ALRP Board Member Named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

Congratulations ALRP Board Treasurer Matthew Richards!

Matthew Richards, Esq. – Nixon Peabody

ALRP PBCI firm Nixon Peabody recently announced that their San Francisco commercial litigation partner Matthew Richards has been selected as NP’s sixth annual Pro Bono Attorney of the Year!! 

Matt handled 20 active pro bono matters in 2017, in addition to his work for the NP Pro Bono Committee and with SF pro bono partner organizations. His work focused on defending the rights of immigrants and arranging safe and legal paths to U.S. residency for people fleeing persecution in their home countries, including:

  • Securing asylum for a gay, HIV-positive man who fled from persecution in the Mexican military in a case referred to NP by the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.
  • Leading a team representing a client before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking relief from an involuntary waiver of his right to an administrative appeal. The client was detained by ICE, but the team secured his release on parole until oral argument, which is scheduled for April.
  • Leading a team representing another client before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a complex case involving an improperly entered in absentia order of removal during asylum proceedings.
  • Filing a complaint in the Northern District of California in a FOIA action on behalf of longtime pro bono client Human Rights Watch, seeking the production of USCIS Asylum Office records documenting instances of abuse, failure or refusal to make initial credible fear determinations, and other misconduct by Customs and Border Patrol against arriving immigrants, as reported to asylum officers by asylum seekers during their interviews.
  • Participating in citizenship clinics; performing emergency legal work surrounding the executive order restricting immigrant travel; and supervising several active cases seeking to permanently resettle refugees with the Berkeley Law chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Program.

In recognition of this honor, NP has made a donation to Matt’s organization of choice, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel in San Francisco.

Thank you Matt for your hard work and continued support of ALRP!

Three cheers for Matthew Richards!!