Since 2018, Proskauer has acted as pro bono legal counsel for a veteran who experienced racial discrimination during his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Our client was stationed at Camp Pendleton in the mid-1970s. At that time, members of the Ku Klux Klan (“KKK”) served openly and actively at Camp Pendleton. Our client faced a pattern of severe harassment, beatings and threats of sexual harm and death by his immediate superior and others on his base, many of whom were active members of the KKK. In fear for his life and safety, he eventually went absent without leave, causing him to be unfavorably discharged from service.

After decades of suffering from undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) stemming from the racial abuse he suffered at Camp Pendleton, the veteran connected with Proskauer through partner Colleen Hart. He sought Proskauer’s assistance to upgrade the characterization of his service in recognition of the racial abuse he faced and the PTSD he experienced during his service (and continues to deal with today).

Proskauer attorneys filed for a discharge status upgrade through the appropriate federal agency and pursued litigation in federal court after the initial upgrade request was denied. At the same time, the Proskauer team petitioned the agency to reconsider its decision in light of additional evidence procured after the filing of the initial request. The team successfully obtained a discharge status upgrade for the veteran last month. Following this good news, our client wrote the following: “It is evidently a labor of love to bring justice to those who have lost all hope of being heard. In my case, you gave me something I lost at the age of 22 years old . . . which, was my good name.”

The Proskauer team includes partners Colleen Hart and Colin Cabral, as well as associates Alyson Tocicki and David Gobel.

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Photo of Alyson Tocicki Alyson Tocicki

Alyson Tocicki is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Trials Practice Group. Alyson handles high-profile and complex litigation matters around the country, with a particular emphasis on product liability, false advertising, and intellectual property disputes.

Alyson has experience…

Alyson Tocicki is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Trials Practice Group. Alyson handles high-profile and complex litigation matters around the country, with a particular emphasis on product liability, false advertising, and intellectual property disputes.

Alyson has experience representing clients at all stages of litigation, including: filing initial pleadings; coordinating discovery; briefing and arguing motions; assisting with key fact and expert witness depositions; writing jury addresses; drafting direct and cross examinations; and preparing witnesses for trial. She regularly represents Fortune 500 companies in the media and entertainment, consumer products, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as professional sports leagues and teams. Alyson leverages her experience to provide creative solutions and to manage her cases with an eye towards trial.

In addition, Alyson devotes significant time to pro bono matters, having been recognized at Proskauer’s 2023 Golden Gavel Awards for her substantial contributions to the Firm’s pro bono efforts. She also serves as a member of the Firm’s Associate Council and was selected to be a Protégée for Proskauer’s Women’s Sponsorship Program, an initiative for high-performing, mid-level lawyers that champions future leaders.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Alyson earned her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where she served as a Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review and President of the Student Bar Association. While in law school, she also earned multiple Masin Family Academic Excellence Awards, advised first-year students on legal research and writing, and worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Robert N. Kwan in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Photo of David Gobel David Gobel

David R Gobel is an associate in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Counseling Group.

David Gobel earned his J.D at USC Gould School of Law, where he was a Senior Citations Editor of the USC Journal of

David R Gobel is an associate in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Counseling Group.

David Gobel earned his J.D at USC Gould School of Law, where he was a Senior Citations Editor of the USC Journal of Interdisciplinary Law, and part of the executive committee of USC’s Music Law Society. Prior to law school, David worked as a research executive for a marketing research firm in New York.