Fish Receives Distinguished Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award

Fish & Richardson, one of the world's leading intellectual property and business litigation law firms, has been named the 2010 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. (SDVLP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free legal services in civil matters to indigent individuals, families and groups.

"Fish & Richardson has been a champion for San Diego's indigent residents facing life changing issues with legal services for which they otherwise would have received no representation," said Amy Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SDVLP. "We are happy to recognize the firm for the many hundreds of pro bono hours its attorneys and staff have provided and are grateful for its ongoing support."

In addition to Fish & Richardson, SDVLP is honoring Scott Carr of Javelin Web & Media, with the Community Service Award and Richard Hicks, retired/emeritus attorney, with the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award. The awards will be presented on Thursday, September 16 at an awards dinner at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.

"We are honored to be recognized for our volunteer work and look forward to continuing to partner with the SDVLP. Fish is strongly committed to providing pro bono services and assisting those who are underserved in the legal system," states Roger Denning, managing principal of the firm's Southern California office. "Firm wide we encourage each of our attorneys and staff members to give back to the community."

Fish attorneys have worked with SDVLP in providing pro bono services for 12 years. In 2009 the firm handled a lengthy federal civil rights case to which several San Diego-based staff members devoted significant time, including Denning and paralegals Donna Rousseau and Angela Castagnola. Other Fish attorneys have also volunteered with SDVLP over the years, including Desa Burton, Nicholas Martini, Joseph Reid and Nancy Stagg.

Todd Miller, a principal with Fish, serves on the SDVLP board of directors and as the firm's Southern California pro bono and training director. Each of Fish's ten U.S. offices has a principal-level attorney responsible for seeking out and staffing local pro bono opportunities.

In addition to its work with the SDVLP, the Southern California office of Fish has worked with Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP), a nonprofit organization that advances and enforces the rights of low-income Californians to the basic necessities of life. Fish & Richardson began working with the WCLP in 2005 and, in addition to providing hundreds of pro bono hours of legal services, the firm has donated more than $156,000 in court awarded attorneys fees back to WCLP.

Firm wide, Fish is a member of the Pro Bono Institute (PBI), a non-profit organization that provides research, consultative services, analysis and assessment, publications and training to a broad range of legal audiences.