Matthew G. Summers, an associate in the Baltimore office of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, was awarded a 2008 Maryland Pro Bono Service Award by the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland at the Maryland State Bar Association's annual meeting on June 14. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) nominated Mr. Summers for his pro bono representation of displaced residents in Elkton, MD.

"We are pleased that Matt has been recognized for his superior efforts to support equal justice in Maryland," said Mary Gay Scanlon, executive director of Ballard's Pro Bono Program. "His individual effort and cooperation with the ACLU are examples of Ballard's longstanding practice of collaborating with legal services providers to help those in need."

In July 2007, the ACLU of Maryland and Ballard filed suit against the Town of Elkton on behalf of nine individuals who were living in the woods of Elkton during the illegal "clearing" of their campsite. The lawsuit challenged the town's raid of the campsite and trashing of the plaintiffs' belongings as unconstitutional and sought a permanent injunction to prevent similar police actions, as well as monetary damages. The plaintiffs also sought to invalidate as unconstitutional the town’s loitering law, which targeted the homeless. In September 2007, the town commission voted unanimously to rescind the law—acting just days before the town was due to answer on the issue in federal court.

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc. (PBRC) is the statewide clearinghouse and coordinator of pro bono legal services. The Center's mission is to promote equal access to justice by coordinating and supporting volunteer civil legal services, providing resources and support for legal advocates for the poor, and promoting cooperation within the legal community.

"To be recognized by your peers for having done something honorable is rewarding," said Raymond G. Truitt, managing partner of Ballard's Baltimore office. "For Matt to be recommended so highly by his colleagues at the ACLU speaks both to his talent as an attorney, and to his character."

Mr. Summers is an associate in the Litigation Department of Ballard's Baltimore office and a member of the Bankruptcy, Reorganization, and Capital Recovery Group. He is admitted to practice in both state and federal court in Maryland as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

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