We acknowledge a special obligation to our communities, and we actively seek and undertake opportunities for giving our skills, time, and talents to pro bono and public service activities.

We have a long-standing national reputation as a law firm committed to providing legal and civic pro bono services to non-profit organizations that help others, and to those who are indigent, downtrodden, and would otherwise go without legal help. The firm expects that its lawyers will donate a portion of their time and professional services to activities that fall within traditional notions of pro bono, charitable, civic, or educational endeavors that benefit the community at large, or the communities served by our offices.

Commitment to Community – The Holland & Hart Foundation

The Holland & Hart Foundation, a non-profit organization, was created in 1998 with the objective of providing volunteers for community service projects and building community within the firm. "The Foundation's purpose is to match the talents of lawyers, staff, alumni, and their families with the needs of the communities where they live," explains Samuel Guyton, co-founder of the Holland & Hart Foundation. The Foundation is one of the only law firm non-profit organizations in the country. In 2015, 1,575 volunteers contributed over 65,550 hours of civic and pro bono hours valued at $24.7 million. To learn more about the Foundation and view events and projects undertaken by members of the firm and their families, please visit our Foundation website.

Pro Bono Commitment

New associates are encouraged from the beginning of their tenure with the firm to take on pro bono clients. The firm does not dictate which side of a case an attorney should represent or what types of cases an attorney may undertake on a pro bono basis, although all matters are subject to conflict screening.

From landmark constitutional challenges to protective orders and relief from bankruptcy, our lawyers are involved in pro bono work helping organizations and individuals throughout our footprint.

Disability Discrimination Challenge Stops School District's Use of "Restraining" Desk

In a rewarding conclusion to a five-year long case that involved an interlocutory appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and an application for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, a team of Colorado litigators successfully pursued a disability discrimination case on behalf of a young girl with Downs Syndrome and other physical and intellectual disabilities. The lawsuit against Pueblo School District No. 60 sought to prevent the District from using a “restraining desk” with a wooden bar that locked behind the chair. After a six-day trial, the jury returned an award of $2.2 million in favor of the young girl and her family to compensate for the trauma she endured from the mechanical restraint and for ongoing psychological counseling.

Class Action Constitutional Challenge to Utah's Public Defense System

A team of litigators in our Salt Lake City office is partnering with the ACLU on a pro bono basis to represent indigent criminal defendants in a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Utah’s statewide public defense system that funds legal representation for indigent defendants. Led by senior litigation partner John Harrington, the team also includes associates Jennifer Horne, Chris Hadley, and Tim Bagshaw. The case is a unique opportunity for the firm to give back to the community on a case that fundamentally impacts the integrity and credibility of Utah’s justice system; and to provide the additional resources and lawyer-power needed to identify, interview, and represent the large class of plaintiffs.

Defending Crow Nation Tribe Member's Right to Hunt

When a member of the Crow Tribe in Wyoming was charged and convicted of taking elk out of hunting season on Wyoming land in the Bighorn Mountains just outside the Crow Reservation, he faced an $8,000 fine and a sentence of one year of probation. Believing his right to hunt was protected by a 1868 tribe treaty with the federal government, before Wyoming became a state in 1890. Kyle Gray, an appellate lawyer in the firm’s Billings office with expertise in constitutional and Indian law, has represented the tribe member as pro bono counsel to challenge his conviction. For the past four years, Gray has represented the tribe member through trial and several appeals in the Wyoming state court system. Recently, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari, and will hear the case in the 2018-2019 term.

Securing Special Education Services for Student with Asperger's Syndrome

In a complex, eight-issue appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving difficult public education policy issues, Frank LaForge, a litigator in our Reno office, represented parents in the last phase of their five-year dispute with Meridian Joint School District in Idaho to secure educational testing and special education services for their son under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the parents’ right to an IEE at public expense but overturned the District Court’s award of attorneys’ fees.

Democratic National Convention-Related Prosecutions

The firm assisted the City of Denver to prosecute trials against people charged with Municipal Code violations after a group of anarchists caused destruction at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The team assisted in more than a dozen prosecutions, analyzing evidence, drafting briefings, negotiating plea agreements, and trying the cases. At the end of the trials, most of those arrested pleaded guilty or were found guilty at trial.

Protecting First Amendment Rights of Prisoners

Utah was the first state to adopt legislation requiring sex offenders to provide all of their internet identifiers and the websites they use. A team of litigators in our Salt Lake City office representing a man affected by the legislation, challenging its constitutionality. They successfully argued that the legislation violated the man's First Amendment right to free speech, including the right to be able to speak anonymously. An appeal by the defendants (including the Utah Attorney General) to the 10th Circuit Court was denied.

Preserving Constitutional Rights of Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Under the leadership of the Center for Constitutional Rights, lawyers in several offices represented five Guantanamo Bay detainees in habeas corpus petitions filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to vindicate their habeas rights and secure a judicial hearing to determine the validity of the detainees' detention. Through their efforts, one client was determined to be innocent and released, and two others were designated for release without charge.

Defeating a Dump in New Mexico

We helped a citizens of Wagon Mound, a small, isolated community along Interstate 25 between Denver and Santa Fe, defeat efforts to locate a solid waste facility in their town. Members of our Santa Fe office successfully challenged the issuance of a modified landfill permit that would have allowed the facility to become a nationwide dumpsite for asbestos, killing-plant offal, sludge, industrial waste, chemicals and other potentially hazardous materials.

Helping to Make Good Things Happen

Members of our Tax Practice Group assisted the Rocky Mountain Childhood Cancer Foundation to achieve tax-exempt status. The organization assists families with children who have cancer and blood disorders by providing financial help with prescription medication, negotiating reduced or waived fees from doctors, encouraging education in these areas for the children, their schools, friends and teachers, and providing entertainment to the children while they are receiving treatment.

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