The American Bar Association (ABA) Death Penalty Representation Project (DPRP) recently announced that Fredrikson & Byron is one of three law firms nationally that will be awarded its annual Exceptional Service Award at the Project’s 25th anniversary dinner in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011.
The award recognizes Fredrikson’s longstanding commitment of nearly 25 years to the representation of death-row inmates in Louisiana, according to Robin Maher, DPRP executive director. Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. has provided lawyers to assist death row prisoners in Louisiana, including the case of Dobie Gillis Williams, whose case was highlighted in the book by Sister Helen Prejean, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.
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Fredrikson & Byron and our Immigration Group received the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s 2010 Beacon of Justice Award which honors law firms that have made a significant contribution to pro bono representation in the area of immigration law. Immigration lawyer Loan Huynh accepted the award on behalf of Fredrikson & Byron at the organization’s annual dinner on October 6, 2010 in Washington DC. Many pro bono partner organizations, along with a client and a law student intern, wrote letters of support on behalf of the work performed by the group and other lawyers within the firm.
In communication to the firm announcing the choice of Fredrikson & Byron, the award review committee stated that they “were genuinely moved by the investment of time and legal representation that your law firm provided on a variety of the immigration issues to protect vulnerable clients. Congratulations, we are thrilled to acknowledge the depth and importance of your work with the legal aid and defender services community.”
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We congratulate all members of the Immigration Group on this well-deserved recognition.
Pat Kelly received a Lifetime Recognition Award from Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at the organization’s annual luncheon. Pat has been involved with the organization for many years, including serving as Board Chair for two extra years beyond his tenure, where he successfully chaired the Capital Campaign, and was involved in opening the Mexican Consulate’s office in St. Paul. Pat was also instrumental in the development of Linea Legal Latina, a collaboration between CLUES, Fredrikson & Byron, and Volunteer Lawyers Network that provides pro bono legal services to native Spanish speakers in their own language.
“Pat Kelly has demonstrated a rare and deeply appreciated level of commitment to our organization and its important mission,” said CLUES president Jesse Bethke Gomez. “Pat exemplifies our mission of enhancing the quality of life for Minnesota’s Latino community.”
Nicole Moen Received Pro Bono Award
Nicole Moen received the 2010 Pro Bono Publico Award: Private Sector. She was honored at the annual fundraiser for the Hennepin County Bar Association on March 9, 2010 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis.
Moen is a senior associate in Fredrikson & Byron’s Litigation Group. She represents clients in civil, regulatory, and white collar criminal matters. Her practice focuses on health litigation, white collar and regulatory defense, and business and commercial litigation. Moen is a member of the firm’s pro bono committee and represents clients in a number of pro bono matters. As part of her pro bono work, she volunteers at legal clinics, giving advice and brief service in the areas of consumer credit, housing, and family law. Moen has also represented a number of individuals in court, including securing custody for foster parents in a highly-emotional and strongly-contested adoption. Her work has also included assisting nonprofit organizations on issues as diverse as securing the right of churches to ban guns on their premises to upholding a voter referendum on instant runoff voting. In addition, Moen has for many years represented an Algerian citizen who was being detained at Guantanamo Bay. She traveled to Cuba numerous times for meetings with her client and—because of her fluency in French—served as both an attorney and translator. Her client was recently sent home to Algeria. Nicole is also frequent speaker about the unique legal issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay detention and has written an article about her experience representing a Guantanamo Bay detainee. She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and clerked for the Honorable John R. Tunheim, United States District Judge of the District of Minnesota.
Jim Baillie Received David Graven Public Service Award
The Minnesota State Bar Association honored Jim Baillie with one of its highest awards this spring when they selected him to receive the David Graven Public Service Award. The award is given annually by the Association and recognizes a member who exemplifies the high standards of the profession in combination with a commitment to public community service. The Association recognized Jim’s commitment to pro bono and the needs of low-income individuals, along with his service to the public through his leadership roles at Volunteer Lawyers Network, the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association, and numerous committees and sections of the American Bar Association. While serving those organizations, Jim developed many pro bono programs to service low-income individuals, including a model for the delivery of bankruptcy pro bono services that has been replicated across the country. Jim is a national leader and spokesman for pro bono who serves as an inspiration for others.
Nicole Moen Received Associate Volunteer of the Year
Nicole Moen has been a passionate advocate for individuals who face barriers to justice since she joined Fredrikson & Byron as a first-year associate in 2004. She has averaged more than 100 hours of pro bono each year. Throughout her career, Nicole has volunteered to attend clinics, where she gives advice and brief service in the areas of consumer credit, housing, and family law. Nicole has also represented a number of individuals in court. She has secured custody for foster parents in contested adoptions and cleared a consumer debt issue for a man who had his identity stolen. Nicole’s work has included assisting a number of nonprofits on issues as diverse as securing the rights of churches to ban guns on their premises, to upholding a voter referendum on Instant Runoff Voting. Most of Nicole’s work, however has revolved around the representation of an Algerian man detained at Guantanamo Bay. Nicole has worked tirelessly on his behalf, often translating his French for others, to make sure that he is assured his rights as set forth in our Constitution and is granted a fair trial on the charges brought against him. In connection this representation, she has traveled to Cuba on several occasions, argued motions before the U.S. District Court in Washignton, D.C., and worked with a team of prominent lawyers throughout the country who are representing other detainees. To date, Nicole has logged more than 1,000 hours ensuring that this client is granted due process under the law. Fredrikson & Byron is proud of Nicole and her work on behalf of the indigent.
Fredrikson & Byron was honored with the 2008 Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association. This award honors law firms that have provided significant pro bono representation to people on death row, specifically recognizing those firms whose commitment to pro bono death penalty representation goes above and beyond the norm. Fredrikson was one of 15 firms nationally to be so honored. Our commitment to working on death penalty cases goes back a number of years. A team led by Clint Cutler, Tom Fraser, and John Koneck tirelessly represented Dobie Gillis Williams from 1987 through January 1999. Mr. Williams’ spiritual advisor, Sister Helen Prejean, highlighted this case in her book The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Steve Kaplan and Richard Kyle, co-counseling with the Capital Post-Conviction Center in Louisiana and Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo University of Law, currently represent Damon Thibodeaux, an innocent man who has been on death row in Louisiana since his conviction in 1997.
MEDA Volunteer of the Year
Fredrikson & Byron has a proud, strong history of working with the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA). Founded in 1971 by Fredrikson lawyer John Stout and other community leaders, this organization works with entrepreneurs of color, providing invaluable business and legal assistance to help them foster community stability and growth. This year, two Fredrikson lawyers were recognized for their assistance to MEDA and one of its clients.
Lynn Gardin has worked with MEDA for a number of years, beginning in 1995 when she drafted the original MEDA Bank Consortium agreements that allowed the sharing of risk between five banks and created a pool of millions of dollars in capital to finance MEDA clients. In 2007, Lynn began to redraft the agreements to meet new regulatory requirements. As MEDA Director George Jacobsen stated at the award luncheon: “With an efficient and no-nonsense approach to business, Lynn has been a reliable and wise sounding board, advisor and legal expert for MEDA for more than a decade. …She has been steadfast in her attention to detail and responsive to crafting documents upon which a half dozen attorneys could agree. We are so thankful for her commitment!”
Lynn continues to advise MEDA and give her time so that MEDA resources are maintained and protected to ensure their availability to future MEDA clients.
“The Multi-Bank Lending Consortium is a much-needed funding source, and it has been my pleasure to work with MEDA and the banks in connection with the Consortium.”
– Lynn Gardin
Phil Goldman has assisted many individuals and small businesses throughout his legal career, including many through MEDA. Jorge Mendoza came to MEDA with an idea on how to grow papayas more efficiently and with fewer chemicals. Jorge, who spoke little English, had received basic business training through the Neighborhood Development Center. He sought additional resources and technical assistance, including invaluable information on how to protect his idea, through MEDA. Phil, a lawyer in our intellectual property group, worked with him for more than a year to pursue a patent for Jorge’s unusual idea. With the assistance of MEDA consultant Edgardo Rodriguez, Jorge successfully filed a patent application (which is now pending) for his specialized agricultural methods. Phil also nominated Jorge for an inventor’s award, which was presented to Jorge at the 2007 Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association Authors and Inventors Award dinner.
When asked why he volunteers, Phil states that he is reminded of his own grandfather, who immigrated from Hungary in the early 20th century).
“My grandfather had nine kids and earned his living hauling ice. My aunt once uncovered a drawing he had made of preformed interlocking blocks—an idea before its time but much the same as the entire industry uses today. I can only wonder how his life might have been changed, and in turn, my father’s and even mine, had there been someone around to help him with even initial steps in progressing with his idea. Hopefully, Jorge’s life might change a bit because of his creative ideas, and his children and grand- children will not have to wonder.”
– Phil Goldman
Fredrikson & Byron salutes both Lynn Gardin and Phil Goldman for their commitment to provide pro bono legal services to MEDA and its clients.
Fredrikson & Byron’s Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award
Few lawyers have contributed more to the local and global community through public service and pro bono than Jim Dorsey. As Chair of Fredrikson & Byron’s Pro Bono Committee for nearly 10 years, Jim helped shape the firm’s pro bono policies and programs through active participation and leadership. Jim was a co-founder and is a former officer and current board member of the Advocates for Human Rights; he has traveled to many countries to investigate human rights abuses, and he currently represents an Algerian detainee at Guantanamo Bay. Throughout Jim’s career he has worked diligently to uphold the rights of individuals—either through direct representation or by challenging unfair or unconstitutional laws. For example, Jim represented the NAACP in Hollman v. Cisneros, a major housing discrimination case that resulted in changing how a public housing program is run. But it is Jim’s consistent representation of low-income people that garners the respect of his colleagues and earns him this recognition. Jim has been a volunteer with Volunteer Lawyers Network for over 25 years, attending clinics to meet with individuals and representing them in court proceedings involving everything from debtor/creditor issues, traffic or drivers license issues, landlord/tenant issues, to administrative law hearings. He has been a Guardian ad Litem in Hennepin County, representing the best interests of children in child abuse and neglect hearings, and he advises and encourages newer lawyers on pro bono Fredrikson & Byron is proud of Jim Dorsey’s accomplishments, dedication, and commitment to pro bono.
Pat Kelly was awarded the Community Builder of the Year award from Comunidades Latinos Unidos En Servicio (CLUES) on December 20, 2007. This exceptional award is given only to individuals who serve with the utmost distinction and dedication to the organization, and is the highest award CLUES gives to an individual. Pat was recognized for his outstanding support and leadership, including his leadership relating to the opening of a new Mexican Consulate office in St. Paul, and the development of Linea Legal Latina, a legal hotline serving Spanish-speaking individuals. Pat has served on the Board of CLUES since June 2000. He has served as Chair of the Facilities Committee and currently serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors.
Fredrikson & Byron was also given an award and recognized for its leadership on the development and implementation of Linea Legal Latina, a legal hotline and clinic developed in collaboration with CLUES, Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Hispanic Bar. This unique program offers brief legal advice to Spanish-speakers who would not otherwise have access to the legal system. Additionally, the program serves as a referral source to appropriate organizations that can assist.
Fredrikson & Byron was chosen to receive the American Bar Association Section of Business Law’s National Public Service Award. The National Public Service Award is presented annually to one individual and to one law firm or corporate legal department that have demonstrated a commitment to providing free legal services to the poor in a business context. Click here for more information.
Fredrikson & Byron shareholder, Tom Fraser, was chosen to receive the Hennepin County Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes an individual for career-long work on behalf of the community. Fraser was presented with the award at the Bar Foundation’s fundraiser at the Radisson Hotel. Jerry Lane of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid nominated Fraser, stating: “As the ED at the Legal Aid Society for over 25 years, I know how important it is to us and our clients to have people like Tom leading the way within their firms, and within the profession, to make equal access to justice a reality for poor people. People like Tom Fraser make it possible for people like me and my colleagues to do our jobs better. I am proud to call him a colleague and a friend. He is the kind of person who should be held up as an example to everyone of what it means to be a lawyer.”
John Stout was honored with the first-ever “Champion of the Year” award by MEDA (Metropolitan Economic Development Association) at its Annual Recognition Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on June 13, 2006. The award recognized John’s 35 years of providing vision, direction, and support to minority entrepreneurs. In 1971 John, along with eight other local business people, co-founded MEDA to provide a business-focused response to increasing social unrest and barriers to full participation in America’s free enterprise system. John has served on the MEDA board of directors continuously since the founding of the organization, chaired the Board, and served on most committees, including the executive committee. In addition, John assisted MEDA and its then President, Esperanza Guerrero-Anderson, with the creation of the Milestone Growth Fund, which he chairs, and the establishment of the bank consortium behind MEDA’s loan program. In accepting his award, John recalled that: “In 1971, the vision was to help ethnic entrepreneurs gain access to, and participate in, the free enterprise system – and it is as relevant today as it was in 1971.” He also recognized the contributions of his assistant, Kristi Marchessault, who has interacted with the MEDA staff and assisted John with his MEDA service for 35 years, and thanked the leadership of Fredrikson for the firm’s steadfast support of MEDA from its inception.
“John’s unwavering support has helped build strong leadership on the Board of Directors and on the staff level. He has seen MEDA through the creation of the Pacesetter Program, the spin-off of Milestone Growth Fund and the establishment of the bank consortium behind the Loan Program. John believes the role MEDA plays in bringing ethnic minority businesses and corporations together is critical to our community.”
Yvonne Chung Ho