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Pictured above: Larry Papel (top left), Bill Wood, Scott Moïse, Matthew Brown (center), Katherine DeStefano (top right), Matthew Lindenbaum (bottom left), and Marc Williams (bottom right).
COLUMBIA, S.C.—Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP recently recognized six partners and one associate with the 2018 Claude M. Scarborough Pro Bono Awards for their outstanding commitment and contributions to pro bono work. The award is named for the late Chair Emeritus Claude Scarborough, who made pro bono an integral part of the firm culture during his years as managing partner.
Boston partner Matthew Lindenbaum works with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national nonprofit, founded by Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft Corporation, with actress Angelina Jolie nearly 10 years ago. KIND works to ensure that the rights of unaccompanied minors seeking immigrant juvenile status and asylum in the United States are met and that they have legal representation in court. Volunteers advocate for better solutions for children escaping fear, abuse and neglect, and gang violence. Lindenbaum has spearheaded the growth of participation with KIND in the Firm’s Boston and Baltimore offices. Lindenbaum provides oversight on the KIND cases and serves on the KIND Special Advisory Council. He also sits on an inaugural Boston Advisory Committee. In 2018, Nelson Mullins opened 13 KIND cases and contributed 685 pro bono hours to the organization.
Lawrence M. Papel
In the past two years, Nashville Managing Partner Larry Papel has provided 513 pro bono hours. Papel serves as pro bono corporate counsel. In doing so, he has provided lease reviews, litigation counseling, mediation, real estate and zoning matters, as well as employment issues, among his array of corporate guidance. Papel’s substantial pro bono work is handled on a daily basis for the following nonprofits in the Nashville area:
Katherine A. DeStefano
Washington, D.C. associate Katherine DeStefano has been instrumental in the development of the D.C. and Baltimore Offices involvement in the D.C. Bar’s Landlord-Tenant Court Clinic where attorneys provide legal information to unrepresented tenants and landlords who have residential eviction or condition cases. Due to DeStefano’s efforts, the court clinic is staffed six times a year. DeStefano also has handled seven criminal domestic violence cases in court for protective orders for D.C. Volunteer Lawyers.
Scott Moïse, Bill Wood, and Matthew Brown
Charleston partner Scott Moïse, Columbia partner Bill Wood, and Boston partner Matthew Brown worked diligently for 11 years to see a client freed from a life without parole sentence. The client was convicted in 2007 and sentenced under South Carolina’s controversial three-strike law. He was a 25-year-old at the time of his conviction and the strikes used to sentence him to life included a charge from when he was only a juvenile at 17 years old. The team argued that his lower court-appointed defense lawyer had not informed him of the consequences of going to trial versus taking a plea deal. After two lower courts and the S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the original decision, the S.C. Supreme Court heard the case in March 2018 and overturned the conviction. The client completed his GED while imprisoned and now focuses his efforts on speaking to troubled young people.
Huntington Managing Partner Marc Williams and his litigation team represented an embattled West Virginia chief justice after the West Virginia House of Delegates impeached the entire state Supreme Court over spending issues. The team asked that the Court review the constitutionality of the proceedings regarding separation of powers, due process, constitutional budget provisions, and parliamentary procedure. The court granted a Writ of Mandamus, halting impeachment proceedings by declaring them unconstitutional and clearing the chief justice from the threat of impeachment. The decision was a first, not only in West Virginia, but also in the U.S. Under Williams’s leadership as managing partner, the West Virginia office has met 100% pro bono participation for numerous years.
Committed to serving the most vulnerable in our society with legal, social, and economic issues through pro bono service, Nelson Mullins engages in complex pro bono litigation, policy, and legislative advocacy, and provides individual representation to a diverse group of individuals and organizations whose mission is to serve people with limited means. Our culture and multidisciplinary platform provides our community of clients trusted advice to meet a broad range of business needs. For more information, visit www.nelsonmullins.com.
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