The California State Bar will honor Kirkland & Ellis LLP with its 2005 President’s Pro Bono Service Award on September 9, 2005.
The award, which will be presented at the State Bar’s annual meeting in San Diego, is in recognition of the firm’s work on behalf of the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Rancho annually serves about 9,500 patients and is the only facility in Los Angeles County that provides acute care and rehabilitation services to Medi-Cal recipients with severe disabilities, and to other low-income people who are not even able to qualify for Medi-Cal.
Kirkland & Ellis was nominated for the honor by both the Western Law Center for Disability Rights and the Western Center for Law & Poverty. In addition to Kirkland, four public interest firms rounded out the team: the Western Law Center for Disability Rights; the Western Center for Law & Poverty; Protection & Advocacy, Inc; and the National Senior Citizen’s Law Center.
The combined team successfully prevented Los Angeles County’s intended closure of the rehabilitation center in a case involving a hotly contested preliminary injunction proceeding and appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. On April 27, 2004, in a reported opinion, the 9th Circuit upheld the District Court ruling, thereby assuring that Rancho would remain open at least until a final determination is reached in the case. Rodde v. Bonta, 357 F.3d 988 (9th Cir. 2004).
On August 9, 2005, after nearly two years of settlement negotiations, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a settlement of the Rodde case with the plaintiff class. That settlement must now be approved by the Court.
The Kirkland team is led by Los Angeles partners Jeffrey S. Davidson, Tony L. Richardson and Christopher J. Heck. Others who contributed to the case in the last year include Felix Lebron, Valerie Hung, Joe Graham, Steve McClain, Eve Crowell, Allison Andrews, Antoinette Huerta, Rosemarie Howard and Lena Prodan.
“Kirkland & Ellis is very pleased to receive the President’s Pro Bono Service Award. This honor reflects the Firm’s commitment to providing pro bono service to the community,” said Jeff Davidson, lead lawyer on the case and the most senior partner in the Los Angeles office.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,000-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration; restructuring; corporate and tax; and intellectual property and technology matters. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Munich, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.