Corporate Responsibility

    Pro Bono

    Historically, Squire Patton Boggs, has made the development and delivery of legal services to those in need our top pro bono priority.  Our legacy is grounded in our efforts to work with local organizations to provide legal services in the communities in which we live and work. We embrace opportunities to serve and do so gladly and without hesitation or reservation. In fact, our firm strongly recommends that all of our lawyers volunteer their time and services and we begin by recognizing the efforts of our Associates who perform 100 pro bono hours a year. Our most recent statistics to date indicate that on average, Squire Patton Boggs donates 18,000 hours of pro bono work per annum, worth an estimated USD$7,000,000.00. For years, the lawyers in our Public Service Initiative in our New York Office have been in the forefront of efforts on behalf of indigent criminal defendants and those unjustly imprisoned. It is an honor and privilege to work on a diverse range of matters that support social justice and provide legal assistance to those who are most in need.

    Pro Bono Achievements

    • We were recognized as one of the best law firms to work for in the US, according to the survey of law firm associates. Most notably, the firm maintained its number one ranking for pro bono, one of the key areas in the “Quality of Life” category. We have been in Vault’s top five for pro bono every year since 2008. 
    • We have dedicated countless hours of service towards the successful opening of the Conway Health and Resource Center in Washington DC’s Bellevue neighborhood. The 50,000-square foot facility provides medical, dental and behavioral healthcare to district residents, primarily in Ward 8. The state-of-the-art center houses 20 medical exam rooms, 11 dental chairs, six rooms for behavioral health services and conference space. Housing resources staffs are also available at the site.
    • Lawyers in our Cleveland office have supported the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for more than 40 years. This includes receiving training to handle abuse and domestic violence cases. In recent years, our lawyers have handled 20 cases for victims of domestic violence seeking protective orders against their abusers. Our longstanding and deep commitment to the Legal Aid Society is reflected in Columbus, Ohio where one of our partners serves as the board president for Legal Aid. Our lawyers have also successfully argued numerous habeas and criminal appeals in the Sixth Circuit and other federal appellate courts.
    • The Dallas Bar Association recognized Squire Patton Boggs with the Gold Award for Pro Bono Service. We have received this recognition from the Dallas Bar Association 12 years in a row. 
    • Several of our Phoenix office lawyers serve on a pro bono committee of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, which represents refugees who have been victims of domestic violence and face removal action to their countries of origin. 
    • Our Florida lawyers partner with Disability Rights Florida, a not-for-profit assisting K-12 students with physical or mental disabilities access the public education system, in providing legal representation in connection with individual cases. 
    • Our Houston office has become a “go-to” volunteer firm for the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. Our lawyers volunteer their professional services for counsel and advice sessions at legal clinics, as well as handle an allotment of cases under the Equal Access to Justice Champions Program. They also handle referrals of divorce cases for indigent litigants.
    • We represented an openly gay member of the US military who challenged the constitutionality of his discharge from service. 
    • Launched a domestic violence relief program with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Under the program, Legal Aid Society lawyers train firm lawyers to handle abuse and domestic violence cases. In addition, we made a significant four-year contribution to fund a domestic violence staff attorney position at the Legal Aid Society.
    • Represented a California inmate in his successful appeal in a religious freedom case. A member of the Sikh faith, our client challenged prison grooming rules that required him to cut his hair, which is not permitted in the Sikh religion. 
    • Represented the National Center for Lesbian Rights in a landmark custody trial, the conclusion of a four-year-long fight between two mothers over their daughter. 
    • Assisted an active-duty sergeant in the US Army related to sponsoring his father for US permanent residency and petitioning the US Consulate in Cameroon to accept a waiver of inadmissibility application. 
    • Providing pro bono services to The Asia Foundation and its affiliate Give2Asia, the leading 501(c)(3) organization facilitating charitable gifts to Asia.
    • Persuaded the Ninth Circuit to overturn a Board of Immigration Appeals order denying the application of a client for political asylum and withholding of removal (denial of deportation) following his flight from discrimination and persecution in Armenia.
    • Counseled a Colombian national on an asylum application and defense of removal proceeding. 
    • Participated in the California Habeas Project, a collaboration of several respected California nonprofit organizations and law firms dedicated to protecting the rights of domestic violence survivors with murder convictions by challenging the legality of their confinement through writs of habeas corpus provided by Penal Code section 1473.5, which provides to women not previously able to do so the opportunity to use expert testimony on physical abuse and its effects to supplement their defense against charges of murder. 
    • Served on the immigration panel for HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance, Inc. (HALSA), the only organization of its kind in Los Angeles County dedicated to serving the HIV/AIDS-related civil legal needs of persons living with HIV or AIDS. 
    • Advised the Japan Society of Northern California, an educational nonprofit organization and the West Coast’s leading forum on Japan and US-Japan relations, including counsel regarding employment, real estate and corporate law. 
    • Provided immigration representation to a public school special education teacher on securing an H-1B visa and permanent US residency. 

    Public Service Initiative

    • Norfolk Four – Squire Patton Boggs’ Public Service Initiative (PSI), led by George Kendall, played an important role in the Norfolk Four case. The "Norfolk Four" are four men, Derek Tice, Danial Williams, Joseph J. Dick Jr., and Eric C. Wilson, who were wrongly convicted in 1999 for the 1997 rape and murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko in Norfolk, Virginia. In late fall of 2016, Squire Patton Boggs’ PSI shared news of an important ruling pertaining to client Joseph, when federal judge John Gibney ruled in their habeas corpus litigation that the Norfolk Four were innocent. That order led state prosecutors to dismiss all criminal charges in December 2016. On March 21, 2017, at PSI’s request, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe granted the Norfolk Four full absolute pardons.
    • Ferguson – In early 2015, PSI agreed to represent four journalists who had been wrongly arrested while covering lawful demonstrations in the wake of the tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. PSI sued both the City of St. Louis and the large County of St. Louis for injunctive and monetary relief. In a significant victory, the county agreed to settle under favorable terms that included policy changes for the St. Louis County police department to recognize the right to record police activity. After settling with the St. Louis County defendants in the spring of 2016, PSI set about to complete discovery and prepare for trial against the City of St. Louis defendants. At the same time, during the summer, PSI negotiated for a fair settlement. In September, this part of the case settled. PSI won monetary damages for its clients and significant changes in city police policy concerning the documentation of less than lethal incidents and training for the city’s policy on recording police activity; this was a complete and important win.
    • James McWilliams – In January 2017, the firm’s PSI was approached to assist with an Alabama capital case, McWilliams v. Dunn, which the US Supreme Court agreed to hear in April. The issue was whether Alabama complied with a 1985 Supreme Court decision, Ake v. Oklahoma, in providing an indigent mentally ill defendant with access to state mental health officials only, rather than to a professional independent of the state and prosecution. PSI was asked to submit the principal amicus brief from several national defender organizations, including National Association for Public Defense, National Legal and Defender Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, among others, to establish that in most jurisdictions, at the time of Mr. McWilliams’ conviction, mental health professionals appointed in a capital case were required to operate independently of the prosecution. Not only was the brief accepted, but also Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion relied upon it prominently in the course of his opinion. A five-justice majority agreed with PSI, found due process had been violated and remanded the case to the Eleventh Circuit for further consideration. Counsel for Mr. McWilliams is grateful to our firm for its assistance.
    • Albert Woodfox – On February 19, 2016, Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox (of the Angola 3) was freed after serving more time in solitary confinement – nearly 43 years – than anyone in US history. His release came after extensive and ultimately successful litigation by the firm’s PSI of his federal habeas corpus petition, as well as settlement discussions that had begun in 2013. At the beginning of 2016, Louisiana prosecutors were preparing to retry him a third time, even though all the key witnesses on both sides of the case were deceased, but US District Court Judge James Brady barred a third trial at our request. While that order was vacated by a sharply split two-to-one 5th circuit panel, PSI filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court and the court ordered the state to respond. Louisiana’s new attorney general took note of these proceedings and decided it was time to settle. The state abandoned murder charges and Albert entered nolo contendere pleas to two lesser offenses and was released from custody. Grove Atlantic Press will publish Albert’s memoir in January of 2019. 
    • Gary Tyler - In the wake of the victory in Montgomery v. Louisiana, PSI prepared to resume proceedings in St. Charles Parish court for a resentencing hearing for Gary Tyler, who had been wrongly convicted of murder when he was 16 years old and was sentenced to death. That sentence was later reduced to life without parole. While PSI had spent years trying to uncover overwhelming evidence of Gary’s innocence, there was no DNA, key evidence had been lost and important witnesses were either deceased or refused to cooperate. After extensive discussions, PSI was able to persuade the district attorney to reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter. In a significant way, Gary and his extraordinary prison record as a positive and hopeful role model for other inmates helped convince the district attorney that not only should Gary be released, but that he should be freed without parole or probation supervision. At the April 29, 2016 court hearing, both the judge and prosecutor expressed their admiration for the life Gary built in prison. The charge was reduced to manslaughter and a 40-year sentence was imposed (time served). That afternoon, the Angola Warden personally drove Gary to the front gate. The warden had known Gary since Gary’s 1977 arrival at Angola and appreciated him as an enormously positive force at the prison. Gary is now working with a homeless youth program in southern California and is a valued employee.
    • Groundbreaking US Supreme Court Decision – In Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court was asked to determine whether the court’s 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama should apply retroactively. Miller v. Alabama held that mandatory life without parole sentences for murder imposed upon juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment. At stake was whether more than 2,000 juveniles who received such sentences during the past half-century could now seek resentencing. PSI worked closely with counsel of record on the party briefing, coordinated all Washington DC-based moots, and the filing of several supporting amicus briefs. On January 25, 2016, Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion held that Miller v. Alabama is fully retroactive. Montgomery was one of the most significant criminal decisions during the 2015-2016 term.
    • Phillip Crane – We represented Phillip Crane, an inmate in Florida, on a pro bono basis since 2013. Phillip has been incarcerated since 1991 for a first-degree murder conviction at the age of 20. During his 26-year incarceration, he has focused on working with at-risk youth to help them avoid prison. Phillip’s case recently came up for a parole hearing before the Florida Commission on Offender Review. The commissioner agreed to reduce Phillip’s presumptive release date from 2048 to 2019. Upon release, Phillip plans to establish a non-profit for at-risk youth.
    • Ohio Innocence Project – We assisted The Innocence Project in representing Dean Gillispie, who was convicted in 1991 for a rape that he did not commit, and served over 20 years in prison. Since Squire Patton Boggs started defending the federal ruling on appeal, there have been two successful Sixth Circuit appeals and related state proceedings, with the state trial court ordering the indictment against Dean to be dismissed with prejudice. That was then appealed to the state court of appeals, where Squire Patton Boggs won in 2016. The state then petitioned to the Ohio Supreme Court, which denied review. Dean has been out of prison since 2011 and has been an advocate for justice, speaking often on wrongful conviction issues across the country. He is now fully exonerated based on the rulings we helped achieve.
    • Richard Cooper - PSI collaborated with Holland & Knight and Miller & Chevalier to represent Richard Cooper, a 30-year resident of Florida’s death row. In 1982, Richard was convicted of capital murder in a case where the only evidence presented in his defense was his mother’s testimony. His trial counsel did not attempt to discover any other evidence. In 2011, a federal appeals court overturned the death sentences, but the Florida district attorney filed for a retrial despite Richard’s “remarkably positive record.” The case was finally resolved in May of 2014 with Richard receiving three life sentences. Richard has since become one of the most effective tutors in the prison’s education program.