Dallas – Thompson & Knight LLP congratulates Michael W. Stockham as the 2014 recipient of the inaugural Pro Bono Award of Merit. Stockham is recognized for his longtime participation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas – Dallas division’s Pro Bono Civil Panel (“PBCP”), which encourages attorneys to volunteer their time to represent pro se litigants in civil complaints.
“Michael brings an intellectual approach to the law, balanced with a deep understanding of the needs of the indigent, and the proven ability to effectively motivate and mentor younger attorneys,” said Northern District Judge Jane Boyle. “He has managed multiple cases for the program in recent years, and is truly one of those talented and compassionate people that you can only hope exists in the world.”
Because the majority of these litigants cannot afford to retain counsel, Northern District judges appoint qualified attorneys to promote access to justice through pro bono representation. Currently, 23 local law firms and more than 20 individual attorneys participate in the PBCP.
In addition to giving back, participants can gain valuable, real-world trial experience. Under Stockham’s leadership, Firm Associates have presented an oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a prisoners’ rights case, handled a three-day bench trial in a Hague Convention child-abduction case, and represented program clients in other important cases.
“Michael has demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service and the provision of legal services to those who cannot afford to retain counsel,” said Northern District Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez. “For this reason, he was chosen as this year’s Pro Bono Award of Merit recipient.”