October 25, 2013
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, a leading counselor to global financial institutions and corporations, will be honored with a 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award for outstanding service to The Legal Aid Society and its clients at an event held at The Prince George Ballroom in New York City on October 29. In addition, litigation partner Colin Underwood, associate Chelsea Corey and alumnus Joseph Mueller will receive awards for their team effort on behalf of a prisoner currently incarcerated in New York’s Attica Correctional Facility.
The inmate was repeatedly targeted by prison officials for retaliation because of his views and First Amendment-protected activities. The most recent charge occurred after the inmate’s cell was searched and officials confiscated written materials, including a copy of "Under Lock & Key," a prisoner support newsletter, which featured an article that, according to the disciplinary charge "calls for all prisoners to engage in solidarity and work stoppage on September 9th 2012." Although no work stoppage occurred, the inmate was found guilty under the Department of Corrections’ disciplinary rules. He was sentenced to three months keep lock confinement, nine months in the Special Housing Unit, and loss of package, commissary, and phone privileges during the keep lock period. The prisoner’s pro se administrative appeal raised First Amendment objections, the lack of actual substantial evidence, and the fact that the charges were based on possession of material that he had been allowed to receive by prison authorities, among others.
The team, which now includes associate Trevor Wilson, continues to work on the matter.
“We are very proud of these attorneys who have volunteered their time and talent for those in need,’’ said W. Christopher White, Chairman of Cadwalader. “These awards reflect the firm’s commitment to social justice in our communities.”
Cadwalader has a longstanding relationship with The Legal Aid Society, as well as with several other pro bono referral sources and legal services agencies.
About The Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers.
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