PHILADELPHIA, June 8 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — Lawrence J. Fox, a partner in the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, has been selected to receive the American Bar Association’s 2005 Pro Bono Publico Award. The national Pro Bono Publico Awards, created in 1984, recognize individual lawyers for extraordinary
contributions to the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford
representation. Mr. Fox will receive the award on August 8, 2005 at a special
ceremony during the ABA’s annual meeting in Chicago.
“I am especially honored to be selected for this award by my peers in the
ABA,” said Mr. Fox. “This, however, is a Drinker Biddle & Reath
accomplishment. If not for the support of the firm and the hard work of so
many, this recognition would not have been possible. I chose Drinker Biddle &
Reath because of its commitment to pro bono and that commitment continues more
than thirty years later.”
“We are delighted that Larry has been recognized with this national award,
which is only earned by a handful of recipients and is the most prestigious
honor that can be bestowed upon a lawyer for pro bono work and public
service,” said Alfred W. Putnam, Jr., Drinker Biddle & Reath Chairman.
“Larry’s lifetime of distinguished professional service in the public interest
makes us proud to be his colleagues.” He added: “As a firm, we are extremely
proud of our leadership in helping those who are denied access to justice
because they cannot afford legal services. It is part of who we are and what
we do, every day.”
ABA Pro Bono Publico awardees are selected from those who have excelled in
one or more of the following: (a) demonstrated dedication to the development
and delivery of legal services to the poor through a pro bono program; (b)
contributed significant work developing innovative approaches to delivery of
volunteer legal services; (c) participated in an activity which resulted in
satisfying previously unmet needs or extending services to underserved
segments of the population; (d) successfully litigated pro bono cases that
favorably affected the provision of other services to the poor; and (e)
successfully achieved legislation that contributed substantially to legal
services to the poor.
A sample of Mr. Fox’s pro bono services includes the following:
Death Penalty Representation — Mr. Fox served as Chair of the American
Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project from 1996 to 2003.
During his time as chair of the project and continuing thereafter as a
Steering Committee member, he recruited more than a dozen volunteer law firms
to handle death penalty cases and obtained the assistance of federal and state
judges to host recruitment meetings around the country. He has handled two
individual death penalty cases and been involved in many more as counsel for
amici, as strategic advisor, or both. Mr. Fox has devoted thousands of hours
to pro bono death penalty matters.
Chester Housing Authority — In 1992, Mr. Fox was asked by the ABA Section
of Litigation Section’s Litigation Assistance Partnership Project to handle a
class action lawsuit of behalf of public housing residents in Chester,
Pennsylvania. He partnered with the Delaware County Legal Aid Association and
convinced Judge Norma Shapiro that the failure of the Chester Housing
Authority and HUD to rehabilitate abandoned housing units constituted an
illegal defacto demolition of public housing. A receiver was appointed and
granted broad powers to manage and rehabilitate the Authority’s properties,
resulting in dramatic rebuilding of all of the public housing in Chester.
Child Welfare — In 1990, Mr. Fox led a team of Drinker Biddle & Reath
lawyers and joined with the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the Support Center for Child
Advocates and Children’s Rights Inc. in litigation against the City of
Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and The Philadelphia Department
of Human Services (DHS) over the quality and delivery of child welfare
services to Philadelphia’s children. Eleven years of litigation resulted in a
settlement which significantly improved DHS’s operations, including increasing
final adoptions by over 200%; reducing the number of children in foster care;
improved permanency policies and practice standards; and new community-based
preventive services intended to prevent the abuse, neglect and delinquency of
Election Activities — Mr. Fox became involved in election-related
litigation in 2004. On the eve of the election, he and others at the firm
stepped in at the request of America’s Families United, a nonpartisan group
that alleged that the Board of Elections of Delaware County, Pennsylvania
wrongly had rejected registrations by over 500 residents because they failed
to designate a party affiliation on their applications. A Drinker Biddle &
Reath team led by Mr. Fox prepared papers in less than three hours for filing
in Commonwealth Court. That court remanded the matter, late on the day before
Election Day, to the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. It held a hearing
at 8 p.m. that night and ultimately issued an order restoring the
disenfranchised voters to the rolls in time to vote.
ABA Activities – Mr. Fox was chairman of the ABA Standing Committee on
Ethics and Professional Responsibility in 1996-97, and he was chair of the
Section of Litigation during the 1995-1996 term. He served on Ethics 2000,
the ABA commission that rewrote the Model Rules and as an advisor to the
American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers.
Lawrence J. Fox has practiced law at Drinker Biddle & Reath since 1972,
concentrating primarily in the area of securities litigation.
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP is a full-service national law firm, with
approximately 450 lawyers committed to solving complex legal problems for
businesses and other clients. Established in 1849, the firm maintains offices
in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York,
Chicago, Florham Park and Princeton, NJ, Berwyn, PA, and Wilmington, DE. For
more information, please visit http://www.drinkerbiddle.com.
Web Site: http://www.drinkerbiddle.com