Current Pro Bono Work

    Thu, 02/09/2012 - 20:45

    During the past two years, we have worked on matters as diverse as death penalty cases, a class action case against the Department of Agriculture on behalf of women farmers, legal assistance for clients at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, a number of US Supreme Court and state supreme court cases on behalf of women’s groups on domestic violence and privacy issues, and several immigrant rights cases, especially on behalf of juveniles.

    Sioux Tribes of South Dakota and Arent Fox Announce Wind Power Initiative at CGI America

    Washington, DC — Earlier today, former President Bill Clinton and leaders from six Sioux Indian Tribes announced a new wind power initiative that will harness South Dakota’s greatest natural resource and spur long-term development in the economically depressed region. The initiative, which is receiving critical legal and public policy counsel from Arent Fox LLP, was announced as a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action during the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting — an annual event that brings together leaders from the business, foundation, and government sectors in an effort to promote economic growth in the United States.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox Receives an Education Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee

    Washington, DC — On June 10, 2013, Arent Fox LLP received the Education Outstanding Achievement Award at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee’s 45th Anniversary Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon for work the firm does with the DC Public School System, and, in particular, for its lead role running the annual GeoPlunge Challenge Tournament, which is based on the award-winning educational game created by Communications, Technology & Mobile partner Alan Fishel

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll Recognizes 62 Arent Fox Lawyers

    Washington, DC —On June 5, 2013, the chief judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia recognized 62 Arent Fox LLP attorneys in theCapital Pro Bono Honor Roll for contributing more than 50 pro bono hours in 2012.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox Pro Bono Client OATS Featured on The Today Show

    New York, NY — Arent Fox pro bono client Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) was featured on NBC’s The Today Show for its work in teaching technology to senior citizens. Attorneys from Arent Fox contributed substantial pro bono efforts toward the launch of the new Senior Planet Exploration Center in Manhattan, the nation’s first technology-themed community center for older adults, a large demographic group that has lagged far behind others in the adoption and use of internet-related technology.

    To watch the video from The Today Show, click here.

    Arent Fox Plays Leading Role in Passage of Washington, DC Budget Autonomy Referendum

    Washington, DC — On April 23, 2013, District of Columbia voters approved a charter referendum that grants the city more local control by allowing the District’s budget to become law without affirmative passage by the US Congress. Arent Fox Government Relations partner Jon S. Bouker and associate Aaron S. Brand worked pro bono with local organizations DC Vote and DC Appleseed to develop the innovative legal theory that allows the District to amend its charter and give itself the authority to enact a local budget — the most notable advancement in DC Home Rule in four decades.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Jill Steinberg Discusses OATS Pro Bono Work with Bloomberg Law

    New York, NY Health Care partner Jill Steinberg was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article highlighting her “instrumental” work in the opening of the Senior Partner Exploration Center in New York, a site devoted to helping older New Yorkers learn technology. Construction partner Andrew Ross was also credited with providing counsel during the facility’s design and build-out.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox Helps Launch First Digital Learning Center for Older Adults in New York

    New York, NY — Attorneys from Arent Fox contributed substantial pro bono efforts toward the launch of the new Senior Planet Exploration Center in Manhattan, the nation’s first technology-themed community center for older adults, a large demographic group that has lagged far behind others in the adoption and use of internet-related technology.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox Announces 2012 Pro Bono Award Winners

    Washington, DC – On November 28, 2012, Arent Fox LLP announced the recipients of the firm’s Albert E. Arent and Marc L. Fleischaker Pro Bono Awards, presented annually to lawyers and paralegals who demonstrate outstanding contributions to public service.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Calvary Women’s Services Honors Efforts of Richard Newman and Arent Fox

    Washington, DC – Real Estate partner Richard A. Newman and Arent Fox LLP are being honored by Calvary Women’s Services for supporting the organization’s new facility in Washington, DC. Calvary is a nonprofit that provides shelter, services and education to homeless women in the nation’s capital.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox’s Alan Fishel Receives Vincent E. Reed Award for Commitment to Public Education in the District of Columbia

    WASHINGTON, DC – Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce that the Washington Lawyers’ Committee honored Alan G. Fishel, a partner in the firm’s Telecommunications group, by presenting him with the 2012 Vincent E. Reed Award.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox is Advocating Equality

    May 2012 -  Hunter Carter, a litigation partner at Arent Fox LLP, and a team of Arent Fox lawyers, together with Ciro Colombara, leading Chilean human rights lawyer, filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights alleging that the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal and Supreme Court committed human rights violations under the American Convention on Human Rights when they ruled that same sex couples are not entitled to civil matrimony, even couples who are legally married in Canada and Argentina.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox Announces Launch of Accelerating Market-Driven Partnerships (AMP) Initiative with US State Department

    APRIL 26, 2012 – Arent Fox LLP announced today that it is a founding partner in the US State Department’s newly launched Accelerating Market-Driven Partnerships (AMP) initiative. AMP’s launch was announced today by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the first-ever Global Impact Economy Forum held April 26–27 at the Department of State and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Washington, DC.

    USC Gould School of Law’s Public Interest Law Foundation Honors Arent Fox Partner Michael Turrill as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

    LOS ANGELES – APRIL 11, 2012 – Michael Turrill, a litigation partner at Arent Fox LLP, has been named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the University of Southern California’s Public Interest Law Foundation. A firm believer in the importance of giving back to his community, Michael has spent many years working with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, particularly with its pro bono adoption project.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Arent Fox Announces Victory for DC Nursing Home Residents in Civil Rights Suit

    FEBRUARY 16, 2012 – Arent Fox LLP and its co-counsel announced a major victory this week for nursing home residents in the District of Columbia following a federal court decision rejecting the DC government’s contention that it has complied with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing services to nursing home residents who want to live in the community.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    The Alliance for Children’s Rights

    Arent Fox’s Los Angeles office collaborates with The Alliance for Children’s Rights Foster Children’s Adoption Program by working with the Los Angeles Children’s Court, the Department of Children and Family Services, and minors’ attorneys to remove barriers to adoption in individual cases. Arent Fox attorneys represent prospective adoptive parents in finalizing their foster child adoption by completing their adoption finalization documents and representing them at the adoption finalization hearing. More than a half dozen Arent Fox attorneys have taken cases. Los Angeles partner Mike Turrill was recently recognized for his commitment to the program by being named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the University of Southern California’s Public Interest Law Foundation.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership

    DECEMBER 2011 – Arent Fox LLP presented its Annual Community Services Award on December 15 to the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP), the charitable arm of firm client Discovery Communications. The award was presented to executives of the nonprofit organization at a ceremony held at Arent Fox’s offices in Washington, DC, during the firm’s annual Holiday Party. Accepting the award on behalf of the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership were DCGEP’s President Aric Noboa, Chief of Strategy Tamela Noboa, and Vice President of Finance and Administration Kathy Canzona.

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

    The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless has honored Arent Fox for the firm’s work on behalf of military veterans with disabilities in the District of Columbia. At an event held October 20, 2011, the Legal Clinic presented Arent Fox the “Outstanding Firm Award” for its participation and leadership in the Senior Attorney Initiative for Legal Services (SAILS) Pro Bono Veterans Project to help homeless and low-income veterans in Washington, DC

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    SOME, INC.

    July 2011 — Arent Fox and partner Steve Kahn are featured in The American Lawyer article “A Bonding Experience.” The article focuses on the pro bono work Steve has done over the past three years for the nonprofit So Others Might Eat, Inc. (SOME) and the completion of a $36 million financing package for a 245-unit low-income housing project. “The project was kind of like doing a thousand-piece jig-saw puzzle. There’s no margin for error. If you don’t have one piece, you can’t finish,” says Steve. Under Steve’s leadership, the Arent Fox team successfully closed the deal in August 2010. The 1,000+ hours and effort put into pushing this deal through was recognized by SOME senior housing advisor Ken Ellison. “They treated this like a full-fledged obligation,” says Ellison of the Arent Fox team. “They never put it aside-and they were totally responsible and incredibly patient.”

    To read the article in its entirety, click here.

    DC SAILS Pro Bono Project for Veterans

    In keeping with its decades-long commitment to providing pro bono legal services to individuals and families in the community who could not otherwise afford to hire a lawyer, Arent Fox – together with the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless – has launched the Senior Attorney Initiative for Legal Services (SAILS) Pro Bono Veterans Project to help homeless and low-income veterans in Washington, DC.

    To read the full article, click here.

    Arent Fox Partner Marc Fleischaker – The Legal Times

    “D.C. Firms Team to Put Senior Lawyers to Work on Pro Bono Projects”
    November 5, 2010
    By Jeff Jeffrey

    In The Legal Times article “D.C. Firms Team to Put Senior Lawyers to Work on Pro Bono Projects,” partner Marc Fleischaker is spotlighted for his role of leading the pro bono program and encouraging other senior attorneys to participate in it.

    To read the full article, please click here.

    Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan

    Arent Fox’s Robert C. O’Brien was appointed co-chair of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a State Department reception in December 2007. “This historic partnership will benefit not only the people of Afghanistan but the people of the United States as we assist our friends in building a rule of law-based society in that critical region of the world,” said Robert as he spoke before the distinguished international gathering of diplomats, journalists and attorneys, including Secretary Rice and the then-Attorney General of Afghanistan, Abdul Jabbar Sabit. “The Afghan people face a great challenge — reestablishing the rule of law throughout their country to ensure that all members of Afghan society — both citizens and rulers — are bound by a set of clearly defined and universally accepted laws. This effort is not without risk for Afghan prosecutors, judges and lawyers. Some have already paid the ultimate sacrifice in this noble cause to bring justice and equality to their people.”

    To read the full article, please click Developing Worlds.

    Oglala Sioux Tribe Communications Representation

    Arent Fox began representing the Oglala Sioux Tribe on a pro bono basis in March 2010 to litigate against Verizon in federal court and before the FCC. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is the poorest Native American Reservation in the United States. Recent reports vary but many point out that the median income on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year. The unemployment rate on Pine Ridge is said to be approximately 83-85 percent and can be higher during the winter months when travel is difficult or often impossible. This litigation was forced on the Tribe by the Verizon-AllTel merger and subsequent decision to sell the operations on the Oglala Sioux Tribe Reservation to AT&T. Absent the litigation, AT&T would have forced the Tribe to accept a level of service well below that which the Tribe had obtained through its negotiations with the previous service provider. The litigation/regulatory work became very involved, ultimately involving two Tribal Court cases, two Federal Court cases, two FCC proceedings, AAA arbitration and extensive negotiations with both Verizon and AT&T. Ultimately, the team, led by Arent Fox partner Jonathan Canis, succeeded in negotiating with AT&T an unprecedentedly favorable agreement for the Tribe. The negotiations with AT&T lasted over a year, and were exhaustive and very time consuming. Through Arent Fox’s efforts – first in regulatory litigation, and later in direct negotiations – the firm has secured for the Tribe a level of wireless phone service that is superior to that provided by AllTel, both in price and in service quality. Arent Fox also secured a substantial annual cash payment that AT&T will pay directly to the Tribe in return for the use of Tribal land to maintain AT&T’s radio towers. This agreement is unprecedented – AT&T is providing pricing and service arrangements to the Oglala Sioux Tribe that AT&T does not provide anywhere else in the country.

    Arent Fox 2010 Firm Pro Bono Awards

    The Albert E. Arent and the Marc L. Fleischaker Awards are presented annually to partners, associates and legal professionals who demonstrate “outstanding contributions to public service.”

    Read the press release here.

    McKithen v. Brown

    Arent Fox represents Frank McKithen, a man convicted of attempting to kill his wife in 1992, who has always asserted his innocence of the crime. McKithen came to the attention of Arent Fox attorneys through the Innocence Project. In July 2008, the Arent Fox team won a significant legal victory for McKithen when a federal judge in New York City held that convicted offenders are entitled under the US Constitution to be granted access to physical evidence for the purpose of DNA testing if the test results would cast doubt on the defendant’s conviction. As a result of the court’s decision, the defendant in the case, who was convicted of stabbing his wife with a kitchen knife in 1992, will be granted access to the knife for DNA testing. McKithen believes that subjecting the knife to DNA testing will prove that his wife, who survived the attack, fabricated his involvement in the incident. For additional information and a copy of the court’s decision, see here.

    Howard v. State of Louisiana

    One of our three current capital cases is on behalf of Cedric D'Wayne Howard in postconviction proceedings in Louisiana following what the firm believes to be Mr. Howard’s wrongful conviction for first-degree murder. There appear to be a number of potential bases for setting aside his conviction. A thorough factual investigation is now being conducted by a team of Arent Fox attorneys and paralegals in order to fully present those issues to the court.

    Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

    More than 30 lawyers donate one day a month at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, assisting poor residents with child custody and family law issues, landlord-tenant disputes, Social Security disability issues and other matters.

    Love v. Johanns

    Arent Fox has teamed with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and others to represent women farmers who were denied farm loans and loan servicing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on their gender. The discrimination lawsuit Love v. Johanns, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, Case No. 1:00CV02502 (D.D.C.) was filed on October 19, 2000, by a number of women farmers who are seeking to have the class certified as a class action on behalf of women farmers and prospective women farmers nationwide who were discriminatorily denied farm loans or loan servicing by the USDA from 1981 to December 1996 and from October 19, 1998, to the present.

    At present, the plaintiffs are awaiting a decision from the DC Circuit on their appeal of the district court’s denial of class certification. The women farmers seek damages and injunctive relief as a result of the department’s actions. Seven lawyers and two legal assistants work on this case. See Womenfarmers.com for more information regarding the case.

    Appleseed Foundation

    We represent the Appleseed Foundation, an organization founded in 1994 by a group of lawyers committed to social reform. The national foundation coordinates an alliance of 16 state and local justice centers. Arent Fox Chairman Emeritus Marc Fleischaker sits on Appleseed’s board of directors. The American Lawyer called Appleseed’s approach "pro bono’s new frontier" and praised its ability to put "big-firm lawyers to work tackling complicated policy questions." Arent Fox has worked with Appleseed on public education financing issues in Louisiana and New Jersey and improving community college programs.

    Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York (HPCANY) and National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)

    Arent Fox serves as pro bono counsel and provides these organizations with legal advice and advocacy on issues affecting terminally ill patients. For example, Arent Fox was instrumental in the passage of a New York State law, which permits a hospice to care for terminally ill patients that require palliative care but who are either ineligible or have chosen not to elect hospice care under as a Medicare or Medicaid benefit.

    United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

    Arent Fox Counsel Pierre-Richard Prosper began a four-year term as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in February 2008. The UN Committee investigates and reports on racial discrimination issues in UN member countries.

    Booth v. State of Maryland

    We represent John Booth-el, a death-row inmate in Maryland, in an appeal on the sentencing phase of his trial. The Arent Fox team, which includes five lawyers and a legal assistant, is challenging the court’s failure to consider mitigating factors that were permitted under Maryland sentencing law, as well as issues of race bias in sentencing. The case is proceeding through direct appeal in the Maryland state courts.

    US Holocaust Museum

    Arent Fox did all the legal work necessary to establish the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, one of our partners continues to serve as its general counsel on a pro bono basis, and one of our counsel serves on its board through appointment of the president of the United States. Many Arent Fox lawyers are involved in the work undertaken for the museum, which includes preparation of resolutions, review of meeting minutes, negotiations with major donors, negotiation and drafting of complex contracts, interpretation of bylaw provisions, international negotiations, and supervision of litigation.

    DC Street Law Clinic

    Arent Fox lawyers coach a team of high school students from the Benjamin Banneker High School in a citywide moot court championship under the sponsorship of Georgetown University’s DC Street Law Program. We serve as coaches and mentors for the Banneker moot court teams, which have made it to each moot court final since Arent Fox began coaching them nine years ago, and earned seven city championships. We also established an “Arent Fox Outstanding Advocate Award,” presented annually to the Banneker students judged best advocates in the competition.

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