MCBB believes that pro bono, “low bono” and other community service activities are an important professional responsibility. The firm is committed to the principles articulated by the ABA that "the basic responsibility for providing legal services for those unable to pay ultimately rests upon the individual lawyer" and that "every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in serving the disadvantaged."
The firm’s actions demonstrate this commitment. Financially, MCBB helps support community legal aid efforts through the “and JUSTICE for all” campaign, a joint fundraising effort on behalf of Utah Legal Aid, Utah Legal Services, Inc., and the Utah Disability Law Center.
Although we give generously, MCBB’s real distinction is in our in-house pro bono and community service efforts. Time spent working in community service and on pro bono issues are “equal” time and are an important consideration in partnership evaluation and compensation decisions. We actively seek engagements and appointments in pro bono matters, often in cases involving difficult and groundbreaking legal issues, and staff and litigate those matters as we do any others. When MCBB undertakes pro bono representation, the client becomes a firm client and we assure that the client receives quality representation.
Some of our notable pro bono representations, community activities and awards include:
- In March 2016, MCBB partners Brent Manning and Sammi Anderson, along with associate Chris Glauser, were spotlighted in the local news media for their pro bono representation of a former inmate of the Utah State Prison.
- In November 2011, MCBB was recognized by the Federal Bar Association – Utah Chapter’s Pro Bono Firm of the Year.
- In April 2011, MCBB was counsel in an important First Amendment trial that established the right of visual artists to sell their original artwork on public property. Shaun L. Christensen v. Park City Municipal Corporation, United States District Court, District of Utah, Case No. 2:06-CV-202.
- In a June 22, 2010 decision, MCBB successfully represented Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Farley Anderson in a landmark e-signature case before the Utah Supreme Court. This is believed to be the first ruling on this issue in the nation. The Utah Supreme Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor could not exclude electronic ballot access signatures submitted to him by Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Farley Anderson. MCBB successfully argued that Utah statutes and common law require the Lieutenant Governor to accept any mark, electronic or holographic, made by a citizen with the intent to make it his signature. This decision by the Utah Supreme Court may pave the way for other courts to require acceptance of electronic signatures in connection with candidate petitions and petitions for initiatives or referenda, thereby expanding citizen participation in the electoral process.
- In the Goodnight v. Chater litigation, MCBB was class counsel to a class of more than 5000 persons whose Social Security disability claims were denied. One of the reported decisions can be found at 960 F. Supp. 1538 (D. Utah 1997). At the time of the settlement, the Social Security Administration estimated it would pay back benefits of $22 million plus future benefits as a result of the settlement.
- MCBB’s lawyers have provided pro bono representation in guardianship and adoption proceedings, protective orders, landlord-tenant disputes, environmental issues, consumer protection issues, and as general counsel for various nonprofit organizations.
- MCBB was the first law firm partner in the University of Utah’s Pro Bono Initiative, in which law students work with local attorneys on pro bono projects.
- MCBB’s lawyers have served as board members or regular volunteers for a variety of nonprofit and service organizations, including “and JUSTICE for all”, Emerging Legal Leaders, Women Lawyers of Utah, Utah Health and Human Rights Project, Salt Lake County Bar, Salt Lake Arts Academy, Nuzzels & Co., and Mountain West Ballet.
- MCBB has sponsored numerous local community groups, including Cicada Racing, Inc. (a local road bike racing team) and high school sports teams.