The annual Branton Awards Luncheon is the Committee’s primary event recognizing the outstanding achievements of individuals, clients and organizations that have worked closely with the Committee over many years. During this year’s 47th anniversary event, McDermott’s D.C. office was the proud recipient of two Outstanding Achievement Awards in recognition of its pro bono dedication to two separate matters of special significance to the Committee’s mission.
In one of the matters for which the Firm was recognized, McDermott represented a detective at a federal agency who was forced into a limited duty assignment because the agency’s policy improperly required her to get her doctor’s approval to continue working during her pregnancy. Over the course of the three year representation, the McDermott team secured damaging deposition testimony from agency officials, successfully defeated the agency’s summary judgment motion and positioned the case for a jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. McDermott’s work on the case provided significant leverage in settlement negotiations and resulted in a settlement requiring the agency to pay a substantial sum and an agreement that the agency would abolish its discriminatory pregnancy policy.
In the other matter receiving recognition, McDermott’s tireless pro bono efforts ensured that the seating, event space, and bathrooms at two local D.C. restaurants will be completely accessible for customers with disabilities. Because of McDermott’s work with the Lawyers’ Committee, disabled members of the D.C. community now have access to two popular local establishments.
“McDermott’s D.C. office is honored to have received two Outstanding Achievement Awards and to have the privilege of supporting the mission of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs,” said Alison L. Nadel, co-chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee for the Washington, D.C. office. “McDermott is proud of the work we have done in connection with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, and we look forward to continuing our support by providing pro bono assistance on matters involving important issues of civil rights and poverty in the D.C. community.”
Eugene Goldman, Melissa Nott Davis, Britt Haxton, Mary Hallerman, Natalie Bennett and Laura Capotosto, who represented the pro bono clients in partnership with the Committee, proudly accepted the awards on behalf of the office.
About McDermott’s Commitment to Pro Bono Work
McDermott Will & Emery recognizes and appreciates the need to give back to the communities of which it is a part and to assist those who are unable to afford legal services. The Firm offers a comprehensive pro bono and community service program managed and led by its full-time pro bono counsel and the chair of our Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, which seeks to ensure that the same standards of quality, service and care that McDermott gives to its paying clients are also afforded to those it serves on a pro bono basis. The Firm strongly encourages its lawyers and staff to participate in pro bono initiatives, volunteer services and charitable activities, and it recognizes lawyer time dedicated to pro bono and community service as equivalent to billable hours for all purposes. For more about McDermott’s commitment to social responsibility, click here.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.
About the Washington Lawyers’ Committee
Established in 1968 to provide pro bono legal services to address discrimination and entrenched poverty in the Washington region, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee has since handled thousands of civil rights cases on behalf of individuals and groups. For more information, see: www.washlaw.org