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Schnader Honors Stephen A. Fogdall with 2007 Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award

On July 24, 2007 by Schnader in News

Caroline M. Brobeil
Public Relations Manager
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP


July 24, 2007 – Philadelphia, PA – Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP is pleased to announce that Stephen A. Fogdall is the 2007 recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono award. Mr. Fogdall was given the award and recognized at a reception held on July 12, 2007 for his dedication to public service and pro bono work, mainly in the area of prisoner civil rights.

“The Firm is very proud of Steve and the work that he does,” remarked Ralph Wellington, Chairman of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP. “Despite a busy case load, Steve finds the time to work on pro bono cases and does so with passion and skill. In all he does, he exemplifies the principles and legacy of Earl G. Harrison.”

Mr. Fogdall has dedicated more than 1,000 hours to pro bono matters in the time he has been at Schnader, and his level of commitment is matched only by the level of his conviction. Although Mr. Fogdall has been involved with approximately a dozen different pro bono matters, two cases in the recent past stand out as representative of his notable pro bono efforts. In the past year, he reached an impressive settlement in a prisoner civil rights case in which it was alleged that prison officials deliberately promulgated and enforced a policy within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections of not informing inmates when they tested positive for hepatitis. Mr. Fogdall’s client tested positive for hepatitis A, B, and C. However, no one at the prison where he was living when he was tested, or at the prison where he was subsequently transferred, ever informed him of this diagnosis. He finally learned that he had hepatitis six years later, after he was transferred to another prison and medical officials reviewing his files told him of the positive test results. When asked why he had never been informed he had hepatitis, he was told the he did not “need to know” because there was “no cure.” Mr. Fogdall argued that this conscious policy of not informing inmates who test positive for hepatitis constituted deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of the inmates and violated their constitutional rights. Shortly before the trial, Steve obtained a favorable – and meaningful – settlement for his client, which included both monetary damages and the appointment of an independent medical expert, who recommended periodic monitoring of the inmate’s condition. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office has assured that the Department of Corrections will provide the recommended monitoring.

Another recent prisoner’s right case involving the inadequate provision of medical care brought Mr. Fogdall before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. His client had claimed, while proceeding pro se in the District Court, that the Delaware Department of Corrections’ policy of contracting out medical care to for-profit providers violated the Eighth Amendment because the providers placed their own cost issues ahead of inmates’ medical needs. Mr. Fogdall’s client suffered from a range of symptoms for years before he was eventually diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a potentially life threatening and systemic illness involving tumors that can impact numerous organs, including the lungs, lymph nodes, and the central nervous system. The prison failed to perform the diagnostic tests that would have discovered this disease in a timely manner, and then failed to perform adequate procedures to determine the extent the client’s illness, despite repeated medical grievances from the prisoner. The issues before the Third Circuit were whether Mr. Fogdall’s client had exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing his complaint, and whether the District Court had erred in granting the prisoner’s motion to amend his complaint to remove some of the defendants, when the client had subsequently withdrawn the motion prior to the District Court’s decision. The argument before the Third Circuit was well received and is currently under review by the Court. However, because of Mr. Fogdall’s assistance, it is hoped that the client will get his day in court and be able to proceed with his claims.

Mr. Fogdall is a member of Schnader’s Litigation Services Department, and participates in numerous areas of the Firm’s commercial litigation practice. He has litigation experience in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, and his practice has focused on antitrust issues in the pharmaceutical and office supply industries, the assignability of nonexclusive patent licenses, fraud in the execution of asset purchase agreements, and conflicts of interest triggered by an insurer’s duty to defend. He also has extensive experience in habeas corpus matters. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 2001. During his time in law school, he organized a symposium on the role of labor unions in the new economy, gathering practitioners and academics from across the country. Before practicing law, Mr. Fogdall earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, specializing in epistemology, from the University of Washington in 1997. His dissertation dealt with the implications of mechanistic theories of human cognition. He also received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Washington in 1990, and was invited to be a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

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 or community 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 Award reflects 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. Harrison‚ in whose memory the Firm gives this Award‚ 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 camps‚ and to support the creation of the State of Israel‚ where Jews who could not face returning to their former homes could emigrate. 

Category: News