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28 October 20214 minute read

DLA Piper receives pro bono award from Nebraska Appleseed

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that the firm has been honored by Nebraska Appleseed, a nonprofit that fights systemic injustice, with its Seeds of Justice Award.

The award recognizes DLA Piper for “outstanding legal contributions advancing the public interest through public policy reform” for its efforts to bring litigation on behalf of Nebraska prison inmates challenging significant overcrowding, lack of adequate healthcare options and lack of appropriate accommodations for prisoners with disabilities. The firm was honored along with co-counsel Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP. The team also included the ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU National Prison Project, the National Association of the Deaf and Nebraska Appleseed.

Although the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed without prejudice, significant progress has been made as a result of the team’s advocacy, including a decrease in the number of people in solitary confinement in Nebraska; a new state law diverting people from solitary confinement if they have a serious mental illness, are pregnant, are developmentally disabled, have a traumatic brain injury or are a minor; and new state policies related to mental health levels of care.

“On behalf of the team that devoted so much time and effort to the pursuit of the Nebraska prison system litigation, we are honored and humbled to be recognized by Nebraska Appleseed,” said Christopher Young, who led the DLA Piper team. “Prison conditions and the treatment of incarcerated individuals are critically important to our society, and we look forward to continuing to work to further this important cause.”

“It was an honor to contribute to these efforts to secure justice for Nebraska prisoners who have long been the victims of inhumane conditions and a lack of access to necessary care,” said Lisa Dewey, DLA Piper’s pro bono partner and director of New Perimeter, the firm’s non-profit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono support in underserved regions around the world. “Nebraska Appleseed’s work spans a wide range of crucial areas, from immigration and healthcare to child welfare and poverty, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them to advance human rights and promote access to justice.”