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A Message from Our Chairman
I believe that the character of Arent Fox is best expressed by its people.
Throughout Arent Fox’s 75-year history, we have fought to address unequal access to legal representation through our unwavering pledge to pro bono. The firm’s commitment to pro bono predates its founding. In 1939, name partner Albert E. Arent was one of four lawyers who launched the Civil Liberties Section in the Criminal Division at the US Department of Justice – what would later become the Civil Rights Division. At the time, it was widely interpreted that the protection of civil liberties and the prevention of violence was primarily the responsibility of state and local governments. Mr. Arent sought to change that. He prepared two cases to test whether the federal government had jurisdiction over loosely enforced civil rights laws. Mr. Arent was successful in both cases and helped usher in a new era for the role of the federal government in seeking to protect the rights of all people. He considered that part of his career “perhaps the most meaningful,” in terms of its long-term influence. Mr. Arent’s legacy of public service endures. I believe that the character of Arent Fox is best expressed by its people, and these stories reveal the qualities that set Arent Fox apart. I thank you for your interest in Arent Fox’s pro bono efforts.
Mark M. Katz Chairman
Table of Contents
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Chairmanâ€™s Message Mission
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.
Remembering Connie Raffa
Devoted public servant, esteemed colleague, and cherished friend.
11 Breaking the Silence: A Milestone War-Crimes Trial Giving a voice to victims of war.
13 Upholding Our First Amendment Rights
Challenging questionable subpeonas in the face of our fundamental rights.
15 Remedying Sentencing Disparities
Our strong roots in pro bono work inspire our attorneys to believe in a vision, make things happen, and do what it takes to see it through.
Our attorneys dedicate their efforts to matters that range from one day issues to long-term arrangements that span years and require hundreds of hours.
Our commitment to our communities goes well beyond legal work.
30 Looking Forward
Whatâ€™s next for AFProBono?
Confronting a biased court system.
17 Rising Up for the Disabled
Addressing the imbalanced treatment of disabled persons by the District of Columbia.
Mission Arent Foxâ€™s commitment to public interest work dates back to the firmâ€™s founding. We strive to remain at the forefront of the private barâ€™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.
2016 in Review
Looking Back at 2016 250
Pro Bono Matters
Pro Bono Hours
Pro Bono Honor Roll 250+ Hours
Alison Lima Andersen Carolyn M. Austin Jon Bouker Marc L. Fleischaker James H. Hulme Bernice K. Leber Donald B. Mitchell Andrew M. Murad Brian D. Schneider Emily B. Slavin Karen Van Essen
Mary Carter Andrues Mark A. Angelov L. Wayne Ausbrooks Linda A. Baumann Ismael Bautista, Jr. Deborah M. Bey Lee M. Caplan Hunter T. Carter Meera Chandramouli Roger O. Chao Lianne E. Childress Jacob M. Christensen Sylvia G. Costelloe Stephen S. Davis Pamela M. Deese Andrew J. Dykens Philip S. English Lynn R. Fiorentino M. Douglas Flahaut Cesar A. Francia Alissa G. Friedman Susan L. Friedman Wesley T. Gee Michele L. Gipp David S. Greenberg Les Jacobowitz Judith B. Kassel Mark M. Katz Susan S. Kleiman Sam Lawand Nicholas J. Lawson Annie C. Lee Jeff Leung
150–249 Hours Rosemary S. Bajorek Arthur S. Beeman Alexander S. Birkhold Adam D. Bowser William R. Charyk Sean N. Clerget Mohammed T. Farooqui Jennifer A. Fischer E. Jon A. Gryskiewicz Paul R. Lynd Alex Manning Joel T. Muchmore Kelli A. Scheid Matthew S. Trokenheim Temitope K. Yusuf
Pro Bono Award Winners Gerard Leval John Malone Stewart S. Manela Lisette Martinez Gerald L. Mitchell Richard A. Newman Matthew Nolan Nancy A. Noonan Alexander S. Osterlind Lee A. Pepper Marc E. Rivera Diane B. Roldán Alexandra M. Romero David S. Salkeld Ankit Shrivastava Andrew F. Solinger Alexander H. Spiegler Michael L. Stevens Barbara S. Wahl Richard J. Webber Rachel M. Witriol Rebecca J. Wolf Rachel E. Yount
Marc L. Fleischaker Award For Notable Work by Partners & Counsel Mary Carter Andrues, Partner Linda A. Baumann, Partner Karen Ellis Carr, Partner Paul R. Lynd, Counsel Donald B. Mitchell, Partner Pierre-Richard Prosper, Partner Connie A. Raffa, Partner (Deceased) Brian D. Schneider, Partner
Albert E. Arent Award For Notable Work by Associates & Staff Alison Lima Andersen, Associate Omelia Chan, Legal Secretary Meera Chandramouli, Associate Sean N. Clerget, Associate Jack A. Dowd, Senior Paralegal Andrew Dykens, Associate Cesar A. Francia, Associate Michele L. Gipp, Associate Aimee Hall, Senior Paralegal Ross D. Karlik, Associate Gladys Madrid, Legal Secretary Lee A. Pepper, Associate Diane B. Roldán, Associate Andrew F. Solinger, Associate Karen Van Essen, Associate David Yearwood, Senior Paralegal Rachel E. Yount, Associate Temitope K. Yusuf, Associate
Feature Stories Arent Fox has faced the critical issues and challenges of today head-on, while also giving a voice to those who otherwise might not be heard. These are the stories that have transformed lives and communities.
Arent Fox maintains a long-standing commitment to providing equal access to justice, and believes that pro bono work is a sacrosanct pillar of the legal profession. Mark M. Katz Chairman
Remembering Connie Raffa We are honored to present Connie, a dedicated public servant and a beloved friend, with this year's Pro Bono Lifetime Achievement Award. 8
ast summer, Connie Raffa, a pre-eminent health care lawyer, passed away following a battle with cancer. For more than two decades, Connie was an influential part of the firm’s Pro Bono program. Intersecting her highly specialized legal expertise with a passion for public service, she billed over 4,000 pro bono hours during her time with Arent Fox.
Over the years, Connie was an advocate and leader for the palliative care and hospice communities. She worked tirelessly to raise money for those organizations, while also providing vital pro bono legal advice. For her endless dedication and commitment to supporting others, Arent Fox recognizes Connie with this year’s Pro Bono Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior to her career at Arent Fox, Connie served 15 years with the US Department of Health and Human Services as Senior Trial Attorney, Assistant Regional Counsel in the Office of General Counsel, and as Staff Attorney for the Office of the Inspector General. She represented HHS in Federal District and US Courts of Appeals and administrative hearings, and was appointed Special Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern, Southern, and Northern Districts of New York and the District of Puerto Rico. Connie joined Arent Fox in 1995 and founded the firm’s New York Health Care group, advising home health agencies, hospices, physician groups, state health associations, and palliative care programs on regulatory and reimbursement issues, fraud and abuse investigations, and sanctions. As part of her work, she served on the Board of Trustees and the Governance, Managed Care, and Palliative Care Committees of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York for which she also was Counsel, and on the Regulatory and Public Policy Committees of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. A Brooklyn Law School alumna, Connie was widely known as an authority in her field. Legal 500 described her as “adept at understanding the scope of the problem, and in designing and revising strategies to address the problems at hand.” The Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York referred to her as “the consigliere” because she could be consulted on every critical business component her clients faced. The Wall Street Journal recognized Connie’s extraordinary knowledge of the industry, writing about her amazing ability to reference “the most obscure details related to hospice regulations” when defending her clients. These efforts did not go unnoticed by her peers. In 2012, Connie was awarded the Pillars of Justice Award by Appleseed Foundation, an organization that helps establish public interest state centers. She was recognized by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance for her pro bono work in designating fair access to health care for low-income taxi workers. New York Appleseed expressed its gratitude for Connie’s pro bono hours and considered her time spent with the organization as an integral part of its mission to bring fairness, justice, and opportunity to all. While Connie devoted many hours to pro bono work
domestically, she also dedicated time to helping those in need overseas. In 2014, Connie sponsored and hosted a reception for the Africa Hospice Initiative, an organization that helps providers of palliative care in Africa to grow and develop their donor base, both locally and internationally, in order to achieve financial and operational stability. With Connie’s help, the reception raised over $25,000 for the Initiative. In 2015, Connie was honored at the Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester’s 23rd Annual “In Celebration” Gala at the Westchester Country Club in New York. She was awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the US Congress and a Proclamation from the Office of the County Executive of Westchester Country in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the community. That same year, Connie and her husband ventured to Ethiopia, where they volunteered with Ethiopia’s Daughters. The not-for-profit’s mission is to empower young women and girls, as well as to improve living conditions in the country by working with local communities and schools to provide clean water, educational programs, medical assistance, and infrastructure. During the trip, Connie accepted Ethiopia’s Daughters as one of her pro bono clients. Connie was the epitome of what it means to be “Smart in Your World,” having a profound impact on her clients and colleagues, not only as a legal advisor, but also as an efficacious leader and a valued friend.
Breaking the Silence: A Milestone War-Crimes Trial Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper leads the fight in giving a voice to victims of sexual violence during times of war. 10
n 1994, ethnic Hutu soldiers incited a genocide in Rwanda, killing as many as one million people and raping up to 250,000 women across the country. Four years later, a small town Rwandan mayor, Jean-Paul Akayesu, who led some of the militia, became the first person to ever be convicted of genocide in an international court – and the first to be prosecuted and convicted of rape committed in a time of war.
That story is chronicled in the award-winning documentary, “The Uncondemned,” which focuses on three women whose testimony secured the mayor’s conviction and the young prosecutors who helped make history. The film also features the efforts of Arent Fox partner Ambassador Pierre–Richard Prosper, who served as lead prosecutor, and tells, in part, the honest, heartbreaking, and motivating account of women who had the courage to fight an international legal system that for too long refused to recognize sexual violence as a weapon of war. In advance of an exclusive premier hosted by the United Nations at its headquarters in New York in October 2016, Arent Fox represented Film @ Eleven, an independent production company that produced the documentary, and prevented attempts by the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals to keep the documentary from being released. Prior to the scheduled premieres in the United States, MICT, the successor to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, advised Film @ Eleven that it would be a violation of the original protective order, put in place in 1997 during the underlying trial, to release the names and identities of the women who testified. MICT, in an excessively broad interpretation of its authority, argued that no person — not even the victims themselves — can reveal the witness’ identity. MICT sought a court order prohibiting any further screening of the documentary and sent a letter to journalists, human rights activists, and other media outlets, attempting to block them from releasing information about witnesses who appear in the film.
legal secretaries Omelia Chan and Gladys Madrid, submitted briefs arguing that the plain language of the protective order contained no prohibition that would limit either Film @ Eleven or the victims from revealing their identity. The Arent Fox team also argued that the actions of the MICT infringed on the rights of women, freedom of speech and press, and fundamental human rights, as recognized in numerous international conventions. Arent Fox submitted multiple briefs to MICT judges defending the film company and the witnesses’ right to self-identify.
We have lost the momentum, the political will to deal with the issue of not just rape but other genocide atrocities in general…we are waving the flag of saying this is wrong, but we are not acting. We need to re-energize ourselves. This film... is a reminder of our responsibility to act. Ambassador PierreRichard Prosper Partner, Arent Fox
In essence, MICT sought to prevent Film @ Eleven, and most importantly, the three survivors, from self-identifying and telling their stories. Through their action, MICT sought to control the voices and will of the women who knowingly and voluntarily chose to share their experiences with all of humanity, in the hopes of breaking the silence and shame of rape. Arent Fox, led by White Collar & Investigations leader Mary Carter Andrues, associates Diane Roldán and David Yearwood, and
In a complete victory for Film @ Eleven and the women involved, MICT terminated the proceedings, ending all contempt investigations against the film company, and withdrew its orders blocking distribution of the film, allowing the victims to freely tell their stories and be a voice for others. In an interview with Reuters, Pierre emphasized that the lessons learned in Rwanda should not be forgotten today. “This film is particularly important given the scale of sexual violence in so many conflicts today,” Pierre said. “It’s a reminder of our responsibility to act. We made legal history back in the 1990s – Rwanda showed us that this is a crime that can and should be prosecuted, but it feels as if the lesson has stopped there.” A November 17 Inter Press Service article titled, “Rape as an Act of Genocide: From Rwanda to Iraq,” describes the crime of using rape as a weapon of genocide and its relevance today. This article covers how, as a direct outcome of The United Nations premiere of the film “The Uncondemned,” the governments of Rwanda and Iraq have agreed to work together to fight rape as a weapon of genocide, noting disturbing similarities between sexual violence in Iraq to the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. Today, an estimated 3,000 Iraqi Yazidis under ISIL’s captivity are currently facing acts of genocide and targeted sexual violence, including sexual slavery. This joint effort will be aimed at sharing action plans to rehabilitate women victims and reintegrate them into their communities.
While acknowledging that there have been subsequent prosecutions as a result of the international precedent set by the victory in Rwanda, Pierre noted that, “we have lost the momentum, the political will to deal with the issue of not just rape but other genocide atrocities in general…we are waving the flag of saying this is wrong, but we are not acting. We must re-energize ourselves.”
Upholding Our First Amendment Rights Dramatically overbroad and ill-defined subpoenas raise important Constitutional questions and ruffle of few feathers.
he Audubon Naturalist Society’s battle with PulteGroup arose out of advocacy by numerous Montgomery County citizens’ groups for preservation of Ten Mile Creek in the Clarksburg area of northern Montgomery County.
Over the span of two years, beginning in 2006, home builder Pulte acquired more than 500 acres of land in and along Ten Mile Creek, the last remaining unspoiled major creek in Montgomery County and the primary water source for Little Seneca Lake, the emergency drinking water reservoir for the Washington metropolitan area. Pulte planned to build 1,000 homes and have the County run water and sewer extensions to the land. At the time of the acquisition, the land was subject to a 1994 Master Plan that required any future development in the area to be reviewed and approved by the County Council. Since the mid-1990s, Arent Fox partner Donald Mitchell has served as outside general counsel to the Audubon Naturalist Society, a longtime pro bono client of the firm. Audubon led the formation of a coalition of citizens’ groups that gathered evidence that construction of that large housing development would have adverse impacts on Ten Mile Creek. The Montgomery County Council and the Maryland-National Capital Parks & Planning Commission agreed, and the property was downzoned. In 2014, Pulte sued Montgomery County and M-NCPPC, alleging violations of constitutional due process, equal protection, and an unconstitutional taking of its property without due compensation. As part of that lawsuit, Pulte issued onerous third-party subpoenas under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 to Audubon and approximately 12 other citizens’ groups or individual citizens of Montgomery County. The subpoenas sought, in 24 broadly worded document requests, essentially (1) all of the citizens’ communications with their elected Montgomery County officials; and (2) all of the citizens’ communications with each
other about their opposition to the project, their efforts to organize, and their efforts to lobby the County and collect scientific evidence regarding the impacts of the project on Ten Mile Creek. Because the subpoena raised important constitutional questions about the First Amendment, Audubon and the other citizens’ groups objected to the subpoenas, and Pulte moved for an order to enforce them. There is relevant and persuasive case law — some of which Don helped develop in a 2002 case by the State of Wyoming challenging the Clinton Administration’s national forests roadless rules (State of Wyoming v. U.S. Forest Service) — that (1) the subpoenas are improper under the First Amendment because they seek information about the constitutionallyprotected rights to assemble and to petition the government; (2) the information involving communications with the County government is available from the County, which is a party in the litigation, and to force citizens to collect and provide it constitutes a tax on their exercise of their First Amendment rights; and (3) they are unduly burdensome. Using this precedent, Don argued in federal court in Maryland before Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan on Arent Fox’s cross-motion to quash the Pulte subpoenas. The outcome of this ongoing case is promising. Following oral argument, Judge Sullivan directed Pulte to submit five new requests, without subparts and in plain English, without ‘including but not limited to’ type language, within 21 days. The judge stated that the subpoenas as issued are dramatically overbroad and ill-defined, and indicated that if forced to rule on the constitutional questions, he is unlikely to grant Pulte any access to the citizens’ internal communications, which are at the heart of First Amendment protected material.
Remedying Sentencing Disparities Arent Fox takes part in the crusade against injustice and imbalance in the US criminal justice system. 14
or almost three years, Arent Fox has worked with Clemency Project 2014 to address unjust and disproportionate sentencing in the US criminal justice system. Following changes in federal sentencing law and guidelines, certain nonviolent prisoners, if sentenced today, would likely receive a substantially lower sentence. In recognition of this sentencing disparity, the US Department of Justice, at the behest of President Barack Obama, in April 2014 introduced a sweeping clemency initiative aimed at addressing the large number of federal inmates serving disproportionately long sentences.
To help carry out this initiative, a coalition of organizations, including the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Federal Defenders of New York, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers came together to form the Clemency Project and, led by the Lawyersâ€™ Committee, manage the recruitment and coordination of large law firms and corporate legal departments to participate in this nationwide initiative for nonviolent offenders. The Arent Fox team includes more than 50 members who represent 17 Clemency Project clients and have worked over
1,500 hours to review sentencing documents, screen for clemency eligibility under criteria established by the Justice Department, prepare eligibility summaries and, in appropriate cases, petition the White House for clemency. This effort ultimately resulted in two clemency petitions granted by President Obama.
A Historic Feat
The Clemency Project is recognized as the largest-ever nationwide pro bono campaign. This firmwide project was part of a historic national effort, which has been recognized as the largest-ever coordinated pro bono campaign and routinely garnered the attention of the national press.
Rising Up for the Disabled Arent Fox seeks to remedy the unequal treatment of disabled persons by the District of Columbia. 16
he US Supreme Court ruled more than 15 years ago in Olmstead v. L.C. that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires state and local governments to provide services to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Despite that powerful ruling, state and local governments continue to rely heavily on institutions like nursing facilities to provide Medicaid services to people who could be – and under Olmstead, have the right to be – assisted in their own homes or other community settings.
For more than six years, a team of Arent Fox attorneys has challenged the District of Columbia in federal district court for this shortcoming. The pro bono class action asks the District of Columbia to implement a system that would enable potentially 2,000 to 3,000 DC residents to receive Medicaid-paid health care services in their homes or other community settings, rather than leaving them to live in institutional nursing facilities. Recently, the team completed a bench trial in which the plaintiffs – Washington, DC nursing facility residents – testified on the many years they have been detained in nursing facilities, unable to access the home- and community-based services and support that are provided to individuals in the outside community. The plaintiffs remain isolated from their families because DC has failed to help them return to their communities, where they would receive care at significantly lower taxpayer cost than their current nursing facility care. The Arent Fox team of partners Barbara Wahl and Brian Schneider, associate Alison Andersen, and litigation specialist Jack Dowd, has led the case to significant victories so far: In 2012, the
plaintiffs overcame DC’s motion for summary judgment, with the federal judge broadly concluding that DC failed to offer evidence that it was complying with the law. In 2014, the court certified a class of between 500 and 2,000 individuals who needed DC’s assistance to return to the community. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld class certification in a precedentsetting decision, holding that at least two questions raised by the plaintiffs satisfied a class action standard of commonality: Did DC fail to offer sufficient discharge planning and did it fail to inform and provide nursing home residents with meaningful choices of community-based long-term care alternatives? “It was disturbing to hear witness after witness testify about the DC government’s failures to assist our class,” Andersen expressed. “Many in the class have a home to return to, or had opportunities to live in subsidized or public housing, but the DC government, again and again, was unable to coordinate its own application processes to allow class members to return to the community.” The team – which in 2016, collectively billed almost 1,800 hours to this matter – recently filed findings of fact and conclusions of law for submission to the court. Once the team responds to DC’s proposed findings, the court is expected to rule on liability. Assuming the plaintiffs prevail, there will be a remedy-phase trial, in which the plaintiffs will yet again offer experts’ opinions about how far the DC government must come from its current practices in order to comply with the Olmstead mandate. Arent Fox acts as co-counsel in the matter, with attorneys from AARP Foundation Litigation and University Legal Services.
Three Pillars Arent Foxâ€™s contributions in legal service to disenfranchised and disadvantaged individuals set us apart. Our attorneys are steadfast in their involvement, regardless of whether it is a one day commitment or a long term matter that spans years and clocks hundreds of hours.
Arent Fox is unwavering in its pledge to find innovative and resourceful ways to help the less fortunate and make our communities stronger. Cristina A. Carvalho Managing Partner
Standing Tall – Leaders at the Forefront
A True Arent Fox Star We would like to dedicate this annual report to Deanne Ottaviano. Deanne recently left the law firm after spending 25 years with us, and was the long-time Chair of our Pro Bono Committee. In this capacity, Deanne was the promoter and convener of literally thousands of pro bono hours, and the conscience of our Firm in reaching out to the communities in which we practice. Deanne joined Arent Fox in 1992. Her practice focused on trade association law, commercial insurance coverage, risk management, and regulatory matters involving environmental, toxic torts, and products liability. Notwithstanding her high quality as a lawyer, and consequently the great demand for her services by paying clients, Deanne had an unbreakable commitment to pro bono work, and to expanding the Firm’s services for people of limited means. She served as a member of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. But her main outside pro bono passion was the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. Deanne served on its Board for many years, and that culminated with her being the Chair of the Board. In addition, Deanne organized and managed the Arent Fox commitment to provide attorneys to Legal Aid for intake purposes, which has been ongoing for more than a decade. Those thousands of hours provided to Legal Aid and its clients have changed literally hundreds of lives for the better. Deanne oversaw the significant growth of our pro bono practice in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and its impact across the country and around the world. She worked on dozens of cases herself, and recruited lawyers to work on hundreds more. Our ability to work as broadly as we have over many years would not have been possible without Deanne’s strong support and leadership. We will miss Deanne, even as we continue to see her regularly at public interest events around Washington. The Committee is deeply appreciative of Deanne’s commitment to our communities and grateful for her many years of service. 20
Nelson Mandela Changemaker Award Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper received the Nelson Mandela Changemaker Award at the PTTOW! (Plan To Take On The World!) Annual Summit. Pierre was recognized for his work in the prosecution of rape as an act of genocide in Rwanda in 1997 – one of the most important trials of the 20th century for women’s rights. PTTOW! is an invite-only community for today’s top influencers from 70 major industries who are shaping our culture.
American Health Lawyers Association Pro Bono Champion Partner Thomas E. Jeffry, Jr. was honored as a “Pro Bono Champion” by the Public Interest Committee of the American Health Lawyers Association. Tom is recognized for his commitment to improving the lives of those who are least able to afford necessary legal services and his dedication to providing pro bono services in the health law field. This is the Committee’s fifth year awarding this recognition.
Capital Area Immigrant Rights 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. Our Arent Fox attorneys collectively represented seven different detained juvenile immigrants, expending over 800 hours of work to achieve successful outcomes for all of the children involved.
We Believe Pro Bono is Rooted in Hard Work and Dedication DC Affordable Law Firm Update The DC Affordable Law Firm has been in operation for 10 months. The firm represents DC residents and workers who earn from two to four times the annual income designated as “poverty level” and therefore, are ineligible to receive free legal services from Legal Aid and other civil legal service organizations. Clients are generally charged $75 per hour, and the firm is working to show that clients can be successfully represented and that the firm can be financially sustainable. Arent Fox has two partners in this important venture: Georgetown University Law Center and DLA Piper. Arent Fox partners Marc L. Fleischaker, Jeffrey E. Jordan, and Nancy A. Noonan serve as board members. DCALF experienced a tremendously successful first year. The five original lawyers hired after graduating from Georgetown Law School successfully navigated the opening of the office, and served more than 200 clients in the first year. The busiest practice areas include family law (divorce, custody, and domestic violence and related issues), housing (primarily lease terminations), immigration, and small businesses that operate in disadvantaged communities. These five lawyers all successfully transitioned to reputable jobs, ranging from “big law,” to legal aid organizations, to local government.
DCALF’s second year began by hiring six new lawyers, all of whom took and passed the DC Bar. • Tabitha King (Tabitha is a current lawyer, who has been hired to be a supervisory attorney for the next year) • Katrina Goodjoint • Richard Kelley • Russell Martinez • Joseph Ardito • Kelly Hughes • Caroline Fehr They are now busily engaged in cases and counseling, with the hope to expand the variety of matters that they are able to handle. During this next year, Marc L. Fleischaker will be the Executive Director of DCALF (as well as continuing to practice on a reduced basis at Arent Fox), and partner Donald C. McLean will manage the mentoring program for the new lawyers. More than a dozen Arent Fox partners, associates, and legal assistants worked with DCALF during the first year, and look forward to increasing that engagement during the coming year as the scope of the workload increases.
The number of clients served during DCALF’s first year.
“The opportunity to represent individuals who cannot receive free legal services, but also cannot afford to pay what most lawyers charge, has been a terrific introduction to the profession for the lawyers,” said Marc. “The local courts have been very receptive, and have encouraged DCALF to continue its upward trajectory.”
Groundbreaking Human Rights of Children Bill Introduced in Congress Arent Fox has worked for more than a year to address the plight of tens of millions of children across the world who live without parents. The firm played a key role in legislation recently introduced by a bipartisan group of US House members that would make the US Department of State consider the unnecessary institutionalization of children a violation of human rights. Led by Senior Government Relations Advisor and former Representative Philip S. English, Complex Litigation partner Hunter T. Carter, and Senior Government Relations Director Alex Manning, Arent Fox worked on a pro bono basis with the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice to determine the legal basis
the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, and Both Ends Burning.
Representing Special Education Rights in Mpoy v. The District of Columbia Partner Stewart S. Manela and associates Andrew M. Murad and Emily Baver Slavin recently negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of pro bono client Bruno Mpoy, ending an eight year battle with the District of Columbia over the rights of special education students. Stu supervised Andrew and Emily, who served as co-lead counsel, in the Mpoy v. The District of Columbia matter, a whistleblower action that had been pending in the DC Superior Court since August 14, 2014. Jill Clough was the lead paralegal on the case. Mr. Mpoy is a former special education teacher who taught in the District of
In the course of managing the case, Andrew and Emily led document collection and review efforts, took and defended depositions, successfully opposed the District of Columbia’s motion for summary judgment in December 2015, participated in mediation sessions and settlement negotiations, and spent the next year preparing for a December 2016 trial. Andrew and Emily prepared a pretrial statement and filed and argued motions in limine before the court at five pretrial conferences. On the eve of trial, Andrew and Emily negotiated a favorable settlement for their client. The settlement helps bring closure to Mr. Mpoy and his family over what has been an emotionally and physically draining eight year dispute over the rights of special education students. Many associates provided valuable contributions to the Arent Fox team since 2010, including: Rachel M. Witriol,
The number of children adopted on National Adoption Day through the Alliance for Children’s Rights. for a child’s right to adequate parental care (including access to international adoption) and is building bipartisan support for the legislation in Congress. “Adoption gives children the permanent, nurturing, legally stable parents they need,” said Phil. “However, few countries with large populations of unparented children have a robust domestic adoption tradition and many countries impose severe restrictions on or altogether prohibit international adoption. This deliberately denies millions of children in need their human right to growing up in nurturing homes.” This bill is supported by a coalition representing academic experts in human rights and child welfare and core organizations committed to the rights of unparented children, including the National Council for Adoption, the Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program, the Center for Adoption Policy, Saddleback Church Orphan Care Initiative, 22
Columbia Public Schools between 2007 and 2008. Mr. Mpoy’s classroom was composed of special needs students who had varying disabilities, including mental and emotional disturbances and learning disabilities. Mr. Mpoy alleged that he was suspended and ultimately terminated by DCPS in retaliation for his refusal to falsify special education student records and achievement, and for exposing improper and illegal conduct in the public school system, such as violations of his students’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and misrepresentation of student achievement. After Mr. Mpoy filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in 2009, the federal court appointed Arent Fox as pro bono counsel in 2010. Stu Manela offered to lead the charge. After a long procedural battle in federal court, Mr. Mpoy re-filed his local claim under the Whistleblower Protection Act in DC Superior Court in 2014. Andrew and Emily, with Stu’s guidance, took over the day-to-day responsibilities for the case in early 2015.
Rosemary Bajorek, Nadia Patel, Jon A. Gryskiewicz, and Jake Christensen.
Making the Case for Employee Rights The US District Court for the District of Columbia appointed Arent Fox to represent Ms. Loubna Massey in an employment discrimination case she filed against the US Department of State. Partner Donald B. Mitchell and Associates Sean Clerget and Rose Bajorek are handling the case, with help from several other associates along the way. This litigation in federal court has provided ample opportunities for Arent Fox attorneys to gain valuable experience in responding to and drafting discovery, taking and defending depositions, and opposing a motion for summary judgment. The State Department filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in early 2016. That motion has been fully briefed and the parties await a decision from US District Judge Richard J. Leon.
Fighting for Civil Marriage Equality in Chile Arent Fox has played a significant role in marriage equality litigation in the last several years with key victories in 2016 in Chile and Colombia. After Chilean courts refused to permit samesex couples to marry civilly or have their valid foreign legal marriages recognized, Partner Hunter T. Carter and clients MOVILH, a human rights advocacy organization, with their Chilean counsel sued Chile before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2012, the preliminary step in bringing a case before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. The team has filed similar complaints against Mexico and seeks eventually to have a ruling from the Inter-American Court enforcing equal protection of civil marriage laws for same sex couples. Chile and most countries in the Americas are bound by its decisions by treaty. The team has also made dedicated efforts in Colombia before its Constitutional Court, having written and filed an amicus brief on marriage equality in the US and world-wide on behalf of the New York City Bar Association, and coordinated the filing of numerous amicus briefs by professional, scientific, and business organizations. In 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex couples. Shortly afterward, Hunter and his husband Cesar, born in Colombia, were the first foreign-married same-sex couple to have their marriage registered by the Colombian Civil Registry, in a ceremony conducted at the consulate in New York. Soon thereafter, culminating 18 months of negotiations with the Chilean government, Hunter and the team signed a binding agreement before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights acknowledging that Chile had violated the human rights of the same-sex couples and of the LGBT community more generally, and binding Chile to adopt a number of reforms, including marriage equality legislation. Chile’s President and Minister of Government have publicly hailed the agreement, which is the first time in history that a national government has recognized that international human rights law protections require the enactment of civil marriage equality.
The agreement represents a significant advancement in not only Chile, but in all of Latin America. However, it has yet to be implemented due to political problems with alleged corruption and illegal campaign financing. Public pressure continues to mount as polls in Chile overwhelmingly support marriage equality, at levels above 60 percent, a significant change from the level (24 percent) when Arent Fox filed the complaint and began a campaign of public advocacy resulting in the negotiations last year. Cases that the team continues to work on involve Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Annual Civil Rights Training Institute Complex Litigation associate Mohammed Farooqui attended the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Annual Civil Rights Training Institute at the Airlie Conference Center in Virginia. Partner Darrell S. Gay has represented the Legal Defense Fund for nearly 30 years, ensuring that its employment practices, procedures, and manuals are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Arent Fox currently serves as its outside general counsel. Mohammed’s work for the Fund includes arguing before administrative law judges in hearings before the Unemployment Insurance Board of New York, and working alongside Darrell on discrimination lawsuits in federal court. Given the longstanding relationship between Arent Fox and the Legal Defense Fund, the leadership at the Fund thought it would be valuable to have someone from Arent Fox at the Annual Training. Attending the Training gave Mohammed the unique opportunity to learn more about the important civil rights litigation the Fund works on. The discussions at the Training were valuable, as many topics addressed issues pertinent to Arent Fox, such as how to effectively use big data and acting in compliance with laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in housing.
Giving the Gift of a Forever Home
Arent Fox participated in the Mini Adoption Day on February 26, 2016 at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park, California. The event was spearheaded by The Alliance for Children’s Rights and finalized adoptions for 56 children that day, of which Arent Fox finalized three. Associate Annie Chang Lee, with the assistance of paralegal Carmen Dam and legal secretary Stephanie Garrett, represented three sets of parents in their adoptions of children ranging from ages two to seven. Annie represented Jessie Hanna and Nicole Robinett in their adoption of Jason (age 3); Angel and Gumercinda Martinez in their adoption of Mia (age 2); and David and Elizabeth Salais in their adoption of Denise (age 7). The Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court also hosted the 17th Annual National Adoption Day on November 18, 2016. The Los Angeles Juvenile Court, Department of Children and Family Services, Alliance for Children’s Rights and Public Counsel, along with over 150 pro bono attorneys, finalized adoptions for 234 children in foster care. The Alliance finalized 118 adoptions (78 families) and Public Counsel finalized 116 adoptions (68 families). Arent Fox finalized adoptions for three happy families: Attorney Gary D. Brophy represented Shane and Shilo Langenberg in their adoption of Andrea, age 7, and Cynthia Richardson and Rhavhn Halston-Gaillard in their adoption of Devon, age 10. Associate Donna Mo represented Louisa Major in her adoption of Isaiah, age 23 6.
Branching Out to Our Communities
Jon Bouker with Jane Abraham (far right), former chair of the American Museum of Womenâ€™s History Congressional Commission, at the "Hidden Figures" screening.
2016 GeoPlunge Challenge Tournament at the Smithsonianâ€™s National Portrait Gallery.
17th Annual National Adoption Day.
The Washington, DC Lawyers Have Heart Run/Walk team.
“ Our firm was founded in part on the idea that lawyers have a duty to give back to the community – at Arent Fox, that commitment continues to this day. Jon S. Bouker Co-Chair, Arent Fox Pro Bono Committee
” Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. In observation of the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Arent Fox’s Pro Bono and Diversity Committees hosted a special event to commemorate Dr. King's tremendous life and legacy. Former Pro Bono Committee Chair and Arent Fox alum Deanne Ottaviano shared introductory remarks and Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director, Kristen Clarke, delivered a keynote address, “The Contemporary Civil Rights Movement and the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” A light reception followed the presentations. Attendees included members of the national and DC area civil rights community, as well as Arent Fox attorneys, government relations directors, paralegals, and staff.
Remembering the Women Who Helped John Glenn Orbit the Earth The National Women’s History Museum co-hosted an exclusive screening of the film Hidden Figures with the Motion Picture Association of America on January 26, 2017 in MPAA’s private theater in Washington, DC. Joylette Goble, the daughter of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (whose story is depicted in the film), gave remarks prior to the screening. NWHM gave Katherine Johnson its Living Legacy Award at its annual gala in 2014. Jon Bouker, a board member of the Museum, attended the event at MPAA and co-hosted the gala that followed the screening.
Learning About the World at the Annual GeoPlunge Challenge More than 200 children from 25 DC public schools participated in the 12th annual citywide educational competition, organized by Arent Fox in collaboration with District of Columbia Public Schools and the DC Public School Partnership Project of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee. Several Arent Fox attorneys and staff organized and volunteered for this event, under the leadership of GeoPlunge creator, partner Alan G. Fishel. GeoPlunge educates students on US geography at a critical time in their educational development and the tournaments give students a chance to interact with their peers at surrounding schools in a friendly, team-oriented setting.
Staying Active for Lawyers Have Heart On June 8, 2016, Arent Fox participated in the American Heart Association’s 26th Annual Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5K Run, and 5K Walk. Lawyers Have Heart is one of the American Heart Association’s largest fundraisers, with over 3,500 race participants. With 80 participating team members, consisting of attorneys, summer associates, staff, family, and friends, Arent Fox raised more than $5,500 in donations and finished eighth place overall for fundraising.
Arent Fox’s contribution to the American Heart Association’s Lawyers Have Heart Fundraiser. Celebrating Black History Month The Arent Fox New York office hosted a Black History Month luncheon with honorary guest speaker, R. Donahue Peebles, a prominent real estate entrepreneur and client of the firm. Don shared his personal story, and spoke on issues concerning historical progress and the racial and economic challenges still facing African Americans today. The engaging luncheon was well attended by attorneys and staff alike, and was followed by a lively Q&A. R. Donahue Peebles is the founder and chairman of a multibillion-dollar real-estate development and investment company, the largest African American-owned real estate development and ownership company in the US. Mr. Peebles is also a topselling author, political activist, two-time former member of President Barack Obama’s National Financial Committee, and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
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 Michael S. Blass National Executive Service Corps Director – Chairman of the Board Dennis H. Blumer Greenway Cross Partnership Partner Jon S. Bouker University of the District of Columbia David A. Clark School of Law Member – Board of Directors DC Appleseed Chair – Board of Directors, At-Large Member – Executive Committee DC Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission Commissioner DC Access to Justice Commission Commissioner
Jon S. Bouker (Cont’d) DC Public Library Foundation Member – Board of Directors Federal City Council Trustee National Women’s History Museum Member – Board of Directors
Leah M. Eisenberg New York Institute of Credit, Women’s Division Vice President Robert E. Falb Shakespeare Theatre Company Vice Chair/Trustee
Darrell S. Gay National Employment Law Council Member – Executive Committee; Former Chairman Craig Gelfound The Conrad Foundation Member – Board of Directors
Randall A. Brater Travelers Aid International, Inc. Board Member
Timothy J. Feighery Friends of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, Inc. Secretary
Lowell C. Brown Venice Family Clinic Advisory Board Member
Carla J. Feldman Big Sunday Board Member
John Gurley American Near East Refugee Aid Member – Board of Directors
Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America Emeritus Member – Board of Directors
Alan G. Fishel Learning Plunge, Inc. President
Dennis J. Henderson Harlem Grace Tabernacle, Inc Director & President
Hunter T. Carter St. Bartholomew’s Church Vestry
Marc L. Fleischaker Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Member – Board of Directors & Executive Committee
James H. Hulme Council for Court Excellence Member – Executive Committee Board of Directors
Wilburn L. Chesser Center for Children’s Law & Policy Member – Board of Directors
DC Affordable Law Firm Chairman, Director
Andrew M. Crisses NC Police Foundation Board Member Pamela M. Deese American University Trustee
DC Public Defender Service Member – Board of Directors Susan L. Friedman Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue Vice President & Secretary
William W. Goodrich The Falls Church Trustee
Jeffrey E. Jordan Secret Passage Therapeutic Riding Center Director DC Affordable Law Firm Director, Secretary
Table of Contents
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 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
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 Matthew Nolan Nolan Family Charitable Foundation President
Connie A. Raffa Hospice & Palliative Care Association of NY Director – 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 Kirsten A. Hart Rose Bowl Aquatics Center Director
Rochambeau, Inc. Member – Board of Trustees
World Partnerships Chairman – Board of Directors
Andrew I. Silfen New York Institute of Credit Member – Board of Directors
Anthony V. Lupo Discovery Channel Global Education Fund Member – Board of Directors
N. Christopher Norton Center for Children’s Law & Policy Member – Board of Directors
The Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors Member – Board of Directors
The National Zoo Member – Board of Directors
Maidie E. Oliveau California State Parks Foundation Trustee
H. Van Sinclair Retirement Clearing House, LLC Board Member
Aram Ordubegian Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce President
Jill A. Steinberg Older Adults Technology Services Member – Board of Directors
Pierre-Richard Prosper Gen Next Foundation Director – Board of Directors
Ralph A. Taylor, Jr. Princeton Quadrangle Club Member – Board of Trustees
Boston College Trustee Associate – Board of Trustees
Jennifer C. Terry Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Member – Board of Directors
Project Concern International Member – Board of Directors
Kimberly A. Wachen Washington Hebrew Congregation 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 Ralph A. Mittelberger Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts Member – Board of Directors A Matter of Honor Member – Board of Directors
g7 + Foundation, Inc. President
Looking Forward 2016 proved to be a trying albeit successful year for the firm, and the work doesnâ€™t stop there. What will 2017 have in store for the legal community?
A strong dedication to pro bono is part of the Arent Fox DNA. We are proud of what we have done, and we are committed to doing even more in the year ahead. Marc L. Fleischaker Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair
Next Up: 2017
Arent Fox is energized to take on this year’s challenges and continue to leave a positive impact on personal freedoms, clemency, access to legal representation, immigration, the environment, and other issues.
We thank you for your time and interest in this year’s Pro Bono Report. At Arent Fox, our nationwide pro bono efforts span across many different causes, and we take great pride in this annual opportunity to share some of the past year’s highlights with you. Our clients take on some of today’s most challenging and complex questions, from chronicling war crimes abroad to living under unjust sentencing at home, and we serve to further their access to justice. These cases and others detailed in this report embody our tradition of commitment to public service and pioneering legal counsel. Each year, we resolve numerous matters, but systemic issues inevitably persist or even take on new forms. As we look forward, Arent Fox is energized to take on this year’s challenges and continue to leave a positive impact on personal freedoms, clemency, access to legal representation, immigration, the environment, and other issues. These battles are fought and won through time, effort, and collaboration, and we commend our attorneys, staff, and fellow members of the pro bono community for their endeavors in 2016.
Table of Contents
Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs Jon S. Bouker Marc L. Fleischaker Vice Chairs Carolyn Austin, NY Nancy Noonan, DC Mark Phillips, CA Partners Karen Ellis Carr James H. Hulme Wayne H. Matelski Kelli A. Scheid Associates Alison Lima Andersen Taniel E. Anderson Karen Van Essen Tope Yusuf
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Published on Mar 20, 2017
Throughout Arent Fox's 75-year history, the firm has fought to address unequal access to legal representation through its unwavering pledge...