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WilmerHale Recognized by Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Pro Bono Efforts

June 24, 2010

On June 16, WilmerHale received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs’ Wiley A. Branton Luncheon, in recognition of the firm’s pro bono efforts.

Specifically, the firm was recognized for its work in collaboration with the committee on a pro bono matter for client Emile Mazloum, an American citizen of Lebanese descent who filed a civil rights claim against the District of Columbia and other defendants following an incident of police brutality and anti-Arab violence at a Washington DC nightclub.

“The proceedings were complicated, involving intermediate appeals in which numerous WilmerHale lawyers participated after the case was referred to us by the committee,” explains Business Trial Group Counsel Todd Hettenbach. “A jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Mazloum, who subsequently entered into a settlement with the officers and the District.”

WilmerHale’s relationship with the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is longstanding. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy called Wilmer Cutler Pickering founder Lloyd Cutler to the White House to help form the committee, which would focus on how lawyers might address issues raised by the civil rights movement in the South. Cutler served as a member of the organization’s Executive Committee until 1987.

Mazloum case team members also included Partners Stephen Hut and Howard Shapiro; Counsel Chris Herrling and Katherine Zucca; Senior Associates Katherine Shiu, Holly Snow and Avery Gardiner; Associates Michelle Kanter, Bradford Hardin and Levi Giovanetto; and former WilmerHale attorneys Roberto Gonzalez and Katherine Gillespie.