At Greenberg Glusker, we believe that pro bono legal services are not a nice-to-have. It is fundamental to the practice of law. For our firm, providing free legal assistance to those who need it the most is both a moral obligation and an honor.
Since the founding of our firm, we have always made providing legal services for the underserved, the indigent, and others in need, a key part of our work. We have a unique ability to effect change and to influence both the content of laws and the manner of their implementation.
Much of our pro bono work also leverages our business law expertise. We maximize our impact by serving on boards, preparing corporate documents, providing guidance on reporting obligations, and more.
Our volunteer hours have spanned the gamut from the welfare of children to support of the arts to education. All these issues mirror the beliefs and priorities of the attorneys at our firm, as well as the needs of our communities.
Pro Bono Stories
Greenberg Glusker’s commitment to pro bono legal services is best described from the stories of our attorneys:
- Megan Nogle devotes a significant amount of time to pro bono work and serves on Greenberg Glusker’s pro bono committee. Megan handles a variety of pro bono matters for the Alliance for Children’s Rights, including special education advocacy, finalizing adoptions of foster children, and assisting young adults transitioning out of foster care. Megan has also successfully obtained a peremptory writ of mandate directing the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board to reinstate unemployment insurance benefits for a wrongfully terminated employee. In addition, Megan has worked with Bet Tzedek’s Holocaust Survivor’s Justice Network to assist numerous Holocaust survivors with obtaining German social security pensions and reparations.
- A decades-long board member of the ACLU of Southern California and of its Foundation (including service as President), Doug Mirell has a strong commitment to equal justice and civil rights. He helped mount a successful constitutional challenge to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ 1981 redistricting plan on the grounds that it intentionally discriminated against the County’s then-three million Latino residents. He was also co-counsel in a federal court lawsuit on behalf of immigrant plaintiffs that successfully halted the implementation of California’s Proposition 187. He also partnered with the ACLU in challenging a school’s failure to provide English language instruction to non-native English-speaking students. Some of Doug’s other high-profile pro bono efforts involved the representation of plaintiffs in landmark free speech and church/state separation litigation.
- Wendy Lane authored the first edition of a manual on adoption law used by pro bono attorneys and law students in finalizing adoptions of dependent children throughout Los Angeles. As an advocate of children's rights, Wendy has dedicated substantial time as a volunteer and fundraiser for various social service agencies and non-profit, charitable organizations such as the Angeles Girl Scouts, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the UCLA Gold Shield Alumnae.
- Benny Roshan has served as a pro bono attorney for various local non-profit organizations including Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Project and as counsel to women and children refugees seeking asylum in America under the Convention Against Torture Act.
- James Hill has an active pro bono practice, including two appellate matters relating to claims for violations of Constitutional rights.
- William Moodie has handled matters including special education advocacy, guardianship petitions, and adoption finalizations for foster children.
- Lori Werderitch is an avid supporter of the Alliance For Children’s Rights, dedicating significant pro bono hours every year toward securing guardianships and increased benefits for children in California’s foster care system.
- Keith Patrick Banner recently worked in conjunction with Public Counsel on a pro bono matter that resulted in over $320,000 in student debt being discharged for 55-year old substitute teacher Dante Venegas. “The breath of fresh air feels like a second chance,” Venegas shared. “I am extremely grateful to Public Council and Greenberg Glusker LLP for helping me to emerge out of my insurmountable student loan debt.”Keith Banner also made the 2019 Honor Roll of Pro Bono Volunteers as recognized by the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California.
- Bonnie Eskenazi and Liz Sbardellati have played a key role in the development of Women In Film’s Sexual Harassment Help Line and Legal Aid Service, which assists those in the entertainment industry who have encountered mistreatment by referring them to designated mental health counselors, law enforcement professionals and civil and criminal lawyers and litigators. In addition to providing pro bono service themselves, Bonnie and Liz assisted in assembling a panel of volunteers committed to providing 10 hours or more of pro bono service.
- Tim Toohey, head of Greenberg Glusker’s Cyber Security Practice, has worked in conjunction with Greenberg Glusker attorney Doug Mirell, the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to file a lawsuit charging that the city of Los Angeles’ requirement of scooter tracking data violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The lawsuit – currently in progress – brought against the City of L.A. and LADOT, seeks an injunction to end all prospective collection, storage, or maintenance of precise location data acquired through MDS.
- Represented a gay man from Russia, who is in the U.S. on a tourist visa, in applying for asylum to escape governmental and personal persecution under Russian laws.
- Advocate on behalf of families and their children for appropriate special education services in light of such children’s learning disabilities and behavior, emotional, and social needs.
- Lead workshops for litigants in small claims court in conjunction with Bet Tzedek and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
- Successfully obtained significant disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for a low-income veteran living with disabilities.
- Represented a Public Counsel client who was born without proper documentation in a migrant community in San Diego in obtaining a birth certificate.
Awards & Honors
- 2022 Community Impact Award in recognition of our ongoing support of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Counsel for Justice AIDS Project
- ACLU "Lifetime Achievement" and "Criminal Justice" Awards
- Jenesse Center "Circle of Excellence" and "Champion of Justice" Awards
- Recipient of Anti-Defamation League Justice and Jurisprudence Award
- State Bar of California "Distinguished Pro Bono Service" Award
- Casa Cornelia Law Center "Inn of Court Pro Bono Publico" Award
- Caregiver Award (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
- Bet Tzedek "Pro Bono Firm of the Year" Award
- State Bar of California “Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Award”
- Jenesse Center Champion of Justice Award