Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Awards Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year and Pro Bono Attorney of the Decade

December 9, 2010

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP announced today that it has awarded partner Robert S. Gerber the firm's 2010 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award.  Gerber was also named Sheppard Mullin's Pro Bono Attorney of the Decade.  These honors recognize the important community service work done by Sheppard Mullin attorneys and Gerber's service as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee from 2001 through 2010.  Gerber, a 1988 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, is based in the firm’s San Diego/Del Mar office and a member of Sheppard Mullin's Intellectual Property, Entertainment Litigation, and Professional Liability Litigation practices. 

Gerber began the decade with a precedent-setting decision in the Ninth Circuit in an immigration case, in which he obtained asylum and withholding of deportation for a transsexual teenager from Mexico who had been raped, incarcerated, and otherwise persecuted on account of his sexual identity: Hernandez-Montiel v. INS, 225 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 2000).  Years later, he handled another precedential case, obtaining what was believed to be the first civil monetary settlement for a teenage victim of human trafficking under California Civil Code Section 52.5. 

Throughout the decade, Gerber has handled dozens of pro bono cases in cooperation with a variety of San Diego and Los Angeles-based pro bono referral agencies, including landlord/tenant, breach of contract, family law, free speech, administrative law proceedings, arbitrations, mediations, trials, and appeals.  Sheppard Mullin experienced a 400% increase in its attorneys' donation of indigent pro bono hours during Gerber's tenure as Pro Bono Chair.

Gerber remarked, "I am truly honored that the firm would recognize me for my efforts to improve the administration of justice for the less fortunate, both as a person and as the former chair of the pro bono committee.  I consider it the highlight of my career.  Pro bono is one of the finest traditions of our profession.  It offers an excellent opportunity to serve the community, while achieving personal fulfillment and professional development."

Partner Daniel L. Brown, based in Sheppard Mullin's New York office, has taken over the chairmanship of the firm's pro bono committee.  “Bob's leadership, commitment, and achievements in pro bono have inspired countless attorneys to take on pro bono projects, resulting in numerous victories on behalf of those clients who need attorneys the most,” said Brown.  "Bob embodies Sheppard Mullin's commitment to providing legal services to those who could otherwise not afford representation, and I look forward to building on his impressive achievements."

Sheppard Mullin's Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award is the firm's highest pro bono honor, and was implemented by Gerber to recognize and reward the important community service work done by Sheppard Mullin attorneys. 

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 550 attorneys in 11 offices located in the United States and Asia.  Since 1927, companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100.