CHICAGO, JULY 22, 2004 – LAWFUEL See PRESS RELEASES for today’s law announcements
– The Chicago Bar Foundation and the Chicago Bar Association today recognized the professional achievements and vast contributions to pro bono work of Piper Rudnick attorney Catherine M. Burkhardt with its prestigious Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award.
Ms. Burkhardt received the award at a luncheon hosted by the Chicago Bar Foundation and the CBA at Chicago’s Renaissance Hotel.
The Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award is given annually to honor one young Chicago-area attorney who has made outstanding contributions to the legal profession, the organized bar, and the Chicago community.
“We are delighted and proud that the CBA has recognized Kate with this prestigious award, but it doesn’t surprise us,” said Allen Ginsburg, managing partner of Piper Rudnick’s Chicago office. “We have long recognized that Kate is an attorney with a profoundly generous spirit as well as exceptional talents as a litigator.”
The award was presented to Ms. Burkhardt by Steven Patton, a co-chair of the event, who said of her, “Her commitment is rivaled only by her inspiration to those she works with.”
Ms. Burkhardt is an attorney in Piper Rudnick’s Franchise Litigation practice group. She focuses her private practice on franchise litigation and complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts and alternative dispute resolution forums throughout the country.
She has also extensively devoted herself to pro bono work for many years. Ms. Burkhardt came to her commitment to pro bono during college, when she worked in various capacities helping patients at psychiatric hospitals. She says today that such volunteer work “helped nurture my interest in treatment and policy regarding individuals who are unable to function normally in society without support. This also gave me my first leadership experience in recruiting and coordinating volunteers.”
Today, Ms. Burkhardt works largely through the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation, chairing the Asian American Legal Services Clinic and serving on the CVLS board of directors. The clinic serves a broad spectrum of people, from many countries and from the U.S., who have all been impacted by poverty, abuse, or discrimination. The clinic provides them with pro bono legal services in many areas such as divorce, child custody, landlord-tenant problems, and immigration questions. Ms. Burkhardt not only heads the clinic, reviewing and coordinating new cases and supervising and assisting attorneys, but takes cases herself.
Moreover, within Piper Rudnick, Ms. Burkhardt remains very active in the firm’s pro bono program. She supervises associates working on pro bono cases. She serves as the Summer Associate Pro Bono coordinator, mentoring summers and coordinating their pro bono work. She is also a member of the firm’s Signature Project committee, which has just launched a new, large-scale, innovative pro bono effort for the Chicago office focusing on juvenile justice. And she still continues to provide pro bono representation to numerous indigent individuals and charitable organizations. These matters include representing criminal clients in assault and larceny cases; a prisoner in a police brutality claim; and a neighborhood organization in tax deed petition proceedings to obtain a blighted building and convert it for community use.
She also volunteers at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Before entering private practice, Ms. Burkhardt spent four years in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, prosecuting criminal matters at courts martial and in administrative hearings, first-chairing numerous jury and bench trials, and providing legal assistance to service members and their families.
She is 32.
The Maurice Weigle award reflects the commitment and beliefs of an extraordinary father and son, Maurice W. Weigle (1877-1967) and Maurice S. Weigle (1912-1989), both respected attorneys and esteemed members of the bar association, who each devoted themselves to the practice of law and to the Chicago community. Their families endowed the award in 1968, enabling each recipient of the award to designate a special grant to his or her favorite legal aid or public interest law organization.
The Chicago Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the CBA, improves access to justice to people in the community who are impacted by poverty, abuse, and discrimination.
About Piper Rudnick LLP
Piper Rudnick is a business law firm of about 975 lawyers with offices in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Edison, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Reston, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington.
In 2004, Chambers USA named 40 of the firm’s lawyers (up from 28 in 2003) among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, including two who received the rare “Exceptional” rating and one “Senior Statesman,” particularly in the areas of real estate, corporate, litigation, and labor and employment. The firm’s practice is focused on:
§ Litigation, including national business and securities, product liability and toxic torts, intellectual property, antitrust, labor and class action litigation, and a white-collar group featuring a former Watergate prosecutor. This group includes eight members of the American College of Trial Lawyers (one of whom also served as president), two former United States Attorneys and a former federal judge.
§ Real Estate, comprising one of the largest and most diverse practices in the United States, with a focus on transactional, finance and securities capabilities for owners and investors in all property sectors. In 2004, Chambers and Partners, the Practical Law Company, and Who’s Who Legal in separate independent surveys of clients and competitors all ranked the Real Estate group as the undisputed leading real estate practice in the nation. The group includes the President-elect and a former President of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, as well as 16 other members of the College.
§ Business and Technology, including corporate and securities, corporate governance, franchise and distribution, intellectual property, media, information technology, taxation, bankruptcy, biosciences, IPOs, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, and other major transactions for companies of all sizes.
§ Government Affairs, including the nationally known federal affairs and legislation group formerly with Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand; a government controversies practice headed by the former general counsel of a leading telecommunications company; and prominent regulatory practices in government contracts, environmental, e-commerce and privacy, tax legislation, antitrust and communications. This group includes former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
The firm also has significant international capabilities in trade regulation, dispute resolution, and cross-border transactions, complemented by our strategic alliance with The Cohen Group, an international strategic business advisory firm headed by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Joseph Ralston, and former U.K. Defense Minister and NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson.