Pro Bono News. 1 Pepper Lawyers Win Key Ruling in Representation of Guantanamo Bay Detainee. in this issue.

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1 Spring 2008 in this issue 1 Pepper Lawyers Win Key Ruling in Representation of Guantanamo Bay Detainee 2 NOVA Documentary Caps More Than Two Years of Coverage of the Intelligent Design Case 3 Pepper s 2007 Pro Bono Performance A Statistical Perspective 3 Pepper Lawyers Help Army Veteran Obtain Service-Related Disability Benefits 4 Pepper Launches New Practice Group to Aid Abused Immigrants 4 Orange County Associate to Serve as Pro Bono General Counsel to Friends of Taiwan 5 New York Office Aids Nonprofit Win Key Approval in Quest for Special Consultative Status with United Nations 6 Pepper Partners with Delaware County Nonprofit to Aid Low-Income Residents 6 Princeton Office Launches Practice Group to Aid Children with Serious Illness 7 Princeton Lawyers Form Mediation Practice Group 7 Pepper Helps DC Attorney General Address Impact of Tax Program on Low-Income Housing 8 Pepper Assists NACDL with Trademark Issues 8 Pepper Lawyers Take on Janitorial Franchise Practices 9 Orange County Team Helps Defend Former Marine Sergeant 9 Pepper Assists Nonprofits on Program Compliance Issues 10 Pepper Resolves Civil Rights Case Alleging Deliberate Indifference to Medical Needs 10 Pepper Team Aids Nonprofit Supporting Those in Bereavement 11 Pepper Hosts Custody Conciliation Seminar and Forms Custody Conciliation Practice Group 12 Pittsburgh Team Completes Services for Community Economic Development Initiative 13 Detroit Lawyers Settle Difficult Dispute for Nonprofit Organization 13 Washington Lawyers Create Scholarship Foundation to Support Enlisted Marines 14 Domestic Partner Benefits Appeal Reaches Michigan Supreme Court 15 Pepper Is Honored with 2007 William J. Brennan Award 15 Pepper Lawyers Honored at Two Philadelphia Events on the Same Evening 16 Wilmington Associate Serves as Guardian Ad Litem for Young Child 16 Pepper Attorneys Assist Prisoner in Child Support Matter 17 Boston Office Comes to Aid of Victim of Hurricane Katrina 17 In Memoriam: Gus Ballard 18 New Pepper Associates and Laterals Embrace Pro Bono 19 Schmidt and Thomas Chosen for 2007 William R. Klaus Pro Bono and Community Service Awards 20 Exelon Lawyers Team Up with Pepper Lawyers in Aiding Low-Income Homeowners Pepper Lawyers Win Key Ruling in Representation of Guantanamo Bay Detainee Carpenter Huber Karasik Anderson Since 2004, a team of Pepper lawyers, led by Charles Carpenter in Washington, has been representing Hani Abdullah, a native of Yemen, detained at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In January 2005, Charlie and Pepper alumnus Stephen Truitt filed a habeas petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Soon after filing, a second client a Saudi was added to the petition, but eventually sent home. Since 2006, Pepper also has represented a Palestinian detainee, Maher El Falesteny. Since filing the habeas petition, Charlie and Steve have reviewed the unclassified and the classified summaries of the government s contentions against Abdullah, and the unclassified file concerning Falesteny. Partner Christopher Huber and associates Jason Karasik and Sapna Anderson of the Philadelphia office have joined the team, as well. Charlie and Chris have made several trips to Guantanamo Bay to meet with the clients. In early 2007, the Pepper team appealed to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking production of the classified Falesteny file. The government side-stepped the appeal and designated Falesteny for release. Although that was in February 2007, Mr. Falesteny is still in custody. The

2 NOVA Documentary Caps More Than Two Years of Coverage of the Intelligent Design Case Pepper s pro bono representation of eight families in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the first legal challenge to teaching intelligent design in public school science classrooms, led not only to a landmark decision definitively declaring that such teaching violates the First Amendment, but also to an extraordinary range of media coverage, culminating in a two-hour NOVA documentary broadcast in November 2007 on public television across the country. Pepper partners Eric Rothchild and Steve Harvey were lead counsel for the plaintiffs, along with lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. They were supported by a large trial team of Pepper partners, associates, paralegals and the entire Harrisburg office. Details about the case, the participants and media coverage are online at pepper/pracarea/doverid/doverid.cfm. The two-hour NOVA documentary featured a re-creation of portions of the Kitzmiller bench trial, and interviews with participants in the trial, including several segments with Eric and Steve. Much of the key testimony was highlighted, along with commentary by the trial lawyers, academics and parents. The Dover opinion by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, III was a complete vindication for the parents represented by the Pepper-led team. The trial team agreed to cut by more than half the $2 million-plus in attorneys fees and costs for which it was entitled to apply. Of the remaining fees and costs, after each legal organization was reimbursed for its out-of-pocket expenses, the legal fees proportionate to their collective share of the work were directed to the ACLU and Americans United. Pepper accepted no fees for its contribution to the matter. Pepper team is working on getting him asylum in a thirdparty country, and clearing his name through a petition in the D.C. Circuit under the Detainee Treatment Act. Recently, Judge Richard W. Roberts, the presiding judge in Abdullah s case, issued a ruling declaring that CIA interrogation videotapes destroyed in late 2005 may be relevant to Abdullah s case. The videotapes, whose destruction was revealed in December 2007, showed harsh interrogation tactics used by CIA officers questioning two Al Qaeda suspects in At the time the tapes were destroyed, the government was subject to various court orders, including a July 2005 order by Judge Roberts, requiring that evidence relevant to terrorism and the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay be retained. The Justice Department and Congress are investigating the destruction of the tapes. Judge Roberts ruled that Pepper lawyers had made a preliminary showing that information obtained from one of the two detainees was relevant to Adbullah s case and should not have been destroyed. He directed that the government submit a written report, detailing whether it destroyed evidence relating to the client s case and to his continued detention at Guantanamo Bay. The report, originally due in mid-february, is now due to be submitted to the court by mid-march. -2-

3 Pepper s 2007 Pro Bono Performance A Statistical Perspective One measure of Pepper s pro bono performance in 2007 is a statistical one, and from that perspective, the firm expanded its pro bono efforts and commitment in several significant ways. Participation rates by partners and associates improved. In 2007, 81 percent of all Pepper associates performed at least five hours of pro bono work, as compared to 75 percent of associates in Similarly, 37 percent of partners and counsel performed at least five hours of pro bono in 2007, a slight increase from the 36 percent of partners in A measure used in various national pro bono surveys, including the AMLaw 200 survey, is the percentage of firm lawyers who perform at least 20 hours of pro bono in a calendar year. In 2007, 58 percent of Pepper associates performed at least 20 hours of pro bono service, a slight increase from 57 percent in 2006, while the percentage of partners and counsel doing at least 20 hours of pro bono increased from 21 percent to 23 percent. In a year in which the number of Pepper lawyers and total billable hours grew rapidly, the number of pro bono hours increased as well, by 57 percent. In 2007, Pepper devoted the equivalent of 2.20 percent of its fee-billable hours to pro bono, an increase from 1.87 percent in The firm s aspirational goal, as a participant in the national Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, is to devote the equivalent of 3 percent of billable hours to pro bono. In 2007, Pepper introduced seven new office pro bono practice groups: the Veterans Benefits practice group and the Immigrant Domestic Violence practice group in Philadelphia; the Children s SSI practice group and the Mercer County Bar Mediation practice group in Princeton; and three new practice groups in Pittsburgh: the Nonprofit Development group, the Custody Conciliation group and the Tangled Title group. All practice groups are partnerships with court systems or public interest law centers. Pepper also launched its first firm-wide pro bono practice group: the Nonprofit Formation and Tax practice group, co-chaired by Lisa Petkun and Jack Garfinkle. Pepper Lawyers Help Army Veteran Obtain Service- Related Disability Benefits Last spring, the Homeless Advocacy Project asked Pepper to assist a 35-year-old veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in appealing the denial of his claim for servicerelated disability benefits. Joanna Cline and Deirdre McInerney agreed to pursue the veteran s appeal. While serving in the Army, the client began to suffer hallucinations and other symptoms manifesting paranoid schizophrenia. His personality is significantly altered from what it was before he entered the service, and for a period after his discharge, he was living on the streets, homeless. His mental health issues prevented him from maintaining a job, completing schooling or job training, or socializing with others. The Veterans Administration (VA) denied the client s original application, concluding that his disabling conditions were not connected to his military service. Joanna and Deirdre developed and submitted additional medical records, as well as affidavits from friends and family challenging the VA s conclusions. The Pepper team argued that while the veteran s condition was not diagnosed before his discharge, he nonetheless showed clear signs of the disease while in the service. Pepper s challenge was successful, and the VA awarded the veteran benefits at a rate of 70 percent, that is, based on the conclusion that the client s disabilities were 70 percent caused by in-service activities. While a 70 percent disability ruling was a significant victory, Joanna and Deirdre remained convinced that the client was eligible for 100 percent benefits based on his individual unemployability. After the Pepper team submitted additional forms and evidence, the VA issued a decision in December finding that the client could not work, and granting him 100 percent disability benefits, retroactively. The ruling was a complete victory for the client, who received $18,000 in retroactive benefits and had his ongoing payments more than doubled to $2,500 a month. The client continues to receive essential medical treatment and is no longer homeless. The benefits obtained by the Pepper team will go a long way towards allowing the client to live independently, maintain his mental health treatment and stabilize the other aspects of his life. --

4 Pepper Launches New Practice Group to Aid Abused Immigrants The Immigrant Domestic Violence project is Pepper s first pro bono practice group staffed primarily by paralegals and has aided more than 20 applicants thus far. Kay has actively recruited more volunteer attorneys and paralegals, and NSC advises that Pepper s leadership has greatly increased their capacity for assisting this vulnerable population. In Spring 2007, Pepper launched a new pro bono practice group with a specific goal: aiding immigrants who have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouses. Philadelphia partner Kay Kyungsun Yu chairs the practice group, which assists individuals, primarily women, Yu in filing self-petitions for independent legal status. Most Pepper volunteers to this group are paralegals. Kay and other Pepper lawyers must review and sign the petitions. The practice group responds to a serious need. At one time, physical and mental abuse of spouses entering the country under a partner s work authorization was a hidden problem, and many victims were fearful of reporting abuse to police because their spouses threatened to send them home to their native countries if they did so. Congress recognized the dilemma by enacting the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, which provides an avenue to independent legal status in the U.S., thereby lifting the threat of deportation faced by many. While the VAWA statute opens the door, numerous difficulties remain for those seeking to file self-petitions, including language and education barriers and lack of familiarity with the U.S. legal system. The Nationalities Service Center (NSC), a multi-service center for immigrants in Philadelphia, agreed to partner with Pepper to help meet the needs of hundreds of victims seeking VAWA status. NSC legal director Dennis Mulligan and VAWA coordinator Brenda Nogales came to Pepper and trained more than 20 paralegals in the sophisticated rules governing self-petitions. Paralegals interview applicants, gather records and assist in meeting the application requirements, often in consultation with Brenda and others at NSC. Petitions are then reviewed and signed by Pepper attorneys and filed. Orange County Associate to Serve as Pro Bono General Counsel to Friends of Taiwan Jimmy Chen of the Orange County office has agreed to serve as an informal pro bono general counsel to Friends of Taiwan, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage in charitable, educational, community and social activities that promote understanding and appreciation of Taiwanese culture and Taiwanese-American heritage. As part of its work, Friends of Taiwan strives to encourage interaction among Taiwanese Americans and others with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The agency also seeks to expand public awareness of Taiwan, Taiwanese Americans and Taiwanese culture and heritage. Jimmy s role will be to handle the drafting and review of simple agreements with vendors, contractors, property owners and the like. His duties also will include ensuring that the organization adheres to all of its corporate governance obligations. Friends of Taiwan organizes various events throughout the year to accomplish its mission. Recent events include speeches by prominent leaders, including John Bolton, the former U.S. Representative to the United Nations, and Teresa Shaheen, the former chairperson of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto American embassy in Taiwan. Jimmy anticipates that his pro bono services will form an excellent opportunity to show the members of the Friends of Taiwan board of directors, many of whom are prominent figures in the Taiwanese-American business community, the high quality of professional services rendered by Pepper lawyers in the Orange County office and throughout the firm. -4-

5 New York Office Aids Nonprofit Win Key Approval in Quest for Special Consultative Status with United Nations Since late 2006, Talal Salaam and Adelene Tan in the New York office have been working to assist the Global Workers Justice Alliance, a nonprofit agency that promotes access to justice for migrant workers, in its effort to be granted Special Consultative Status with the Salaam United Nations and its Economic and Social Council, or ECOSOC. Under the overall authority of the General Assembly, ECO- SOC coordinates the economic and social work of the United Nations and the UN family of organizations. ECOSOC plays a key role in fostering international cooperation for development projects, and regularly consults with non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, that have consultative status. Through this process, ECOSOC maintains a link between the United Nations and civil societies around the globe. Global Workers director, Cathleen Caron, contacted Talal at the recommendation of a Villanova Law School professor with whom Talal worked as a law student in the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic. Under the professor s supervision, Talal helped another NGO, Latina Latino Critical Theory, or LatCrit, obtain special consultative status with ECOSOC in May In counseling Global Workers and shepherding it through the process of applying for consultative status, Talal and Adelene conducted interviews, completed numerous applications and conducted necessary due diligence on Tan Global Workers behalf. Their efforts paid off in early 2008, when ECOSOC s committee on NGOs voted to recommend Global Workers for special consultative status. Final approval from ECOSOC is expected in July Global Workers mission is to combat migrant worker exploitation by uniting host-country and sendingcountry advocates to assist each other in cases and policy reform for the benefit of farm workers and other migrant laborers. Global Workers began its work successfully in 2005 in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala. It plans to expand into other migratory streams crossing national borders, to help ensure support for legal and policy reforms for the migrant community. Global Workers hopes to leverage its policy reform efforts by working closely with the United Nations. -5-

6 Pepper Partners with Delaware County Nonprofit to Aid Low-Income Residents Princeton Office Launches Practice Group to Aid Children With Serious Illness Pepper lawyers in Berwyn, led by John Zurawski, established in 2007 a partnership with Family and Community Service of Delaware County (FCSDC) to assist low-income HIV-infected individuals and their families in Delaware County with estate-planning needs. FCSDC is a nonprofit agency committed to providing basic social services to individuals in need of mental health counseling, social counseling and other general living assistance. After John and Nikhil Heble represented their first clients, FCSDC and Pepper began a discussion about a more integrated approach. Pepper lawyers have prepared wills, powers of attorney and advanced directives. Pepper also has agreed to handle other related legal issues, subject to attorney availability, such as landlord-tenant disputes and guardianship issues relating to the purchase and sale of real estate, for the benefit of disabled and dependent agency clients. FCSDC reports that Pepper s pro bono efforts, combined with the professional services of the agency s social workers, have provided clients with a sense of empowerment over the hopelessness that sometimes accompanies poverty and chronic illness. To date, John, Nikhil, Andrew Snowden and David Dzara have provided pro bono assistance, under the supervision of Kathleen Stephenson. In a related event last summer, a group of Berwyn summer associates, including Tara Pellicori, Kali Wellington, Will Wenneberg and Todd Boylan, prepared and delivered a legal seminar with John Zurawski for FCSDC case managers. The seminar informed case managers about general legal issues relating to estate planning for the FCSDC client pool, including prioritizing the clients wishes relating to child custody and property distribution. The Pepper team plans to present semi-annual educational seminars for potential clients on these and related issues, beginning in The Princeton office launched its Children s SSI pro bono practice group in the summer of 2007 to represent extremely disabled children and their parents. These families are in need of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to help them cope with the economic consequences of extreme physical or other illness or Preziosi disability. For these children and their families, the usual health care coverage is not enough to cover their extraordinary health care and living expenses. Jon Preziosi chairs the group, with support from Angelo Stio and Anthony Destribats, who are members of the firm s Pro Bono Committee. In addition to Jon and Anthony, several Pepper lawyers, including Michael Canavan, Taryn Luciani, Stephanie Merk, Travis Nelson, Heather Oehlmann, Marissa Quigley and Audrey Wisotsky, as well as paralegals Aparna Bala and Maddie Zefferino, participated in one or more trainings provided by South Jersey Legal Services (SJLS), a public interest law center that partners with Pepper on the project. SJLS conducts intake and screening for all cases, and then refers appropriate cases to Pepper. SJLS also provides forms and instructions, ongoing mentoring and other forms of continuing support to Pepper volunteers. Cases provide opportunities, including training, issue analysis, client contact, brief writing and oral argument before administrative law judges (ALJs). South Jersey Legal Services Legal Director Lee Ginsberg, who conducted the training sessions, advises that obtaining SSI benefits can have critically important ancillary benefits for the children. By qualifying for SSI benefits, the children become eligible for medical care, special education and social services that supplement their ongoing treatment. In this way, obtaining SSI benefits can be a life-changing, and life-saving, event for many of the clients and their parents. -6-

7 Princeton Lawyers Form Mediation Practice Group Pepper Helps DC Attorney General Address Impact of Tax Program on Low-Income Housing Destribats Chuderewicz Canavan Lauch Carr Oehlmann In May 2007, Pepper lawyers organized by Anthony Destribats formed a group to participate in a new mediation program in the Superior Court in Mercer County. The program, called the Special Civil Part Bar Panel Program, uses the services of volunteer attorneys to mediate disputes in this part of the Superior Court. All contested cases are scheduled for trial before a judge, and the parties, the vast majority of whom are self-represented, are required to appear on the scheduled trial date. Before the start of trial, the case is assigned to a bar panel attorney for mediation. The neutral panelist discusses the case with the parties in an effort to reach settlement. If the case does settle, the panelist assists the parties in drafting the terms of settlement as necessary. Also participating in the program are Michael Canavan, Jeff Carr, Melissa Chuderewicz, Patricia Lauch and Heather Oehlmann. Volunteers report that the program provides litigators an opportunity to hone their mediation and conciliation skills by working with litigants with a variety of legal issues. The court has expressed its appreciation, from the bench, for the support Pepper volunteers have provided in helping to ensure access to justice. In response to a pro bono initiative organized by Bill Bethune, Pepper agreed last Spring to conduct a special research project for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia regarding the potential adverse impact of the district s possessory interest tax on the operations of a key affordable housing program. The housing initiative, known as the Land Acquisition for Housing Development Opportunities, or LAHDO, program, is designed to make more affordable housing available through long-term leases and other measures. Blair Schiff, working under the supervision of Shel Schreiberg, agreed to take on the project, in which Pepper reviewed applicable regulations and analyzed how the possessory tax, if applied to the LAHDO initiative, may have negative or unintended practical consequences on LAHDO s ability to expand affordable housing in the district. Blair, with the assistance of summer associate Dana Katz, analyzed the existing regulatory structure and developed specific suggestions for legislative amendments and other measures to address the anticipated negative consequences of the tax regime. The pro bono research project was directed to Pepper after Bill Bethune and Pepper director of pro bono programs, Joe Sullivan, met with Chief Judge Rufus King III of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to discuss ways that Pepper could contribute pro bono services relating to housing and community economic development, for the benefit of low-income residents of the district. -7-

8 Pepper Assists NACDL with Trademark Issues Last fall, the new in-house counsel at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) realized that the association was using a variety of marks, including variations on its core logo, without having applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect the marks. NACDL approached Pepper for assistance, and Scott Spooner in Orange County agreed to assist. NACDL was seeking advice regarding general trademark strategies, and assistance in identifying its core marks as well as secondary and other valuable marks relating to its activities. NACDL recognized the importance of its marks as symbols of the organization s good will, which is a valuable and tangible asset of any organization, including non-profits. Organizations use trademark protections to avoid confusion in the marketplace and, in some cases, outright damage to the mark if misused by another entity with a different mission. In addition to aiding NACDL in securing federal registration for its core marks, Scott is conducting comprehensive searches as to secondary and collateral marks to ensure NACDL is not encroaching on the rights of any third parties. Pepper also is advising the national office as to dealing with state-level affiliates who may wish to use similar logos for their activities. NACDL has more than 12,800 direct members, as well as another 35,000 members in its 94 state, local and international affiliates. Its purpose is to advance the mission of the nation s criminal defense lawyers to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crimes or other misconduct. NACDL s national office is in Washington, DC. In addition to supporting its members, NACDL advocates for issues of public importance; most recently, it called upon Congress to raise salaries for federal judges to keep pace with the cost of living and marketplace developments. Scott lived in the Washington, D.C. area prior to joining Pepper s Orange County office, and was familiar with NACDL when it approached Pepper for help. Pepper Lawyers Take on Janitorial Franchise Practices Heep In January 2008, Pepper concluded a year-long representation of a lowincome client who had spent her life savings to purchase a cleaning franchise, only to learn that what she bought was much less than it appeared to be. The client soon found herself with virtually no customers and concluded that she had been defrauded. She went to Community Legal Services (CLS) in Philadelphia to seek help. In 2006 and 2007, CLS had been contacted by a number of lowincome immigrants with similar complaints, namely that they had been approached, often by members of their own ethnic groups, and convinced to invest in janitorial businesses. Such franchises Pilcher often appeal to low-income immigrants who speak limited English and because they involve limited start-up costs and experience to operate. After CLS contacted Pepper, Matthew Pilcher agreed to help, with Jeremy Heep providing supervision. In the initial client interview, Matt and Jeremy learned that the client believed there were numerous violations of the franchise contract, including promises of ongoing customer support and contacts that the client considered to be worthless. Pepper investigated these allegations through interviews of numerous third party witnesses who corroborated a number of aspects of the client s account. The franchise agreement mandated arbitration of all disputes, and the Pepper team put together a comprehensive filing seeking damages for fraud and breach of contract. The franchisor filed motions to dismiss, which were denied. The parties proceeded to arbitration and, in the course of discovery, were able to reach a settlement for which the client was appreciative. CLS continues to handle a number of other such cases in an effort to bring unscrupulous franchise practices against vulnerable immigrants to an end. -8-

9 Orange County Team Helps Defend Former Marine Sergeant Joseph Preis of the Orange County office, a former Marine and veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Somalia, is assisting in the defense of a Marine who has been charged with an alleged killing during a lengthy counterinsurgency operation in Fallujah, Iraq in November Joe is co-counsel with two criminal defense lawyers, who are sole practitioners and also former Marines. The client has been indicted with two counts of killing unknown individuals, John Doe #1 and John Doe #2, in Fallujah. At the time of the events, the client was a sergeant and squad leader. He led his squad for a nearly three-week operation, and was decorated for his service. On the day of the alleged incident, the client was rapidly moving his squad through treacherous houseto-house fighting. Although the case is at only the early stages of discovery, it appears that the indictment is based in part on a statement by another former Marine who claimed to have witnessed the killing of four insurgents by the client s squad after the insurgents had surrendered. Other accounts suggest that the insurgents were firing at the squad when they were killed. Discovery is underway and changes to the indictment are expected. Joe and his co-counsel got active quickly in the case. Associate Becky Hsiao is working with Joe, conducting extensive research and drafting a discovery motion. Both Becky and Joe are working on motions raising jurisdiction and equal protection issues. Substantial additional discovery will be conducted. At the time the charges arose, the client had no service time left, and no reserve time, and could not be called back to active duty. The Naval Criminal Investigation Service urged a civilian U.S. Attorney to bring charges against the client in civilian court, even though it had failed to convince the Marine Corps to do the same under military law while the client was still on active duty. When his enlistment ended, the client became a police officer in a California city. He was just one month from vesting as a permanent officer when he was charged. He has now moved back to his native New York, where he has taken on parenting chores while his wife works. He has no income since his termination from the California police department following his July 2007 arrest. The client has been charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. Joe reports that this is the first time that the Department of Justice has prosecuted a service member for an alleged killing in the heat of battle under that act. Joe advises that this is a case of first impression and may have a significant impact in military circles in the form of a chilling effect on speech, recruitment and fighting in war. Pepper Assists Nonprofits on Program Compliance Issues Maureen Dwyer of the Labor and Employment practice group recently assisted two non-profits who approached Pepper for guidance on compliance issues. The Jesuit Volunteer Corp East (JVC East), asked for advice relating to health insurance obligations for its volunteers. The service organization recruits and supervises recent college graduates who serve for one or two years in a local agency working with the immediate needs of the poor. Maureen provided the requested advice regarding HIPAA and privacy issues and drafted a notice to the volunteers concerning health insurance. JVC s executive director later wrote to Maureen, stating, You gave us precisely the information and advice needed, and that JVC is grateful for your timely and invaluable assistance. At the same time, Maureen reviewed a memorandum of understanding between Centro Nueva Creacion (CNC) and another nonprofit that offered to provide CNC with financial services. CNC is a nonprofit community agency in the Fairhill section of Philadelphia that uses programs in education, community service, technology and the arts to aid low-income youth and families. After Maureen completed the work, CNC s executive director extended her thanks, adding, Having someone like you for these types of things is so important for a small, poor organization like us we truly appreciate it. --

10 Pepper Resolves Civil Rights Case Alleging Deliberate Indifference to Medical Needs In early 2007, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania referred a prisoner s self-prepared civil rights complaint to Pepper. DaQuana Carter and Charles Kocher, working with paralegal John Krawczyk, agreed to represent the prisoner in his claim that his Eighth Amendment and other constitutional rights had been violated at the Berks County prison. Tom Gallagher agreed to supervise the Pepper team. The client claimed that the conditions of confinement at the prison were inadequate and that he became ill as a result. He alleged that the prison refused to provide medical attention or care after he became ill. Pepper s client was housed in an end cell at the prison during the winter of The cell did not have any heat and the client became very sick as a result of staying in the cell for 22 hours a day for six weeks. He repeatedly complained to prison officials but they refused to move him, even though officials knew about a heating problem with the end cells since DaQuana and Charlie took the depositions of several prison officials and medical staff. John created a useful outline and chronology after reviewing all the documents and medical records produced by the prison in discovery. The prison filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that our client could not prove his case, but the motion was denied. Officials then agreed to negotiate with the client, and the Pepper team was able to reach a successful settlement with the prison, for which the client was greatly appreciative. Pepper participates, as do other large firms, in the Eastern District s prisoner civil rights referral panel, through which judges appoint counsel from private firms to represent prisoners in cases where the facts and claims in the prisoner s self-drafted complaint suggest that appointment of counsel is appropriate. Pepper had five such cases pending during calendar year Matt Lund is managing a new effort in Detroit after the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan began a similar program. Pepper Team Aids Nonprofit Supporting Those in Bereavement Pepper launched an informal partnership in early 2007 with the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, an affiliate of Robert Morris University. Pepper accepts referrals through the Bayer Center from community groups deemed ready to incorporate as nonprofits and apply for tax-exempt status. Darcey Rhoades, a member of the firm s Pro Bono Committee, spearheaded this effort, and Pepper hosted a training session that addressed the evaluation process and the impact that incorporation and tax exemption can have for groups serving the community. Darcey agreed to assist an early referral, the Good Grief Center for Bereavement Support (GGC) in drafting the organizational documents, with assistance from summer associate David Aldous. GGC was created out of an existing nonprofit organization, and David researched statutory requirements governing the separation of GGC from the larger entity. Paralegal Kristin Biehl assisted in filing the organizational documents and obtaining a tax ID number for GGC. Darcey also drafted a Donation Agreement through which the parent organization will donate the assets currently used by GGC program to the new entity. Chuck Potter reviewed and evaluated the draft Donation Agreement. Courtney Murray stepped in to complete the final stages of the Donation Agreement and worked with -10-

11 Pepper Hosts Custody Conciliation Seminar and Forms Custody Conciliation Practice Group Singer Rhoades As a member of the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership, Pepper hosted a training seminar in December for the partnership s innovative Custody Conciliation Project, designed to assist parents in amicably resolving custody disputes pending in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division. Jim Singer and Darcey Rhoades, members of the firm s Pro Bono Committee, helped to organize the event. In Allegheny County, parents in custody disputes must first participate in a mediation session without counsel. If that fails to produce an agreement, parties may request a conciliation session with a hearing officer. While counsel are permitted to participate in conciliation, many parents are unrepresented, creating an imbalance where one parent has counsel and the other does not. The Custody Conciliation Project is designed to even the playing field by allowing parents unable to afford counsel to request a pro bono attorney. Volunteer attorneys file a limited appearance praecipe, allowing them to enter their appearance for the conciliation only. The Family Law Section of the Allegheny County Bar Association provides mentors for all volunteers. In addition to Darcey Rhoades, Beth Baran, Kelly Bryan, Jessica McWalter, Robert Muha, Ritu Singh and Amber Schuknecht, as well as Pepper pro bono director Joe Sullivan, attended the training. The seminar, organized by the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Pro Bono Partnership, was conducted by Judge Alan Hertzberg of the Court of Common Pleas, Amy Ross, the court s custody manager, and several experienced volunteers. Ritu Singh, Amber Schuknecht and Robert Muha were scheduled to participate in hearings this February. the parent entity s counsel to obtain attorney general approval for the donation of assets. Brienne Terril, an associate in the Intellectual Property practice group, is working to assign the GGC program logo from the parent entity to the new GGC. Once attorney general approval of the Donation Agreement and the logo assignment are obtained, Darcey and her colleagues will finalize and file the Sec. 501(c)(3) tax exemption application. Pepper has accepted another referral from the Bayer Center, and anticipates that several other referrals on behalf of groups providing public and community services will be accepted in

12 Pittsburgh Team Completes Services for Community Economic Development Initiative A Pittsburgh team led by partner Ray Baum completed a yearlong transactional pro bono project in cooperation with the nonprofit Beaver Initiative for Growth, or BIG, and the Community Economic Development Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. The project, called the Blight Reduction Program, was conceived as a Baum way to help distressed industrial areas of Beaver County, just outside Pittsburgh, make an economic comeback. Beaver County was once a major manufacturing hub for products now produced outside the United States. The Blight Reduction Program addressed various legal obstacles to redeveloping Schuknecht long-abandoned properties for future private economic ventures consistent with market demands and current economic trends. A team of Pepper lawyers and paralegals, including Ray Baum, Peter Kogan, Amber Schuknecht, Kezia Taylor, Melissa Haluszczak, Tierney Richards and Bill Fahey worked to negotiate Options to Purchase agreements and to file Actions to Quiet Title, after which approximately 20 blighted properties were targeted for remediation and will be transferred to third parties for private economic development. In December, Ray Baum received a letter from the Community Economic Development Clinic (CED) at the law Kogan Taylor school, thanking Pepper for its work on the program, which included corporate, real estate, tax and intellectual property assistance, among others. Irene McLaughlin, the CED attorney who directed the legal aspects of the project, stated, Pepper Hamilton s pro bono assistance provided by Ray Baum and his associates has been absolutely critical to CED s provision of these legal services. Pepper Hamilton expertise was provided consistently at every stage of this project. The remediation and transfer of all 20 properties should be completed sometime in calendar year Pepper will participate in a new public-private Blight Reduction Task Force, organized by the City of Pittsburgh and co-sponsored by the CED clinic, to help low-income homeowners clear various title defects so they can qualify for low-interest loans and grants to repair their properties and remain in their communities. Ray Baum will chair the new practice group, in which lawyers and paralegals will work as teams to complete the transactional, real estate and other legal tasks required. Pepper s work in the BIG project inspired the creation of the new Tangled Title practice group. -12-

13 Detroit Lawyers Settle Difficult Dispute for Nonprofit Organization A Pepper team led by Kay Kress and Jay VandeWyngearde settled, at the end of 2007, a longstanding dispute for client Matrix Human Services, a major nonprofit social services provider in the Detroit metropolitan area. Several years ago, Matrix signed Kress a guaranty for certain lease payments that the Lundy Academy, a charter school, was obligated to make to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, which owned the building in which the charter school operated. The Lundy Academy vacated the facility before the expiration of a seven-year lease and ceased making lease payments to the Archdiocese, which then sued Matrix, seeking nearly $100,000 based on the Matrix guaranty obligation. Matrix filed a third-party claim against the Lundy Academy based on indemnification grounds. As all parties wanted to keep the litigation at a low profile, they agreed at Jay s suggestion to conduct informal discovery, through which Matrix learned that the Archdiocese subsequently sold the building at a significant profit. Jay then argued that the Archdiocese had substantially mitigated its damages, and that further damages would amount to a windfall. Using this information and a facilitator agreed upon by the parties, Matrix was able to convince the Archdiocese to settle the matter for a small fraction of the amount originally sought in the complaint. In a letter to Kay Kress, the chief financial officer of Matrix thanked Kay not only for VandeWyngearde her board service but also for Pepper s aid in addressing the lawsuit against Matrix and the Matrix third-party action against the Lundy Academy, noting that Pepper had made a major contribution to Matrix by work performed graciously and with skill and commitment. The Matrix CFO singled out Jay VandeWyngearde, noting that he has been a devoted advocate for Matrix. We were particularly impressed by his strategic thinking and his attention to detail. The CFO concluded that Jay and the Pepper firm have Matrix s unqualified recommendation as a highly skilled, client focused firm. Matrix, founded in 1906, is one of the largest private, nonprofit social service organizations in Michigan; the agency is devoted to improving the quality of life for all ages, through a broad range of specialized services designed to support the entire family unit. Washington Lawyers Create Scholarship Foundation to Support Enlisted Marines Several lawyers in the Washington office stepped forward in response to a request to recognize and honor a Marine corporal who was killed in Iraq while protecting his fellow troops. The Corporal Jason L. Dunham Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. is being created in honor of Corporal Dunham, who was the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. Pepper lawyers, including Charles Carpenter, Blair Schiff, Scott Fireison and Lance Jacobs, as well as law clerk Andrew Victor, have worked with Corporal Dunham s parents and friends to create a scholarship foundation for fellow enlisted Marines who have seen combat. The Pepper team has registered the foundation as a New York nonprofit corporation, applied for federal tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and negotiated a lease for office space for the new foundation s operations. Funds raised by the foundation will be used to help pay for tuition, housing and other related expenses for enlisted Marines who attend college upon return from a combat zone. -13-

14 Domestic Partner Benefits Appeal Reaches Michigan Supreme Court In 2005, a team of Pepper lawyers in Detroit, including Tom Wilczak, Matt Lund, Kurt Kissling and Amanda Shelton, won a trial court ruling that Michigan s Marriage Amendment does not prohibit employers from providing domestic partner benefits, principally in the form of employee-paid health insurance, to same-sex domestic partners. Wilczak The amendment, enacted in a voter referendum in November 2004, states that the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or a similar Kissling union for any purpose. In ruling that the amendment does not preclude offering health benefits to domestic partners, the court held that health insurance and similar benefits are incidents of employment and are unlike the many incidents of marriage. In an appeal by the Michigan attorney general, however, a panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed, adopting an interpretation of the words similar union in the amendment that held that the criteria in the benefits plans were similar to the criteria for marriage. The panel ruled that the state may not offer health insurance or other benefits to the same-sex partners of employees because by officially recognizing a same-sex union through the vehicle of a domestic partnership agreement, public employers give same-sex domestic Lund couples similar status to that of married couples. The original Pepper team, joined by Scott Gorland, along with co-counsel at the ACLU of Michigan and other cooperating attorneys, appealed the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court. In November 2007, the Supreme Court held oral argument, at which plaintiffs counsel, including ACLU attorney Deborah LaBelle, Pepper and cooperating counsel, maintained that health benefits, as an incident of employment, are funda- Shelton mentally different from the more complex and comprehensive set of rights and responsibilities associated with marriage. At argument, several justices questioned the attorney general on whether providing same-sex couples with health benefits falls within the scope of the Marriage Amendment s preamble, which declares the Amendment s purpose to be: To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children... One justice repeatedly observed that marriage involves a bundle of rights, and questioned whether providing health benefits could be tantamount to a similar union when such benefits are only one stick in the bundle. The court is expected to issue an opinion within the next several months. -14-

15 Pepper Is Honored with 2007 William J. Brennan Award Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent, or VIP, presented Pepper Hamilton with the 2007 William J. Brennan Award for distinguished pro bono service. In a letter to Bob Heideck, Philadelphia VIP s executive director, Sara Woods, noted that the Brennan Award is VIP s highest honor and is presented Zemaitis to law firms, and an individual, accepting the greatest number of referrals and providing extraordinary service to VIP and its clients in a given year. Tom Zemaitis also was presented with a VIPeople s Choice Award for his longtime support of VIP, both as a board member and former board president, as well as a pro bono volunteer for many years. Pepper accepts a wide variety of referrals from VIP, which is the central intake and referral agency of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Pepper s signature project with VIP is the firm s Tangled Title pro bono practice group, a multidisciplinary group that represents very low income homeowners seeking to clear title to their homes, defend against fraudulent conveyances and resolve ancient tax and utility liens through negotiation of repayment terms and forgiveness of penalties and interest. Through this process, Pepper s Tangled Title group, in partnership with VIP, assists in saving homes, one at a time, and in so doing, helps preserve neighborhoods. Kathleen Stephenson and Erik Videlock, chair emeritus and chair respectively, have led the practice group of roughly 25 partners, associates and paralegals from the litigation, commercial, real estate, tax, trusts and estates and other fee billable practice groups of the firm. Pepper s Tangled Title practice group is the largest privatefirm practice group in Philadelphia, and lawyers from Exelon s in-house legal department are working with Pepper lawyers on several matters. VIP reports that, following Pepper s lead, a number of large firms in Philadelphia have launched similar pro bono practice groups focusing on the housing needs of low-income Philadelphians. Pepper Lawyers Honored at Two Philadelphia Events on The Same Evening Pepper lawyers were recognized for pro bono efforts at two ceremonies in Philadelphia on January 17. Pepper Hamilton, along with attorneys Christopher J. Huber and Jason Karasik, received the Clifford Scott Green Bill of Rights Award from the Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Committee, Philadelphia chapter for their dedication representing Guantanamo Bay detainees. The award was presented at a ceremony at the Clifford Scott Green Bill of Rights Awards Dinner to honor those local members of the bar whose commitment to the legal profession most exemplifies the principles under which the Bill of Rights was founded. In addition to Chris and Bill, Charles Carpenter, Sapna Anderson and Pepper alumnus Steve Truitt have worked on behalf of detainees represented by Pepper. This year, the committee renamed the Philadelphia award in tribute to the late Judge Green, whose wisdom, integrity and compassion so emulated the principles of the Bill of Rights. In a separate event at City Hall the same evening, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas pro bono awards committee honored the members of the private bar who participate in the court s Landlord Tenant Liaison Committee with one of the 2007 First Judicial District Pro Bono Publico Awards. Special counsel Joe Sullivan and other committee members were presented with inscribed desk clocks in particular recognition of their work in the Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas. The committee was recognized for several projects, including recommendations to amend and streamline procedural rules governing landlord-tenant hearings and to simplify forms and instructions. The committee is working on other projects that may be submitted to the Court of Common Pleas for approval, including a mediation program for landlord-tenant appeals that would utilize the pro bono services of experienced transactional lawyers with special training in mediation and dispute resolution techniques. -15-

16 Wilmington Associate Serves As Guardian Ad Litem for Young Child Pepper Attorneys Assist Prisoner in Child Support Matter After training through the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA), Leigh-Anne Raport recently was assigned to represent a 2½ -year old child in a preliminary protective hearing in Family Court in Wilmington. The child had been placed in the custody of the Division of Family Services (DFS) after the mother was arrested on traffic and assault charges. At the time of the incident, the child was in the car but not in a car seat, and the mother was charged with endangering the child s welfare. The child was placed in DFS custody because the mother did not provide any information about family members who could care for the child. The child s father also has a pending charge of endangering the welfare of the same child, and there is a no contact order in place barring any communications between mother and father. At the preliminary hearing, DFS must establish that probable cause exists to believe that a child continues to be in actual physical, mental or emotional danger, or at imminent risk of such harm, or that the child is abused, neglected or dependent. If the court determines that custody should remain with DFS, it will issue an order to that effect, with notice to the defendants of the date and time of an adjudicatory hearing. The court also will seek other relief for the child, as appropriate, such as visitation arrangements and further exploration of possible placement with relatives. At the adjudicatory hearing, the court will make a formal determination as to whether custody should remain with DFS in the best interests of the child. While Leigh-Anne will be handling her first case in this area, she has had exposure to these and other Family Court issues. As a Wolcott Fellow for the Delaware Supreme Court while a law student at Widener law school, she worked 20 hours a week for Justice Henry DuPont Ridgely, and conducted research, prepared bench memos and did other work relating to appeals from Family Court involving abuse, neglect and termination of parental custody rights. This work was a factor prompting Leigh-Anne to seek training from the Office of Child Advocates in order to represent abused and neglected children on a pro bono basis. Weber Schmidt In the summer of 2007, Justin Weber and Tom Schmidt in the Harrisburg office agreed to assist an incarcerated man in a complex child support matter. The prisoner s former wife filed a petition for child support and alleged that the prisoner, who was previously an accountant, should have child support imposed based on his earnings capacity as an accountant, despite the fact that he was unable to earn any income while in prison and his earnings capacity upon release was uncertain. Based on certain Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent, the former wife argued that an earnings capacity-based obligation should be imposed immediately, so that the client would have child support arrearages upon his release from prison. After Justin and Tom agreed to represent the prisoner, the parties entered into settlement discussions, through which the former wife agreed to drop her earnings capacity claim and not to seek any child support until Pepper s client is released from prison and able to gain employment. The former wife had been seeking support for their two children. Upon the client s release, she would no longer have been able to obtain support for the older child (because of his age). Therefore, as part of the settlement, the client agreed that, for a period of time after his release equal to half his term of incarceration, he would pay support at the two-child rate. The former wife then withdrew her complaint in the York County Court of Common Pleas. -16-

17 Boston Office Comes to Aid Of Victim of Hurricane Katrina Last year, shortly after joining Pepper s Boston office as a lateral, Kristen Foley filed the second of two appeals to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on behalf of a Gulfport, Mississippi resident whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Cary Levinson served as the case supervisor. The client had received a settlement after the disaster, the bulk of which was applied directly to satisfy the balance of the mortgage on her property. The surplus was paid to the client, but it was insufficient to allow her to rebuild her home. The client applied to FEMA for relief, but FEMA denied her claim due to the insurance recovery. In the first appeal, filed in June 2006, Kristen argued that the bulk of the insurance settlement resulted in a forced payment to the mortgage holder and should not count against the $10,500 maximum payment FEMA then authorized for home replacement, particularly as the insurance adjuster found the home was beyond repair. After the mortgage was paid off, the client had no house and only a small residual payment. Kristen argued that the client s relief should be the difference between the $10,500 FEMA cap for home replacement and the residual payment the client actually received after the mortgage payoff. In December 2006, FEMA issued an award that accepted the logic of Kristen s argument, but awarded the difference between the smaller $5,200 home repair cap and the residual insurance payment, or just under $1000, rather than the difference between the $10,500 cap and the residual payment, which would have been much more. Kristen filed a second appeal in 2007, arguing that FEMA should have applied the higher home replacement cap, because the insurance adjuster deemed the home beyond repair. However, FEMA rejected the appeal because the FEMA inspector would not mark the home as destroyed. Kristen also had argued that, as a matter of equity, FEMA should retroactively apply a higher ceiling of $28,200 created by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, enacted in October 2006, because it reflected a Congressional acknowledgment that the earlier caps were much In Memoriam Gus Ballard, a retired partner and former chairman of Pepper, died in 2008 at the age of 86. Mr. Ballard practiced with the firm for 47 years, his entire legal career. He was the chairman of the Business Department, now the Commercial Practice Department, and had extensive experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, shareholders meetings and proxy statements and corporate governance, among many other areas of business law. He served as chairman and co-chairman of the firm from 1974 to 1986, when he was named chairman emeritus. In addition to his many other achievements, Mr. Ballard performed distinguished pro bono work. He was court-appointed co-counsel, with John D.M. Hamilton (the Hamilton in the firm s name) in the trial of Harry Gold in Gold was the courier between Klaus Fuchs, a member of the British delegation to the Manhattan Project during World War II, and the Russians in the delivery of information about the atom bomb, and later appeared as a lead government witness in the historic trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Mr. Ballard continued to represent Gold during his many years of incarceration and after his release on parole in 1966, and counseled him thereafter until Gold s death in Mr. Ballard also served as president of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania from 1964 to Pepper Executive Partner Bob Heideck stated: Gus was the epitome of a Philadelphia lawyer he was a sagacious counselor and a gracious gentleman. We have lost a friend and a legend of the bar. too low. However, FEMA also refused to apply the new, higher limits to the client s case. Kristen reported that the client was grateful even for the smaller payment that she received, which she used to pay off various bills she had been struggling to pay since Hurricane Katrina. The client then received even better news, when a local church volunteer group offered to rebuild her home for free. -17-

18 New Pepper Associates and Laterals Embrace Pro Bono New Pepper lawyers, including first-year associates and laterals, have been stepping up to the pro bono plate in significant numbers. Associate Greg Brabec in Berwyn, and Philadelphia associates David Dzara, Kathryn Nordick, Justin Ricci and Lara Thane participated in Brown Philadelphia VIP s Opportunities Day in November, and received training in homeownership issues for low-income residents. All five have joined Pepper s Homeownership/Tangled Title pro bono practice group, and three have already taken on cases. Nine associates, including Njeri Brown, Kathleen Huang and Julia Richie have joined the group in the last four months. In addition, bankruptcy partner Mike Reed has agreed to join practice group chair Erik Videlock and 10 other partners in supervising cases the group is handling that include clearing title defects, obtaining letters of administration and probating wills and establishing repayment plans for older tax and utility bills, among other forms of assistance. In November 2007, Steve Harvey, chair of the Homeless Advocacy pro bono practice group invited Meg Retz, Independence Foundation Fellow at the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP), to come to Pepper for a presentation titled Representing the Real Street Homeless. For a number of months, Meg has been riding circuit with homeless outreach teams in the late evenings and early Richie Huang morning in Code Red (extremely warm) and Code Blue (extremely cold) situations, as they give coffee and blankets to the homeless. Meg seeks to assist them in gaining medical benefits, SSI and other forms of life-sustaining relief. Among those attending were 13 new or returning lawyers, including Josh Aronovitch, Brian Berkley, Emmett Hogan, Josh Johnson, Jason Karasik, Jennifer Lambert, Andrew Marble, Christopher Nickels, Jessica Rickabaugh, Noah Robbins, Dana Scott, Andy Siegel and Andrew Snowden. Most of these lawyers have committed to handling pro bono matters through our bi-monthly legal clinics at St. John s Hospice in Philadelphia, where Pepper volunteers meet clients and conduct intake, after which cases are assigned to practice group members. Four new associates, David Dzara, Travis Nelson, Maureen O Hara and Jessica Rickabaugh, attended a training program sponsored by the Support Center for Child Advocates to qualify for representing children in abuse and neglect cases in Philadelphia. These attorneys, along with lateral Patricia McCausland, have joined Pepper s Child Advocacy pro bono practice group, a partnership with Child Advocates. Partner Debbie Cohen and associate Anne Marie Aaronson co-chair the Pepper practice group, which meets every other month to review pending cases, and address issues and questions that arise among volunteers handling cases. -18-

19 Schmidt and Thomas Chosen for 2007 William R. Klaus Pro Bono And Community Service Awards Pepper s Tom Schmidt, of counsel in the Harrisburg office and Jim Thomas, partner in the Pittsburgh office, were awarded the 2007 William R. Klaus Pro Bono Award and the 2007 William R. Klaus Community Service Award, respectively. The awards are Pepper s signature honors for distinguished service to the larger community. Schmidt The awards are named for the late William R. Klaus, a former chairman of the firm, whose distinguished career included many pro bono, philanthropic and community service achievements. In addition to serving as Pepper co-chairman from 1992 to 1994, William Klaus was a founder of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia (CLS) and served as its Chairman from 1966 to He also served as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and Chairman of the Philadelphia Foundation, among many other leading civic and community roles. The Klaus Pro Bono Award is presented to an attorney with a record of distinguished legal service in the form of a single outstanding achievement for a pro bono client, or improving access to justice; a leading role in inspiring pro bono service by others; or a sustained record of pro bono representation over many years. In selecting Tom Schmidt as the 2007 winner, Pepper colleagues noted that Tom has a sustained record of pro bono since joining Pepper in He served many years as president of the Pennsylvania ACLU, and as a Pepper partner and ACLU officer, he defended a number of prisoners on death row, challenging both the underlying convictions and imposition of the death penalty. In addition, Tom was recently honored by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for outstanding service in successfully mediating more than 15 cases by court appointment. Tom also was nominated in recognition of his key role on Pepper s team representing parents and students in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover School District case, addressing intelligent design and the high school science curriculum. The Klaus Community Service Award recognizes pre-eminent Thomas public and community service by a Pepper lawyer or staff member. Criteria include a singled act of enduring value to the public good; a leading role in sustaining community service by others; or a sustained record of outstanding community service over many years. In selecting Jim Thomas this year, Pepper colleagues cited Jim s work since 1997 as an active firefighter in the Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company. Jim has fought numerous structural, vehicle and other fires, and at great personal risk, he has performed several rescues. Jim also was cited for his role in the South Hills Regional Rapid Intervention Team, a select group of specially-skilled and trained firefighters who respond to mega fires, and for which Jim is charged with rescuing firefighters who are trapped or injured. Jim also was cited for his work for children, through his leadership in the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, where he has been fulfilling special wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, helping them to have courage and joy in a difficult time. Tom and Jim were honored at special ceremonies and presented with engraved awards detailing their achievements. They also will have their names inscribed on Pepper s Roll of Honor plaques for these awards, displayed in the offices where they practice. The firm also will donate $1,000 for each award to a nonprofit selected by each of the honorees. -19-

20 Exelon Lawyers Team Up with Pepper Lawyers in Aiding Low-Income Homeowners Pepper developed a close working relationship on pro bono matters with a number of Exelon in-house lawyers over the course of 2007, focusing particularly on some of Philadelphia s neediest low-income homeowners. Exelon attorneys, led by Associate General Counsel Kevin Stepanuk, have been attending the monthly meetings of Pepper s Homeownership/Tangled Title practice group, to learn about the multiple kinds of defects in title lowincome homeowners face. The defects block these clients from obtaining grants and loans to repair their homes and stay in their neighborhoods. Pepper first launched the Tangled Title practice group in fall 2004, as a partnership with Philadelphia VIP s Law- Works division, and has handled more than 40 cases since then. Kathleen Stephenson, of counsel, was the original chair of the group, now chaired by partner Erik Videlock. Between them, Kathleen and Erik have mentored more than 20 associates in tangled title cases, directly and through the monthly case meetings of the group. Exelon lawyers have attended the meetings for more than a year, offering counsel on real estate and regulatory issues. Recently, Exelon lawyers agreed to take on three cases, in collaboration with Pepper associates. Exelon s Jeff Simcox will work with David Dzara; John Halderman, a real estate specialist at Exelon will work with Justin Ricci; and Verdina Showell will work with Pepper associate Njeri Brown. Kevin Stepanuk of Exelon leads the company s pro bono efforts, and has collaborated with Pepper and other private firms on various projects. Most recently, he organized a massive birth certificate clinic with the Homeless Advocacy Project involving lawyers from Exelon and seven other corporations at which Ken Massey, on temporary assignment at Exelon, played a key role. Pepper s Homeownership/Tangled Title practice group includes partners and associates from the commercial litigation, construction, corporate and securities, bankruptcy, financial services, health effects, intellectual property, insurance, labor and employment, real estate, tax and trusts and estates departments. The group is the largest such partnership sponsored by Philadelphia VIP at a major Philadelphia firm. Pro Bono News is published by the Pro Bono Committee of Pepper Hamilton llp. Matthew H. Adler William J. Bethune DaQuana L. Carter Hope A. Comisky Anthony J. Destribats David M. Fournier Amy B. Ginensky Stephen G. Harvey Matthew J. Lund Darcey Livingston Rhoades Thomas B. Schmidt, III Barbara T. Sicalides James M. Singer Kathleen A. Stephenson Angelo A. Stio, III Joseph A. Sullivan, Chair Cuyler H. Walker Editor: Joseph A. Sullivan The material in this publication is based on laws, court decisions, administrative rulings and congressional materials, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. The information in this publication is not intended to create, and the transmission and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Please send address corrections to Berwyn Boston Detroit Harrisburg New York Orange County Philadelphia Pittsburgh Princeton Washington, D.C. Wilmington 2008 Pepper Hamilton llp. All Rights Reserved. This publication may contain attorney advertising. -20-


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