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VLSP Honors Outstanding Volunteers at Annual Appreciation Party

May 28, 2008 - San Francisco -- The Bar Association of San Francisco's Volunteer Legal Services Program celebrated its most exceptional volunteers at its annual Outstanding Volunteer Appreciation Party on May 13.

More than 100 people were in attendance at the event, which was held at the Green Room of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco . Chief Justice Ronald George, California Supreme Court; Presiding Judge David Ballati and Commissioner Marjorie Slabach, San Francisco Superior Court, were on hand to pass out the awards.

Selected as recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service certificates were 183 of VLSP's volunteers. Additionally, VLSP also recognized two volunteers and a law firm with special awards.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP was the recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Law Firm in Public Service Award. Accepting on behalf of Orrick was Pro Bono Counsel Rene Kathawala. The firm has been extremely active with VLSP's Community Organization Representation Project (CORP). Through CORP, the firm has provided a wide range of pro bono business law services to community nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities, allowing these organizations to strengthen their infrastructure and organizational capacity. The firm's commitment to CORP has remained steadfast through the years. In 2007, business law attorneys at Orrick contributed 1,033 pro bono

The James P. Preovolos Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Services in Family Law was presented to solo practitioner Benjamin Kuhm . The award was established in memory of a preeminent family law practitioner who was a long-time supporter of pro bono. A solo practitioner of family law in San Francisco, Kuhm began volunteering with VLSP in 2006, through VLSP's Family Law Project. This project provides pro bono legal services to low-income individuals in a variety of family law matters. In total, he has provided pro bono representation to 12 VLSP family law clients. In 2007 alone, Kuhm represented nine clients pro bono, devoting over 400 hours of pro bono services to their cases.

Solo practitioner Dennis Wheeler was presented with the 2007 Housing Justice Award. This award utstanding pro bono services in landlord/tenant law. Wheeler started volunteering with VLSP's Eviction Defense Project in June 2006. Through this project, Wheeler provides pro bono representation to low-income individuals facing eviction in San Francisco.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104