Pepper Hamilton



Pro Bono Rank Firm
(Am Law 200 Rank)
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Pepper Hamilton (82)


In the run-up to the November 2008 elections, Matthew Lund, a partner in Pepper Hamilton's Detroit office, received a call from the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The organization was concerned about two voter list practices in Michigan and wanted Lund to file a lawsuit against state election officials. The first issue, affecting an estimated 5,500 voters, The Am Law Pro Bono 100involved people being taken off voter lists if their registration cards were returned to the Board of Elections as undeliverable. A second issue involved the state's automatically purging voters if they applied for an out-of-state driver's license. "As we've been seeing in the Minnesota Senate race, the most significant elections can be ultimately decided by a few hundred votes," Lund says. "Every vote truly matters."

Lund filed suit in Michigan, claiming that the purge practices violated the National Voter Registration Act and sought a preliminary injunction on the two issues. A judge granted Lund's motion for a preliminary injunction on the first issue, allowing the purged voters to cast their ballots in November. The case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The second issue was not ruled on due to lack of standing.

—Francesca Heintz | July 1, 2009

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