Philadelphia, Pa. – May 26, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – …

Philadelphia, Pa. – May 26, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Rachel L. Blake and Daniel M. Schaffzin, associates with Pepper Hamilton LLP, received Pro Bono Awards from the Pennsylvania Bar Association at its annual meeting in Pittsburgh on May 4, 2005, in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to difficult pro bono

Ms. Blake, of Pepper’s Pittsburgh office, was recognized, among other
things, for her work as a member of the Bar Leadership Initiative class of
the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, on a new
program called the Homewood Anti-Predatory Lending Project. The Homewood
Anti-Predatory Lending Project assists residents of the Homewood area of
Pittsburgh, a community that has experienced a disproportionate number of
foreclosures in recent years, who have entered into predatory loans and to
help prevent residents from entering into new predatory loans. The
hallmarks of a predatory loan are high interest rate, excessive origination
fees, unaffordable mortgage payment, a loan with a larger value than the
house, home improvement scams, and lender misrepresentation of the terms of
a loan or changing the terms. Predatory Lenders commonly target the elderly
or minorities and are largely responsible for the significant increase in
the foreclosure rate in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Schaffzin, of Pepper’s Philadelphia office, was recognized, among other
things, for his extraordinary work in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. André
Thompson, in which a team of Pepper lawyers won the reversal of a homicide
conviction and death sentence for the firm’s client, Mr. Thompson. In its
ruling, the court ordered a new trial for the client after a finding that
there had been a “complete failure of all prior counsel to afford Petitioner
his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel.”

“The Pro Bono Awards are among the most important recognitions bestowed by
the Bar Association,” said Michael H. Reed, immediate past president of the
Pennsylvania Bar Association and a partner at Pepper. “The awards reflect
the high level of commitment and perseverance Rachel and Danny have shown on
behalf of their clients.”

Ms. Blake is a member of Pepper’s Real Estate Practice Group. She
concentrates her practice in affordable housing matters and the
representation of lenders, public housing authorities, and owners and
developers of multifamily housing and commercial properties in a variety of real estate transactions.

Mr. Schaffzin is a member of Pepper’s Health Effects Litigation Practice
Group and focuses his practice on defense of pharmaceutical and medical
device products liability litigation.

Pepper Hamilton LLP ( is a multi-practice law firm with
400 lawyers in six states and the District of Columbia. The firm provides
corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses,
governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout
the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.

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