News Clips

June 12, 2012

Daily Journal: Public Counsel gets aggressive

Daily Journal | Jason W. Armstrong

The Daily Journal profiled Public Counsel's growing presence in litigation and policy:

Hernán Vera, who spearheaded Public Counsel’s culture shift four years ago when he took the reins president and CEO, said that since the group began litigating more aggressively, “there hasn’t been pullback” from donors or law firms that partner with it on pro bono matters.“If anything, it’s increased the excite-ment from supporters that we’re doing more.”

The 42-year-old public-interest law of-fice of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills bar associations previously partnered with law firms on major civil rights issues but tended to take matters for thousands of individual clients on a case-by-case basis.

But in 2009 it significantly increased and broadened its litigation efforts when it brought on board Catherine Lhamon, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California’s hard-charging former assistant legal director, to head Public Counsel’s newly created impact litigation division.

“I think over the past few years -and especially with Catherine being head of impact litigation and with leadership giving her free rein to develop a docket consistent with its overall goals - [Public Counsel] has become a very major force in the civil rights community,” said Mark D. Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the ACLU of Southern California.

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