2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awardees

Anthony F. Logan Award   

For outstanding contributions by a community partner to public interest law and client communities

ANTI POLICE-TERROR PROJECT

We recognize the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) for service to our Black and brown communities in Oakland and Sacramento, particularly their ground-breaking development of Mental Health First and the strategic initiatives to Defund the Oakland Police Department. We honor APTP’s extraordinary leadership to transform safety, justice, and health throughout California and continued leadership to drive material change for our communities. 

Cat Brooks has been a force for change as she engages in the work of accompaniment and struggle. Inspired by her own lived experience, she has spent her life organizing to bring an end to unjust systems which were built to sustain the privileges of the status quo. Whether honing her skills as a consummate performer and passionate speaker or serving as the Communications Director for Coaching Corps, as Executive Director of Youth Together or as Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Cat’s leadership has always been informed by and in collaboration with impacted communities. She played a central role in the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant and is the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) whose mission is to rapidly respond to and ultimately eradicate state violence in communities of color. With APTP she shepherded the development of a “First Responders” process which provides resources and training for a rapid community-based response to police violence. This model is currently being replicated across the state of California and the country. While Cat’s energies have been centered on activism and community engagement, she also successfully navigates the “halls of power” offering her considerable skills to the work of negotiating the passage of AB392, AB 931 and SB 1421. In addition, she has organized with local housing advocates to bring Proposition 10 (Repeal Costa Hawkins) to the ballot in November. Cat currently serves as the Executive Director of the Justice Teams Network, a network of grassroots activists providing rapid response and healing justice in response to all forms of State violence across California. In addition, she is touring her one-woman show, Tasha, about the in-custody murder of Natasha McKenna in the Fairfax County Jail. And, in late 2018, Cat was the runner up in the Oakland mayoral race. She lives in West Oakland with her daughter. 

Asantewaa Boykin, San Diego, CA native,  Emergency RN, daughter of Valerie Boykin and granddaughter of Bertha Brandy. Her poetry combines her love of words, storytelling, and resistance. Exploring topics like; space-travel, black-femme militancy,& motherhood. Which describes her first full length poetry collection, “Love, Lyric and Liberation.” Asantewaa is co-founder of APTP (Anti Police – Terror Project) an organization committed to the eradication of police terror in all of its forms. Along with being a dedicated nurse she is also a founding member of the Capital City Black Nurses Association. Asantewaa along with a brave group of organizers and medical professionals developed Mental Health First or MH FIRST a mobile mental health crisis response team aimed at minimizing police contact with those who are in the midst of a mental health crisis. While her greatest honor is being the mother of her son Ajani and bonus daughter Aryana and granddaughter Lilith.

Rebecca Ruíz is a Bay Area native and organizer living in the Huchiun territory of the Ohlone peoples/ Oakland, California. Rebecca has a B.A. in Sociology and B.S. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and a Masters in International Workers’ Rights from Global Labor University. She is one of the co-founders of Anti Police-Terror Project where she helps coordinate Mental Health First: Oakland, a program that aims to decriminalize and destigmatize crisis response. She first began working to combat police terrorism through Idriss Stelley Foundation, an abolitionist organization created in memory of Idriss Stelley who was killed by SFPD while experiencing a mental health crisis in Sony Metreon Theater in 2001. She believes Black-Brown Solidarity, Decolonization, and Intersectional Feminism are critical to any work that aims to liberate communities from police violence. Rebecca works closely with those that have lost loved ones to police terror and credits most of her political development and resiliency to their passionate, steadfast fight for justice even in the face of extreme repression. Most notably, Mesha Irizarry, Maria Moore, Denah Bello, and Denika Chatman among many others.   

Daniela Kantorová was born and raised in the Czech Republic, and came to California in the year 2000 as a tech worker. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, and currently works there as clinical faculty. Dr. Kantorová has taught classes on trauma, advocacy in the carceral system, psychobiology and psychopharmacology. She specializes in working with survivors of trauma caused by interpersonal and state violence, and has been involved in providing psychological evaluations for the purposes of asylum. She has been trained in documenting impacts of torture by Physicians for Human Rights and HealthRight International. She is passionate about anti-racist community organizing and developing collaborations between mental health professionals and grassroots organizations, and served as a chair of a national Healing Justice: Ending Mass Incarceration conference, focused on the role of mental health professionals in supporting abolitionist organizing. She is the coordinator of the Anti Police-Terror Project’s Oakland MHFirst program, co-chair of APTP’s first responders committee, and past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. She has an interest in spirituality and mysticism, writes poetry and enjoys documenting community events through photography. Her writing and photography on topics of U.S. police terror, mass incarceration and community responses has been featured in Czech publications Nový prostor, A2larm,  Romea and Romano voďi. She is deeply grateful to families impacted by police terror and to her comrades at APTP for allowing her to serve in these capacities and to be in community together.   


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Father Cuchulain Moriarty Award  

For advancing immigrant justice through outstanding pro bono legal services

COOLEY LLP

We recognize Cooley LLP’s longstanding service, particularly its significant contributions as co-counsel in Zepeda Rivas v. Jennings, a class action lawsuit challenging the detention of immigrants at two California immigration detention centers where conditions are rife for the spread of COVID-19. We honor the entire team at Cooley advancing this litigation, and especially acknowledge litigation partner Marty Schenker for the key role he has played in this matter. 

Marty Schenker, partner, focuses on complex business litigation. He has a proven track record of successful trial and arbitration results in bet-the-company cases for a broad group of clients, including companies in the technology and life sciences industries. Marty has an active pro bono practice and was co-lead counsel in Saravia v. Sessions, in which a nationwide class of immigrant teenagers obtained an injunction against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s practice of using unsubstantiated claims of gang affiliation to illegally separate teenagers from their families and detain them in jail-like facilities thousands of miles from their homes. More recently, Marty has served as co-lead counsel with a group of legal services organizations that has secured numerous injunctions against ICE and a private contractor, resulting in dramatic population reductions at overcrowded immigrant detention facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marty holds a graduate degree in economics and, prior to attending law school, he worked as an economist in the Energy Policy Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he received an award for his work on domestic energy policy. Marty is an active member of numerous community organizations and has served in leadership roles for local charitable causes. 

Tim Cook, associate, represents clients in complex civil litigations in state and federal courts and in arbitration proceedings. His matters cover a broad range of issues, including contract disputes, business torts, false advertising, unfair competition, intellectual property and employment matters. Prior to joining Cooley, Tim served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Tim served part of his clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where Judge Ponsor sat by designation. Tim is actively involved in pro bono work, including representing unaccompanied children in immigration court in partnership with Kids in Need of Defense. 

Jeff Gutkin, partner, focuses on class action defense, internet privacy litigation, corporate commercial disputes and other complex litigation matters. He has defended clients in a broad variety of class actions and multidistrict litigations across numerous industries, including social networking, computer graphics, online advertising, energy, prescription drugs and medical devices. During his career, Jeff has served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He served part of his clerkship in New York City, while Judge Conti sat by designation on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Elizabeth Rice, senior litigation paralegal, assists in all phases of litigation, from inception through discovery and trial, in federal and state court matters all over the country. She also has extensive experience in appellate work. Elizabeth has worked on matters in almost every practice area, including securities, contracts disputes, employment, bankruptcy, complex commercial litigation, professional liability and pro bono immigration litigation.  

Reece Trevor, associate, advises on a wide range of commercial litigation, with a focus on issues facing internet and technology companies. He maintains an active pro bono practice, representing clients in immigration matters and advocating for the wrongfully incarcerated. Reece served as law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Michelle T. Friedland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to law school, he worked as a national security researcher at a think tank in Washington, DC. 

Francisco Unger, associate, represents clients in complex civil litigation and securities enforcement matters. His work has encompassed litigation over trade secrets, unfair competition, intellectual property and contract disputes, as well as high-stakes internal investigations.    

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Robert G. Sproul Award 

For providing outstanding pro bono support to advance the civil rights of under-represented communities

KEKER, VAN NEST & PETERS LLP

We recognize Keker, Van Nest & Peters for their incredible pro bono work on Elite v. Bad Boys Bail Bonds and in Caldwell v. Bad Boys Bail Bonds, a lawsuit filed to hold private bail bond companies accountable as well as their work on efforts to hold the federal government accountable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for harms inflicted on immigrant and refugee families due to the government’s family separation policy.

Travis Silva focuses his practice on high-stakes commercial litigation, including intellectual property, contract, and class action matters. He works with technology, media, pharmaceutical, and public entity clients, and he has represented law firms both big and small in professional liability matters. A former middle-school teacher and college instructor, Travis is skilled in communicating complex concepts to judges, juries, arbitrators, and mediators. When necessary, he is ready to step in as trial counsel, with experience that includes obtaining a complete verdict for an angel investor facing tort and contract claims after a three-week trial. Travis is also practiced in resolving cases short of trial, whether through dispositive motion or mediation, often at an early stage of the litigation.

Travis formerly served as an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where he prosecuted civil rights cases, including a federal class action.  His pro bono practice focuses on advancing the rights of immigrant youth.  For obtaining a teenaged client’s release from immigration detention, Legal Services for Children awarded Travis its 2019 Pro Bono Leadership Award.  Travis’s civil rights advocacy also includes authoring two briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court.  He is a member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and a member of OneJustice’s Advisory Board.

Travis clerked for the Honorable Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, and his M.A. and B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.

Niall Roberts represents clients in complex commercial litigation. Before joining Keker, Van Nest & Peters, he served as a law clerk to Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Judge Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Niall graduated from UC Davis School of Law. During law school, he served as a judicial extern for Judge William H. Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Before law school, he was caseworker and field representative for Congresswoman Jackie Speier and former Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey. Niall holds an M.A. in political science from Columbia University and a B.A. in political science and geography from McGill University.  

Jay Rapaport is an experienced litigator who represents clients in a wide range of complex litigation, including appeals, commercial disputes, and intellectual property cases. Jay maintains an active pro bono practice that focuses on immigration and criminal justice matters. His pro bono successes include securing the release of an indigent criminal defendant who had been jailed for months before trial because she could not pay for court-imposed pre-trial monitoring and twice persuading the federal government to drop immigration appeals based solely on the strength of his opening briefs. Jay served as a law clerk to Judge Jerome Farris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan. 

Laurie Carr Mims has extensive experience litigating complex civil matters, including securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions. She has tried a variety of cases, including several as first chair. While Laurie has represented institutional and individual clients from a wide range of industries, most of her clients are in the biotechnology and venture capital fields. She has also handled high-stakes matters involving the False Claims Act, breach of contract, fraud, trade secret theft, and copyright infringement, and has defended individuals and has represented victims and witnesses in DOJ investigations and prosecutions. She has been named a California Trailblazer by The Recorder and among California’s Top Trade Secrets Lawyers by the Daily Journal. Laurie has an active pro bono practice, through which she has represented indigent clients in criminal trials and habeas proceedings and immigrants in asylum proceedings.  She successfully defended the City of Pleasant Hill in a challenge to its gun-dealer ordinance and is active with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Laurie served as a law clerk to Judge Bruce W. Kauffman on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a Harvard Law School graduate and holds a B.A. from Duke University. 

Additional Keker, Van Nest & Peters lawyers that are proud to have volunteered with Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Bay Area include:

Khari TileryJoel WacksTara Rangchi
Travis SilvaChristi ZaleskiVictor Chiu
Brook DooleyChris SunPuja Parikh
Erin MeyerMaile Yeats-RoweAnn Niehaus
Candice NguyenMorgan Sharma


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Robert A. Thompson Award  

For advancing the civil rights of marginalized communities by assisting low-income real estate clients

PERKINS COIE LLP

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Perkins Coie LLP responded to the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program’s immediate and urgent need to assist economically distressed communities with negotiating rent extensions, as well as lease modifications, renewals and terminations.

Barbara Schussman, former San Francisco Office Managing Partner and a current firmwide Management Committee member, created a remote intake process that allowed more than 25 lawyers across multiple offices to assist more than 65 LSE clients. Barbara marshaled the firm’s resources and talents to conduct remote training programs and prepare up-to-the-moment written materials.

Supervised by San Francisco Partners Louise Adamson, Allan Low and Camarin Madigan, and supported by Workflow Coordinator Sherrye Andrews, Perkins Coie attorneys from a diverse set of practice groups were able to provide timely and practical advice to businesses during a quickly-changing regulatory environment.   

Barbara Schussman is a skilled land use and environmental lawyer, who assists public and private clients in obtaining government approvals for large infrastructure, industrial, university and mixed-use development projects. She is also an experienced litigator and has defended approvals and environmental permits in both the state and federal courts, including the California Supreme Court. 

Louise Adamson, a partner in Perkins Coie’s Real Estate and Land Use group, regularly represents clients in complex real estate matters.  Louise also helps her clients coordinate, development, entitlement, entity formation and tax-deferred exchanges, and related issues.  She has represented clients in a wide variety of projects, from urban office buildings to residential care facilities, vineyards, and golf courses.  Additionally, Louise has served on the City of San Francisco’s Green Tenant Task Force. 

Allan Low’s real estate practice focuses in large part on ensuring sustainable communities for all to work, live, and play.  He primarily works with financial institutions and project sponsors and works to structure financing arrangements and form the relevant business entities needed for various real estate ventures.  Allan’s other pro bono efforts focus on San Francisco’s Chinatown and Asian American organizations.  

Camarin Madigan’s regular practice focuses on complex development projects and commercial property management issues, including in the context of acquisitions, financing, and leasing.  She also handles regulatory issues.  Camarin was recently honored for her pro bono work on behalf of the Port Chicago Naval Magazine Memorial.  

Sherrye Andrews is the workflow coordinator and a legal practice assistant supporting Perkins Coie’s San Francisco Office Pro Bono Committee. A 24-year veteran of the firm, she tirelessly manages client intake, engagement letters, conflicts checks and the myriad tasks that provide the backbone for a successful pro bono program.   

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