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Wojcik honored with Pro Bono and Public Service Award

Lawrence A. Wojcik
DLA Piper announced today that Lawrence A. Wojcik has received the 7th Circuit Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Public Service Award for his pro bono work in the US District Courts in the State of Illinois. Wojcik was honored at the Association’s Annual Dinner on May 3 at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago, where Solicitor General of the US, Hon. Elena Kagan and Justice John Paul Stevens were speakers. Last year, Wojcik devoted over 770 hours to pro bono work, leading a team in a major piece of litigation involving prisoners at Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois' "Supermax" prison facility, and several juvenile justice initiatives related to his position on the American Bar Association's Juvenile Justice Committee. “Throughout his 30 year legal career, Larry has made pro bono work an integral part of his legal practice, and has represented pro bono clients on a wide variety of issues, including child support, landlord-tenant, legislative policy reform, juvenile justice and the Illinois correctional system,” said William Rudnick, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Chicago office. “In doing so, he has acted as a mentor and role model to other lawyers at the firm and in the community, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.” Litigation Against Tamms Supermax Prison In 2006, Wojcik co-counseled with Alan Mills of the Uptown People's Law Center in a major piece of litigation involving prisoners transferred to and incarcerated at the Illinois Supermax Prison in Tamms, Illinois. In this case, Wojcik challenged the Illinois Department of Corrections’ ability to transfer individuals to Tamms, arguably one of the harshest prisons in the US, and a place where prisoners are subject to years of solitary confinement. In addition to the 14 individual prisoners who Wojcik’s team represented in claims that they were sent to Tamm in retaliation for filing grievances against the Bureau of Prisons, they are representing an entire class of prisoners who are challenging their transfer to Tamms on constitutional due process grounds. Wojcik’s work on behalf of Tamms’ inmates has also had a systemic effect, with the Illinois Department of Corrections having released a plan to improve the conditions at Tamms, and Rep. Julie Hamos also introducing legislation to improve the prison. Juvenile Justice Work In 2004, Wojcik became head of the Chicago office’s pro bono project on Juvenile Justice. This involved the direct representation of children in the Cook County Juvenile Division and in school disciplinary proceedings. The firm also examined policy issues pertaining to the transition of children from juvenile detention back to school. Upon completion of its investigation, the firm identified the major obstacles to a successful return to school, and recommended changes to the current policy. Based on this project, as well as its other pro bono efforts, DLA Piper received the ABA’s 2008 Pro Bono Publico Award. In addition, the ABA asked Wojcik to join its Juvenile Justice Committee, and, in 2009, asked him to be one of the principal authors of its amicus brief in the US Supreme Court cases involving juvenile sentences of life without the possibility of parole. Recently, Wojcik has helped recruit over 40 firm lawyers from across the country in a nation-wide project surveying the collateral consequences of a juvenile adjudication for a court-involved child. This work was instrumental in securing an ABA grant to continue and publish the results of this state-by-state survey. The ABA also asked Wojcik to draft its Juvenile Justice Collateral Consequences Policy, which recently passed the ABA House of Delegates and is now official ABA policy. About Larry Wojcik Wojcik is a partner in DLA Piper’s Litigation practice, focusing on the defense of corporations, directors, officers, auditors, accountants, lawyers and other business entities and professionals. He has handled litigation involving business, securities, tax and intellectual property disputes, including representations before federal, state, and municipal regulators. He has represented clients throughout the country and has tried cases in federal and state courts in several jurisdictions. His litigation experience includes bench and jury trials; arbitrations and regulatory proceedings, including securities actions, accounting and legal malpractice, patent, civil rights, government taking, insurance and commercial contract and tort actions. About DLA Piper (www.dlapiper.com) DLA Piper has 3,500 lawyers in 29 countries and 67 offices throughout the US, UK, Continental Europe, Middle East and Asia. In certain jurisdictions, this information may be considered attorney advertising.
Posted on May 11, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
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