Four Sidley teams were honored to receive awards for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association presented the awards at their 23rd Annual Awards for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Ceremony. The awards recognize lawyers who have provided outstanding pro bono and public interest representation and demonstrated excellence in commitment to pro bono or public interest work in handling a matter before the Northern District of Illinois.
David A. Gordon, Tacy F. Flint, Marlow Svatek, Andrew F. Rodheim, and Stephen Spector were honored for their work on behalf of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), winning a resounding victory after more than three years in their challenge to the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule. The regulation had a chilling effect on access to critical benefits even for immigrants lawfully in the United States. ICIRR won vacatur of the public charge rule nationwide, and later successfully fought off an attempt by Texas and 13 other states to intervene in the litigation and revive the public charge rule.
Walter C. Carlson, Jaime R. Simon, and Bridget L. Murphy were recognized for their work on Palmer v. Hardy. Their client, who was born without a left hand, was severely injured in prison when he was refused a low bunk permit as an accommodation. The Sidley team was recognized for their efforts to successfully settle the civil rights case after more than six years of litigation, including a successful appeal to the Seventh Circuit.
Eric S. Mattson, Elizabeth Y. Austin, Caroline Wood, and Leslie Kuhn-Thayer received the award for their work on Weathers v. Colon. Their client alleged his constitutional rights were violated when he was denied medication and subjected to harassment and excessive force while a pretrial detainee. The Sidley team was recognized for their work successfully negotiating a settlement on behalf of the client.
Julie O’Donnell Allen, Chris D. Barnes, and Leslie Kuhn-Thayer received recognition for their representation in another civil rights case, Burton v. Taylor. They reached a settlement on behalf of their client in connection with his claims that after he sought treatment for severe pain in one of his teeth, the dentist at the jail where he was detained removed a different tooth without his consent.
Since our founding in 1866, Sidley has cultivated a tradition of, and commitment to, pro bono service. For more information on our work, please click here.