The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
February 14, 2011

Exelon Corporate Counsel’s Death Penalty Victory

The PBEye is excited to see that in-house counsel are engaging in a wide range of challenging, ongoing pro bono projects. Take for example Glenn Newman and Tami Domeyer of Exelon Corporation**, who, teamed with lawyers in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP*, recently successfully navigated a complex death penalty appeal.  In a significant victory, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals decided last week to grant the defendant the chance to present evidence to the trial court in support of his claim that his previous counsel were ineffective. This death penalty case is just one example of the breadth of pro bono work being done by corporate counsel.

Exelon’s Pro Bono Committee reports that the Exelon-Sidley team contributed more than 1,000 hours of pro bono work to vindicate their client’s rights and provide him the opportunity to present evidence in his defense. While recognizing this may not be a popular case, a member of the Exelon Pro Bono Committee remarked, “in the fine traditions of John Adams representing British soldiers accused of murder at the Boston massacre, the more unpopular the case, the more important is the need for excellent representation so that the rule of law and the wall of evidence can turn back the popular passions that would crumble our system of justice.”  We couldn’t agree more!

Exelon’s legal department has a longstanding commitment to pro bono, and under the leadership of Senior Vice President and General Counsel Darryl M. Bradford, it continues to thrive.

Have you heard of other exceptional pro bono efforts by in-house counsel? If so, leave a comment and tell us all about it!

*denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
**denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge