O’Melveny’s Jacob and Alam Honored with Pro Bono Award for Work on Behalf of Domestic Violence Survivors

October 18, 2018


WASHINGTON, DC—October 18, 2018—O’Melveny partner Gregory Jacob and counsel Mishima Alam were honored with the 2018 Heroes Pro Bono Team of the Year Award by DV Leap, a legal organization that advocates on behalf of domestic violence survivors. The group presented the award to Jacob and Alam at its Tip the Scales 15th Anniversary celebration at the Newseum.

The award recognizes Jacob and Alam’s work in representing a victim of domestic violence in her appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court. The case raises a legal question that has never been settled under Connecticut law: whether a husband who holds sole legal title to a jointly used marital home can use violent force to remove his wife on the basis that her refusal to comply with his request to leave makes her a criminal trespasser.

In a statement, DV Leap founder and legal director Joan Meier praised Jacob and Alam’s “legal excellence and their personal compassion and skill,” describing the way in which they “jumped in immediately, mastering thousands of pages of transcripts and emails, and working through detailed, complicated minutiae.”

The case arose when O’Melveny’s client was violently assaulted by her now ex-husband at their second home in Connecticut, which was titled in her ex-husband’s name. In a civil suit brought by the firm’s client, the jury found that her ex-husband intentionally committed assault and battery, causing his ex-wife’s severe injuries. But the jury did not award her any damages, accepting her ex-husband’s defense that she was criminally trespassing on her ex-husband’s property. The judgment was appealed and affirmed by the appellate court last month, and Jacob and Alam are preparing to argue the appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court this fall.

“We are incredibly proud to see Greg and Mishima recognized with this award,” said Brian Berliner, O’Melveny’s partner-in-charge of pro bono initiatives. “The hard work and dedication they’ve exhibited in this case is a reflection of the firm’s deeply held belief in the importance of ensuring access to justice to all members of society, particularly those who are most vulnerable.”

Based in Washington, DC, DV-Leap is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2003 that provides domestic violence victims and their children greater access to the appellate court system. O’Melveny has been a longtime partner to the organization, working together to represent numerous clients.

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Christopher Rieck
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
+1 212 326 2218