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Bank of America Puts Its Legal Skills to Work for People in Federal Court

Bank of America has put its legal expertise to work for people who are unrepresented in federal court -- and made a strong pro bono commitment.

Together with the staff of Public Counsel’s Federal Pro Se Clinic, Bank of America attorneys are helping balance the scales of justice for pro se litigants who otherwise would be struggling with their often complex cases.

On May 10, Bank of America received the In House Pro Bono Achievement Award at the annual dinner of the Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Chapter in recognition of this life-changing work.

"When someone goes into court with the support of a skilled attorney, the results can truly be life-changing," said Public Counsel President and CEO Hernán Vera. "Bank of America’s in-house counsel have shown their commitment to justice for all through their work for pro se litigants in federal court."

Bank of America’s commitment to justice starts at the top, with Associate General Counsel David Brooks and Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Robert Harvey, who make sure that pro se litigants benefit from the best legal advice.

"Bank of America is honored to be recognized by the ACCA for our pro bono work, including our volunteer efforts with Public Counsel," said David Brooks, Associate General Counsel, Bank of America, and chair of the legal department’s pro bono committee. "We continue to recognize and promote the ethical responsibility of our attorneys to perform pro bono service, while lending our expertise to help nonprofits deliver valuable services and programs in the community. The Bank’s pro bono commitment helps tell our company’s story as we work to improve the financial lives of those we serve. We look forward to doing even more pro bono work in communities here in Southern California and across the country this year."

When a pro se litigant faced a $50,000 intellectual property lawsuit for selling $5 in knockoff products, Bank of America’s Robert Harvey immediately got on the phone with opposing counsel to negotiate a fair settlement.

And when the Federal Pro Se Clinic moved to a new, flagship location at the U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles, Bank of America came through again with a donation of furniture for the new space.

Bank of America’s volunteers "know the ropes and knows federal procedure, and can have meaningful interactions with our clients," said Public Counsel’s Janet Lewis, who directs the Federal Pro Se Clinic.

Public Counsel’s Federal Pro Se Clinic helps people without attorneys to have a voice in court. It has assisted more than 2,000 individuals through our walk-in clinic in the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles since it opened in 2009.

Click here to read more about our Federal Pro Se Clinic and watch a video from the Federal Judicial Center featuring Public Counsel and court staff.