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Law Firm Attorneys To Be Honored for Distinguished Pro Bono Efforts On Behalf of Domestic Violence Victims

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

  • Organization: Sanctuary for Families
On Thursday, November 3rd, Sanctuary for Families' Center for Battered Women's Legal Services is honoring the following attorneys who have made a difference in the lives of domestic violence victims by providing outstanding pro bono legal advocacy and representation:


Nicola J. Espie (Associate), Shearman & Sterling LLP. Ms. Espie has taken on five complex and challenging immigration law cases over a period of years, becoming an expert in gender-based asylum claims. Most recently, she won asylum for a client from Guinea on the basis that the client's daughters would be subjected to female genital mutilation if they were forced to return to Guinea.

Claudia L. Hammerman and Robyn Tarnofsky (Partners) and Adam Heilman (Associate, 2002-2005), Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Ms. Hammerman, Ms. Tarnofsky, and Mr. Heilman represented an Israeli domestic violence victim in a precedent-setting case under the Hague Convention. Their successful litigation resulted in a groundbreaking decision ruling that the return of the client's children to Israel would constitute grave risk of physical and emotional harm to the children, who had also been abused by the father.

Denise E. Backhouse and Edward S. Hornstein (Associates), Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Ms. Backhouse and Mr. Hornstein represented a severely traumatized domestic violence victim in an order of protection trial and a custody/visitation case. After a judge's ruling denying their client an order of protection, they drafted, and then withdrew at the client's request, an appeal in order to settle the client's custody case.

Hannah M. Pennington (Associate), Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Ms. Pennington has represented five Sanctuary clients in contested family court matters and has established a new pro bono domestic violence program at Debevoise. She has supported Sanctuary in a multitude of ways, including her leadership with the Associates Committee.

Edward H. Sadtler (Partner), Kirkland & Ellis LLP. While an associate at Skadden Arps, Mr. Sadtler participated in Sanctuary's summer program and completed a Violence Against Women Act self-petition on behalf of an immigrant battered woman. When Mr. Sadtler joined Kirkland & Ellis in 2004, he introduced the firm to Sanctuary's immigration work and established a similar summer program, which has now run for two consecutive summers and has assisted ten battered women.

Maryse S. Selit (Associate), Hogan & Hartson LLP. Ms. Selit fought and won the appeal of a final order of protection for a special Sanctuary client who had suffered extreme abuse at the hands of her batterer as well as the abduction of her children.

Lauren Abolsky and Kamilla A. Chaudhery (Associates), Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Ms. Abolsky and Ms. Chaudhery are representing an extremely traumatized victim in a heavily contested order of protection and custody/visitation case in Brooklyn Family Court.

Brett S. Ward (Associate), Blank Rome LLP. Mr. Ward has provided expert counsel and handled multiple child welfare domestic violence cases, many related to the Nicholson v. Williams class action lawsuit.

Jerry L. Dasti (Associate), Proskauer Rose LLP. Mr. Dasti took and won order of protection, custody/visitation, and child support cases for a severely abused client, working diligently and sensitively for the client's interests and devoting hundreds of hours over a period of several years.

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