Newark, NJ (April 28, 2021) – Epstein Becker Green (“EBG”) is pleased to announce that the firm has again received a Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (“NLADA”). This award recognizes law firms that have provided an “exemplary” pro bono commitment to a designated area of representation, with this year’s focus placed on pro bono work addressing systemic racial disparities in 2020.
In a statement, NLADA said, “[EBG] has a strong commitment to intentionally and positively promoting racial equity. We applaud your efforts and leadership within the legal community and beyond.”
EBG will be honored at the awards dinner, “Redefining Justice: Celebrating Tenacious Heroes,” on June 9, 2021.
In May 2020, EBG began a partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Women’s White Collar Defense Association to represent indigent federal prisoners who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 due to serious preexisting medical conditions and who are predominantly people of color.
The Compassionate Release Project addressed a critical need at a key time. The passage of the First Step Act in December 2018 expanded federal compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(1), allowing inmates to file compassionate release motions directly with their sentencing courts. The First Step Act also broadened courts’ discretion to reduce sentences based on “extraordinary and compelling reasons” under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1). The COVID-19 pandemic is, without question, such an “extraordinary and compelling reason.”
EBG’s efforts were led by Melissa L. Jampol and Eric W. Moran, Members of the Firm in the Health Care, Litigation, and Employment practices. To date, approximately 24 EBG attorneys, along with paralegals, legal secretaries, and practice support staff, have paired up to draft and file compassionate release motions in U.S. district courts across the country on behalf of the most vulnerable federal inmates.
“When I first became aware of the Compassionate Release Project, I knew not only that I wanted to help but that this was an opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life during this incredibly challenging time,” said Ms. Jampol. “I am exceedingly proud of my colleagues and grateful to the firm for their widespread support. Without the selfless and collaborative efforts of our attorneys and staff, federal prisoners in New York, Texas, and North Carolina would still be in an especially vulnerable position of contracting COVID-19 and dying.”
“Federal prisons have experienced a crisis due to the inability to implement social distancing, resulting in dangerously high COVID-19 infection rates among inmates and prison staff,” said Mr. Moran. “The First Step Act offered certain vulnerable inmates a much-needed avenue to seek a sentence reduction based on individual health concerns. EBG’s Compassionate Release team worked diligently to craft petitions and free our clients from these extraordinary and sometimes life-threatening circumstances.”
The EBG team also included:
- Matthew Aibel, Associate
- Jonathan Assia, Associate
- Grace Balian, Paralegal Manager
- Gina Bucciero, Practice Management Coordinator
- Shanise Coatney, Paralegal
- J. William Cook, Senior Counsel
- Lauren Brophy Cooper, Associate
- Delia Ann Deschaine, Member
- Kevin Favro, Associate
- Naomi Friedman, 2020 Summer Associate
- Corben J. Green, Associate
- Catherine Kang, 2020 Summer Associate
- Frances L. Kenajian, Associate
- Kevin J. Malone, Senior Counsel
- Vanessa Manolatou, Associate
- David C. Marden, Member
- Elizabeth K. McManus, Member
- Jeff Mongiello, Associate
- Lauri F. Rasnick, Member
- Karl C. Riehl, Director of Practice Management
- Trena Riley, 2020 Summer Associate
- Jonathan D. Salm, Associate
- Brock Seraphin, Associate
- Seth Slade, Paralegal
- Zachary Taylor, Associate
- Mary Vu, Associate
- Noel Wiggins, Legal Secretary
EBG’s commitment to giving back is as strong and varied as the needs of our communities. For more than 40 years, the firm has provided legal, financial, and other resources to resolve disputes and champion causes involving criminal law, financial rights, immigration rights, military affairs, education, tenants’ rights, and more. Learn more about the EBG’s Pro Bono & Community Service efforts.
About Epstein Becker Green
Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., is a national law firm with a primary focus on health care and life sciences; employment, labor, and workforce management; and litigation and business disputes. Founded in 1973 as an industry-focused firm, Epstein Becker Green has decades of experience serving clients in health care, financial services, retail, hospitality, and technology, among other industries; representing entities from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Operating in offices throughout the U.S. and supporting clients in the U.S. and abroad, the firm’s attorneys are committed to uncompromising client service and legal excellence. For more information, visit www.ebglaw.com.