Pro Bono Work
HCMP has long supported individuals and organizations in need of legal counsel on a pro bono basis. HCMP attorneys work on local, federal, and international matters and, in some cases, have been involved in groundbreaking decisions. Pro bono clients include local and national nonprofits and a variety of individuals and companies who have suffered injustice. Often, these clients might not otherwise be able to access top-quality counsel to represent them. Annually, attorneys provide 3,000+ hours to pro bono practice. Some of the organizations we've worked with include:
- ACLU of Washington
- Behind the Badge Foundation
- Environmental Works
- First Place Scholars
- Habitat for Humanity
- Intiman Theatre
- Japan America Society
- King County Bar Association
- Landesa Seattle Design Foundation
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
- Seattle Clemency Project
- Seattle Waldorf School
- St. Theresa Parish Homeless Shelter
And for more insight, here are a few examples of our work and its impact:
HCMP represented, in cooperation with the ACLU of Washington, a same-sex couple in their suit against a Washington florist who refused to sell the couple flowers for their wedding. After two unanimous victories in the Washington Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the florist’s request that it review the case. HCMP attorneys Jake Ewart, Amit Ranade, Kurt Kruckeberg and Michael Edwards participated in this effort. HCMP’s work on this case has been recognized with the King County Bar Association’s 2015 President's Award and the Seattle Business magazine 2015 Community Impact Award for Pro Bono Services.
Habitat for Humanity
HCMP lawyers won two recent pro bono cases for Habitat for Humanity. In one case, the court determined the defendant had made false statements to induce Habitat to grant the defendant’s application to join Habitat’s homeownership program. The court entered judgment rescinding Habitat’s sale of a five-bedroom home at a below-market price to the defendant and returning the home to Habitat. HCMP attorneys Alex Wu and Mallory Satre, assisted by Michele Smith, Carol Cannon, and Brenda Partridge, provided these pro bono legal services.
In the other case, Habitat sued one of its home ownership program participants for violating the terms of the program. After Habitat received payment in full, an HCMP team composed of attorneys Brian Free and Alex Wu, along with Michele Smith and Carol Cannon, obtained dismissal of all claims, including the participant’s counterclaims against Habitat.
Seattle Clemency Project
HCMP lawyers worked in cooperation with the Seattle Clemency Project to secure the release of two incarcerated individuals who had been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole under Washington's "three strikes" law. Each of the individuals had at least one conviction for 2nd degree robbery as one of the “strikes,” and both clients had served over 20 years in prison. After the Legislature enacted a law mandating resentencing for those convicted of 2nd degree robbery prior to the effective date of earlier legislation removing that crime as a “strike” offense, HCMP was able to secure the release of both individuals. HCMP attorneys Dan Gottlieb and Jessica Kerr, along with Katie Meyer, led these efforts.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
HCMP won a hard-fought asylum claim for a pro bono client, who was persecuted in his home country of Ghana for being gay, in the Seattle Immigration Court. Over the period of a month, HCMP’s team submitted briefing, exhibits, and pre-hearing motions to support its client’s claim and also prepared witnesses located in California, Washington, and Ghana. HCMP attorney Mallory Satre, along with Krista Stokes and Michelle Smith, provided legal services on these activities.
HCMP has enjoyed a long and ongoing pro bono relationship with Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit impact investor whose mission is to expand opportunity for people living in poverty. HCMP attorneys counsel the organization and its leadership on a variety of general corporate and business legal issues, and have provided advice relating to board actions, vendor contracts, employment matters, public policy, securities laws and domestic and international regulatory issues. HCMP attorney Robert Van Cleve leads these pro bono services.
Behind the Badge Foundation
For many years, HCMP has represented the Behind the Badge Foundation, which provides support to the families of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty. Previously, HCMP helped the Behind the Badge Foundation with the construction of the Law Enforcement Memorial that was built in front of the Washington State Supreme Court Building in Olympia. HCMP currently provides ongoing assistance with business organizational matters and issues with benefits and other arrangements they have with the families. HCMP attorney David Myre Jr. leads these efforts.
HCMP regularly provides pro bono representation to Northwest Harvest regarding employment matters. Most recently, this work has focused on supporting the agency as it acts on its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. HCMP attorney Laurie Lootens Chyz leads these pro bono services.
KCBA’s Neighborhood Legal Clinics
HCMP attorneys volunteer at King County Bar Association’s Neighborhood Legal Clinics, including the Downtown Debt Clinic. At the Downtown Debt Clinic, attorneys advise clients about debt and insolvency options. HCMP attorney Brian Free frequently volunteers at the Downtown Debt Clinic.