Chairman’s Feature Story Message
A Message from Our Chairman “
With our four offices, international network, and repertoire of practice and industry experience, we tackled global issues starting at a local level, assisting diverse communities as they faced their unique challenges.
The gaps in the legal system can be addressed, one matter at a time. With pro bono work, attorneys become leaders in public service and navigate complex issues for those who otherwise might not be heard. This year, Arent Fox again notched new highs in our work for the public good as our attorneys tackled legal challenges, some unprecedented. The firm’s commitment to public interest work dates back to the firm’s founding in 1942, and we have consistently prioritized our leadership within the private bar to address unequal access to legal representation. With our four offices, international network, and repertoire of practice and industry experience, we tackled global issues starting at a local level, assisting diverse communities as they faced unique challenges. We are particularly proud of providing office space and support to the new DC Affordable Law Firm. Over the past year, Arent Fox attorneys have contributed more than 19,000 hours of service. I welcome you to read about some of the transformative stories and thank you for your interest in Arent Fox’s pro bono efforts.
Mark M. Katz Chairman
Table of Contents
Public service is a pillar of our firm.
Each year, Arent Fox recognizes partners, associates, and legal professionals who perform outstanding contributions to public service.
Addressing Unequal Access to Legal Services
Launch of the DC Affordable Law Firm.
Teamwork for the Special Olympics World Games A massive Arent Fox team devoted thousands of hours to the 2015 Summer Games.
Fostering a Tradition of Public Service
Mentoring junior attorneys and litigating for those in need.
Our strong roots in pro bono work inspire our attorneys to make things happen, believe in a vision, and do what it takes to see it through.
Our attorneys commit their efforts to matters that range from one day issues to longterm arrangements that span years and require hundreds of hours.
Our commitment to our communities goes well beyond legal work.
Whatâ€™s next for AFProBono?
Transactions to Secure the Future Obtaining safe spaces in New York City.
Mission Arent Fox’s commitment to public interest work dates back to the firm’s founding. We strive to remain at the forefront of the private bar’s effort to address unequal access to legal representation. Lawyers have a special obligation to the administration of justice. Arent Fox believes that community service and pro bono publico work are integral to the practice of law and the firm has made it a priority to give a voice to those who otherwise might not be heard. Arent Fox is a part of your world.
2015 In Review
Looking Back at 2015
Pro Bono Matters
Pro Bono Hours
Pro Bono Honor Roll 250+ Hours Alison L. Andersen Jon Bouker Hunter T. Carter Sean N. Clerget Marc L. Fleischaker Andrew M. Murad Maidie E. Oliveau Deanne M. Ottaviano Connie A. Raffa Ralph A. Taylor, Jr.
150â€“249 Hours Ahmed Abdel-Rahman Mark A. Angelov Rosemary Bajorek Deborah Bey Meera Chandramouli William R. Charyk Julia L. Diaz Andrew Dykens Jennifer A. Fischer Cesar A. Francia Susan L. Friedman James H. Hulme Bernice K. Leber Jeff Leung Susanna Hathaway Murphy Brian D. Schneider Emily Baver Slavin Andrew F. Solinger
Michael L. Stevens Matthew S. Trokenheim Karen S. Vladeck Barbara S. Wahl Temitope K. Yusuf
50â€“149 Hours Carolyn Austin Arthur S. Beeman Eric A. Biderman Valerie Blair Mark A. Bloom Adam D. Bowser Steve Chariyasatit Lianne E. Childress Craig Engle Philip S. English Dorie A. Fader Timothy J. Feighery Carla J. Feldman Lynn R. Fiorentino M. Douglas Flahaut Wesley T. Gee E. Jon A. Gryskiewicz Marwa M. Hassoun Tiffany Brooks Healy Charlyn L. Ho Keith F. Huffman Sungyong (David) In Thomas E. Jeffry Jr. April A. Johnson
Jeffrey E. Jordan Jade M. Kelly Jennifer C. Koehler Richard J. Krainin Meghan S. Largent Nicholas J. Lawson Gerard Leval B. Thorne Maginnis Stewart S. Manela Matthew R. Mills Richard A. Newman Matthew Nolan Nancy A. Noonan Lee A. Pepper Eva J. Pulliam Patrick R. Quigley Daisy Sanchez Kelli A. Scheid Loni J. Sherwin Xiyin Tang Richard J. Webber Rachel M. Witriol Peter R. Zeidenberg
Pro Bono Award Winners Marc L. Fleischaker Award For Notable Work by Partners & Counsel Carolyn Austin, Partner Carla J. Feldman, Partner Thomas E. Jeffry Jr., Partner Deanne M. Ottaviano, Partner Mark R. Phillips, Partner Ralph A. Taylor Jr., Partner Susanna Hathaway Murphy, Counsel
Albert E. Arent Award For Notable Work by Associates & Staff Erin E. Atkins, Associate Jade M. Kelly, Associate Jimeelah Berryman, Trademark Paralegal Specialist Jill Clough, Senior Paralegal Winifred Ng, Senior Paralegal Judy Yolles, Senior Paralegal
â€œOur attorneys and professionals who voluntarily dedicate so much of their time and skills to ensuring access to justice are representative of the highest ideals of the legal profession.â€? Mark M. Katz Chairman
Feature Stories Arent Fox has confronted critical problems while giving a voice to people who otherwise might not be heard. These are the stories that have transformed lives and communities.
Addressing Unequal Access to Legal Services 125,000 residents in the District of Columbia do not qualify for free legal aid, but cannot afford lawyersâ€™ fees. They are no longer alone.
ast year, Arent Fox, Georgetown University Law Center, and DLA Piper teamed up to launch the DC Affordable Law Firm (DCALF) with a goal of providing affordable, high quality legal services to DC residents who do not qualify for free legal aid. The exclusively charitable and educational “low bono” law firm also gives counsel to small businesses and nonprofits in the District. For its part, Arent Fox provides office space, technological support, and pro bono hours. Chairman emeritus Marc Fleischaker is serving as Chair of the Board of the nonprofit DCALF.
“We are thrilled to host DCALF in Arent Fox’s DC office,” said Marc. “This new firm will help meet the needs of DC residents seeking affordable legal services. We hope it will also encourage more lawyers to devote their careers to serving these populations by providing the level and quality of training, mentoring, and supervision necessary to ensure that high quality services are rendered.” There are at least 125,000 residents in the District of Columbia who do not qualify for free legal aid because their incomes are too high. But those people are still unable to afford rates that lawyers often charge. This includes teachers, police and other public safety officials, government employees, and almost anyone earning between $25,000 and $60,000 per year. As with people from every income bracket, this population faces civil justice problems: the threat of eviction or foreclosure, loss of child custody, domestic violence, and uncertain immigration status. Most DC residents (as well as residents of other cities) are forced to face these challenges on their own. DCALF aims to address this by providing high quality legal services at affordable fees to people who do not qualify for free legal services. “We are proud to join this partnership,” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor when announcing DCALF. “The law firm will enable people of very limited means to receive the legal representation they need. We hope that DCALF will inspire others in the legal profession, that it will be a model that others will follow, and that it will promote greater collaboration between the private bar, the academic community, and legal aid providers in confronting the access to justice gap.” Arent Fox, Georgetown Law, and DLA Piper are each making major commitments to the nonprofit law firm. Georgetown Law is providing 15-month fellowships to six of its graduating law students to work in the law firm in each of the next three academic years and offering a related, cost-free LLM program to lawyers in the firm. DLA Piper, with assistance from Georgetown Law and Arent Fox, is
taking the lead role in developing training for the new lawyers and creating DCALF’s policies and procedures. Both Arent Fox and DLA Piper have committed substantial pro bono time to mentor and supervise DCALF’s new lawyers. Sheldon Krantz, a retired DLA Piper attorney and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, is serving as the executive director of the firm during its first year on a pro bono basis. Collectively, the three organizations will provide more than $1 million in financial and pro bono support annually over the next three years. “There are tens of thousands of DC residents who struggle with legal crises such as eviction, debt collection, and family disputes such as divorce and child custody; as well as the myriad issues faced by vulnerable populations like the elderly,” said Benjamin Boyd, co-managing partner of DLA Piper’s Washington, DC office. “In our complex legal system, a lawyer’s assistance can make an enormous difference on these issues, but a substantial slice of DC residents neither qualify for free representation nor can they afford a lawyer. This gap in access to justice is wide and DCALF will work to fill that void.” Aside from serving a client population with unmet legal needs, lawyers working at DCALF have the opportunity to receive extensive skills training from Georgetown Law professors and seasoned DC-area lawyers, as well as advice on client relations and business and case management training. Georgetown clinical faculty along with Arent Fox and DLA Piper attorneys are mentoring and supervising the new lawyers. “At the end of their fellowship,” said Mr. Krantz, “along with their months of training, these new lawyers will have something most of their peers lack after only one year of practice—first chair dispute resolution, negotiation and transactional experience, and the gratitude of clients who would otherwise not have a lawyer to help them with their legal needs.”
Teamwork for the Special Olympics World Games A nine-day event with 7,000 athletes from 177 countries competing in 27 different sports does not come together without a little elbow grease and a lot of legal work.
rent Fox counsel Maidie Oliveau has assisted the Olympic movement in multiple roles for the past 23 years. But for her most recent stint as pro bono general counsel and secretary to the board for the 2015 Summer Olympics World Games Organizing Committee, she called upon her colleagues to assist with the significant legal work associated with organizing the event, held in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2, 2015.
Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, which provides yearround training and competitions for more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. Just like the traditional Olympic Games, the Special Olympics holds summer and winter games every four years. A true team effort, 45 Arent Fox attorneys and paralegals from all four offices contributed thousands of hours on legal work for health care, employment, intellectual property, promotion, and production issues to prepare for the games. Maidie led the collaborative effort, delineating work between the four offices over the span of several years. As the largest public global health program serving individuals with disabilities, the Special Olympics reaches 1.3 million athletes worldwide and involves more than 100,000 health care professionals who receive training related to the event. Because of its global reach, our health care lawyers were presented with a unique challenge: to create a temporary large scale integrated health network that provides for the care and treatment of the 7,000+ athletes while they were in Los Angeles for the World Games. As part of this task, members of the Arent Fox Health Care group prepared agreements to coordinate the services of multiple providers, advised on the exchange of health information between providers to coordinate care to the athletes, and facilitated the registration of outof-state health volunteers to participate in the World Games Healthy Athletes Program, an on-site event that provided participating athletes with medical, dental, and ophthalmology care they might not receive at home. The World Games Healthy Athletes Program was one of the most popular features of the event, providing over 18,000 free screenings in six disciplines to nearly 5,500 athletes. Through the program, thousands of athletes
received hearing aids, prescription eyeglasses, and comprehensive dental care, including root canals, partial dentures, cleanings, and other procedures. As a gift for participating in the Healthy Athletes Program, each Special Olympics athlete received a new pair of shoes.
It’s about so much more than just individuals with special needs competing. I don’t think most people associate the Special Olympics with providing individuals health care, whether it’s getting a pair of eyeglasses, getting fitted for shoes that will fit appropriately, or just identifying things that would go undetected otherwise. Thomas E. Jeffry Jr. Partner, Arent Fox
Establishing such a comprehensive program was no small feat. Partner Tom Jeffry assisted the committee in structuring its provision of medical services to comply with California regulations, while counsel Susanna Hathaway Murphy worked on setting up multiple contracts with the pro bono providers and provided guidance on regulatory issues for medical, dental, and ophthalmology providers to the games. Associates Jade Kelly and Erin Atkins invested many hours working on multiple provider agreements required to provide health services to the athletes. Tom noted, “It’s about so much more than just individuals with special needs competing. I don’t think most people associate the Special Olympics with providing individuals health care, whether it’s getting a pair of eyeglasses, getting fitted for shoes that will fit appropriately, or just identifying things that would go undetected otherwise.” The organization also faced significant legal hurdles regarding its employment needs. The committee is a temporary organization with fast employee growth and volunteer recruitment, from zero employees to a total team of 428, which was supplemented by 8,500 volunteers who staffed the event. During the four years leading up to the games, partner Carla Feldman counseled on an array of employee issues and assisted with multiple sensitive employee disputes, which allowed the committee to move forward under intense time pressures. Partner Mark Phillips also served as employment counsel to the committee and helped set up its procedures as all its employees were offboarded following the event. Even something as straightforward as the opening ceremonies required a massive amount of legal work. Maidie served as the chief negotiator for all major contracts surroundings the games and oversaw the legal work associated with leasing the facility, hiring staff, implementing a security program, facilitating a relationship with TicketMaster, negotiating a media rights agreement with ESPN, and leading other corporate governance work.
Fostering a Tradition of Public Service Partner Ralph Taylor mentors junior attorneys as they develop their careers and litigates for those in need.
artner Ralph Taylor has been a critical part of the firmâ€™s pro bono program for almost a decade. He regularly logs more than 100 hours of service per year, often much more, regularly serving as a mentor for junior associates who are just beginning their pro bono careers. Over the years, Ralph has guided numerous attorneys through their introductory first-chair experience in a litigation matter.
This year, Ralph was recognized with the Marc L. Fleischaker Pro Bono Award for his leadership as a supervisor, mentor, and protector of the less fortunate. The Award honors partners and counsel who have made outstanding contributions to the public interest. Named for our chairman emeritus, Marc Fleischaker, a pillar of pro bono efforts in the DC area, the award celebrates extraordinary commitment and impact of service. Ralphâ€™s guidance on pro bono matters provides critical training opportunities for associates as they make the connections, develop the strategies, draft the briefs, and argue the issues that bring in the big win for pro bono clients. He has contributed more than 1,000 hours to public service while supervising on matters ranging from assisting tenants facing eviction in their homes, saving immigrants
in removal proceedings from being separated from their US families, and helping impoverished children obtain health care benefits. This year, Ralph dedicated nearly 200 hours supporting associate Ahmed Abdel-Rahman in a successful court victory for Street Sense, a local nonprofit that produces and distributes a newspaper about DCâ€™s homeless with a staff composed of the homeless. A former Street Sense vendor was threatening, intimidating, and harassing passersby, including a significant Street Sense donor, while wearing the Street Sense vest and badge. Through multiple trips to court by both Ralph and Ahmed, with Ahmed arguing the case, the two obtained a temporary and then permanent restraining order, and an agreement and consent judgment with the former vendor. For Ahmed, it was an initial first-chair opportunity. For Ralph, it was just the latest in the long line of pro bono cases in which he helped mentor an aspiring litigator. In addition, US District Judge Jay Zainey tapped Ralph Taylor to lead the DC-area effort to expand the New Orleans-based Homeless Experience Legal Protection program into a national initiative. That project is underway, with support from a number of Arent Fox attorneys.
Transactions to Secure the Future Partner Carolyn Austin works to obtain safe spaces for education and human services in New York.
artner Carolyn Austin, who was previously honored with the 2014 Cornerstone Award by the Lawyers Alliance of New York, joined Arent Fox in 2014. Since then, she has donated hundreds of hours of her time to providing real estate-related and nonprofit corporate legal services to improve the lives of lower-income New Yorkers. Her extraordinary contributions include helping students attending the Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School and Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School, the children served by the East Harlem Block Nursery, the pregnant and parenting teens who are supported by the Inwood House, and championing domestic workers’ rights with the
nexus for diversity and inter-group relations in Harlem through providing Hebrew and secular education to the community. Carolyn was also involved in a lengthy and complex land transaction on behalf of East Harlem Block Nursery, a nonprofit providing early-childhood and after-school services. The transaction required Carolyn to obtain consent from both the New York attorney general and state Supreme Court that the nonprofit could sell a parcel of land to benefit its own endowment. When the purchaser requested an extension of the closing date, Carolyn was able to help provide monetary relief to the nursery by securing a nonrefundable deposit in exchange for the extension. The
Carolyn Austin Secures a Long-Term Lease to Support a Harlem Charter School National Domestic Workers Alliance. Carolyn began donating her time to the Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in 2012 when it required a larger space or faced closure due to insufficient facilities. The school hoped to expand within its existing building and extend its lease to 17 years, a plan which required complex agreements to deal with numerous zoning and construction issues, as well as accommodating the landlord’s own construction plans for the building. Leveraging her background in sophisticated real estate transactions, Carolyn negotiated a complex amendment to the existing lease and secured for the school a 17-year lease and permission to build onto the landlord’s building. Because of Carolyn’s efforts, the school has been able to continue to serve as a
sale ultimately enabled the nonprofit to hire an executive director. Among her many other contributions, Carolyn volunteered to help the National Domestic Workers Alliance negotiate a sublease for larger office space in Manhattan and the Inwood House, which runs programs for low-income NYC teens, with its lease expansion. She also prepared the Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School’s applications for tax exemptions, negotiated its agreement with the city’s Department of Education for classroom space, and negotiated its management agreement with the Children’s Aid Society.
Our Pillars Arent Foxâ€™s contributions in legal service to disenfranchised and disadvantaged individuals set us apart. Throughout the year, our attorneys commit their efforts to matters that range from one day commitments to long term matters that span years and require hundreds of hours.
â€œArent Fox is dedicated to finding innovative ways to provide high quality pro bono legal representation to our communities.â€? Cristina A. Carvalho Managing Partner
Feature Leadership Story
Strong Leaders Grow From Strong Roots
Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition Honorees Partners Janine A. Carlan, Kay C. Georgi, and Richard J. Webber and associate Manuel G. Arreaza were honored with the CAIR Coalition Detained Children’s Champion Award for outstanding pro bono service to juvenile detainees. CAIR Coalition serves as the primary source of legal assistance for detained immigrants in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The nonprofit ensures that all immigrants are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect for their human and civil rights. There are currently 18 Arent Fox attorneys working on seven cases for the organization. “It takes a special person to work so diligently for a child client, often with difficulty trusting adults after severe trauma…[the Arent Fox team] made an immense difference in the lives of their clients,” said Kathy Doan, Executive Director of CAIR.
Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester Award Partner Connie A. Raffa was recognized at the Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester’s 23rd Annual “In Celebration” Gala for her outstanding contributions to the community. She was awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the US Congress and a Proclamation from the Office of the County Executive of Westchester County. 18
Our young clients have already been through so much when we first meet them, and their stories inspire us to do our best work for them, whether they are eligible for asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, special visa for victims of human trafficking, or have other needs. Deanne M. Ottaviano Chair, Pro Bono Publico Committee
Representing the Legal Defense Fund for 25 Years Arent Fox partner Darrell S. Gay and senior associate Temitope K. Yusuf were honored at the 2015 Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) 29th Annual National Equal Justice Awards Dinner for their years of service representing LDF as outside counsel on LDF’s internal labor and employment matters. LDF was founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940 to fight for racial justice. Darrell has represented LDF for more than 25 years.
DC Appleseed: DC Democracy Honoree DC Appleseed recognized Arent Fox as a 2015 DC Democracy honoree for the firm’s work to make the District of Columbia a healthier democracy. Partner Jon S. Bouker has guided Arent Fox’s work on DC Revenues and DC Democracy projects, including coauthoring the 2008 report Building the Best Capital City in the World. Over the past five years, Arent Fox developed the legal theory underlying the Local Budget Autonomy Charter Amendment, helped ensure that it went before voters in the 2013 referendum, and filed multiple amicus briefs in support of the Council’s lawsuit to enforce the measure.
We Believe That Pro Bono Work is a Foundation Protecting Immigrants Several Arent Fox attorneys are involved with immigration pro bono cases, assisting clients facing dire immigration consequences and needing zealous legal advocacy. The following stories are a glimpse into a much larger effort to assist individuals seeking a better life in the US. In one case, Arent Fox represents the mother of two teenage girls who fled Honduras after facing threats of violence from local gang members. Their abusive father abandoned them years earlier and their mother lived in the DC area, where she worked to assist them financially from abroad. With nowhere to turn, the teens trekked from Honduras to the United States on their own to reunite with their mother, but were detained at the border by Customs and Border Patrol. Having overcome complicated procedural hurdles over the past year, Arent Fox continues to pursue an order granting our client sole custody of the two girls, as well as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for the girls so that they can remain in the United States with their mother and eventually apply for a green card. Arent Fox also defended a 20-year-old LGBT individual and domestic abuse survivor in removal proceedings. The client crossed the Texas border illegally in August 2014 after traveling from her home in El Salvador and spending four months kidnapped in Mexico. She fled to escape the longtime abuse and threats to her life by her childrenâ€™s father, who also brutally murdered her girlfriend. As a result of the evidence submitted
by Arent Fox, which vividly demonstrated her past persecution due to her identity as a lesbian and fear of future persecution, the Department of Homeland Security did not oppose a grant of asylum and the judge entered the order immediately. The client was released and is excited to start living in safety in the United States. Another client, an unaccompanied undocumented minor from Honduras, suffered significant abuse and neglect from her parents and had no other family members who were able to provide care in her home country. She traveled through Guatemala and Mexico to get to the United States alone at the age of 15 to escape the abuse as well as a gang whose members victimized her. She spent over two years in immigration detention in various facilities throughout the United States before finally being released after an Arent Fox team worked for months to secure legal immigration status.
Law is nothing else but the best reason of wise men applied for ages to the transactions and business of mankind. Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States
Celebrating Years of Weekly Public Service Over the last several years on every Wednesday morning, underrepresented parents with a paternity or child support issue in DC Family Court have met with Arent Fox paralegals. Jill Clough, Jimeelah Berryman, Winifred Ng, and Judy Yolles volunteer weekly at the Paternity & Child Support Resource Center, providing free advice to individuals involved in child support cases. They recently received the Albert E. Arent Pro Bono Awards for their above and beyond commitments to serving the DC community. “The teamwork of these four women has allowed Arent Fox to consistently support DC Family Court for years,” said Pro Bono Committee Chair Deanne M. Ottaviano. “The longevity and dedication behind their public service for low-income DC
Advocating for LGBT Rights
Arent Fox filed an important amicus brief with the US Supreme Court on behalf of more than 200 active duty and retired police officers, firefighters, and medical techs who are representing thousands of first responders, many of whom are gay or lesbian. The brief was later cited by the landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Arent Fox also filed a second amicus brief that put forward the unique argument that the First Amendment, in addition to the Fifth, is violated when a state prohibits same sex couples from marrying. Specifically, the prohibition prevents same sex couples who cannot marry from making two contributions to a political candidate, while married couples, as spouses, are able to do so. This argument was also cited in Obergefell.
The Arent Fox team secured an impressive victory for our client in its first round of litigation with most of the defenses and counterclaims upheld as a matter of law.
Shedding Light on Traumatic Brain Injuries Arent Fox’s client served on active duty in the US Army in the early 1950s. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals concluded that our client suffered a head injury while serving in combat in Korea and was entitled to receive disability benefits for posttraumatic stress disorder. Our client later filed a claim for entitlement to disability benefits for TBI and asserted that the head trauma he experienced during his service “resulted in twitching in his left eye, headaches, difficulty hearing, memory problems, and PTSD, all indicative of TBI.” After several medical exams and a few years in court, the Board denied his claim and
Children Adopted on National Adoption Day Through the Alliance for Children’s Rights residents made them the natural recipients of the Albert E. Arent Pro Bono Award.” Firm founder Al Arent had a steadfast commitment to pro bono representation, after an impressive stint as one of the earliest government civil rights litigators. Arent Fox paralegals, in partnership with Legal Aid Society of DC and Bread for the City, act as screeners, assisting low-income clients to find suitable representation for their income level and residency. The work of these Arent Fox paralegals is essential to facilitating legal support at the Center, allowing the attorneys to spend their time giving substantive advice and assisting more clients in need.
Connecting New Families Arent Fox attorneys represented parentsto-be at several Adoption Days in 2015. At the Mini Adoption Day and 16th National Adoption Day at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park, California, the team assisted the Alliance for Children’s Rights as they finalized more than 200 adoptions.
Supporting Children in Need Arent Fox advocated for a small business that has provided critical financial support to a nonprofit that teaches horseback riding to disabled children and children from broken homes for more than 20 years. The horses are all rescues who have been brought to this facility for refeeding from starvation and rehabilitation after being previously mistreated by their owners. As the small business had to fight a foreclosure threat against all its assets from a large conglomerate, the nonprofit suffered as well.
Arent Fox appealed the decision. In the latest development of this ongoing saga, the US Court of Appeal for Veterans Claims vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the matter for further proceedings.
Class Action Certification In 2015, Arent Fox continued to represent a class of individuals residing in Medicaidfunded nursing facilities in the District of Columbia. The case, now styled Brown et al. v. District of Columbia, is a class action in its fifth year that is composed of potentially thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries for whom the Americans with Disabilities Act grants the right to receive health care services from home, but who have instead been left by the District to reside in institutional nursing facilities. This year, Arent Fox successfully maintained class certification in the face of an appeal by the District to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Following a resounding affirmation of the lower court’s
“ Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society.
Sharing One of the Most Important Trials of the 20th Century
Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. US Supreme Court Justice
” Amb. Pierre Prosper & “The Uncondemned” filmmakers, Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel.
2014 class certification decision, the case proceeded this year to complete discovery, including depositions of the District’s Deputy Mayor and Director of Medicaid. Arent Fox rounded out the year working with two nationally recognized experts on deinstitutionalization to prepare reports highlighting the District’s panoply of failures to properly care for the class members.
Clemency Project Since November 2014, Arent Fox has represented 16 federal prisoners in the pursuit of sentence commutation. Through the Clemency Project, pro bono attorneys provide free legal representation in filing clemency petitions to non-violent offenders who have demonstrated good conduct in prison and have served a federal sentence for at least 10 years that, if imposed today, would be substantially lower. Arent Fox has worked on 16 cases with two reaching the petition phase. For the petitions, our team obtained and analyzed the clients’ criminal and prison records, determined that the clients met the criteria, and drafted memoranda to the Clemency Project supporting the clients’ clemency petitions. The Clemency Project has subsequently supported the clients’ applications for sentence commutation, submitting them to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. The team is waiting to hear whether the President granted the clients’ clemency petitions.
In addition to pro bono legal work, Arent Fox hosted private screenings and a fundraiser for “The Uncondemned,” an award-winning documentary about a group of young American lawyers in Rwanda who found themselves arguing one of the most important trials of the 20th century. The film documents the first successful prosecution of rape in the time of war under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It is based on the experience of the legal and investigations team of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that was led by partner Pierre-Richard Prosper and the courageous women that came forward to testify. One of the most important trials for women’s rights, the case set a precedent for the rest of the world to follow; it was the first successful prosecution of rape in the time of war. Also, it was the first time Rwandan women came forward to testify and win justice where there had been none. At the time of the trial, the witnesses testified behind curtains and were referred to by code names. The women reveal their identities in the documentary for the first time as they reflect on this landmark case.
A Commitment to Our Communities
Terence Richardson and Shreesika Bisht joined our New York Office for the Legal Outreach program.
Members of the Los Angeles office participate in LA Scores.
The Washington, DC Lawyers Have Heart Run/Walk team.
2015 GeoPlunge Challenge Tournament at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Washington, DC Eastern Senior High School students participated in a “Legends Career Day” to meet with our attorneys and other professionals to discuss law firm careers.
“ We have a lot of strong roots in the community. Many firms don’t have quite the same roots that we have. Robert B. Hirsch Partner at Arent Fox for 41 Years
” AFWomen: A Discussion on Women in Combat The Arent Fox Women’s Initiative and Diversity & Inclusion committees hosted a panel discussion featuring key players in the high profile debate about the role of women in combat. The firm cosponsored the event with No Exceptions, an initiative of the Truman Project and Center for National Policy, a nationwide coalition of military veterans and national security leaders who support a military-wide policy of full combat inclusion, regardless of gender.
Arent Fox’s Contribution to Legal Aid’s Record-Breaking Generous Associates Campaign Legal Aid’s Generous Associates Campaign The 2015 Generous Associates Campaign has raised $1,367,000, approximately one quarter of Legal Aid’s budget, breaking all previous Campaign records. It was the most successful fundraiser of any type in Legal Aid’s 83-year history. Arent Fox raised more than $24,500 towards provide free legal services to the neediest members of the DC community in the areas of domestic violence/family, housing, public benefits, and consumer law.
Lawyers Have Heart Run/Walk Arent Fox participated in the American Heart Association’s 25th Annual Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5K Run, and 5K Walk. Lawyers Have Heart is one of the American Heart Association’s largest fundraisers, having over 3,500 race participants. With 93 participating team members, consisting of attorneys, summer associates, staff, family, and friends, Arent Fox raised more than $3,000 in personal donations.
GeoPlunge Challenge Tournament More than 200 children from 25 DC public schools participated in the 11th annual geography competition. Several Arent Fox attorneys and staff organized and volunteered for this event under the leadership of GeoPlunge creator, partner Alan G. Fishel.
She’s Got Game: A Discussion with Four Influential Leaders in the Sports Industry Arent Fox hosted a panel that featured four of the most prominent and powerful women in professional and Olympic sports: Michele A. Roberts, National Basketball Players Association; Cynthia Hogan, National Football League; Lucy J. Calautti, Baker & Hostetler representing Major League Baseball; and Maidie E. Oliveau, Arent Fox LLP, representing the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee; discussed how they have found success being a leading voice in a male dominated industry. The conversation was moderated by USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, who was the first female reporter to cover the Washington Redskins.
Legal Outreach Legal Outreach has been transforming the lives of students from underserved communities for almost 30 years. The program prepares urban youth from underserved communities in New York City for the next step in their lives by offering internships at New York’s top law firms. Students gain valuable work experience and a unique exposure to the practice of law. This summer, Arent Fox hosted high school students through the Legal Outreach internship program.
LA Scores Cup, Benefitting America Scores LA Arent Fox partners, associates, staff, vendors, and friends from our Los Angeles office participated in the LA Scores Cup, a charity event that benefits America Scores LA, which is an organization dedicated to teaching underserved youths soccer skills, creative writing, and service learning.
Arent Fox is committed not only to being Smart in Your World, but also to being part of our world. Our attorneys invest significant time and effort serving in a leadership capacity for community organizations. Stanley H. Abramson Woodbine Brotherhood Synagogue Member – Board of Trustees Debra Albin-Riley Library Foundation of Los Angeles Director Linda A. Baumann Washington Drama Society d/b/a Arena Stage Member – Board of Trustees
Jon S. Bouker (Cont’d) Federal City Council Trustee
Alan S. Dubin Bethesda Jewish Congregation Trustee & Treasurer
Marc L. Fleischaker (Cont’d) DC Bar Foundation President – Board of Directors
Randall A. Brater Travelers Aid International, Inc. Board Member
Leah M. Eisenberg New York Institute of Credit, Women’s Division Vice President
District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission Member – Board of Directors
Lowell C. Brown Venice Family Clinic Advisory Board Member Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America Emeritus Member – Board of Directors
Michael S. Blass National Executive Service Corps Director – Chairman of the Board
Karen Ellis Carr Legal Counsel for the Elderly Advisory Board
Dennis H. Blumer Greenway Cross Partnership Partner
Hunter T. Carter St. Bartholomew’s Church Vestry
Jon S. Bouker University of the District of Columbia David A. Clark School of Law Member – Board of Directors
Wilburn L. Chesser Center for Children’s Law & Policy Member – Board of Directors
DC Appleseed Member – Board of Directors, At-Large Member – Executive Committee DC Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission Commissioner DC Access to Justice Commission Commissioner
Andrew M. Crisses NC Police Foundation Board Member Victor P. Danhi Seal Beach Yacht Club Judge Advocate Pamela M. Deese American University Trustee
Robert E. Falb Shakespeare Theatre Company Vice Chair/Trustee Timothy J. Feighery Friends of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, Inc. Secretary Carla J. Feldman Big Sunday Board Member Alan G. Fishel Learning Plunge, Inc. President Marc L. Fleischaker Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Member – Board of Directors & Executive Committee Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Member – Board of Directors National Health Law Program Chair – Board of Directors
Susan L. Friedman Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue Vice President & Secretary Darrell S. Gay National Employment Law Council Member – Executive Committee; Former Chairman Craig Gelfound The Conrad Foundation Member – Board of Directors William W. Goodrich The Falls Church Trustee John Gurley American Near East Refugee Aid Member – Board of Directors Kirsten A. Hart Rose Bowl Aquatics Center Director Dennis J. Henderson Harlem Grace Tabernacle, Inc Director & President Charlyn L. Ho Generation Enterprise Legal Consultant
James H. Hulme Council for Court Excellence Member – Executive Committee Board of Directors Jeffrey E. Jordan Secret Passage Therapeutic Riding Center Director Stephen D. Kahn National Kidney Foundation of the National Capital Area Member – Board of Directors The Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts Pro Bono General Counsel Mark M. Katz Federal City Council Trustee Urban Land Institute Member – Board of Directors Urban Land Institute: Commercial and Retail Development Council Co-Chair Richard J. Krainin Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington Co-President – Board of Directors Gerard Leval LaFondation Du Lycee Francais International De Washington, Lycee Rochambeau French International School Member – Board of Trustees Rochambeau, Inc. Member – Board of Trustees Holocaust Museum Pro Bono General Counsel Anthony V. Lupo Discovery Channel Global Education Fund Member – Board of Directors
Anthony V. Lupo (Cont’d) The National Zoo Member – Board of Directors Woolly Mammoth Theater Member – Board of Directors Stewart S. Manela District of Columbia Jewish Community Center Member – Board of Directors David M. Martin CapitalSource Charitable Foundation Director & Executive Vice President Eugene A. Massey Peace Players International Member – Board of Directors Ralph A. Mittelberger Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts Member – Board of Directors A Matter of Honor Member – Board of Directors Kenneth J. Murphy Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc. Member – Board of Directors Richard B. Nettler Preservation Action, Inc. Member – Board of Directors Preservation Action Foundation Member – Board of Directors Richard A. Newman Washington Drama Society d/b/a Arena Stage Trustee – Board of Trustees Washington Hebrew Congregation Member – Board of Directors; Treasurer American Institute of Architecture Legacy Foundation Member – Board of Directors
Matthew Nolan Nolan Family Charitable Foundation President World Partnerships Chairman – Board of Directors N. Christopher Norton Center for Children’s Law & Policy Member – Board of Directors Maidie E. Oliveau California State Parks Foundation Trustee 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee, Inc. Member – Board of Directors Aram Ordubegian Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce President Deanne M. Ottaviano Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia Immediate Past President Member – Board of Trustees Jamison Power Westminster School District Member – Board of Directors Pierre-Richard Prosper Gen Next Foundation Director – Board of Directors Boston College Trustee Associate – Board of Trustees Project Concern International Member – Board of Directors
Dan H. Renberg Challenger Center for Space Science Education Member – Board of Directors; Secretary David Salkeld American Bar Association Vice Chair, Programming, Customs Committee, Section of International Law Arnold I. Schwartzman Eric Trump Foundation Director Andrew I. Silfen New York Institute of Credit Member – Board of Directors The Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors Member – Board of Directors H. Van Sinclair Retirement Clearing House, LLC Board Member Jill A. Steinberg Older Adults Technology Services Member – Board of Directors Ralph A. Taylor, Jr. Princeton Quadrangle Club Member – Board of Trustees Jennifer C. Terry Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Member – Board of Directors Kimberly A. Wachen Washington Hebrew Congregation Member – Board of Directors
g7 + Foundation, Inc. President Connie A. Raffa Hospice & Palliative Care Association of NY Director – Board of Directors 25
“Pro bono work is fundamental to strengthening our community’s future and is an essential aspect of corporate responsibility.” Marc L. Fleischaker Chairman Emeritus
Looking Forward Arent Fox Pro Bono Committee Chair Deanne M. Ottaviano Partners Carolyn Austin Jon S. Bouker James H. Hulme Wayne H. Matelski Nancy A. Noonan Michael L. Turrill Associates Alison Lima Andersen Taniel E. Anderson Jennifer A. Fischer Kelli A. Scheid Karen Van Essen Temitope K. Yusuf
Thank you for taking the time to read about a few of the highlights from our 2015 pro bono work. We take great pride in the successes of our clients and recognize we are part of a larger effort undertaken by the private bar to increase access to justice. One of the biggest challenges facing the legal community is to make legal representation accessible to everyone. In 2015, our firm helped launch the DC Affordable Law Firm (DCALF), a nonprofit â€œlow bonoâ€? law firm that provides affordable, high quality legal services to DC residents who do not qualify for free legal aid and to small businesses and nonprofits in the District. As support for the DACLF grows, it is our goal to advance access to justice with this innovative approach. Looking forward, we invite our fellow members of the private bar, academia, legal aid providers, and other organizations to join in our pro bono efforts. By opening new opportunities and partnerships, Arent Fox aims to continue its tradition of leading in public service work, while pioneering new avenues for legal representation.
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The gaps in the legal system can be addressed, one matter at a time. With pro bono work, attorneys become leaders in public service and navi...