We are passionate about embodying the best of the legal profession. That includes a commitment to public service, to community engagement, and to advancing justice through pro bono work. We value this role.
Our attorneys’ pro bono work has produced lasting change, especially in the areas of civil rights and environmental protection.
- Among the most recent victories is a landmark settlement that partner Bert H. Deixler negotiated to end racial discrimination in housing and job assignments in Arizona’s state-operated prisons. Previously, Mr. Deixler won a similar landmark case, Johnson v. California, in the U.S. Supreme Court. In Johnson, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the forced racial segregation of California’s prison system.
- At the request of the California Supreme Court, Mr. Deixler represented an indigent death row defendant in the appeal of a conviction and habeas corpus petition
- Mr. Deixler has worked to prevent gun violence, submitting an amicus brief on behalf of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in the U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning Second Amendment challenges to firearms restrictions and criminal sanctions relating to firearms possession.
- In a landmark case, partner Laura W. Brill served as co-counsel with Lambda Legal and People for the American Way Foundation in securing rights for Orange County high school students to form a gay-straight alliance and to meet on the same terms as other student groups. There are now 4,000 such groups in the country.
- Ms. Brill has filed numerous amicus briefs in state and federal marriage equality cases around the country, including on behalf of the Speaker of the California Assembly, national and local women’s rights organizations, and leading law professors in the successful defense of the constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. In 2002, she filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas developing arguments not then recognized in federal court—that laws which discriminate based on sexual orientation also constitute gender discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment. These arguments are gaining recognition today in courts around the country.
- Ms. Brill and attorney Nicholas Daum helped author an amicus brief on behalf of the Brennan Center of Justice that challenged partisan gerrymandering in a Pennsylvania redistricting case, League of Women Voters v. Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently found the state’s congressional district maps are a partisan gerrymander and ordered the General Assembly to develop new maps.
- Ms. Brill also helped author an amicus brief on behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. that challenged partisan redistricting in Gill v. Whitford, a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Partner Richard B. Kendall served as pro bono counsel for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other environmental organizations in blocking the Navy’s planned detonation of explosives near the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary.
- Mr. Kendall also served as pro bono counsel for the NRDC in the Winter v. NRDC case, in which the Navy appealed a lower court’s ruling in favor of the NRDC. The lower court ruling limited the Navy’s use of underwater sonar during training drills because of its harmful effect on whales and other marine mammals.
- Mr. Deixler fought for reforms for the criminal justice system, serving as a member or as counsel to numerous reform commissions, including the Los Angeles Ethics Commission (Cowan Commission), the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (Christopher Commission), the Rampart Independent Review Panel, and the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence.
- Partner Robert E. Dugdale has served as a member of the U.S. Attorney General’s Capital Case Review Committee and as the Ninth Circuit’s representative on the U.S. Attorney General Criminal Chiefs Working Group.
- Counsel Robert L. Corbin has served as counsel to the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (Christopher Commission), deputy general counsel for the Rampart Independent Review Panel, and deputy general counsel for Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence. He also served as an advisor to the City of Burbank on policing matters.
- Our attorneys are leaders in organizations that ensure the legal rights of those who cannot afford an attorney. They have served on the boards of Public Counsel, Western Justice Center Foundation, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice.
- Our attorneys hold leadership positions in important legal and nonprofit organizations that serve the community, including the Boards of Directors for The Broad Stage, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, the Anti-Defamation League, and Oakwood School.
- KBK attorneys also have served on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, Columbia Law School Board of Visitors, Los Angeles County State Appellate Judicial Evaluations Committee, and the California State Bar Committee on Appellate Courts.
- Partner Robert E. Dugdale has served as a lecturer on trial advocacy issues at the National Advocacy Center, which is the primary training facility utilized by the Department of Justice to train federal prosecutors nationwide.
- Mr. Dugdale traveled to several foreign countries, including several emerging democracies engaged in reforming their criminal justice systems, on behalf of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to provide training to judges and prosecutors on the workings of the American criminal justice system and on issues that arise during complex criminal prosecutions.
- Mr. Dugdale and Partner Richard B. Kendall have served as adjunct professors at USC’s Gould School of Law. Partner Laura W. Brill has been a guest lecturer at Yale, UCLA, and USC law schools.