Fenwick & West LLP today announced that it is donating to its co-counsel, the pro bono organization Public Interest Law Firm (PILF), the firm's share of the approximately $450,000 in attorneys' fees awarded as part of the settlement of a successful lawsuit against Santa Clara County. The donation is part of Fenwick & West's continuing efforts to support free legal services to Silicon Valley individuals in need.
Fenwick & West and PILF together represented a class of county jail inmates in a lawsuit challenging the County of Santa Clara's misuse and mismanagement of the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF), a fund designated by state law to be used for the inmates' benefit. After years of litigation and protracted settlement negotiations, the inmates reached a settlement with the County that requires significant policy changes in the administration of the IWF and restores $1.5 million to the fund.
"We are glad we can be in a position to donate these fees back to PILF. They provide critical legal services to the most vulnerable and under-served people in our community," said Virginia DeMarchi, a partner with Fenwick & West. "This was a simple decision to make. We believe that supporting the efforts and mission of PILF is a great way to give back to the community."