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O'Melveny to be Honored by The Mississippi Center for Justice

May 03, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:

Andrea Rodeschini
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
212.326.2251
arodeschini@omm.com

Piper Hall
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
202.220.5022
phall@omm.com

WASHINGTON, DC -- MAY 3, 2010 -- O'Melveny & Myers LLP will be honored by the Mississippi Center for Justice on May 11, 2010 at AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, DC for its extensive pro bono work in the Gulf region since 2005's Hurricane Katrina.  During that span, the team has worked on more than 130 contractor fraud cases involving Katrina victims, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Using funding from anonymous donors, the Mississippi Center for Justice has also established the George Riley Fellowship, named for O'Melveny partner George Riley, to recognize that important work.

 

Riley has led a team of O'Melveny lawyers over the past two and a half years to aid Katrina victims.  They conduct research and write legal memoranda for the Center relating to various legal issues arising after Katrina, including notice requirements for mobile home evictions, structuring rent escrow accounts for needed repairs, automobile salvage title disclosure requirements, and matters concerning child custody.  Currently, O'Melveny lawyers represent more than 50 families who have fallen victim to unscrupulous and fraudulent contractors.

 

“The work that George Riley and his team have done on behalf of the Mississippi Center for Justice and its many clients has been an inspiration,” said David Lash, Managing Counsel of O’Melveny & Myers’ Pro Bono and Public Interest Services.  “Long after the eyes of the world left the Gulf Coast, years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, when few others continued to care, George and the other lawyers from O'Melveny & Myers made sure that the shattered lives of the poor and vulnerable in Mississippi were still a priority.  They have been working tirelessly to help rebuild those lives, never wavering in their devotion.  They have saved homes, fought against fraud, preserved benefits, and brought justice to those who were otherwise forgotten.”

 

“We are grateful beyond measure for the invaluable gifts of talent, time and treasure that O'Melveny & Myers lawyers have given to Mississippi's most vulnerable Hurricane Katrina survivors," said Martha Bergmark, president and CEO, Mississippi Center for Justice. "The pro bono service that O’Melveny & Myers continues to provide to Mississippians in the post-Katrina era is truly a model for the entire legal community. And I have never met a more committed or tenacious advocate than the incomparable George Riley. He has led a team of lawyers and other legal professionals who to this day are committed participants in our battle to ensure equity in the recovery effort.  Our most heartfelt thanks goes to the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers."

 

The Mississippi Center for Justice is a nonprofit, public interest law firm committed to advancing racial and economic justice.  Supported and staffed by lawyers, community leaders, and volunteers, the Center develops and pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.

 

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 1,000 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