ACLU of Southern California Honors Top Lawyers

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LOS ANGELES – The ACLU of Southern California presented top attorneys and educators with awards for excellence in their fields at the 12th Annual Law Luncheon Wednesday.

The annual event, which was held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, honored lawyers and educators committed to defending civil rights and civil liberties and educating the next generation of public interest attorneys.

This year’s honorees were recognized for their contributions in racial justice, LGBT rights, educational equity and public interest law education. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to John Phillips, who founded the Los Angeles-based Center for Law in the Public Interest, one of the first public interest law firms. Mr. Phillips then went on to found a private public interest law firm with offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

‘This year’s honorees have made historic contributions to the legal profession,’ said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU/SC. ‘I am especially honored to present John Phillips with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his remarkable work rooting out corporate corruption and his landmark agreements on behalf of the poor and powerless. He has dedicated his entire career to advancing the public welfare and securing social justice for all.’

Honorees included:

‘John Phillips – Lifetime Achievement Award

As a partner and founder of Phillips & Cohen, Mr. Phillips’ bold and creative strategies have established judicial landmarks that will benefit the public for many years to come.

‘David W. Burcham – Distinguished Professor Award

As Dean of Loyola Law School, Prof. Burcham has prioritized Loyola’s public service work in Los Angeles communities.

‘Tasneem Dohadwala and Robert LeMoine – Education Advocacy Award

Ms. Dohadwala and Mr. LeMoine of Skadden Arps contributed outstanding work as co-counsel on the Cecilia G. v. Antelope Valley Union High School District et al. lawsuit, which was brought to ensure educational equality for pregnant and parenting teenagers in Antelope Valley.

‘David C. Codell – LGBT Award

Mr. Codell of The Law Office of David C. Codell contributed outstanding work and expertise as co-counsel on the Woo v. Lockyer lawsuit and the AB 205 challenge in the fight to ensure marriage equality for all people.

‘Virginia Keeny and Anne Richardson – Pro Bono Advocacy Award

Ms. Keeny and Ms. Richardson of Hadsell & Stormer continue to be an important partner in the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation v. Los Angeles Unified School District lawsuits to stop an effort aimed at halting integration programs within Los Angeles public schools.

‘Samantha Goodman, B. Scott Silverman and Michael Chamberlin – Racial Justice Award

Ms. Goodman and Mr. Silverman of Morrison & Foerster and Mr. Chamberlin now of Fulbright & Jaworski served as lead counsel for Morrison & Foerster on the Sutton v. Riverside Police Department lawsuit on behalf of veteran police officer Roger Sutton, who had been harassed and discriminated against for 17 years because of his race.

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