Christian Andreu-von Euw, an associate in Morrison & Foerster’s San Diego Intellectual Property Litigation Group, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Kathi Pugh Award for Pro Bono Service.
Morrison & Foerster established the award in 2013 when Kathi Pugh retired after two decades of running the firm’s pro bono program. It recognizes the values, enthusiasm, and compassion that Ms. Pugh brought to the pro bono program and celebrates the remarkable ways that lawyers like Mr. Andreu-von Euw continue Ms. Pugh’s legacy.
Since joining the firm in 2009, Mr. Andreu-von Euw has tirelessly contributed to the firm’s pro bono program, dedicating an average of nearly 200 hours each year. He has represented pro bono clients in litigation across a broad range of legal disciplines including immigration, housing, criminal defense, and domestic violence.
Mr. Andreu-von Euw has been responsible for life-changing rulings for his asylum clients, and his dedication to difficult asylum cases led the Casa Cornelia Law Center to honor him with one of its La Mancha Awards for pro bono service in 2013. Mr. Andreu-von Euw succeeded in overturning the deportation of a client from Haiti who would likely have been tortured if returned to his country. In another case, Mr. Andreu-von Euw won permanent resident status for a client who was initially denied asylum – when represented by prior counsel – after deserting the Algerian Army for being ordered to carry out human rights abuses. He has successfully represented low-income clients in litigation across a range of other issues as well, including eviction and domestic violence.
Another area where Mr. Andreu-von Euw has had significant impact is through his work with the San Diego Public Defender’s office, a program developed by our late partner Jim Huston. The Public Defender program gives attorneys the opportunity to try cases and gain experience in evidentiary hearings, while also helping an overtaxed public agency. Mr. Andreu-von Euw has taken full advantage of the partnership throughout his career, defending low-income citizens in more than 10 matters including mayhem, assault, marijuana manufacturing, and drug possession.
As the winner of the Kathi Pugh Award, Mr. Andreu-von Euw was given the opportunity to direct a $10,000 donation to a nonprofit organization that enhances access to justice. He has directed the contribution, which will be funded jointly by the Firm and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, to the Crawford High School Academy of Law Foundation. The Foundation supports the Crawford High School Academy of Law and Justice, which Christian serves as a board member and active volunteer.
This is the fourth annual Kathi Pugh Award. San Francisco senior counsel Ruth Borenstein, San Francisco partner Alfredo Silva, and Washington, D.C. partner Natalie Fleming Nolen were the firm’s prior honorees.