MoFo News Item
San Francisco partner Jack Londen has been awarded a 2004 CLAY Award (California Lawyer Attorney of the Year) in Civil Rights by California Lawyer magazine.
He was recognized, along with Mark D. Rosenbaum and Catherine Lhamon of the ACLU Southern California Los Angeles and John T. Affeldt of Public Advocates in San Francisco, for their work in the class action suit, Williams v. California. In this suit, filed against the California Board of Education on behalf of public school students, they alleged that California schools "lack the bare essentials required of a free and common education," such as qualified teachers, textbooks, supplies, and the resources to refurbish crumbling classrooms. The attorneys argued that the state violated several clauses of the California Constitution, including the equal protection clause, by allowing dramatic inequalities to develop among schools that serve primarily poor and minority children.
In August 2004 the state settled, and in September, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized the agreement, valued at more than $1 billion. According to the settlement terms, the state will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to schools for facilities, textbooks, and other educational resources. Legislation was also created to address minimum standards and teacher qualification, among other things. California Lawyer took special note that "Jack Londen put in 400 pro bono hours on the case in 2004 alone, and 1,400 hours over the course of the case."
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