Hughes Hubbard is proud of our long history of contributions to public service. We have a strong commitment to pro bono work, and our lawyers log thousands of hours every year representing a wide variety of pro bono clients. Our work on behalf of these clients involves all areas of our practice, and we encourage our associates to participate in pro bono activities, even if the work falls outside their specific area of concentration. We have ongoing relationships in representing pro bono clients with a number of organizations, including:
- Beth Israel Medical Center/Peter Krueger Clinic
- Doctors of the World
- Florida Immigration Advocacy Center
- Human Rights First
- The Legal Aid Society
- New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
- Southern District of New York Pro Bono Panel
- The Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
- National Congress of American Indians
- Volunteers of Legal Services
- The Brooklyn Economic Development Corp
- Sanctuary for Families
- New York City Bar Fund
- Dons Solidaires (France)
Following the events of September 11th, Hughes Hubbard assisted the Association of the Bar of the City of New York with a World Trade Center Family Assistance Center at Pier 94. We assisted family members of WTC disaster victims with a variety of legal issues, such as obtaining death certificates for missing relatives. We met with and guided victims’ family members through a maze of legal, financial and governmental services available at the center. In the months following the attacks, several of our lawyers took on the victims of the attacks as individual clients and contributed extensive legal services on their behalf.
The firm and some of our individual attorneys have been recognized for public service work. The firm is the 2006 recipient of the New York State Bar Association's President's Pro Bono Service Award and was nominated by several of the public interest organizations we work with to receive it. In addition, Hughes Hubbard and two of its attorneys, Vilia Hayes and Damon Rowe, were honored by the Legal Aid Society at its 2005 Pro Bono Awards for the firm's work representing individuals dealing with HIV/AIDS. Also, Hughes Hubbard attorneys Christopher Kiplok and Jeffrey Federman were honored by inMotion for their work providing pro bono legal assistance to a low-income woman and her children and received that group's Commitment to Justice Awards. Most recently, Barbara Berger Opotowsky, executive director of the New York City Bar, thanked the firm for our pro bono work for City Bar Justice Center clients, including low-income entrepreneurs, abused women and children and the elderly.
Examples of other pro bono efforts include the following:
- In two consolidated cases, Hughes Hubbard won an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the right of lawful permanent residents to receive humanitarian hearings in order to determine their eligibility to remain in the United States.
- Through mediation, we reached a favorable resolution of potential claims against the Washington, D.C., government and two of its licensees. The case involved a District of Columbia ward with profound mental retardation who died from heat stroke when he was left unattended for several hours in a locked van outside the group home where he lived.
- We won a victory in the Southern District of New York for a client who was awarded damages for having wrongfully spent over a year in solitary confinement.
- The Firm filed an amicus brief with the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of the Madrid Bar Association to reverse the conviction of a Spanish citizen who had been convicted of a double homicide in Tampa. Our brief challenged the conduct of the trial and asserted that the Florida court had failed to protect the fundamental rights of the Spanish citizen to a fair trial; the Court found that a new trial was warranted.
- We have had four past-presidents of the Legal Aid Society: Charles Evans Hughes, Powell Pierpoint, Michael Iovenko and George A. Davidson.
- Many of our attorneys have participated in the representation of victims of domestic violence in uncontested divorce cases and in obtaining Family Court Orders of Protection.
- We represented twenty artists, including Eric Bogosian, Lou Reed and Cindy Sherman, in an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in a successful challenge to the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
- We successfully represented artists in three federal lawsuits brought under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, including the first case litigated under that Act (Carter v. Helmsley-Spear).
- The Firm represented four terminally ill patients in pro bono federal litigation that went to the United States Supreme Court. The case, Quill v. Vacco (1996), addresses the constitutional rights of terminally ill patients to seek aid in dying from their doctors.