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Attorney Honored for Pro Bono Work

August 24, 2000|TRACY WILSON

Ventura attorney David Shain will receive the prestigious California State Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award next month in recognition of his work on behalf of indigent clients.

Each year, the state bar honors nine lawyers for their commitment to providing free legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney.

Shain, a 47-year-old Thousand Oaks resident and partner at the firm of Ferguson, Case, Orr, Paterson & Cunningham, has served for 15 years as a legal volunteer with the Conejo Free Clinic in Thousand Oaks.

A former president of the Ventura County Bar Assn., he helped establish a pro bono committee that links needy litigants with volunteer attorneys.

And Shain has handled numerous pro bono cases on his own time, including a recent Oxnard lawsuit on behalf of eight farm workers who sued over substandard living conditions.

Shain said he believes attorneys have a social responsibility to help people who otherwise would not have access to the justice system.

"I think that those of use who are fortunate enough to be members of the bar have an obligation to give back to the community of which we are a part," he said. "It is the right thing to do, and, frankly, it feels very good."

Shain earned his law degree at Georgetown University and began his career as a public defender in New York. He later moved to California and started working as a private civil and criminal defense attorney.

Shain is the recipient for the district that covers Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. He will be honored Sept. 14 during the bar's annual meeting in San Diego.

"It is very prestigious," law firm partner Greg Herring said. "And it is really a symbol of David's dedication and efforts on behalf of the less fortunate."

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