For Immediate Release - October 28, 2015

Supreme Judicial Court Presents Awards to Attorneys, Law Student for Pro Bono Work Assisting Veterans, Immigrants

BOSTON, MA -- In a ceremony today at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine S. Hines presented the annual Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to three attorneys and a recent law school graduate in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services for those in need. The awards are named in honor of John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

The SJC's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services selected the following to receive awards:

  • Archer B. Battista, Esq., Holyoke:  For his extraordinary work on behalf of veterans, including his selfless efforts to secure medical and other disability benefits for Air Force reservists suffering from Agent Orange presumptive diseases who had previously been denied such benefits;
  • Elizabeth L. Ennen, Esq., Cambridge:  For her tireless dedication as a compassionate advocate representing immigrants seeking political asylum, through her work with the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center;
  • John J. Regan, Esq., Boston:  For his outstanding leadership and steadfast commitment to providing pro bono legal services for veterans and for his continuing dedication to the pursuit of social justice, as evidenced by his current representation of victims of a cholera outbreak in Haiti;

and a special student award to,

  • Shannon Johnson, 2015 Graduate, Boston College Law School:  For her tremendous commitment while a student in law school to the immigration issues facing indigent noncitizens, most notably her work not only representing immigrants in bond hearings, but recruiting and training other law students to become involved.

Certificates were also presented by Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina to those on the SJC's Pro Bono Honor Roll for calendar year 2014. The Honor Roll each year recognizes law firms, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsel offices, government legal offices, non-profit organizations, law school faculties and law students that certify that they have performed a minimum number of hours of approved pro bono legal services during a specified time period. The names are listed on the Court's website here.

The SJC's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services works to promote volunteer legal work in Massachusetts to help people of limited means in need of legal representation, in accordance with SJC Rule 6.1.  The awards ceremony is one of many events and activities in October celebrating and building support for pro bono legal work in Massachusetts, a month officially proclaimed as Pro Bono Month by Governor Charles D. Baker. The American Bar Association has declared October 25 to 31 Pro Bono Week.

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