The Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (LACLJ) recognized Wilkinson Walsh as its Pro Bono Partner of the Year. In honoring the firm’s pro bono advocacy on behalf of low-income women who are experiencing domestic violence, LACLJ underscored how Wilkinson Walsh’s representation “has been vital to these individual clients and has brought safety and security to them and their children.” Wilkinson Walsh will receive the award at LACLJ’s 47th Anniversary Awards Gala on May 28, 2020.
The award follows the firm’s work in a pro bono legal separation and custody case, which culminated in a four-day trial in L.A. Superior Court in July 2019. At trial, Wilkinson Walsh associates Roxana Guidero and Rahul Hari secured a favorable judgment for their client, who was seeking an equitable division of marital assets and primary custody of her children.
Wilkinson Walsh took on the representation as part of its ongoing partnership with LACLJ, after the case had been pending for almost three years. Prior to trial, the Wilkinson Walsh team took depositions of multiple witnesses and issued several third-party subpoenas to develop a complete understanding of the assets that would need to be divided at trial. Just one month before trial, Roxana and Rahul filed an ex parte motion seeking to revoke their client’s husband’s visitation rights based on an act of physical abuse toward the minor children. The court granted the motion.
Over the course of the four-day trial, Roxana and Rahul delivered opening and closing statements and examined all of the witnesses, including a cross-examination of their client’s husband. After considering the evidence and arguments, the Court invalidated a post-nuptial agreement that was signed under duress. The Court also credited the testimony of each of the witnesses Wilkinson Walsh presented and found that it was in the children’s best interest for Wilkinson Walsh’s client to retain custody and receive an equitable portion of the family’s assets, including the family home, bank accounts, and husband’s pension plan.
“We are immensely proud of the exceptional and tireless advocacy that Roxana and Rahul exhibited on behalf of their client, and will continue to support LACLJ in its mission to secure justice on behalf of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors,” said partner Kosta Stojilkovic.
Since the firm’s founding in 2016, Wilkinson Walsh attorneys and staff have consistently dedicated themselves to a broad spectrum of pro bono matters. The firm’s attorneys have spent approximately 5% of their time to pro bono matters, and nearly all of them – over 90% – have taken on such work. In recognition of the firm’s work, Vault consistently ranks Wilkinson Walsh as one of the top five midsize law firms for pro bono, noting that “in terms of pro bono, the firm is all in, offering tremendous support for attorneys taking on such matters.” Wilkinson Walsh was also recently shortlisted by Chambers & Partners for its “Pro Bono Program of the Year” award.
Roxana and Rahul were assisted in this matter by Rebecca Chong, a paralegal, and Sarah Reisman, a staff attorney at LACLJ.