Washington, DC (July 21, 2020) – Epstein Becker Green (EBG) is pleased to announce that the firm has received a 2020 Beacon of Justice Award by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) for its pro bono work on behalf of the County of El Paso, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights to challenge President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern border.
The Beacon of Justice Award acknowledges law firms that have provided an “exemplary” pro bono commitment to a designated area of representation, with this year’s focus placed on programs serving vulnerable people at the U.S. border.
In 2019, a team of EBG attorneys, in partnership with Harvard professor Laurence H. Tribe, as well as attorneys from firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher and O’Melveny & Myers, spent nearly a thousand hours challenging the constitutionality of the president’s assertion of a national emergency at the southern border in order to secure funding for the construction of his long-promised border wall. The County of El Paso, Texas, is a community that a section of the border wall would, if completed, go through, and the Border Network for Human Rights is an organization that promotes humane immigration policies and whose members were directly affected by the president’s proclamation. In October 2019, the Western District of Texas issued a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, enjoining the administration from border barrier construction. On October 11, U.S. District Judge David Briones in El Paso ruled that the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the president’s action, and that the administration’s use of funds to build a border wall violated the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The litigation is ongoing.
The EBG team, led by the Hon. Stuart M. Gerson, Member of the Firm in the Litigation & Business Disputes and Health Care & Life Sciences practices, included Erica Sibley Bahnsen; Neil P. Di Spirito; James P. Flynn; Sidra S. Galvin; Jonathan K. Hoerner; Michael L. Lynch; Amy B. Messigian; David S. Poppick; Dean R. Singewald, II; Jessika Tuazon; and Carrie Valiant.
According to the NLADA, “[W]e were particularly impressed by [EBG’s] willingness to directly confront the high-profile issue of the President’s national emergency declaration on the Southern border … as well as your strategic approach to the case. This is indicative of your Firm’s thoughtful and courageous approach to pro bono work in this space.”
“We at Epstein Becker Green are proud to receive the recognition of our work on this important project and for our service to the county government of El Paso, its citizens, and the Border Network for Human Rights. This is the sort of pro bono activity that characterizes a program intended to serve the public interest most broadly,” said Mr. Gerson. “At the base of our arguments, we sought to protect the rule of law and the constitutional prerogatives of the legislative branch. At EBG, we believe in the transformative power of pro bono work and are proud to be tireless advocates for our clients and their causes.”
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.
EBG will be honored at the awards dinner, Scaling Justice: Celebrating Creative Solutions, on September 16, 2020.
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 www.ebglaw.com.