Ballard Spahr Recognizes Pro Bono Work in Virtual Ceremony, Donates More Than $25,000 to Charity
The firm recognized 14 individual lawyers and small groups—one from each office, with the exception of the Boulder and Denver offices, which were combined. In 2019, nearly 300 lawyers and paralegals each spent 50 hours or more on pro bono matters.
The firm’s Alan J. Davis Award went to Anthony C. Kaye, a Salt Lake City Partner who successfully petitioned the Utah Supreme Court to allow undocumented immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to practice law in the state. Mr. Kaye further advised on language for a new rule, which the state supreme court adopted, allowing DACA recipients and other individuals with deferred action status to apply for bar admission. For the last 13 years, the Alan Davis award has been given annually in recognition of exemplary legal representation in a matter involving the public good.
The firm’s Leonard E. Lindquist Award was given to Philadelphia attorney Eileen B. Quigley. The award honors a lawyer providing pro bono support directly to low-income individuals. Ms. Quigley represented four individual clients in matters involving power of attorney, guardianship, and home ownership.
Other honorees include:
- Atlanta – Christine H. Kim – Ms. Kim logged more than 150 hours of pro bono work in 2019. She advised nine small businesses and nonprofits on contract reviews, internal policies, and bylaws revisions, and helped direct a significant philanthropic effort to fund training to fight human trafficking in Georgia.
- Baltimore – Robert Darrell, Joseph Pabón, Donna Reesey, Kim Stammer – This group of paralegals made extraordinary contributions in 2019. They have represented immigrants held in remote detention centers, volunteered at expungement clinics, helped in the representation of juveniles imprisoned for life, and assisted in the formation of non-profits.
- Boulder/Denver – Ashley I. Kissinger and J. Matt Thornton – In 2019, Ms. Kissinger and Mr. Thornton worked with the ACLU of Colorado to ensure open access to a Colorado state senator’s social media accounts after he began blocking constituents. After spending more than 300 hours litigating First Amendment claims, Ms. Kissinger and Mr. Thornton secured a successful settlement agreement.
- Delaware – Brittany M. Giusini and Matthew G. Summers represented an elderly blind man incarcerated in Delaware, ensuring his placement in an appropriate facility and necessary accommodations. Their advocacy secured services from the Delaware Department of the Visually Impaired, extended in-person family visits, accessible food, announcement of meals, and renewed access to prison programs.
- Las Vegas – Joseph P. Sakai – Mr. Sakai led amicus efforts on behalf of probation and parole officers challenging laws in Mississippi that stripped individuals of the right to vote for a wide swath of criminal offenses and laws in Florida that denied the right to vote to individuals with unpaid fines and court costs.
- Los Angeles – Robert S. Gutierrez – After the Learning Rights Law Center had resolved a special education due process claim on behalf of a youth with learning differences, Mr. Gutierrez monitored implementation of the agreement to ensure that the child’s educational needs were actually met.
- Minneapolis – Mark S. Enslin and Jessica G. Federico – Since 2017, Mr. Enslin and Ms. Federico have represented 41 human trafficking victims from the Dominican Republic. The individuals were defrauded into leaving their country to work on a Minnesota farm where they were forced to work on a seasonal basis in illegal, oppressive, and discriminatory conditions. Mr. Enslin and Ms. Federico obtained a settlement accepted unanimously by all 41 clients.
- New Jersey – Barbara A. Casey – In 2019, Partner Barbara Casey helped Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties complete multiple acquisitions of property for the construction of a dozen affordable homes.
- New York – David J. Fernandez – Mr. Fernandez drafted asylum petitions and advised individuals proceeding pro se in asylum matters. Mr. Fernandez also recently launched a pro bono partnership with Albany Law School’s immigration clinic and Project Corazón through which Albany Law students will represent clients at the border seeking asylum.
- Phoenix – Kendis Key Muscheid and paralegal Terri Shaw – In 2019, Ms. Muscheid and Ms. Shaw collectively represented 23 different organizations in formation, tax exemption, and corporate governance matters. They helped to support charitable causes ranging from promoting substance abuse recovery, to providing Life-Affirming Services to LGBTQ+ Youth & Families, to reducing ocean plastic pollution.
- Sioux Falls – Mary A. Akkerman, Joshua R. Brown, Daniel R. Fritz, and paralegal Elizabeth M. Yarman – In 2019, this team began advocating on behalf an elderly woman who suffered alleged elder abuse and lost her home. They spent more than 500 hours advocating for the client to get her home back, recently reaching a settlement agreement.
- Washington, D.C. – Joanna (Ying) Jiang – Ms. Jiang represented three veterans seeking to upgrade their military discharge status in 2019. Her work, along with pro bono efforts of other Ballard Spahr attorneys, have made the firm one of the National Veterans Legal Services Program’s leading pro bono partners.