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Litigators support Chicago pro bono program with successful settlement in first appointed case

February 6, 2013

Todd Rowden
Todd Rowden
Susan Lorenc
Susan Lorenc

Thompson Coburn attorneys secured a favorable result for a pro bono client in one of the firm’s first cases with the Settlement Assistance Program, a volunteer program that connects Chicago litigators with low-income plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases. The program is run by the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

Business litigation partners Todd Rowden and Susan Lorenc represented the client, the supervisor of a moving company who alleged his former employer discriminated against him on the basis of race, national origin and age. After hours of pro bono work and a successful mediation hearing, the parties reached an agreement that benefits the plaintiff and spares the defendant company from prolonged litigation with a pro se plaintiff unfamiliar with the judicial system.

As part of the Settlement Assistance Project, partner Joel Haber serves as the firm’s liaison to the Lawyers’ Committee, which distributes meritorious discrimination claims to volunteer attorneys and firms. The majority of SAP cases are employment disputes, but the program also addresses housing discrimination, prisoners’ rights, and excessive force cases against the police department.

Rowden and Lorenc led the settlement discussions for the client.

While no formal training is required, the Settlement Assistance Project does offer a free training program that provides instruction and guidance from several federal court judges.