Peter A. Dagostine and Susan N. Masters were recognized by the Pro Bono Partnership as Volunteers of the Year for 2015 at a reception on April 26, 2016. The Pro Bono Partnership selected Mr. Dagostine and Ms. Masters from a pool of approximately 350 volunteer lawyers across Connecticut. They were nominated because of their sustained, multiyear commitment to the Pro Bono Partnership, the high quality of their work, and their positive and professional attitude. Each year, the Pro Bono Partnership, which provides free legal assistance to nonprofit organizations serving the poor or providing other important social and community services in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, celebrates the commitment of a few special volunteers for their exceptional dedication. These volunteers are recognized for the complexity or transformative nature of a pro bono project in which they are involved, their extraordinary responsiveness, or the sheer volume of their matters or time committed to pro bono service through the Partnership.
Pro Bono Partnership, Volunteer of the Year, 2015
Peter R. Knight was one of the Connecticut Bar Association's Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award recipients and honored at the CBA's, who tirelessly fought for fundamental fairness and championed the legal rights of the poor and accused. The award recognizes DeMayo members who volunteer for the Pro Bono Network. The recipients are selected based on their demonstrated dedication to providing legal services to those in need. Mr. Knight was nominated by Lawyers for Children American (CBA), which provides legal counsel for children in neglect and abuse cases. A longtime LCA volunteer, Mr. Knight has teamed with numerous Robinson+Cole lawyers in representing dozens of children throughout Connecticut.
Connecticut Bar Association's Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award recipient, 2016
Brian E. Moran received the CAPP Business Leadership Award on November 8, 2015, at the Ninth Annual Communion Breakfast for Business Leaders at Fairfield University. The award was conferred by Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP), a lay-led, Vatican-based organization founded by Pope John Paul II in 1993. Mr. Moran was recognized for his significant contributions to the community through his philanthropic work. Most recently, working on behalf of the Malta Justice Initiative, Mr. Moran has advocated for criminal justice reform to reduce the size of our prisons and to help ex-offenders reintegrate into their communities.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) recognized Robinson+Cole with its Lawrence and Shirley Bostrom Pillars of Change Award at the First 100 Plus Awards Ceremony on November 6, 2015. The firm was honored for establishing the Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Program, which provides pro bono representation to victims of domestic violence.
Additionally, Robinson+Cole partner Nuala E. Droney was among the individuals honored in this year's First 100 Plus class. Originally designed to recognize men for their efforts in trying to prevent domestic violence and helping victims, the 2015 class is the first to also recognize women. Attorney Droney was recognized for her long-running leadership of the firm's DVRO Program and her efforts to organize similar programs statewide with other law firms.
Pro Bono Honor Roll, Connecticut Bar Association, 2015 - 2017
Robinson+Cole partner Brian E. Moran received the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative's Urdang-Torres Community Impact Award on March 27, 2015, at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for his book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream. This award honors a person, agency, or advocate who has worked tirelessly to promote the betterment of those reentering society from incarceration. In The Justice Imperative, Mr. Moran and the Malta Justice Initiative tackle the problem of the rapidly growing prison population in the United States. The book outlines 30 specific reforms for Connecticut's legislative and executive branches to consider that look to less costly, more effective, and more humane alternatives.
Robinson+Cole’s Pro Bono Committee recognized two lawyers with the firm’s Pro Bono Award for their initiative and outstanding dedication to Robinson+Cole’s pro bono initiative at a reception, celebrating the firm’s summer legal intern program, on August 7, 2014. Peter R. Knight, an environmental lawyer, earned recognition for his work with Lawyers for Children America, a leading child advocacy organization that protects the rights of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment, and neglect by providing quality pro bono legal representation and collaborating for systematic change to improve the lives of children. Evan J. Seeman, a land use lawyer, was recognized for his work with St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, Inc., a ministry of Norwich’s Roman Catholic Diocese. It provides free food and other related services through its soup kitchen and food pantry to Norwich’s poor and underserved.
Robinson+Cole Pro Bono Service Award Recipient, 2014
Through the Boston Bar Association’s Marathon Assistance Project, business and intellectual property lawyer Kathleen M. Porter volunteered to represent a father and son who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. The duo were waiting for their wife and mom to complete the race. In May 2014, Paul T. Dacier, BBA president, presented Ms. Porter and 69 other volunteer lawyers with the 2014 BBA’s President’s Award for assisting victims and small businesses affected the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) honored six Robinson+Cole lawyers among its "First 100" at a breakfast ceremony on November 19, 2013. Benjamin B. Adams, Patrick M. Birney, J. Tyler Butts, Edward J. Heath, Kristopher I. Moore, and Jonathan H. Schaefer were among the male leaders from across Connecticut recognized for making a difference and standing committed to raising awareness of the availability of, and access to, domestic violence services. Robinson+Cole's lawyers were selected for the pro bono work they do through the firm's Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Program.
Connecticut Legal Services honored Robinson+Cole at its annual meeting on October 29, 2013, for the firm's Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Program. The recognition was presented on behalf of the board, staff, and clients of Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. to Robinson+Cole for its "innovative and successful efforts to create the Pro Bono Restraining Order Project benefitting victims of domestic violence who seek relief from the Middletown Court." The efforts of 11 Robinson+Cole lawyers, who have provided over 550 hours of pro bono service through the DVRO Program, have made the following legal representation possible: 50 engagements initiated, 17 ex parte applications and affidavits completed, and 33 evidentiary hearings held.
Robinson+Cole's Pro Bono Committee honored five lawyers in the Hartford office with the firm's annual Pro Bono Award in 2013. The Pro Bono Award recognizes individuals for their outstanding commitment to Robinson+Cole's pro bono initiative. Benjamin B. Adams, J. Tyler Butts, Kate E. Dion, Amanda E. Gordon, and Kristopher I. Moore were honored for their dedication to the pilot program the firm is running at the Connecticut Superior Courts in Middletown and Hartford to help victims of domestic violence obtain or preserve court-issued restraining orders to protect themselves and their families. "It would be an understatement to say this was well deserved," said Mr. Heath. "These individuals have shown a level of professionalism, teamwork, and bravery that I greatly admire and respect."
The Connecticut Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section (YLS) recognized Robinson+Cole for providing the highest number of hours per participating lawyer, 35.3 hours, in its "$1 Million Pro Bono Service Campaign." The goal of the YLS through the campaign was to get members of the bar statewide to pledge $1 million of pro bono services between March and May of 2013. The article "Campaign Reaps $2 Million Worth of Pro Bono Efforts," published in the July 18, 2013, edition of the Connecticut Law Tribune, features those efforts. The final result went way beyond what was expected: the recorded pro bono services exceeded $2 million. Through legal aid organizations in Connecticut, participating lawyers represented low-income people in need, including tenants trying to get much-needed repairs from landlords, women being abused, and homeless veterans seeking federal disability benefits.
The Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) honored Alaine C. Doolan, a lawyer in the intellectual property and technology practice group, with its Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award for "demonstrated dedication to the provision of pro bono legal services" at the CBA's annual meeting on June 17, 2013. Ms. Doolan received the honor for her work with the Truancy Intervention Project and Backpacks for Excellence in Education.
Edward J. Heath, pro bono partner and chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, was honored with the Connecticut Law Tribune's Pro Bono Award at its Honors Night on June 13, 2013, for his work with veterans and women who are victims of domestic abuse, among other matters. Upon hearing of the honor, Mr. Heath told the Connecticut Law Tribune "I like to see this award as a reflection of what our firm has done. I've been a facilitator of people's pro bono work here at the firm, and the firm has done a lot of work in the community. I'm very proud of that work, even though I think it reflects upon Robinson+Cole rather than on what I've done individually."
Thirty-three Robinson+Cole lawyers made the CBA's 2012 Pro Bono Honor Roll, more than any other firm or corporation. The Honor Roll recognizes those professionals who, in 2012, volunteered to work on one or more pro bono matters through any of the 19 Pro Bono Network agencies and programs. The complete listing of honorees was published in the June 2013 issue of Connecticut Lawyer magazine.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson was recognized for her commitment to pro bono service and presented with a Volunteer of the Year Award from the Pro Bono Partnership at a private reception held March 13, 2013, in New York City. Ms. Cole-Johnson was chosen from a pool of almost 1,000 attorneys who provide free legal advice to the Pro Bono Partnership's nonprofit clients.
Kendra L. Berardi received the 209A Pro Bono Initiative Award, presented by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office on January 10, 2013. She was recognized for representing victims of domestic violence in connection with the district attorney's Pro Bono Program. The award is presented to an attorney who has dedicated time to helping victims of domestic violence through this partnership and program. Robinson+Cole attorneys have participated in this program since May 2012.
The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center presented Robinson+Cole with its 2012 Veterans Justice Award and named William J. Egan a Volunteer Hero. The Veterans Justice Award from the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center recognized the considerable efforts of the dozen Robinson+Cole lawyers who have handled pro bono matters for veterans through the center in the last year. Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, Edward J. Heath, accepted the award on behalf of the firm at the center's third annual benefit on Thursday, November 8, at the John Slade Ely House in New Haven, Connecticut. In his acceptance speech, Heath explained how the firm has been involved with the center since its early days and how its lawyers have demonstrated a remarkably consistent level of dedication.
Connecticut Legal Services selected April F. Condon as one of its three 2012 honorees for her extensive pro bono work and honored her at its annual meeting on October 23, 2012.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut gave Jeffrey J. White and Craig A. Raabe its 2012 Pro Bono Award on October 19, 2012.
Among the nation's top 200 highest-grossing law firms, Robinson+Cole ranked 97 for pro bono service. The rankings were published in the July/August 2012 edition of The American Lawyer magazine and are based on the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer in 2011 and the percentage of lawyers who performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work. The calculations count the number of lawyers in U.S. offices as of December 31, 2011.
Edward J. Heath received the 2012 Pro Bono Award from the Connecticut Bar Association for his work in 2011, at an awards luncheon on June 11, 2012. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center nominated Heath for this award for his tireless work since 2009 on behalf of the center's clients that have assisted veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness to overcome legal obstacles relating to housing, health care, and income. He also encouraged other attorneys at the firm to assist in pro bono matters for the center and helped increase the center's access to other corporate and governmental partners.
Robinson+Cole's Pro Bono Committee honored Business Litigation counsel Bill Egan and employee benefits associate Virginia McGarrity with the 2011 Pro Bono Award. The award recognizes our lawyers who make a special contribution to the firm's pro bono efforts. It was presented in conjunction with the annual "Celebrate Pro Bono Week," October 23 to 28, sponsored by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
Robinson+Cole received the Pro Bono Partnership's 2010 Law Firm of the Year Award at a reception hosted by United Technologies in Hartford on February 28, 2011. The event also celebrated the third anniversary of the Pro Bono Partnership's Hartford office at Robinson+Cole. The Pro Bono Partnership recognized Robinson+Cole for its leadership. This includes providing office space and office services for free for the partnership's Hartford program and satellite office in Stamford and for handling legal projects in almost every area in which the partnership serves, including contracts, corporate governance, real estate, employment, and tax. Robinson+Cole lawyers handled more than 30 matters for Pro Bono Partnership clients in 2010. The Pro Bono Partnership provides pro bono business legal services to nonprofit agencies in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
In July, at the firm's Summer Associate Farewell Party, David J. Burke and Jeffrey J. White were presented with the Fourth Annual Robinson+Cole Pro Bono Awards for their outstanding work on behalf of their pro bono clients and continued contribution to the firm's pro bono initiatives.