(CHICAGO) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that 13 of the firm's attorneys were honored for exceptional dedication to pro bono services as part of the firm's 17th Annual Pro Bono Service Awards. Recipients were selected for demonstrating a long-term commitment to using their legal skills on behalf of those in need.
"Since our founding, Katten's attorneys, under the leadership of Jonathan Baum, Jane Cavanaugh and others, have pursued involvement in pro bono projects with the same dedication to hard work and legal excellence that they bring to all of our client matters," said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey. "This year's award recipients were particularly committed to volunteering their time and talents to address a range of legal matters, and that dedication helped improve the lives of many."
The following individuals were recognized. Highlights of their pro bono service include:
- Nineveh Alkhas, special counsel, Employment Law and Litigation (Chicago) – advising nonprofit organizations in all aspects of the employment relationship, from hiring to termination, and preparing employee handbooks and agreements for such clients;
- Janet Goelz Hoffman, partner, Government and Public Finance (Chicago) – providing dozens of nonprofit corporations with legal assistance on their organizational and governance issues, including creating a nonprofit corporation and gaining federal tax exempt status for an organization that provides tutoring and life-skill support for severely learning disabled and autistic young adults who attend local colleges;
- David S. Hoffmann, partner, Environmental and Workplace Safety (Washington, DC) – representing under-served victims of domestic violence to help them secure restraining orders or obtain custody of their children;
- Ryan J. Larsen, partner, Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Los Angeles – Century City) –representing an inmate on a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1473.5, which permits convicted criminals who are victims of domestic abuse, referred to as intimate partner battering (IPB), to bring a writ petition to introduce expert testimony and demonstrate that the outcome of their case would have been different had the effects of IPB been readily understood at the time of trial;
- Daniel E. Lipton, associate, Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Washington, DC) – fighting for a prisoner's access to medical care while in custody and recovering a couple's life savings after it was improperly seized by customs officials;
- Thomas E. McNeill, staff attorney, Real Estate (Charlotte) – advising debtors whose creditors attempt to execute against their homes and personal property on how they can avail themselves of exemptions they are legally entitled to;
- Dean N. Razavi, associate, Litigation and Dispute Resolution (New York) – obtaining asylum in the United States for a whistleblower fleeing political persecution in Transnistria and for running the firm's mentorship program at a New York City high school;
- Emily L. Rochy, associate, Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Houston) – securing compensation for a prison inmate severely beaten by fellow prisoners;
- Victoria Rodley, senior associate, Corporate (Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP) – performing corporate governance work, obtaining charitable tax-exempt status and providing commercial advice for nonprofit organizations that help disadvantaged young people discover their creative potential in the arts;
- Michael M. Rosensaft, partner, Litigation and Dispute Resolution (New York ) – working on numerous asylum cases, including obtaining asylum for an individual who suffered political persecution in her home country, and for supervising Katten's program seeking sentencing reductions pursuant to the President's program for incarcerated individuals who were sentenced to overly harsh mandatory minimums;
- Jessica Mickelsen Simon, associate, Insolvency and Restructuring (Los Angeles – Century City) – assisting with more than 40 adoptions and for obtaining thousands of dollars in benefits to help care for the adopted children, many of whom suffer from physical and mental disabilities;
- Philip Watkins, partner, Corporate (Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP) – performing corporate governance work and providing commercial advice for nonprofit organizations that develop technology to provide people in developing countries with more access to water, food and medical help, as well as providing tutoring for students with autism; and
- Jessica I. Wilson, associate, Environmental and Workplace Safety (Austin) – winning release of a non-violent drug offender serving life in prison under outdated mandatory minimum laws.
"The attorneys honored with these awards are the exemplars of the hundreds of Katten attorneys, in all of our offices, who render less-recognized pro bono service all year round," said Jonathan Baum, Katten's Director of Pro Bono Services. "We are so proud of the difference all of these attorneys make in the lives of those less fortunate and in the welfare of the communities in which we practice."
Katten's Pro Bono Service Awards include $1,000 honorariums that each recipient donates to a charity of his/her choice.