Pro Bono Publico Award, American Bar Association, 2010
David A. Reiser, counsel in Zuckerman Spaeder's Washington, DC office, received the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 2010 Pro Bono Publico Award. This national award is presented annually by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to five individual lawyers and institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged. Mr. Reiser was recognized for his instrumental role in the success of the Legal Aid Society’s Appellate Advocacy Project.
Mr. Reiser began volunteering for the Legal Aid Society during the planning of the Appellate Advocacy Project in 2004. Since then, he has devoted thousands of hours handling cases, mentoring junior lawyers, developing case strategies, and facilitating pro bono assistance from other attorneys at Zuckerman Spaeder and other firms. Mr. Reiser has been instrumental in the Appellate Advocacy Project’s continued success; he has assisted with more than 50 appeals on behalf of the Legal Aid Society or its clients, many of which have led to important decisions concerning child custody, unemployment benefits, consumer rights, and landlord-tenant issues in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In 2006, the Legal Aid Society honored Mr. Reiser with their Servant of Justice Award.
Jonathan Smith, executive director of the Legal Aid Society, remarked that “David has dedicated much of his legal career to public interest work to end injustice, inequality and poverty. He helped found the Legal Aid Society’s Appellate Advocacy Project and has been a critical part of it ever since, contributing his vision and leadership. We are grateful to David and to Zuckerman Spaeder for all that they do.”
“Although Zuckerman Spaeder is among the smaller firms that support the Legal Aid Society, we make significant contributions through David’s work and the work of other attorneys in the firm,” said firm chairman Graeme W. Bush. “It is extremely gratifying—and entirely merited—for David to receive recognition from the legal community for his incredible dedication and tireless work on behalf of the disadvantaged. In a world in which your resources often determine the justice that you receive, the Legal Aid Society’s work is incredibly important and Zuckerman Spaeder is proud to support the mission to serve the city’s most vulnerable residents.”
Beyond his Legal Aid Society work, Mr. Reiser has also participated in briefing appeals on behalf of pro bono clients and frequently assists lawyers in preparing for appellate arguments on a pro bono basis. In addition to his significant pro bono contributions, Mr. Reiser maintains an active practice representing individuals and organizations in civil and criminal litigation. Before joining Zuckerman Spaeder in 2001, Mr. Reiser served in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as an attorney at the District of Columbia Public Defender Service.