In its 2018 annual report, the Public Justice Center (PJC) honored WilmerHale as a 2018 Outstanding Partner. The firm was recognized for its work with the PJC’s National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC) to revise the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Directory of Law Governing Appointment of Counsel in State Civil Proceedings, an online guide that informs judges, lawyers and other interested parties about existing provisions across the United States to appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants.
In a project that took more than a year, WilmerHale lawyers revised of 32 out of 51 entries in the directory, one for each state plus Washington DC. The PJC notes in its report, “We are thankful for the firm’s support of this initiative, which provides vital information for judges and others across the nation.”
The NCCRC works to support and coordinate advocacy to expand recognition and implementation of a right to counsel for indigent litigants in civil cases involving basic human needs. In 2014, the NCCRC collaborated with the ABA to release the original directory for state court judges, which consists of detailed research reports outlining all the statutes, court rules and court decisions that address the appointment of counsel for each state and DC, as well as the overlaying federal law applicable to state courts.
“Working closely with the PJC and NCCRC, WilmerHale was able to handle the lion’s share of entries due to the firm’s extensive resources,” explains Dan Fleisher—who organized the project’s workflow, along with Nana Wilberforce. “Discovery and staff attorneys contributed from Dayton, Boston and DC to thoroughly review, research and update the information for each state. They were amazing assets for this highly detailed project.”
Jonathan Cedarbaum and Christopher Herrling oversaw the firm’s efforts to update the entries that the NCCRC originally researched and compiled. Also involved were Janelle Johnson, Robert Lemons, Clint Atkins, Nicole Fox, Jeffrey George, Jeffrey Kelly, Bradley Krzyston, Emily Larouere, Anthony Nicholson, Chad Noward, Nicholas Seger, Alma Sove, Daniel Teti, Jillian Westendorf, Eric Cronin and Sung Un Kim.