Thursday, September 4, 2003
State Bar to Honor Latham & Watkins for Pro Bono Work
By DAVID WATSON, Staff Writer
The Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco offices of Latham & Watkins will be honored for their pro bono efforts in the wake of Sept. 11 at the California State Bar’s 76th Annual Meeting beginning today in Anaheim.
The firm quickly launched a statewide effort to help families of the disaster victims, the bar said in a statement announcing the award yesterday. The statement credited the firm’s lawyers with providing 2,365 hours of legal services in California last year in partnership with the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Public Counsel in Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Nationwide last year, the bar said, Latham lawyers contributed more than 131,000 hours of pro bono legal services—106 hours per Latham attorney and the equivalent of $36 million in fees.
The three offices will receive one of nine President’s Pro Bono Services awards this year. The awards, in categories ranging from individual attorneys to legal teams and law firms, were established by the State Bar Board of Governors in 1983.
They will be presented by Chief Justice Ronald M. George and outgoing State Bar President James Herman tomorrow evening.
The bar also announced the winners of its other annual service awards:
•Santa Ana attorney Robert J. Cohen will receive the Loren Miller Legal Services Award, given since 1977 to an attorney deemed to have done significant work to extend legal services to the poor. Cohen, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, helped draft the legislation that created the state’s program for funding legal services from interest on attorney trust accounts and spearheaded the creation of a legal self-help kiosk system that has been used by approximately 17,000 people in California and expanded to other states.
•San Francisco lawyer Robert D. Raven will receive the Bernard E. Witkin Medal, created by Court of Appeal Justice Norman L. Epstein in 1993 and presented to “the legal giants among us who have altered the landscape of California jurisprudence.” Raven, a former State Bar and American Bar Association president who turns 80 this month, was the 17th attorney to join Morrison & Foerster, a firm which now has over 1,000 lawyers in 18 offices.
•San Francisco attorney Angela Bradstreet and the bar associations of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties will receive the second annual Diversity Awards in a Saturday evening ceremony. Bradstreet, of Carrol Burdick & McDonough, has campaigned to eliminate the “glass ceiling” for women lawyers and to bar judges from belonging to organizations that discriminate against gays and lesbians.
The Witkin Medal will be presented by Herman Saturday afternoon after the annual Morrison Address. The Diversity Awards will be presented Saturday evening.
The Loren Miller Award will be presented at the same time as the Pro Bono Services awards.
The Annual Meeting is expected to draw several thousand lawyers to Anaheim, mostly for continuing education courses. Fresno attorney Anthony Capozzi will be sworn in Saturday as State Bar president and George and Attorney General Bill Lockyer will deliver their annual remarks on the states of the judiciary and the state’s legal system.
Ted Kennedy Jr., who lost a leg to cancer and is a practicing disability law attorney, will speak about the disability rights movement at a luncheon today. Other speakers will include National Public Radio correspondent Linda Wertheimer, who will talk about the war in Iraq at the California Women Lawyers dinner tonight, and retired U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patricia M. Wald, who will deliver the Morrison Address Saturday afternoon.
Wald’s address is titled “Terrorists, War Criminals and the New International Criminal Court: Finding the Right Fit.” Wald served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit before retiring to become a judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The former State Bar Conference of Delegates will meet this year, for the first time, as a fully independent body, renamed the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations. While the bar meets at the Anaheim Hilton, the Conference of Delegates will meet at the Convention Center next door.
The more than 200 MCLE courses are the main draw at the meeting, with the bar touting it as “low-cost, one-stop shopping for those in the market” for the required professional education credits. There are courses in disability rights, elder law, ethics, rainmaking, taxes, trusts, mold litigation, cyberspace law, World War II reparations, homeland security, office and time management, and conquering paper clutter and e-mail overload.
The meeting runs through Sunday.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company