Congratulations to our 2016 Voices for Justice Honorees

The Legal Aid Society of Orange County’s 3rd annual Voices for Justice Dinner will be held on October 20, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach. Please join us in honoring:

The Honorable Nancy Wieben Stock (Ret.)
Lifetime Achievement Award
For her dedicated career in public service which included 24 years on the bench.

O’Melveny & Myers
Outstanding Community Service Award
For their pro bono work through LASOC’s Elder Abuse Clinic.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
Access to Justice Award
For being a champion in protecting the rights of women and children.

Douglas B. Davidson
Patricia Herzog Pro Bono Award
For his ongoing mentoring and involvement in LASOC’s pro bono programs.

For the past 58 years, our goal has been to fulfill our nation’s fundamental promise of justice for all — not just for the few who can afford it. This year’s Honorees have embodied our mission to provide a voice for those who are often voiceless.

Learn more about our inspiring Honorees:

 

judge-nancy-wieben-stock_photoThe Honorable Nancy Wieben Stock (Ret.)
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Brilliant. Compassionate. Courageous. These are the words that come to mind when friends and colleagues think of the Honorable Nancy Wieben Stock (Ret.) who served 24 years on the Orange County Superior Court bench. Revered as an outstanding leader in the legal community, Judge Stock is known for her judicial integrity, professionalism, and strength of character.

During her tenure with the court, Judge Stock was admired and respected by the legal community for her fairness and leadership style. Both as the Supervising Judge of Family Law and Presiding Judge, Judge Stock realized the importance of legal aid services, and ensured the rights of those who were most vulnerable were preserved.

For these reasons, we are honored to present Judge Stock with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


O'Melveny & Myers, LLP_LogoO’Melveny & Myers
Outstanding Community Service Award Recipient

In the Summer of 2014, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC), the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Law, and O’Melveny & Myers came together at the request of Judge Kim Hubbard to form an Elder Abuse Clinic at the Orange County Superior Court’s Central Justice Center to help meet the needs of unrepresented elder abuse victims seeking legal assistance. With the leadership of Judge Hubbard, LASOC clinic coordinator Melanie Vilet; Anna Davis, Director of Public Interest Programs at UCI School of Law; and O’Melveny partner Brett Williamson, the clinic was launched that September.

Every Friday, UCI students and O’Melveny lawyers work hand-in-hand to conduct intake interviews and provide information to petitioners. O’Melveny lawyers are proud to participate in this clinic as this is an opportunity to contribute pro bono service in the community, and also train and develop the skills of law students. O’Melveny counsel Ashley Pavel shares, “We feel so fortunate for this opportunity to partner with such terrific organizations to address the needs of a vulnerable and growing population within our community.”

The clinic’s visitors are from all over Orange County, and have included a 92-year-old man who had over $100,000 taken from his account, an elderly couple seeking protection against an alcohol and drug abusing granddaughter, and a 95-year-old man who was a victim of neglect and theft by his caretaker. While most of the clinic’s visitors are seeking a restraining order on behalf of themselves or a family member, respondents who have been accused of elder abuse have also visited the clinic to receive information. The clinic has been instrumental in providing parties with the information they need to present a clear case for or against a restraining order in front of Judge Hubbard.

Clients have been overwhelmingly positive about the care they receive at the clinic, one noting: “Everyone at the clinic was extremely kind, and patient, and very helpful. I don’t know what we would have done without the assistance of the clinic today.”

O’Melveny’s commitment to serving underrepresented members of our community is admirable and commendable, and we are honored to present the firm with this year’s Outstanding Community Service Award.

 


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Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
Access to Justice Award Recipient

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has been a champion in protecting the rights of women and children in California. This year, the firm, as co-counsel with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and the Family Violence Appellate Project, successfully pursued an appeal that will help protect the safety and welfare of victims of domestic violence and their affected children.

The appellate court’s published decision provides substantial guidance to trial courts on critical custody and visitation issues that arise in child custody cases in which domestic violence is involved. The case addresses the interplay of domestic violence and child custody laws, and reverses a trial court decision that had substantially undermined the protections that the State of California legally affords to children in situations involving domestic violence. The appellate decision established the guiding principle that the health, safety, and welfare of children must be a court’s primary concern when making any decision regarding the physical or legal custody of children affected by domestic violence, or regarding visitation for those children’s caregivers.

We commend Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for defending those who are often voiceless, and are honored to present the firm with this year’s Access to Justice Award.

 


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Douglas B. Davidson
Patricia Herzog Pro Bono Award Recipient

Since 2015, Doug Davidson has served as a volunteer attorney and mentor within the Legal Aid Society of Orange County’s Lawyer Entrepreneur Assistance Program. With over 40 years of legal experience, ranging from business law to real estate law, Doug brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program’s attorneys.

Every week, Doug meets with new attorneys to discuss best practices to solve their cases which range from debt collection, to landlord/tenant, to employment cases. He also serves as a guest lecturer at the program’s Bootcamp for incoming classes.

Doug’s empathy and compassion for Legal Aid’s clients is what makes him such a valuable and appreciated part of the team. “People out there have tremendous legal problems, from collection cases, to student loans, to car payments, and they have no idea how to deal with them,” says Doug. “They can’t go to a place where they charge $250-$500 an hour; they don’t have that kind of money. So I really think about what we can do to help them.”

We are grateful for volunteers like Doug, and are honored to present him with this year’s Patricia Herzog Pro Bono Award.

Please join us on October 20th to honor these amazing community members for their commitment to bringing equal access to justice for all. To purchase tickets to our Voices for Justice event, click here.