Miami Dade Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez recognized lawyers and a dozen of firms for their contributions at this year’s Pro Bono Partners Recognition Reception.
Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis was the event’s keynote speaker at this well- attended event.
Lawyers and firms that have donated over 6,000 attorney hours to the Ensuring Equal Justice Initiative program to date were honored. Martinez developed the initiative to enhance indigent clients’ access to justice and “breathe life into the constitutional guarantee of equal justice.”
Receiving special honors at the event was the Miami office of Hogan Lovells for its job in securing a landmark victory for the public defender’s office in its excessive workload litigation. Led by Parker Thomson, Hogan’s team of lawyers have spent over five years and more than 3,600 pro bono hours advancing the litigation through all levels of Florida’s judicial system.
According to Martinez, “This ruling is the most important post-Gideon decision in 50 years and thanks to Hogan Lovells’ brilliant lawyering, superb preparation, and sustained effort, the right to counsel now means significantly more than just having a lawyer with a bar license standing next to the indigent defendant.”
Justice Lewis called on every lawyer present to recruit their friends and colleagues to volunteer to help the neediest.
The law firms honored by the 11th Circuit Public Defender’s Office include: Akerman LLP, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt LLP, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Holland & Knight LLP, K & L Gates LLP, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell PA, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, Shutts & Bowen LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.