New York, NY (December 9, 2013) — The national law firm of Epstein Becker Green and the American University Washington College of Law recently celebrated the first anniversary of the formation of the Robert D. Reif Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professional Values and honored the first recipient of the award, Matthew Smith, during a reception held on Dec. 4, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Epstein Becker Green created the Fellowship to honor the memory of longtime partner Bob Reif, who passed away in 2012, by furthering his career-long commitment to maintaining the highest level of ethical standards and professionalism in dealing with clients, fellow attorneys, and the community.

The Fellowship was established through an endowment at American University funded by donations from Bob Reif's many friends and colleagues and matched by Epstein Becker Green, the law firm at which he practiced for 35 years. "Bob well understood that even in these challenging times for the business of law, we remain a profession bound by a code of ethics that requires ongoing implementation and interpretation. We expect Matthew's paper to be the first in a long line of valuable contributions to this important area of inquiry," said the firm's chair Doug Hastings in his opening comments. The event was attended by Bob's wife Amy and children Eric and Melissa.

After a review of a number of essays submitted on topics involving legal ethics and professional values by law students at AU's Washington College of Law, Matthew Smith was chosen by the Selection Committee to receive the first Fellowship award. Matthew's paper was entitled "'Diminished Capacity' — You Know It When You Reasonably Believe It?: Towards an Ethical Obligation for Lawyers to Recognize the Decision-Making Supports of Persons with Intellectual & Psycho-Social Disabilities." Matthew's Award, which includes a $5,000 fellowship grant, was presented to him by the law school's dean, Claudio Grossman, at the reception.

For more information about the Fellowship or to make a donation, click here.

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 locations throughout the United States and supporting domestic and multinational clients, the firm’s attorneys are committed to uncompromising client service and legal excellence.  For more information, visit

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