Stinson Attorneys Honored by Advocates' for Human Rights
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (June 20, 2019)—Stinson LLP is proud to announce that a number of its attorneys in Minneapolis are being recognized by the Advocates' for Human Rights as part of a larger team of volunteers for their representation of individuals included in the "Somali 92" class action lawsuit. Attorneys who worked on these cases include Brittany Michael, Andy Davis, Sharon Markowitz, James Schoeberl, Bob Torgerson, Shiveta Vaid and Jon Woodruff, as well as legal assistant Jess Rehbein and Pro Bono Director Theresa Hughes.
The 2019 Volunteer Award will be presented at an annual Human Rights Awards Dinner on June 20 at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel. The award honors those who have contributed significantly to the human rights movement and the Advocates' mission.
The Somali 92 class action followed an incident in December 2017 when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attempted to deport 92 individuals to Somalia. The plane was held up in Dakar, Senegal and ultimately returned to Miami, but during the intervening 48 hours, the deportees alleged that they were forced to remain shackled, not permitted to stand or use the restroom, and verbally and physically abused by ICE agents. The firm worked on three immigration cases for individuals included in the class action lawsuit.
One Somali 92 matter handled by Stinson volunteers involved a patient of the medical clinic where the firm's Deinard Legal Clinic is located. When the patient was boarded on the plane, the clinic doctors immediately reached out to Stinson for help. Michael, Davis and Rehbein took the case, filing a successful motion to re-open the client’s immigration case on the grounds that his mental illness prevented a timely appeal of his removal order and changes in conditions in Somalia qualified him for asylum.
Markowitz, Schoeberl and Woodruff worked on an additional matter, and Torgerson, Michael and Vaid accepted a third referral for a member of this group.
Stinson's pro bono program is led by the firm's Pro Bono Committee and implemented by Hughes and Pro Bono Manager Katie Cronin. The firm's strategic plan expects all partners to contribute to the firm's pro bono legal work and the firm has 100 percent associate participation in its pro bono program. As signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge©, Stinson has pledged to donate at least three percent of total billable hours to pro bono service each year.