The American Bar Association has awarded New York attorney Daniel L. Brown its Pro Bono Publico Award for his outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.
Brown, of New York City (Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton), received the award at a luncheon during the ABA’s annual meeting in Chicago on August 1.
Brown, a New York State Bar Association member, performs extensive pro bono work in the areas of disability rights and human rights.
“Daniel Brown has made an enormous impact on the rights of the disabled through his novel use of legal theories and zealous courtroom battles,” said Sid Wolinsky, co-founder and director of litigation for Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal rights center, in a letter to the ABA.
Brown represented a class of more than 900,000 individuals with disabilities who filed a suit in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The case alleged that New York City failed to adequately plan for people with disabilities in emergencies. After a landmark trial victory, the case was settled in September, 2014, with New York City agreeing to the most comprehensive disaster plan for persons with disabilities ever established in the country, aimed at improving the lives and safety of New Yorkers with disabilities.
He also has successfully fought to improve the accessibility of New York City’s taxi-fleet and is currently litigating the issue of accessible sidewalks in New York City.
As a volunteer for Human Rights First, a human rights advocacy organization, he won asylum for human rights activists in both Sudan and Syria.
“The individuals who seek assistance from Human Rights First face significant financial, linguistic and other barriers to legal assistance and include refugees who have suffered terrible persecution in their home countries,” said Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First, who wrote in support of Brown’s nomination. “In his relentless pursuit of their freedom and their right to live without fear, Dan has been instrumental in fundamentally changing lives and, in so doing, representing what is best about our country.”
Brown is a member of the State Bar’s Antitrust Law Section and its Class Action Committee and the Trial Lawyers Section. He is a partner in his firm’s Business Trial Practice Group and specializes in high-stakes, complex, commercial litigation and arbitrations, including consumer class action cases. He chairs his firm’s Pro Bono Committee.
The New York State Bar Association, with 74,000 members, is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.
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