As part of its mission to raise awareness about the impact and importance of The Legal Aid Society, Proskauer’s Associates’ Campaign for Legal Aid organized a special event on wrongful convictions featuring Elizabeth Felber from Legal Aid’s Wrongful Conviction Unit, Jason Flom, a renowned criminal justice reform advocate, and Jimmy Dennis, an exoneree who served 25 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.   

On April 4, 2023, Proskauer submitted an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court in In re NR, a case in which a child was removed from his father’s custody based on a finding of “substance abuse.” The lower court found that the father had a “substance abuse” problem — based solely on its subjective judgments about substance use, rather than applying any objective, evidence-based standard — and separated the father and child on that basis. This case highlights the danger of allowing courts to diagnose parents with “substance abuse” problems based on their own subjective and standardless opinions. Unfounded assumptions, judgments, and stigma against substance use and substance use disorders can cause significant harm, particularly when they are used as a basis to deprive parents of their fundamental rights and separate families.

As we recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I recently sat down with our friend Wayne Ho, CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council (“CPC”), to learn more about the community issues the nation’s largest Asian American social service organization is working to address.  Since 2021, Proskauer has partnered with the CPC to host several educational workshop series with CPC teens, centering on social justice and academic enrichment. Proskauer employees volunteer as mentors on a regular basis, through programs like those sponsored by the CPC, imparting their expertise beyond the law to inform and inspire students to succeed in college, their careers and other aspects of their lives.

Proskauer hosted actor and activist Ashley Judd and author and activist Ruchira Gupta for a discussion last week that addressed the issue of human trafficking.

I had the honor of introducing the conversation between Judd, well known for her global activism centered on gender equality, and Gupta, an Emmy Award-winning journalist who founded Apne Aap, a non-governmental organization in India that has helped thousands of women and girls exit prostitution. 

Developing climate solutions requires an all-hands on deck approach that leverages partnership across the public and private sectors as well as the philanthropic community as we face this defining issue of our time. Leaders from all three of these sectors gathered at Proskauer’s New York headquarters for a special Earth Day panel discussion on climate change that explored some of the strides being made toward climate change mitigation objectives.

Proskauer and co-counsel Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”), a nationwide nonprofit disability rights legal center, triumphed in a Chicago court this month, obtaining a ruling that will lead to historic accessibility improvements for the more than 65,000 people with vision difficulties who live in Chicago. The Court granted summary judgment on claims that the City of Chicago discriminated against blind and low vision pedestrians under federal disability rights laws by failing to install accessible pedestrian signals (APS) at signalized intersections.  American Council of the Blind of Metropolitan Chicago, et al. v. City of Chicago, No. 1:19-cv-06322 (N.D. Ill.).