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Sheppard Mullin Recognizes Special Counsel Tenaya Rodewald as 2019 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that Special Counsel Tenaya Rodewald has been selected to receive the firm’s 2019 Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, which honors and recognizes a Sheppard Mullin attorney who has demonstrated a significant commitment to pro bono.

“Tenaya is a true role model for attorneys, using her legal skills to protect important constitutional rights. We could not be more proud of her remarkable successes over the past year,” said Dan Brown, Sheppard Mullin’s Pro Bono Partner. “As a result of her efforts, Tenaya was recognized by The First Amendment Coalition (FAC), a nonprofit organization that fights for free speech, government transparency and the public’s right to know, for her ‘tireless and creative work’ as lead counsel representing the FAC and several media coalitions.”

In 2019, Rodewald recorded more than 450 pro bono hours, which included her work on a series of cases protecting the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about police misconduct under California’s new statute, SB 1421. Known as The Right To Know Act, SB 1421 gives the public the right to access records relating to police misconduct and serious uses of force. SB 1421 faced numerous obstacles, including from police labor unions and others who sought to weaken it. Rodewald led a team of litigators and was the principal author of many of the key legal arguments that vindicated the public’s right to know. These teams succeeded in obtaining three trial court victories (in Los Angeles, Contra Costa County and San Diego), as well as a published appellate court decision upholding the public right of access to records of past police uses of deadly force and serious misconduct.

Commenting on receiving the Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, Rodewald said, “I am extremely honored to be recognized for my efforts to protect the public’s right of access to government records, which is essential to the democratic process—to understanding government actions and to holding public officials to account. I am incredibly proud of Sheppard Mullin for supporting major pro bono projects like this one and grateful to the team of talented attorneys who participated. I encourage all attorneys to take advantage of the opportunities the firm offers to make a difference in our communities and to help those who cannot afford our services.”

After earning her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, with highest honors, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, Rodewald received her J.D., cum laude, from the New York University School of Law. Rodewald is currently Special Counsel in Sheppard Mullin’s Privacy and Cybersecurity and Business Trial practices and divides her time between the firm’s Palo Alto and Brussels offices.

Sheppard Mullin's Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award is the firm’s highest pro bono honor, recognizing and rewarding the important pro bono work done by Sheppard Mullin attorneys. The award is named in honor and memory of Bob Gerber, the founder of Sheppard Mullin’s pro bono program and its leader for more than a decade.


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