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Proskauer Awards Golden Gavel Honors for Pro Bono Work

Donates more than $400,000 in legal fees to Urban Justice Center, National Senior Citizens Law Center

March 8, 2013 (New York) – The Proskauer Pro Bono Initiative Committee hosted its sixth annual Golden Gavel Awards honoring 46 individuals firmwide for their extraordinary pro bono commitment and leadership.

Led by Proskauer Pro Bono Initiative Committee Chair Scott Harshbarger and firmwide Pro Bono Counsel Stacey O’Haire Fahey, the March 7 ceremony paid special tribute to these Proskauer professionals, who represent every level in the firm – from Partner to Professional Resources Specialist – and every legal department – Corporate, Health Care, Labor & Employment, Litigation, Personal Planning, Real Estate and Tax. All award recipients exemplify excellence in the practice of law through volunteer legal services in support of pro bono causes that range from helping a young Salvadoran boy who witnessed a gang murder gain asylum in the United States, to fielding phone calls from more than 3,700 voters in Ohio, Arkansas and New Jersey in last year’s U.S. presidential election.

The awards ceremony also served as the occasion for Proskauer to recognize the Urban Justice Center and the National Senior Citizens Law Center with donations of $205,000 each. The donations represented attorneys’ fees awarded to the firm, which worked pro bono with both organizations to obtain a favorable ruling in Clark v. Astrue. The successful class-action lawsuit challenged the U.S. Social Security Administration over its practice of denying benefits to people based on outstanding probation and parole warrants and led to a court order restoring benefits that could ultimately total more than $1 billion.   

Following is a complete list of this year’s Golden Gavel Award winners, based on the offices in which they are located:

  • Boca Raton: Margo Lyon and Andrew Thomson (Litigation)
  • Boston: Kate Luarasi and Patrick M. Murphy (Corporate)
  • Chicago: Bradley J. Lorden (Litigation) and Nigel F. Telman (Labor & Employment)
  • Hong Kong: Vivian W. Ho (Corporate)
  • London: Jennifer C. Wheater (Tax)
  • Los Angeles: Nancy Sher Cohen (Litigation), Sarah Kroll-Rosenbaum (Litigation), Shawn S. Ledingham (Litigation), Lois D. Thompson (Litigation), Mira Serrill-Robins (Litigation), G. Samuel Cleaver (Labor & Employment) and Susan R. Goldfarb (Corporate)
  • Newark: Julianne Apostolopoulos and Jonathan S. Hershberg (Labor & Employment)
  • New Orleans: Page W. Griffin (Labor & Employment)
  • New York: Neil H. Abramson (Labor & Employment), Jeffrey R. Escobar (Real Estate), Tanya Facey (Professional Services), Rachel S. Fischer (Labor), Jessica P. Fisher (Litigation), Carl Forbes, Jr. (Litigation), Michael Gallinari (Litigation), Steven M. Kayman (Litigation), Robert M. Kaufman (Health Care), Elissa Landes (Personal Planning), Winston Martinez (Litigation), Susan C. McAleavey (Labor & Employment), David S. Mordkoff (Litigation), David M. Munkittrick (Litigation), Benjamin M. Rattner (Ligation), Anne C. Reddy (Litigation), Michael P. Richter (Litigation), Jennifer R. Scullion (Litigation), Jonathan P. Shaub (Litigation), Charles S. Sims (Litigation), Richard L. Spinogatti (Litigation), Erika M. Stallings (Litigation) and Jared Zajac (Corporate)
  • Paris: Stéphanie Martinier (Corporate)
  • Washington, DC: Sally M. Handmaker (Litigation), Kimberly Harmison (Litigation), Richard H. Rowe (Corporate) and Ravinder S. Sandhu (Labor & Employment)

Proskauer’s Pro Bono Initiative provides legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals, not-for-profit organizations and public interest causes. Clients include community groups, refugees seeking asylum, domestic-violence victims, struggling artists and musicians and Holocaust survivors. In 2012, the firm contributed more than 40,000 pro bono hours to, working on more than 700 matters.