September 16, 2008

Good Hope Awards- The Great Unveiling...Part I

As promised, I'm back to begin the unveiling of Bread for the City's 2008 Good Hope Awards Recipients...these will be revealed one per day in no particular order. Keep checking back to get to know some of the wonderful people and organizations who make our work possible!

First up...

Williams & Connolly LLP- Pro Bono Legal Partner- In 2005, Bread for the City began a legal journey with 43 tenants in two buildings in Columbia Heights in NW DC when we filed a suit against their landlord on their behalf. In response, their landlord filed a suit against each of them. As the complexity of the cases became apparent, we quickly realized that additional assistance would be needed. One and a half years ago, the attorneys of Williams & Connolly came to help. They quickly took over the cases of all 13 tenants in one of the buildings. Even after years of litigation, the attorneys and staff of Williams & Connolly have been tireless in their efforts on behalf of these tenants. Under the coordination of Williams & Connolly associate Thomas Roberts, they have filed motions, taken depositions, facilitated over 20 hours of mediation, settled 7 cases and are preparing for trial on behalf of the final 6 tenants. Not only has Mr. Roberts worked tirelessly and extremely competently to assist the tenants, but he "gets it," attending tenant meetings, getting to know and understand the plight of the tenants.

According to Bread for the City Legal Clinic Director, Vytas V. Vergeer, “It’s a big mess, but they have invested a lot and really come through.” Vytas should know-he touches base with Mr. Roberts multiple times each week to learn the status of each of these intricate cases. Both the landlord and opposing counsel have been difficult to work with, but Williams & Connolly has continued to provide wonderful representation for these clients even in the face of adversity. Bread for the City is grateful for Williams & Connolly’s dedication on behalf of our clients. For this we are pleased to award them the 2008 Pro Bono Legal Partner of the Year Award!

Check back tomorrow for the next Great Unveiling!

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