CHICAGO - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that four of its attorneys have been selected to receive the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award. Partner Michael J. Summerhill and associates Dean V. Hoffman, Jenny R. Leifer and Monica K. MacMillan will be honored in a November 8 ceremony for their pro bono efforts on behalf of Our Lady of Mercy Legal Clinic, a free legal clinic operated by Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, which serves a predominantly poor, Latino clientele. The Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that offers quality legal services to low income Chicagoans who could not otherwise afford access to the law.
Katten’s attorneys will be honored for their work on a case which involved a client who was arrested for “endangering the life of a child” when he left his four year-old son in his car while he went into a store. The client was a legal resident alien, but Federal law provides that any legal resident who is convicted of “any crime involving a child” can be deported. The Katten attorneys convinced the prosecutor that the client was a good father, who works two jobs, owns a home and is otherwise a productive member of society. The prosecutor agreed to drop all charges if the client attended parenting classes.
“We are honored that the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation has chosen to recognize the pro bono efforts of our attorneys in this manner,” said Jonathan K. Baum, Katten’s Director of Pro Bono Services. “At Katten, we strongly encourage all of our attorneys to devote some of their time to pro bono work and have always been pleased with their willingness to accept this challenge. We are grateful to Mike, Dean, Jenny and Monica for helping our pro bono effort to continue to thrive.”
Katten has a long-term commitment to helping the poor, the powerless and the disenfranchised obtain first-rate representation without charge. Attorneys and other legal professionals give their time, resources and talent to serve individuals and organizations in need, to engage in important national litigation, and to partner with local legal service providers to ensure access to the justice system.
Katten’s pro bono program is particularly noteworthy for the breadth of services it offers. This includes litigation, both on behalf of individuals and groups, in matters of housing and public accommodations discrimination, civil liberties, immigration, criminal defense and prisoners’ rights, and consumer matters. Katten also handles transactional pro bono work in such areas as corporate and tax assistance to not-for-profit organizations, intellectual property law, employee benefits, and international trade law.