(Washington) March 10, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP are launching a new public interest law fellowship in honor of Ronald Plesser, a noted privacy law expert who died suddenly late last year. The Ron Plesser Fellowship was introduced at the CDT’s 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner, which was held on March 9, 2004, in Washington, DC, at the at the Ritz Carlton.
James Blanchard, former governor of Michigan and a partner at DLA Piper, was among the featured speakers at the gala. Governor Blanchard officially launched the fellowship and spoke of Plesser’s lifelong contributions to the legal community and the critical role Plesser played in the development of privacy law. Other special guests attending the dinner included Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, and senior executives from several companies that were active participants in CDT events. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), also spoke fondly of Ron and the firm’s leadership and impact in this area.
“DLA Piper is pleased to be collaborating with the Center for Democracy and Technology in Ron’s honor, especially given his commitment to the organization,” said Ted Segal, the managing partner of DLA Piper’s Washington DC office. “The response to the Fellowship by the scores of business and legislative leaders attending the event was a testimony to how much respect Ron had earned over the course of his brilliant career.”
Plesser played an instrumental role in shaping privacy legislation over a period of 25 years and represented several industry giants in the Internet and communications industries. He served as general counsel of the U.S. Privacy Protection Study Commission. He also helped Piper Rudnick establish a national reputation in the privacy area as chair of the firm’s E-Commerce and Privacy practice group. The firm, now known as DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, continues to have a leading practice representing public and private companies and organizations in privacy and Internet-related matters. Jerry Berman, CDT’s founder and president, noted that one of Ron’s great legacies is the team of accomplished lawyers who continue to lead in this space.
Initial plans are to fund a first-year attorney’s salary at the CDT, each year, through 2010. DLA Piper, as the founding sponsor of the Fellowship, has agreed to commit $200,000 over a multi-year period. Other companies who have agreed to contribute to the Fellowship and serve as “founding supporters” include Microsoft, The Direct Marketing Association, Time Warner, Reed Elsevier, and the CDT. DLA Piper will be collaborating with the CDT in the coming weeks to complete the development and funding process.
About The Center for Democracy and Technology
The Center for Democracy and Technology works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT seeks practical solutions to enhance free expression and privacy in global communications technologies. CDT is dedicated to building consensus among all parties interested in the future of the Internet and other new communications media.
About DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP is a business law firm of 1,350 lawyers in offices throughout the U.S., whose core practices are corporate and securities, litigation, real estate, intellectual property and government affairs. Worldwide, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has 2,800 lawyers in 49 offices in 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and Asia, offering leading practices in commercial, corporate and finance, human resources, litigation, real estate, regulatory and legislative, and technology, media and communications. More information about DLA Piper is available at www.dlapiper.com.