Press Release

Morgan Lewis Named Recipient of 2021 ACLU SoCal Civil Liberties Award

April 08, 2021

CENTURY CITY AND LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2021: Morgan Lewis has been named by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) as the recipient of its 2021 Civil Liberties Award for the firm’s work in a pro bono case involving the use of excessive force by police against four high school students in Delano, California. The award recognizes the creativity, commitment, and rigorous legal work of the Morgan Lewis team to defend the First and Fourth Amendment rights of the students.

Working with ACLU SoCal, the firm’s lawyers secured a settlement with the city of Delano on behalf of the teenagers, who were harassed and assaulted by Delano police officers in 2019 while on their way to pick up tickets to a school dance. As a result of the settlement, the students will receive financial compensation and Delano Police Department officers will be required to receive new training designed to educate on First Amendment rights and the lawfulness of citizen recording of police action.

The team of Morgan Lewis lawyers involved in the case included partners Debra Fischer and Kathy Gao and associates Sonia Vucetic, Megan McDonough, and Blake Ramsay. In celebration of the award recipients, ACLU SoCal published a congratulatory ad in April’s edition of Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine.