Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Page 3


Manatt Phelps Honored for Work to Provide Legal Aid to Poor

Foley & Mansfield Gains New Associate From West Hollywood Firm


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Legal Aid Association of California was to present Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP with its 2010 Award of Merit at a meeting in San Francisco yesterday.

The association consists of nearly 100 nonprofit legal service program providers statewide, and was formed to act as the “unified voice” for these groups, ensure a forum for them to coordinate and provide training for legal service advocates, according to its website.

Julia Wilson, executive director of LAAC, said the organization specifically created the Award of Merit “to single out Manatt’s pro bono advocacy excellence within the legal community” and “to recognize the firm’s diligence and efforts to ensure the passage of AB 590.”

AB 590 was introduced by Assembly member Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, and passed into law last year, making California the first state in the nation to establish a model program providing a right to counsel for low-income people in civil cases where issues such as shelter, sustenance, health and child custody are at stake.

The bill by will go into effect as a pilot project from July 1, 2011 until July 1, 2017 and be funded by a previously-approved $10 increase on certain court fees when a party wins a case.

Wilson remarked that, “the collective impact of AB 590 is truly breathtaking and not one bit of it would have been possible without Manatt’s amazing leadership, partnership, thoughtfulness and downright ‘get it done’ attitude.”

William T. Quicksilver, Manatt’s managing partner and chief executive officer, said that the firm was “honored” by LAAC’s recognition and emphasized that “ensuring equal access to the justice system for all Californians, regardless of their economic status, is a top concern and priority of the firm.”

Cristin Zeisler, partner and Manatt’s director of pro bono services, added that “this award underscores the firm’s commitment to the provision of basic legal services to Californians, regardless of income or background.”

Other LAAC honorees included paralegals Bertha Sanchez of Bet Tzedek and Maria Aguila of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, and San Francisco attorney Richard Marcantonio.

In other news, Foley & Mansfield, P.L.L.P.  yesterday announced the addition of Noelle M. Natoli-Duffy to its downtown Los Angeles office.

Duffy previously served as managing attorney for the McElfish Law Firm in West Hollywood and focuses her practice on elder abuse, transportation, and medical malpractice claims, according to a release from her new firm.

She attended Sonoma State University and Southwestern Law School before being admitted to practice in 1999.

The attorney  is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Womens’ Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, according to her firm biography.


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