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Katten Recognizes Eleven Attorneys with Pro Bono Service Awards

Firm News | July 25, 2013

(CHICAGO) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP honored eleven of its attorneys for their exceptional dedication to pro bono services through the firm’s 14th Annual Pro Bono Service Awards. Recipients of the award include:

  • Allan J. Abshez, partner in Real Estate (LA – Century City)
  • Christopher E. Carter, associate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (LA – Century City)
  • Elizabeth A. Camacho, special counsel in Real Estate (LA – Century City)
  • Bonnie Lynn Chmil, associate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (New York)
  • Alan D. Croll, partner in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (LA – Century City)
  • Joseph F. Fiorill, associate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Washington, DC)
  • David Goldstein, associate in Trusts and Estates (New York)
  • Jason Gorczynski, associate in Real Estate (Chicago) 
  • Jarin R. Jackson, associate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (LA – Century City)
  • Patrick M. Smith, associate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Chicago) 
  • Daniel C. Spurlock, associate in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Washington, DC)

“The attorneys have shown an important commitment to pro bono work, and have donated their time and knowledge of the law to help those in need,” said Vincent A. F. Sergi, Katten’s Chairman. “We applaud their efforts and their work not just as great attorneys but as outstanding citizens.” 

The individuals honored this year have provided a broad range of services spanning many different practice areas. These include:

  • Representing an affordable housing organization in litigation to ensure that a public fund for the development of badly needed housing for low-income families was not diverted to other purposes.
  • Preparing wills, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents for HIV-positive individuals.
  • Working to secure asylum in the United States for victims of abuse in Guatemala and Honduras and victims of torture in Chad and Rwanda.
  • Assisting a social service agency with real estate work to develop permanent supportive and affordable rental housing for single adult males to transition to self-sufficiency in a drug-free environment.
  • Helping a battered women’s project secure early release for a woman in prison for 18 years who was convicted of first degree murder without being given the opportunity to show her history of abuse.
  • Incorporating and obtaining tax-exempt status for an organization started by high school students to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of cyber bullying.
  • Winning a significant monetary settlement for a tenant suffering from AIDS who was evicted from his apartment for complaining about an infestation of bedbugs that aggravated his medical condition.
  • Leading educational programs about the law, including mock trials, for students at a school serving a low-income, minority population.
  • Protecting against unsupported financial claims the assets of a nonprofit that operates retail thrift stores and uses the proceeds to fund health, housing and job training for homeless individuals with HIV/AIDS.
  • Setting up a nonprofit theatre program to teach acting and dance to young people.
  • Securing Supplemental Security Income benefits for homeless individuals with disabilities. 

“Katten has always been committed to providing pro bono services, and hundreds of our attorneys volunteer their time to help others who are less fortunate in the communities in which they practice,” said Jonathan Baum, Katten’s Director of Pro Bono Services. “The recipients of these awards are being honored for their consistent dedication to pro bono work over time and the deep impact they have made in ensuring those they are helping are properly represented.”

Katten’s Pro Bono Service Award honorees were presented with their awards during events in various Katten offices. Chicago recipients were honored during a ceremony featuring The Honorable Judge Thomas M. Durkin of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Washington, DC honorees were presented with awards during a ceremony featuring Vanessa Allyn, managing attorney for the Refugee Protection Program of Human Rights First; New York recipients were honored during a ceremony featuring Ed Davey, director of the Corporate Work Study Program at Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School; and Los Angeles honorees were presented with awards at an event featuring the Honorable Judge Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Katten’s Pro Bono Service Awards include a $1,000 honorarium, which recipients donate to a charity of their choice.

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