O’Melveny Team Named Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year by Public Interest Law Foundation at USC Law School

April 19, 2011






Julie Fei                                                                     Sonja Steptoe

O’Melveny & Myers LLP                                             O’Melveny & Myers LLP

213.430.7792 (office)                                               213.430.6384 (office)

213.440.7792 (cell)                                                   323.578.1586 (cell)

jfei@omm.com                                                           ssteptoe@omm.com




NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- APRIL 19, 2011 -- O’Melveny & Myers LLP partners Phillip Kaplan and Brett Williamson, counsel Kristopher Dawes, and associate Edgar Martinez, are being honored with the Paul Davis Memorial Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year award by the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) at University of Southern California Law School. Kaplan is a member of the Financial Services Practice Group and Williamson is a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. Both partners reside in O’Melveny’s Newport Beach office.


The award honors USC Law graduates in the private sector who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to pro bono matters. Kaplan and Williamson were nominated and selected by Public Interest Law Foundation alumni and advisory board members for their work on behalf of low-income Orange County residents in Blackstar v. Orange County. Martinez also is an alumnus of USC.


The O’Melveny team, which also includes paralegals T.C. Canett and Alexis Kovacs, represented a class of food stamp applicants and recipients whose benefits had been unlawfully denied or delayed due to cutbacks at the County’s Social Services Agency (SSA). The settlement between the plaintiffs and Orange County includes a three-year Consent Decree establishing guidelines and deadlines with which the SSA must comply.


“This award is about a life-long commitment to help the less fortunate that we were called upon to make on our first day of law school.š That commitment is prized by us, our Firm, and our alma mater.š We are honored to be among many who have kept faith with that promise,” Kaplan said.


O’Melveny’s involvement in this case is part of the Firm’s long-standing commitment to pro bono work. In 2009 alone, O’Melveny contributed more than 3,200 hours of pro bono legal assistance to Public Law Center (PLC), an Orange County nonprofit legal services group, with the majority of that time devoted to representing the plaintiffs in the Blackstar suit. For its work, the Firm was named “Law Firm of the Year” by PLC. O’Melveny also donated its entire attorneys’ fee award after costs from the case—US$300,000—to six nonprofits.


The O’Melveny team will be honored at PILF's annual pro bono luncheon on April 20 at Town and Gown on USC’s campus.


About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 900 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com