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Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Makes Commitment to Legal Aid Society New Appellate Advocacy Project

March 1, 2004

The Legal Aid Society (LAS) of the District of Columbia announced the launch of an appellate litigation project. This project will focus on cases that will present the opportunity to develop poverty law in the District of Columbia through appellate cases in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Responding to the District of Columbia Bar Foundation's September 2003 report, "Civil Legal Services Delivery in the District of Columbia," Zuckerman Spaeder has made a substantial commitment to the appellate advocacy project. The firm will make David A. Reiser, who has been Counsel to Zuckerman Spaeder since 2001, available to LAS to help develop and implement a project to brief civil cases presenting issues of importance to poor residents of the District of Columbia.

Zuckerman Spaeder's partnership with LAS demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to assisting under represented communities. With the firm's assistance, LAS will be able to make certain that the voices of persons living in poverty are heard in the Court of Appeals.

The firm's work on the appellate project is being led by David Reiser, a skillful appellate advocate whose career has been characterized by a commitment to equal justice. A 1981 Yale Law School graduate, Mr. Reiser has more than twenty years of appellate experience, much of its representing indigent criminal defendants as a lawyer at the D.C. Public Defender Service. He has also taught appellate advocacy at George Washington University Law School.

The project hopes to bring a new perspective to appellate advocacy in the District by developing a concerted appellate law reform agenda. The new project will collaborate with other members of the civil legal services provider community to identify significant emerging or unresolved issues, develop cases that present these issues, and monitor the Court's docket for amicus opportunities. Briefs will be staffed by Legal Aid, as well as by pro bono volunteer attorneys. The project is also supported by a D.C. Bar Foundation grant, through which LAS has hired a full-time appellate attorney.

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