Schnader Honors Nilam Sanghvi and Marilyn Kutler with Harrison AwardsOn August 16, 2010 by Schnader in Appellate
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP is pleased to announce that Nilam A. Sanghvi is the 2010 recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono award, and Marilyn Z. Kutler is the 2010 recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Community Service award. Ms. Sanghvi and Ms. Kutler were given their respective awards and recognized at a reception held on July 26, 2010.
Ms. Sanghvi was recognized for the significant commitment she has made to pro bono matters since joining the Firm, in addition to maintaining an active and demanding case load for fee clients. Most recently, she served as an integral part of the Schnader team that successfully obtained a full acquittal on murder charges brought against the firm’s pro bono client William J. Barnes. Barnes was charged with causing the death of Philadelphia Police Officer Walter T. Barclay in 2007, 41 years after Barnes had shot and partially paralyzed Barclay. The case involved numerous complex medical issues and required the Schnader team to investigate, locate, and review thousands of medical records from dozens of health care providers. Ms. Sanghvi took the lead in managing and coordinating the work of multiple associates assigned to the matter, which involved tracking down medical providers who had treated Barclay decades earlier, as well as key medical records, that the prosecution had failed to uncover. This effort was central to Schnader’s argument that there was not an “unbreakable chain” of causation linking the gunshot to the fatal infection that took Barclay’s life. Although she spent hundreds of hours working on this matter to ensure that Mr. Barnes’ story was told, in truth, her contribution to the Firm’s success in the case cannot be measured. In addition to the multitude of hours she dedicated to the case, she also provided the entire team with insight, good humor and inspiration. And, this is just one of many pro bono matters to which she has lent her considerable skill and talent. In all that she does, Ms. Sanghvi embodies the principles upon which the Harrison Pro Bono Award was founded.
Ms. Kutler, the recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Community Service Award, has a long and impressive record of service to the community. Throughout her notable career, she not only has served as a leader and a mentor to attorneys at Schnader, but has also served as a leader and role model through her work with many different civic and community organizations in and around Philadelphia as well. The early part of her legal career was spent serving the public, working for the City of Philadelphia Law Department for more than ten years. In 1983, she was named City Solicitor and became a member of then Mayor Green’s cabinet.
After joining Schnader, her commitment to public service and to good government did not fade; she is currently active in the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan, nonprofit group that works for effective, efficient government to benefit all citizens and create a better future for the Philadelphia region. She serves as a member of the organization’s board and Executive Committee, as well as serving as the co-chair of the Policy Committee and a member of the Government Reform Sub-Committee. She also has advocated on behalf of good government and sound, sensible public policies through her work with the Philadelphia Bar Association, including serving as a member of its Tax Reform Task Force and as a member and past co-chair of its City Policy Committee. She was also an original member of the Bar’s Women in Profession Committee.
Active within Philadelphia’s Jewish community as well, she is a past president and a member of the Board for Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (formerly Akiba Hebrew Academy), an independent Jewish day school that provides students in grades 6 through 12 in the region with a dynamic dual curriculum of college preparatory and Jewish studies, complemented by a wide array of extracurricular and social action opportunities. She served as the chair of the school’s Real Property Subcommittee for Facility Sale and recently completed work as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee. In addition to her work with the Barrack Hebrew Academy, she serves as a board member and co-chair of the Licensure Committee for the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, is a past co-chair of the Lawyers Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and a board member of the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools, which was created by the Jewish Federation and the six Federation-funded day schools to provide needs-based scholarships to qualified students from low and middle-income families. In every way, she is the ideal candidate for this award, which was created to recognize individuals who have demonstrated an unfailing commitment to helping others in the community and who have set an example for others to follow with regard to volunteering and giving back. All of this while working an active case load at Schnader, taking on leadership mentoring roles within the Firm, including acting as chair of the Firm’s Women’s Initiative, and remaining dedicated to her family. She is a shining example of the ideals and standards set by Earl G. Harrison.
The Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award – named for one of the Firm’s original named partners – is presented annually to a Firm attorney or staff member who has a distinguished record of pro bono service. The Firm selects an honoree with a demonstrated record that consists of a single outstanding achievement of enduring value to the public good, a leading role in inspiring and sustaining pro bono service by other firm personnel, or a sustained record of personal pro bono service over a number of years. The Earl G. Harrison Community Service Award is presented annually to a Firm attorney or staff member who has a distinguished record of community service. Both awards reflect the tradition and collective belief of the Schnader firm: that law is more than a business, and it should include using our skill, talent and wisdom to improve access to justice for every individual and to advance the common good. Earl G. Harrisonâ€š in whose memory the Firm gives this Awardâ€š was both a great lawyer and a remarkable humanitarian, who – after World War II – worked to convince the western nations to both open their own borders to those displaced persons liberated from the Nazi concentration campsâ€š and to support the creation of the State of Israelâ€š where Jews who could not face returning to their former homes could emigrate.