Foley Co-Leads Pro Bono Fundraiser, Provides Pro Bono Representation in D.C. for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs

17 June 2017 Media Contact: Dan Farrell News

Foley partner Joe Edmondson co-chaired the 2017 Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon, which was hosted by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC). Having taken place on June 7, 2017, the luncheon honored individuals and groups who furthered the work of the committee and built upon civil rights and equal justice, both in D.C. and nationally, over the past year. The gathering also covered the work that must be tackled in the year ahead. Funds raised by the luncheon sponsors will be used to support the work of the WLC.

The WLC is an organization that focuses on increasing advocacy, education and quality litigation for civil rights, anti-poverty and equal justice. As stated by the WLC, “The Branton Luncheon brought together nearly 900 Committee supporters from law firms, businesses, government, foundations, and other non-profits. The successful event was due in large part to the organization and efforts of our Steering Committee, led by Joe Edmondson of Foley & Lardner LLP and Maureen Donahue Hardwick of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.”

Foley attorneys have been actively involved with the WLC throughout the years dating back to the 1970s. This work includes providing pro bono counsel and representation for many litigation cases, involving fair housing and public accommodations issues, among others. And, in addition to serving as co-chair on the luncheon’s steering committee, Edmondson also serves on the WLC’s Board of Directors.

Currently, a number of Foley attorneys are teaming together for large WLC pro-bono matters. One matter is to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates in the Maryland prison system receive necessary accommodations for their disabilities. The case resulted in a landmark settlement and Foley attorneys are continuing to work with the State of Maryland to address inmates’ concerns on this issue. The second matter is also ongoing, and includes Foley attorneys working with a group of Washington, D.C.-based public housing tenants who are seeking to improve their living conditions. Through the WLC, Foley attorneys are continuing to find ways to create positive change in the D.C. area for those involved with matters regarding civil rights and urban affairs.

Photos from the 2017 Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon are listed below. For more information about the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, visit

Joe Edmondson presents the Alfred McKenzie award at Washington Lawyers’ Committee’s Branton luncheon.

(L-R): Wendy Cheung (visiting associate from San Diego); Paul Monsees (D.C. partner and Committee Trustee); Debra Lange (D.C. senior counsel); Jim Bierman (retired D.C. partner and former Co-Chair of the Committee); Jarren Ginsburg (D.C. associate); Eli Evans (D.C. associate).

The Foley table. (L-R): Evans, Ginsburg, Monsees, Melinda Levitt (D.C. partner), Bierman, Lange.