, and then all of a sudden the state makes an offer, and you never know when your client will want to take it. You never know if that means all of your hard work in developing these defenses is really down the tubes because he really did it or he feels that he’s not going to get a fair break from the system and he takes it. Then again, there is that time when you have to let go and let the individual make the decision. I think when you first start doing pro bono work, you become very paternalistic, at least I did, and try to be all things to your client. Quickly, you get disabused of that. And then you just accept it and realize that your


skills are as a lawyer and that’s what this person needs. I’m not a social worker. I can give guidance, but if it’s ignored, it’s ignored.
q: How did you come to the law as your career in the first place?

A: It was always something that was very interesting to me. I have always been interested in the process. I was politically active since I was in grammar school. It just seemed like a fascinating way to pass one’s life and it indeed has been. I got to litigation because my undergraduate degree is in accounting and I practiced as a CPA, but as a CPA I always saw people making business decisions without really being fully informed of what litigation was. Therefore, I saw decisions that I thought were not made with the best information. So, I decided that I would find a firm when I got out of law school that would let me do trial work. But it was very difficult because everyone saw my CPA and thought I belonged in the tax or corporate departments. I finally found a firm that specialized in defending CPAs and so they needed somebody who knew about that and I needed someone to teach me how to be a trial lawyer. They gave me a really broad experience and I have not looked back.
q: Did you think you were going to go into politics as well?

and how our country is viewed around the world. Whether you like it or hate it, you can see the incredible importance of it. So I have always been interested in the political process and supporting those who I think will best serve the interests of our people and our country.
q: What advice would you give to young lawyers starting their career?

q: Tell me about some of your non-legal interests and activities.

A: If I can escape to a beautiful stream, I love to fly fish.
q: Where is your favorite place to go?

A: Not so much. It was more that I have always been interested in the process and it’s even more important these days, it has become incredibly more important, I think. Regardless of one’s politics, one can see the incredible implication of who sits in the White House to our country

A: Help somebody else. It is a great way to give back. Anyone who makes it through law school really only does it because they have had a great support group and they have been given a lot. I think there is an obligation to give back. I have also found that it is a great way, as a young lawyer, to learn about clients. It is a great way to get into the courtroom, to try cases even if it is a two-hour trial, and it is also a great way to learn about some of the counseling skills you need as a lawyer. I have found it a very rewarding experience. My advice is to do it early and make it a part of your career because then it just becomes a habit, a really nice habit.

A: For years, we’ve been going to the Adirondack Mountains to a beautiful river that runs through the Lake Placid area. My dream destination is New Zealand, but I do not have any plans to travel there just yet.

FALL 2007 | 2

mAppINg ImpACT

Kit Roth, Omar Riojas, Chris Huck, Chi Chi Onyeagbako, Fay Kelly, and Stephanie Tucker secured victory under the Hague Convention on behalf of a father whose son was kidnapped to the US from Mexico. After overcoming many hurdles and a difficult federal trial, the child was ordered returned to Mexico and father and son happily reunited soon thereafter.

Alan Kildow represents a teenage mother in a custody case. Despite becoming a mother at an early age, she graduated on time while holding down two jobs and competing in girl’s basketball.

Steve Churchwell continues his work on a state senate bill that would eliminate the practice of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without the possibility of parole in California.

John Salmanowitz is working with the Community Partners Program to provide corporate and business advice and support to fledgling low-income entrepreneurs in the city.

Maggie Crawford, Mark Fowler, Jerry Hersh, and Jake Zolotorev successfully defended the First Amendment rights of an Afghani nonprofit organization from false defamation claims.

Robert Odson is currently providing support to indigent litigants and the court through his service in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Early Neutral Evaluation Program.

Karen ZoBell and Kevin Reisch are providing real estate support to Habitat for Humanity in connection with its development of two affordable housing communities.

Gary Moss represents the Las Vegas Philharmonic in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with its musicians and other employment issues.

Kate Frenzinger is researching children’s right to counsel when in the abuse and neglect system for the ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee.

The Rawson-Saunders School, which serves dyslexic students, receives support and advice on board governance, contracts, and employment matters from Megan Adams, Bryan Jones, Geoff Unger, and Sam Zabaneh.

Melinda Gilliam had a great idea: gather recipes from attorneys and staff to put into a DLA Piper cookbook. As a firmwide charitable event, this winter DLA Piper will produce and sell Cookbook for a Cause, a collection of recipes from across the firm. All proceeds will benefit local food banks and the Global FoodBanking Network.


Matthew Iverson, Jennifer Sullivan, and summer associate Danielle Kinkel are assisting the mother of a child who suffers from multiple disorders, including ADHD and PTSD, obtain a special needs placement with the Boston public school system for her son, who has been denied services since March.

Attorneys from across practice groups have been advising Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art on a number of legal issues, from ensuring it does not violate artists’ intellectual property rights to addressing the potential liability of some interactive performance art pieces.

NEW yorK
Many attorneys are providing general counsel support to United Way of New York City, including developing vendor agreements and reviewing contracts.

James Coons, Michael Hynes, and Caleb Stevens are working with Carlos Ortiz as he continues to serve on the New Jersey Governor’s Advisory Council on Police Standards.

Darius Gambino routinely works with clients referred by Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts on intellectual property-based matters. In one of his recent cases, Darius represented a musician who was seeking to license the rights to two of his musical compositions to a movie producer.

As its group project, summer associates prepared cases for civil protection hearings and helped eight victims of domestic violence.

Bo Earnest helped create the Mid-Shore Pro Bono Project in 2006 to connect clients with pro bono attorneys on the Eastern Shore. The Project was given an award by the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service in June 2007.

After four months of negotiations, Ed Schneideman and Raj Ahuja reached a favorable settlement on behalf of their client, who was being evicted from her apartment— providing her with new housing in a senior citizenfocused apartment complex.

In partnership with JUSTGeorgia, attorneys, paralegals, and staff are interviewing stakeholders to investigate ways to improve the juvenile court system.

Clayton Thompson serves as guardian ad litem to two young boys whose parents are involved in a divorce and custody dispute. The case involves not only determining the best interest of the children, but also assessing whether either parent is a fit custodian.

In federal court, Doug Knox and Marc Matthews are representing a client seeking the return of his two minor children to Mexico under the Hague Convention. Chris Stambaugh prepared a memorandum comparing voter eligibility standards in different countries for the Public International Law & Policy Group to provide policy formulation advice and training to states and governments involved in peace negotiations and drafting post-conflict constitutions.

FALL 2007 | 2


Project leaders and partners at the May training: Marita Etcubañez (APALRC); Allison Rutland Soulen (Just Neighbors); Linda Johnson (Just Neighbors); Rená Cutlip-Mason (Tahirih); Lisa Norton; Frank Connolly; Janis Ellsworth (Northern Virginia) Seated: Pallavi Gullo (Just Neighbors); Melysa Sperber (Tahirih); Roberta Ritvo (Washington, DC). Not shown: Cecelia Levin (Ayuda)

Pathways to Freedom for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence


ur Northern Virginia office has launched its new signature project: Pathways to Freedom for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence. This project is dedicated to helping abused immigrant women and men secure legal status in the US, enabling them to independently pursue education and employment opportunities. “We are proud to say that, through this signature project, many of our attorneys are branching out from their usual practice areas to assist those who are in desperate need of legal services,” says John McJunkin, office managing partner.

While an estimated 60 percent of married immigrant women experience physical and sexual abuse, even more undergo emotional and economic abuse and intimidation. Often taking advantage of their more secure status in the US, abusers threaten to have victims deported, revoke residency sponsorship, or refuse to file necessary immigration petitions. This intimidates battered immigrant women into not seeking help and remaining trapped in abusive situations. In addition, confusing immigration laws, language barriers, social isolation, and lack of financial resources further reduce victims’ options for obtaining


independence. While the vast majority of victims are women, men can also be subjected to domestic violence and face limited options for the same reasons. Frank Connolly and Lisa Norton lead this project, through which the firm has pledged to take at least 20 cases. Both attorneys and staff in Northern Virginia are participating in preparing and filing immigration documents to help victims. “This project is an excellent opportunity for everyone in the office to contribute to a meaningful and rewarding cause—helping to provide victims of domestic violence with a way to independently forge their own pathways to freedom,” Frank says.

The firm will file applications under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or U Visa provisions. In the first filing, Ki Kim and Mary Ann DeCastro prepared VAWA and permanent residency applications for Ms. M., a woman from Botswana who met her husband while in the US earning an MBA. When her husband returned to drug and alcohol abuse, he sexually assaulted and threatened to kill her. Although Ms. M. was about to get her green card through her marriage, she instead applied under VAWA with the help of the firm. This case was just the beginning. Attorneys and staff members in Northern Virginia are committed to helping others find their way to freedom from abusive situations.

Pathways to Freedom for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence Helping abused immigrant women in Northern Virginia secure legal status in the US Access to Education Improving educational outcomes for low-income children in New York City Fighting Against Hunger Working firmwide to assist foodbanks in their mission Juvenile Justice Representing youths in the Chicago juvenile justice system and studying ways to return them to the classroom Access to Justice Commission Studying access to justice in Washington, DC Special Education Repairing the system for resolving special education disputes in Washington, DC Defeating Child Pornography Protecting children against pornography and abuse Domestic Violence Project Providing safety and justice for battered women in Tampa Project 5000: Reversing Urban Blight Reclaiming Baltimore Adoption Project Reducing the backlog of adoption cases in Washington, DC

Just Neighbors, Inc. Founded in 1996, Just Neighbors, Inc. provides legal services to lowincome immigrants in Northern Virginia, through legal services and public outreach programs. In 2005, Just Neighbors, Inc. assisted over 500 clients from 84 countries. Tahirih Justice Center The Tahirih Justice Center, named after a 19th century pioneer for women’s rights, secures access to justice for immigrant women and girls who face gender-based violence. Tahirih engages in direct representation, litigation, and public policy advocacy and sponsors education and outreach programs to protect women and girls from violence. Ayuda, Inc. Ayuda, Inc. is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of low-income immigrants in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, by providing both legal and social services for clients, as well as assistance to survivors and victims of domestic violence. In addition to working directly with clients, Ayuda, Inc. holds trainings for other social service agencies to educate them on how to better serve the immigrant population. Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) APALRC advances the legal and civil rights of the Asian-American community in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, through direct services, education, and advocacy. It frequently provides worker’s rights, domestic violence, and immigration assistance.

FALL 2007 | 2


Making Learning Possible S
Kiera Gans and Krista Sirola work in the firm’s New York office.

ince launching Access to Education in October 2006, 19 attorneys and three staff members in our New York office have directly represented 12 youths facing disciplinary action at school. Meanwhile, in the transactional arm of the project, we have begun representing Head Start agencies in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

rETUrNINg A gIrL To HEr CLASSroom Kiera Gans and Krista Sirola volunteered to represent R.N., a 7th grade girl facing suspension from Intermediate School 52 in Manhattan for allegedly throwing a container from a doorway of a classroom that hit a teacher in the back. R.N. denied throwing the container and the hearing officer found that the school presented insufficient evidence to support its claim to the contrary.

Kiera’s and Krista’s advocacy extended beyond representing R.N. at the hearing. Two weeks after the hearing, no decision had been issued and R.N. was still suspended from school. Persistence from both attorneys got the decision issued, the suspension dismissed, R.N.’s record expunged, and returned her to the classroom to continue her education. Krista says, “This was a great opportunity to present a case to a judge and help a student in need. Our client needs to be in school learning, not sitting at home as punishment for an act the school has no evidence she committed.” gIvINg CHILDrEN A HEAD STArT At least once every three years, each Head Start program must undergo a PRISM Review (Program Review Instrument for Systems Monitoring of Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees), by the federal government to assess whether the organization meets federal performance standards. Five Head Start agencies are receiving help through Access to Education to prepare for their PRISM reviews. What started out as a routine corporate governance review assignment for the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services has blossomed into a full-scale school support partnership that draws upon multiple areas of law. “We have moved from a successful PRISM Review compliance representation to addressing ongoing inquiries in tax-exempt filings, corporate governance issues, adversary proceedings with state agencies, accounting issues being addressed by our partner PwC accountants, and participating in multiple

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

2 project statistics cases  attorneys and  non-attorneys  dismissals  pending 2 reduced suspensions  immediate transfer  suspension sustained but significant services provided  appeals with  suspension dismissed and many others pending  Head Start clients with a 9th in the works


as of June 30, 2007



feel-good events that the Center has set up to thank volunteers. We have been invited to read to the children during Literacy Week along with local firefighters and police officers, state senators, and other community partners; we attend and advise at all board meetings; and we have been honored at their annual awards brunch,” says Ellen Clark, who manages the DLA Piper team. “When lawyers from midtown Manhattan show up at board meetings in the Bronx, it makes a difference—not just in the smooth running of a meeting, but in building the selfconfidence of each individual on the board as committed community

partners. Head Start is not just about obtaining funding for pre-school, it is about empowering disadvantaged communities.” The team representing the Center also includes: Georgiana Chung, Kavi Grace, Leonard Gubar, Adam Jacobs, Anastasios Kastrinakis, Anthony Saur, Qiana Smith, and Anthony Vargas.

HAppy HEArTS FUND David Hryck (New York) serves as counsel to Happy Hearts Fund. HHF is a high-profile international charity founded by Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova after she survived the December 2004 tsunami in Thailand. HHF assists children around the world who have suffered from natural disasters and other causes; both Happy Hearts Fund and Petra Nemcova are based in New York City.

Anastasios Kastrinakis (above left), Anthony Saur (above center), and Anthony Vargas (above right) work in the firm’s New York office.

“Our client needs to be in school learning, not sitting at home as punishment for an act the school has no evidence she committed.”

David Hryck and Petra Nemcova

FALL 2007 | 27


Protecting the Confidentiality of Juvenile Records


s part of the Signature Project in Juvenile Justice, attorneys in Chicago recently helped pass legislation designed to protect the confidentiality of juvenile records in Illinois. The legislation was needed to reverse a decision of an Illinois Appellate Court that would have made confidential juvenile records accessible to anyone. In Camco v. Lowey, a private attorney issued a subpoena to obtain confidential juvenile records of a 12-year-old child. The police department answered, and the arresting officer revealed confidential information about the child during a deposition. The attorney attached the confidential records to a court pleading, which led to the child’s family losing their home. An Illinois Appellate Court upheld the attorney’s actions, interpreting the Juvenile Court Act to mean that anyone could subpoena confidential juvenile records. At the request of the Public Defender’s office, the firm got involved in reversing the decision. Working with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Rep. Ken Dunkin, who sponsored the bill,


Stan Adelman and Howard Rosenberg (Chicago) helped promote legislation that would ensure that parties could no longer access juvenile records without a court order, who will weigh that party’s need for the information against the child’s right to privacy and chance for rehabilitation. Under the new law, parties who illegally obtain these records will be prevented from using the documents in court, as the basis to bar employment or the holding of public office, or as justification to deny any public benefit or right. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the legislation into law on August 13, 2007. Since the Signature Project in Juvenile Justice began in summer 2004, nearly 100 DLA Piper attorneys have handled some type of direct representation case. Almost 70 of those 100 have handled a delinquency matter. These cases have involved charges ranging from first-degree

PROJECT STATISTICS 	 $ 0 cases handled

70 clients represented

	 $  attorneys involved in direct representation 	 $ 0, hours devoted to direct representation 	 $ 0 hours devoted to policy work 	 $ ,07. hours devoted to other related matters (life without parole, expungement policy work project administration, etc.) 	 $ $,, total value of fees and costs
as of June 1, 2007

murder to a melee stemming from a school fistfight. As the project developed, the firm discovered additional issues in juvenile justice and expanded beyond direct representation in delinquency cases to changing state law. The Camco legislation is just one example of the many avenues that have led from the Signature Project.

“ Under the new law, parties who illegally obtain these records will be prevented from using the documents in court.”



Please take a moment to visit our web site, where you will find case summaries, articles featuring our pro bono accomplishments, and a link to the pro bono video.

FALL 2007 | 2



proFILE oF NEW pErImETEr BoArD mEmBEr:



Mark Ellis never knew he could make a living out of his interest in international issues. Even as he started his legal career as a commercial lawyer in Tallahassee, Florida, that his future would evolve as it has: into a life’s work in international private and public law.


orn in Washington, DC, and raised in Fairfax, Virginia, Mark developed an interest in the law while watching his father in court. His interest in rule of law, human rights, and international issues developed while participating in summer study programs in Yugoslavia and Brussels, Belgium, as an undergraduate. After graduating from Florida State University with both his undergraduate and law degrees, Mark worked in a Tallahassee law firm and still received the school’s student newspaper. An advertisement for applications to the Fulbright Scholars Program caught Mark’s eye. “I knew immediately that I wanted to apply, even though I did not think I would be awarded the scholarship. I noticed the ratio of applications to available slots in Yugoslavia were in my favor. Having spent time there, I thought that would be a good place to apply.” In the 1980s, the Fulbright program was flexible and Mark extended his one-year fellowship to study economics and trade between the European Union and Yugoslavia into two and one-half years. “My time overseas was the most significant change in my professional life.”

CrEATINg THE CENTrAL EUropEAN AND EUrASIAN LAW INITIATIvE When he returned to the US in 1988, Mark knew he needed to move to Washington, DC, to pursue his international interests. He began working at a boutique international trade firm and writing about foreign investment, and then to work on projects with the World Bank. His shift to rule of law developed out of a confluence of events. The president-elect of the American Bar Association, Talbot (“Sandy”) D’Alemberte, had been appointed dean of FSU College of Law after Mark graduated and had looked up Mark while visiting Yugoslavia. Their friendship continued and he included Mark in conversations with the president-elect of the ABA’s International Section, Homer Moyer, about creating a program to bring the talent of US attorneys to emerging democracies. In 1989, after the Berlin Wall fell, they created the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), and asked Mark to serve as director. Although he joined CEELI with the intention of soon returning to international trade, Mark found the transition from commercial law to rule of law

and human rights consistent with his childhood interests. “I think I was destined to move in that direction,” he says. CEELI advances the rule of law by supporting the legal reform process in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. CEELI makes American and European legal expertise and technical assistance available to emerging democracies as they modify and restructure their laws and legal systems. “After a few months, I realized that this was a once in a lifetime experience, and I stayed,” he says. “It was a magical time with the changes in Eastern Europe. I saw historic transformation as a first-hand witness. It was a humbling time to work with people who had suffered for years and now were trying to make something new and historic. I was honored to be part of it in even a small way.” Mark nurtured and grew CEELI from its founding through its first decade. By the time he left, over 5,000 attorneys and judges had participated, many of whom spent six months or a year overseas. “That experience showed me how impressive the legal profession can be with its pro bono commitment,” he adds.

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$ $

Executive Director, International Bar Association On-air legal analyst for CNN International on the Saddam Hussein trial Executive Director, Central and East European Law Initiative, a program of the American Bar Association President, Coalition for International Justice, which provides technical legal assistance to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Legal Advisor, Independent International Commission on Kosovo (chaired by Justice Richard J. Goldstone) Consultant to the Foreign Investment Advisory Service of the World Bank Adjunct Professor, Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law Fulbright Scholar, Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia (twice)







INTErNATIoNAL BAr ASSoCIATIoN Mark sought a new challenge and in 2000 accepted the post of Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA), based in London. “It has been a wonderful journey with the IBA because it plays a unique role in the international community by bringing together almost every country’s national bar association, making it the UN of the legal community.” Through his work with the IBA, Mark has observed the increased involvement of attorneys from all practice areas. In particular, Mark has observed how business lawyers have committed to supporting the development of laws to advocate for and support human rights. “Unfortunately, we live in a world where we continue to fall short of reaching the accepted standards in rule of law and human rights. However, lawyers can play a crucial role in helping meet these standards. When I was in law school, you would be hard pressed to find classes on human rights, rule of law, or even international law outside the toptiered schools. Today, these classes

are common. This development has occurred within a relatively short period of time.” SErvINg oN THE NEW pErImETEr ADvISory BoArD Sheldon Krantz was one of CEELI’s early volunteers, providing criminal law assistance in the former Czechoslovakia. Mark recalls, “He was a very successful attorney and could have focused all his time on his business practice. But he found significant time for pro bono work with CEELI.” Mark accepted Sheldon’s request that he serve on the Advisory Board of New Perimeter without knowing much about the program because he knew of Sheldon’s commitment. He has been thoroughly impressed that DLA Piper

has committed its full resources to New Perimeter projects including its media, marketing, and technology departments, as well as its lawyers and other personnel. “New Perimeter is a model that has been seen by many people as the most unique in this area and the most desirable; it will not surprise me to see other firms copying it. I think this will be one of the most important legacies of DLA Piper.” Mark’s work with CEELI and the IBA has provided the opportunity to be involved in major developments in international law. For example, the IBA trained the prosecutors and judges of the Iraqi Special Tribunal in preparation for the trial of Saddam Hussein and his associates, and Mark served as an on-air commentator about the trial for CNN International. “I have no regrets and take great satisfaction in my work. I feel fortunate because I wake up every day excited about what I do and hope I am contributing to society and making a small difference. And that is what drives me.”

“I have no regrets and take great satisfaction in my work. I feel fortunate because I wake up every day excited about what I do and hope I am contributing to society and making a small difference. And that is what drives me.”


Climate Change Project Enabling small groups in Africa to generate and sell carbon credits created by afforestation and reforestation projects and working to ensure that women are equal participants African Millennium Cities Project Focusing on the legal, regulatory, and practical impediments to foreign direct investment in two African cities Kosovo Assisting the interim government and the National Center for State Courts in developing Kosovo’s new justice system Southern Africa Litigation Centre Supporting human rights advocacy in nine Southern African countries

Eliza Bechtold (far left) with two students from Georgetown University Law Center, a Swazi Magistrate Judge, and a Swazi attorney, in Swaziland.

Introducing the New Climate Change Project L

aunched as part of DLA Piper’s Global Sustainability Initiative, New Perimeter’s Climate Change Project seeks to help small groups of subsistence farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to generate carbon credits through afforestation and reforestation (creating new forests or revitalizing existing ones) as a way of offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. This will reduce the devastating effects of deforestation, drought, and famine in these areas of extreme poverty by providing long-term revenue for the small group participants through the sale of greenhouse gas credits. In coordination with the International Small Group Tree Planting Program (TIST), and the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, LeAnn Johnson-Koch (Washington, DC) and Maureen Dorney (East Palo Alto) lead the team providing groups of farmers with advice on land tenure and ownership issues, gender equality, and how to create and protect the rights of farmers in generating and selling the carbon credits to global customers. To date, the team has researched all of the applicable statutes and regulations in the three countries and identified issues relating to ownership of land, trees, and carbon credits. Eliza Bechtold (East Palo Alto) and Whitney Stevens (San Diego) traveled with Georgetown students to Swaziland as part of the Clinic’s ongoing initiative to secure women’s human rights in African countries. Finally, Maureen traveled to Tanzania and Kenya this summer to work with the farmers. While in Africa, Maureen met with several of the small groups and the local TIST personnel, giving her a much deeper understanding of the actual operation of the small groups and their concerns. The Climate Change team includes Bob Martens (Brussels), Fredric Cohen, Chris Skey (Chicago), Eliza Bechtold, Maureen Dorney (East Palo Alto), Frank Mugabi, Alicia Plerhoples (New York), Michaell Smith (Paris), Whitney Stevens (San Diego), Christine Lancaster (Sheffield), Catherine Campbell, LeAnn Johnson-Koch, and Steve Shimberg (Washington, DC).

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Assisting the Fund on risk assessment and management CHF International Micro Finance Expanding micro finance opportunities to support entrepreneurship around the world Global FoodBanking Network Developing a new model for international food distribution in cooperation with America’s Second Harvest

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Our People, Our Commitment, Our Community
upporting the growth and development of our communities—whether local or global—is an intrinsic value held at DLA Piper. Our commitment to giving something back to our communities, as people and as professionals, lies within the fabric of our business. Our CSR strategy has been developed to deliver programmes in the key focus areas of: $	Education and Enterprise $	Sustainability $	People and Communities $	Pro Bono
EDITor’S NoTE This CSR update comes from Elaine Radford (London), Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Europe and Asia.


The response from our global workforce to the leadership role we have taken on in relation to this issue has been tremendous and has united us all in a very powerful way. Business in the Community—Silver Jubilee Award— Big Tick. I am delighted to announce that DLA Piper has been awarded a prestigious Business in the Community Big Tick award for its 10-year partnership with The Prince’s Trust. The Silver Jubilee Big Tick recognises DLA Piper’s outstanding commitment to responsible business and the notion that business can and should make a positive impact on the communities in which it operates. Nigel Knowles comments: “We are enormously pleased at the recognition that our partnership with The Prince’s Trust has received. CSR is, and will continue to be, at the heart of our business and I am very proud of the real difference we are making to the lives of young people.” National Business Awards—Sponsored by Orange and the Daily Telegraph. DLA Piper was a finalist for the North East National Business awards for its diverse and dynamic CSR profile in Sheffield and Leeds. International CSR intranet. I am pleased to be able to report that on 22 June, DLA Piper International launched its new CSR intranet site. The site has been designed and developed to create a sense of community and will showcase all the great CSR work taking place in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The site will also contain a full gallery, press clippings, initiative articles, and messages of support and testimony from a range of community partners.

ACHIEvEmENTS The DLA Piper Global Sustainability Initiative— launched 26 January 2007. In the latter half of 2006, a global task force was charged with the delivery of a sustainability initiative, which would be robust, have longevity, and take account of the various regulatory and cultural environments in which we operate. The three cornerstones of the Global Sustainability Initiative are: 1. Certification of compliance with ISO 14001, a globally acknowledged standard for environmental management that will measure our commitment to the environment. 2. Achievement of carbon neutrality on business air travel, a process that involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from this activity, and then purchasing carbon offsets or credit for unavoidable emissions. 3. Setting of carbon emissions reduction targets in the four impact areas of: $	 energy management $	 waste management $	 travel $	 procurement


NEW CSr ACTIvITy—AN ovErvIEW Paris-CSR collaboration with national and international business. DLA Piper, in partnership with IBM, Nokia, Dassault Systemes, SFR, and community partner, IMS, is working to deliver a very innovative educational project that will engage students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The premise of the project is that the companies will work together to provide a structured series of workshops and interactive sessions to engage with students whose potential is not being met. This is a very inspirational model in the French marketplace and has seen DLA Piper take the role of lead partner. DLA Piper’s international network helps the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). DLA Piper, Copenhagen recently initiated a pro bono partnership with the DRC and found itself advising in a cross-border litigation, supported by colleagues in the Tbilisi office. The Society Development Association (SDA), a Georgian agent administering loans for the DRC, was found guilty of defrauding the DRC in the City Court of Kutaisi, Georgia. The Court found the SDA guilty of registering loans in the names of relatives and friends. The SDA was ordered to pay US$116,727 to the DRC and court fees nearing US$3,600. The DRC was represented by DLA Piper on a pro bono basis as part of its CSR strategy. The DLA Piper team acting on behalf of the DRC was led by Nick Gvinadze and also comprised Erekle Glurjidze, Otar Kipshidze, and Natela Otaridze. Hong Kong—Preparing to launch a legal advice clinic. As part of its long-term relationship with Youth Business Hong Kong, volunteers from the Hong Kong office are looking to establish a legal advice clinic for young entrepreneurs who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Over 300 entrepreneurs have already been assisted by our

lawyers—whether through the provision of pro bono legal advice or business mentoring. This is yet another development that gives a strong focus to CSR delivery in Hong Kong—and which impacts upon social and economic growth of the city and its provinces. This is a great project that offers our young lawyers a new arena in which to hone a range of professional and personal development skills, while contributing to a very worthwhile project. Youth Business Hong Kong was founded by DLA Piper, Hong Kong using a similar model to the UK youth charity, The Prince’s Trust. The Cutty Sark—Recovery programme. A team of DLA Piper partners from Marine and International Trade, Real Estate, Construction and Engineering and the Technology, Media and Communications groups have offered their services to the Trustees of the Cutty Sark, following the arson attack which took place on the historic tea clipper in May 2007. DLA Piper has been working with the Cutty Sark Trust on a pro bono basis since 2004 taking a proactive approach as its legal counsel. Matt Illingworth Shipping Offshore and Transportation partner comments, “The Cutty Sark is one of the world’s most famous historic vessels. She epitomises the great age of sail. Her sharp bows and extreme engineering made her like the Concorde of her day. It is imperative that we do all that we can to ensure her heritage for future generations.” LooKINg AHEAD Our CSR portfolio continues to grow in strength and depth across international jurisdictions, and we are all very proud of what has been achieved to date and look forward with optimism and enthusiasm as the next stage of our global journey unfolds.

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Attorneys and staff from Washington, DC, whose contributions were recognized by the DC Bar

Outgoing DC Bar President James Sandman, Roberta Ritvo, and Lisa Dewey

Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year A

t an awards dinner on June 21, the District of Columbia Bar named DLA Piper the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year in recognition of its service to the Bar and the legal profession. The award recognizes the research and analysis support provided to the Access to Justice Commission, as well as the broad array of pro bono services carried out by the office’s attorneys. The firm’s work with the Access to Justice Commission led the Commission to successfully lobby the City Council to appropriate $3.2 million to legal services providers in 2007. Attorneys in DC participate in several clinics, including those at the DC Bar and Rachael’s Women’s Day Center, and play a key role in the revival of the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA) clinic, which is hosted in the DC office. In 2006, the DC office contributed over 20,000 hours to pro bono service—more than seven percent of the office’s billable time.


Law Firm Partner of the Year Award
LA Piper received the Law Firm Partner of the Year Award as part of the Chicago Bar Association’s Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend-A-Hand Program on August 7, 2007. The firm was recognized for working with programs that assist and mentor children throughout the Chicago area, exemplified by the contributions of Portia Owen Morrison and Ken Schmetterer (Chicago). Portia has worked with tutoring/mentoring programs on behalf of the Girl Scouts of Chicago, where she served on the board of directors for many years, including a four-year term as president. Ken serves as general counsel and on the board of directors of UMOJA Student Development Corporation, a nonprofit providing educational, professional, and life-skills mentoring to high school students. He also coordinates volunteer activities, linking attorneys and other professionals to work directly with students served by UMOJA. HUNgEr DrIvE rESULTS DLA Piper’s Hunger Drive raised a whopping $55,570.10 in cash and food donations this year, nearly doubling last year’s total of $29,525.50. Congratulations to our Edison office for winning the office competition by donating $124.50 per person, followed by Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Many thanks to everyone involved.



Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year
n July 11, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights recognized Marianne Raimondi as the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year for her contributions to the Choose to Own Program, an initiative through which Chicago residents can access subsidies to help them purchase their first homes. Marianne has helped several first-time homebuyers navigate the closing process and has paved the way for other attorneys at the firm to do so as well. She also helped to draft the program’s manual and conducted city-wide training for pro bono attorneys in fall 2006.


Judge Suzanne Covington Pro Bono Service Award


ourtney Stewart (Austin) was honored on May 17 with the 2007 Judge Suzanne Covington Pro Bono Service Award presented by Volunteer Legal Services (VLS) of Central Texas. The annual VLS ceremony, led by Austin’s judges, honors recipients for their outstanding commitment to pro bono and assisted pro se legal services in Travis County, Texas.

Ed Mason (right) delivers donations from Baltimore to the Maryland Food Bank.

Courtney Stewart with her Judge Suzanne Covington Pro Bono Service Award

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2007 Pro Bono Champion

Three Equal Justice Council Awards


n June 13, 2007, Legal Services for New York honored DLA Piper as a Pro Bono Champion for its New York signature project, Access to Education, and its sponsorship of the DLA Piper Education Coordinator fellowship. The partnership between DLA Piper and LSNY has substantially enhanced LSNY’s ability to provide high quality free civil legal services to the underprivileged in New York and provided the Access to Education participants with support and mentoring.


LA Piper was honored for supporting legal aid with three awards from the Equal Justice Council of Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. at its Tenth Annual Awards and Recognition Breakfast, held at Camden Yards on May 24, 2007. Retired partner Frank Gray was named a Champion of Justice and Clémence Miller was given the Young Lawyers Leadership Award. Frank Burch accepted the Pacesetter Award given to the Baltimore office.

John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award

pHILADELpHIA oFFICE HoSTS STUDENTS From LEADErSHIp CHArTEr SCHooL Our Philadelphia office hosted a seminar for 30 students from Leadership Learning Partners Charter School on June 11. James Brogan and Raymond Williams led a discussion about leadership skills, decision making, and life choices. Afterward, 15 lawyers and paralegals led students on office tours and held small group discussions. Our partnership with the school is headed by Jayne Risk, managed by Joanne Gobeler, and supported by Patricia Donahue.


he Illinois State Bar Association awarded the Chicago office the John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award on June 22, 2007, which the Chicago office also won in 2005. This prestigious honor, given by the ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, recognizes lawyers’ meritorious efforts in delivering pro bono legal services. The firm is being honored for its large scale, long-term, innovative pro bono work, particularly the Chicago Signature Project in Juvenile Justice.

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Distinguished Service Award
ike Woodward and David Grenardo (Los Angeles) were awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program on April 26, 2007, for successfully trying a three-day administrative hearing to help a developmentally disabled teenager living in a group home who was about to be aged out of the foster care system and denied supportive services. Their efforts ensured the services necessary for her to lead an independent life as an adult.


Heather Olson and LLPCS students.



Excellence in Corporate Diversity


LA Piper received the Association of Black Women Attorneys Award for Excellence in Corporate Diversity. Darrell Gay (New York) accepted the award on behalf of the firm during ABWA’s 30th Anniversary Gala held in Manhattan on March 24. The firm was recognized for its significant pro bono and community service efforts, such as the Chicago Signature Project in Juvenile Justice, support of Human Rights First and representation of its clients, and initiatives that further the development of women attorneys. Founded in 1976, the ABWA provides a support network for African-American women attorneys and law students to develop their professional skills.

Bill Gantz with his Survivors’ Salute

World Trade Center Survivors’ Salute

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keeping the Dream Alive Award


he World Trade Center Survivors’ Network honored Bill Gantz (Chicago) with a Survivors’ Salute for his work on issues surrounding New York’s sweepstakes and raffle statutes. Monica McCabe, who has assisted the organization with trademark and advertising issues, and Krista Sirola (both New York) attended the annual awards dinner and accepted the award on Bill’s behalf. The Survivor’s Network also thanked Joe Finnerty III (New York) for establishing the Survivor’s Network as a DLA Piper client.


t the 27th annual Metropolitan Area Hunger Conference, William Minor (Washington, DC) was presented with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keeping the Dream Alive Award for the integral role he played in helping to secure nearly $3 million of federal support for the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB). The funds are key in the development of a new facility that will enable the CAFB to dramatically increase its service to those in the DC area who are at risk of hunger.

President’s Pro Bono Service Award
ail Rodgers was honored with the New York State Bar Association’s 2007 President’s Pro Bono Service Award in the Young Lawyer category on April 30, 2007. Gail was nominated by Human Rights First, a legal service provider that provides representation to asylum seekers who have fled persecution in their home countries. Gail was honored for the generous and effective services she rendered to three different clients seeking asylum referred to her by HRF. Gail’s achievement represents the third consecutive win of this prestigious award by an associate from DLA Piper.


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HUNgEr DrIvE THANKS During the firm’s Hunger Drive in June, our Washington, DC, office raised more than $50 per person in food and funds for the Capital Area Food Bank. Lynn Brantley, President and CEO, wrote on July 3:
Speaking on behalf of the Capital Area Food Bank Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, I would like to thank DLA Piper US for your tremendously successful 2007 Food Awareness Week Fundraiser. In all, DLA Piper and its employees raised $16,000 and 1,206 lbs. of food! These donations will provide over 48,000 meals in our community. Our ability to touch the lives of those at risk of hunger in the Washington Metropolitan Area is dependent on the commitment and generosity of partners such as yourself and DLA Piper.

mEDIATINg A LAWSUIT Amy Schulman (New York) served as a mediator in a dispute over printing presses. In reporting the results to the Federal District Court, Daniel Gielchinsky, an attorney for one of the parties, wrote to the court:
The parties attended a mediation session at Counselor Schulman’s offices on June 11, 2007, and the case was resolved that day with her able assistance. All of the parties and counsel were very impressed with Counselor Schulman’s very quick grasp of the issues and her sensitivity to the parties’ respective motivations. We are most grateful to Counselor Schulman for donating her time and expertise to bringing closure to what had been a difficult matter, and appreciative that the Court afforded us the opportunity to avail ourselves of the mediation program.

In addition, the firm was presented with a Certificate of Commendation by the CAFB as a thank you for everything DLA Piper has done over a number of years.

When entering this letter on the docket, Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann added a handwritten note of thanks to Amy.



STUDENTS ExprESS THEIr grATITUDE Students from Bethune Elementary School sent many letters in early June about their visit to Exchange City in the Experiencia Learning Center. The firm and Transwestern sponsored this event for 90 fifth and sixth graders who, after two months of classroom preparation, spent a full day learning about careers in business, government, and science by assuming the different roles required to run a city. (Please see related story on page 12). The “City Attorney” expressed regrets that the experience had to end:
Thank you for sponsoring Bethune school and enabling us to go to Exchange City. We had a great day. We learn a lots about how businesses work. The job I had was city attorney I know now how city hall is run. I wish that we didn’t have to leave. What I enjoyed most was being a city attorney because it helped me know how the legal system is run. I saw other kids beside myself having a great time and some kids didn’t want to go at first but then they wanted to stay all day.

An Exchange City “Police Officer” also sent thanks for the chance to do a job he loved:
What a great day I had at Exchange City. Thank you for sponsoring me. I really enjoyed myself. My job at Exchange City was a police officer, and the job was to keep the citizens in order. What I enjoyed the most was running the town. Every one had a job that they wanted, especially me. Thank you again.

Finally, one of the City’s budding entrepreneurs commented:
Thank you for sponsoring Bethune school and enabling us to experience Exchange City. The thing I enjoyed the most was my job working at the sport shop. I got to make cool things like flags, buttons and key chains. I had so much fun working with my friends too. It’s hard to keep a shop running. It was just like the real world would work trying to keep the shop making money.

The “Mayor” wrote:
Thank you for sponsoring Bethune school and enabling us to experience Exchange City. We had an awesome time, it looks like a real small city. I was the mayor and I worked in city hall. What I enjoyed the most was the town meeting because I had a chance to talk to everyone and tell everyone to come to my office. Thank you again.

One of the City’s “publishers” also was enthusiastic:
Thank you for sponsoring Bethune school and enabling us to experience Exchange City. I worked in the production studio as a Web page designer. I had to collect people’s designs for their Web page and publish them. Then I put them on the Internet. What I enjoyed most was working with other people. I hope you sponsor Bethune school next year.

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INTErNATIoNAL voLUNTEEr WEEK On April 17, 2007, East Palo Alto Mayor David E. Woods issued a Proclamation in recognition of the 34th annual celebration of International Volunteer Week. On behalf of the City, the Proclamation thanked the Volunteer Center of Silicon Valley for its community service to the city, and singled out Henry Lesser (East Palo Alto) for recognition as well.

Whereas, the Volunteer Center of Silicon Valley benefits from the strong community volunteer leadership of Henry Lesser as a Member of the Board of Directors. The City Council and Residents of East Palo Alto wish to congratulate the Volunteer Center of Silicon Valley and thank them for their community service to the City of East Palo Alto residents.

ApprECIATIoN For TrAININg Sonya Johnson (New York) received a thank you email on March 29 from Cary Goodman, Executive Director of Directions for Our Youth, an organization that provides school-based high school programs aimed at preventing students from dropping out:
I didn’t want to let a whole day pass without writing to say thanks for the wonderful workshop you offered yesterday. Each of us came away with a much fuller, deeper, better understanding of the issues connected to sexual harassment. I feel that we all will be better managers and community workers as a result of this training/professional development.

Proclamation of the City of East Palo Alto



CHUrCH mErgEr BLESSINg In a March 21, 2007, email to Robyn Koyner and David Sickle (Chicago), Tinley Park United Methodist Church expressed its thanks for their assistance in the merger of three churches, acquisition of a building, and sale of the churches.
You presented yourselves not only with the skill, competence and professionalism of our “high-end” firm, but in a manner that made us comfortable and at ease. [You] put credence into our discussions and helped us to feel confident and assured that together we could really make this happen. We thank you and welcome you aboard. We also would like to thank the…Marketing Dept. for putting together the pro bono packets…Our [Merger Feasibility Committee] was very impressed and feels fortunate to be represented by such a fine firm.

I am especially grateful to R. Omar Riojas, Anthony A. Todaro, Jeff [Coopersmith] and Kelly [Condon] for their hard work and invaluable time devoted for my cause. I will always remember their favor. I do not know how I would be able to repay the debt but I hope to follow the example by helping a needy person someday.

CommENDATIoN For STErLINg WorK Kim Pagotto (Washington, DC) received commendation from Kevin M. Simpson, executive vice president and general counsel of the Partnership for Public Service. He sent a January 31, 2007, letter noting that the deal involved four to five separate actors and at least four separate agreements, and continued:
Many nonprofits are resigned to the fact that, where pro bono representation is concerned, you really cannot expect a top-notch level of service given the competing demands on any attorney who agrees to offer their services without charge. This has never been the case with DLA Piper and Kim did an outstanding job in guiding us through this process. I cannot speak highly enough about the quality of Kim’s counsel, her responsiveness and her willingness to take the lead in coordinating among the various parties. We could not have done it without her and we are extremely grateful to her and to DLA Piper for the strong support.

CrImINALLy ACCUSED CLIENT Mr. H. sent the following thank you letter in March to the team of Seattle attorneys and staff who defended him in a prosecution for conspiracy to import and distribute khat. (Please see related story on page 10.)
Please accept my sincere thanks for providing me with your pro bono service. You have not only big size and network but also a big heart. You did not shy away from utilizing your resources to help me who desperately needed your help but was unable to afford it thereby setting up an example for others to follow. Now chances are good that soon I would be able to see my 73 year old mother, my daughter whom I had left at the age of 4 months 6 years ago and my wife whom I had said see you soon 6 years ago.

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HUrrICANE KATrINA Pro Bono Manager Roberta Ritvo (Washington, DC) received a March 10, 2007, letter thanking the firm for its ongoing commitment to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.
On behalf of the Mississippi Center for Justice and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, I write to express our heartfelt gratitude for all that you’ve done to help Mississippi recover from Hurricane Katrina. DLA Piper responded in the early months and never quit. More recently, thanks to your exceptional DLA Piper is assisting commitment to help Mississippians— clients who still live in FEMA trailers, such as more than 75 individuals and families these in Biloxi, MS, two have benefited from the vast legal years after Katrina. talent at your firm, getting invaluable pro bono assistance to those most in need. Many leading firms agreed to take FEMA appeals. However, DLA Piper has managed to take about twice the number of Katrina clients of any other pro bono firm, recently branching out beyond FEMA matters and into the emerging need for help with the state’s Homeowner Grant process. Because of your firm, many Mississippians are Katrina survivors not victims. You and DLA Piper are a model for the profession, locally and across the country.

described about a “trusted” community mortgage broker duping an unsuspecting low-income couple out of title to their home. Injustices like this would go unaddressed were it not for talented new Equal Justice Works lawyers in Chicago—and across the country—who are committed to working on behalf of people and communities locked out of our justice system.

ExpANDINg THE BroTHErHooD Robert Koen (New York) received a March 8, 2007, letter of thanks from The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, which provides youth in Harlem with mentoring, leadership development, international study, internships, community service, and job training. He assisted the organization with purchasing the land adjacent to its property, ensuring its long-term prospects and ability to expand. The organization’s directors noted,
The pro bono assistance of DLA Piper in general, but your work specifically, has meant a tremendous amount to the organization.

SUpporTINg EqUAL JUSTICE David Stern, CEO of Equal Justice Works, sent this thank you letter to the firm on March 6, 2007, thanking DLA Piper EJW Fellow Lea Weems:
I want to give special thanks to Lea Weems for describing her incredible work at [Legal Aid Foundation] as part of her Equal Justice Works Fellowship sponsored by DLA Piper. I was outraged by the scam she

oBTAININg TAx ExEmpT STATUS Danielle Meltzer Cassel and Aaron O’Donnell (Chicago) received thanks from the Kenwood Improvement Association in both a May 7, 2007, email and KIA’s newsletter. They assisted KIA in obtaining federal tax exempt and Public Charity status for its work in reinvigorating the neighborhood and improving public safety. The email says in part:
On behalf of all involved, our sincerest thanks to you and to Aaron, for this could not have happened without your guidance and support.


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Litigation T +1 619 699 2738

Chicago Pro Bono Manager T +1 312 368 3966

Real Estate T +1 312 368 7243

Litigation T +1 212 335 4874

Litigation T +1 619 699 3620

Litigation T +1 212 335 4892

New York Pro Bono Manager T +1 212 776 3701

Litigation T +1 312 368 8923

Litigation T +1 619 699 4748



Washington, DC Pro Bono Manager T +1 202 689 7890

Labor and Employment T +1 703 773 4006

Finance T +1 858 677 1486

Litigation T +1 214 743 4508





Litigation T +1 215 656 3335

Litigation T +1 206 839 4863

Finance T +1 404 736 7812

Litigation T +1 650 833 2123




Corporate and Securities T +1 650 833 2425

Litigation T +1 415 836 2584

Litigation T +1 813 222 5935

Corporate and Securities T +1 512 457 7046


Patent Litigation T +1 650 833 2065

Litigation T +1 415 836 2547

Government Affairs T +1 202 861 3995

Litigation T +1 512 457 7149

Litigation T +1 202 861 3865

FALL 2007 | 


DLA Piper is committed to providing pro bono representation to individuals and nonprofit organizations in the communities where we live and work and around the world. For more information about the firm’s strong commitment to pro bono, please visit our web site, or contact:


“So many people at DLA Piper have pro bono running in their blood. As a result, we seek out opportunities no other law firm would. It is great for the firm, its attorneys, and—most importantly— the communities we serve locally, nationally, and globally.”
Andrew Valentine (East Palo Alto)

1200 Nineteenth Street, NW, 7th Floor Washington, DC 20036-2412 T +1 202 861 6218 F +1 202 689 7461


2000 University Avenue East Palo Alto, CA 94303-2215 T +1 650 833 2041 F +1 650 833 1218

“Our pro bono program encourages attorneys to work together on projects. The program provides an excellent opportunity for senior associates to not only help those in need but also instill confidence, a sense of responsibility, and a passion for practicing law in our valued junior associates. Through these partnerships we are able to work in a limitless and amazing array of practice areas.”
Rita Patel (Washington, DC)

203 N LaSalle Street Chicago, IL 60601-1293 T +1 312 368 3966 F +1 312 251 2891

1251 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020-1104 T +1 212 776 3701 F +1 917 778 8201

1200 Nineteenth Street, NW, 7th Floor Washington, DC 20036-2412 T +1 202 689 7890 F +1 202 689 8515 The Pro Bono Bulletin is published by the firm’s Pro Bono Department. Assistance provided by: RE:CREATIVE, Graphic Design Christina Hawley, Project Manager Carmen Ramson-Herzing, Internal Communications Manager Marion Nowak, Communications Manager

DLA Piper US LLP practices law in the United States and France, and together with other related entities is a member of DLA Piper, a global legal services organization. In support of our global Sustainability Initiative, this publication is printed on recycled paper. Copyright © 2007 DLA Piper US LLP

DLA Piper US LLP | 00199

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