Thank you to Latham and Watkins for Helping Get the “Good Cause Exception” Passed in Washington State!
SB 5729 in Washington passed unanimously in both houses and is on its way to the governor’s desk for signature! SB 5729 allows a good cause exception for late public benefit hearing requests due to housing instability. This exception ensures that people experiencing homelessness will not lose their chance to appeal terminations of cash and other assistance. Link to the bill is here: 5729-S.PL.pdf (wa.gov).
Big thanks to Clint Summers and Topher Turner from Latham Watkins who provided technical assistance to the Law Center in advising local advocates on the interplay of federal and state law regarding public benefits and in drafting a model good cause bill that other states can use; which builds on the success in Washington state.
Pro Bono Spotlight
Michael Bern is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins and advises clients on appellate litigation, complex commercial litigation, and securities litigation matters.
Mr. Bern has filed numerous briefs before the United States Supreme Court, and played a lead role in drafting scores of briefs before state and federal appellate courts. He has successfully argued appeals in state and federal court, as well as dispositive and other trial court motions. He has played a principal role in numerous successful challenges to the legality of federal, state, and local government actions, including agency rulemaking. In 2019, Mr. Bern was named a D.C. Rising Star by the National Law Journal.
During the 2011-12 term, Mr. Bern served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Bern worked as a management consultant.
“Partnering with the National Homelessness Law Center in Martin v. Boise to strike down laws criminalizing homelessness has been among the most meaningful experiences that I have had as an attorney. Many of us became lawyers in the hopes that we could make a difference in the lives of others in need. I’m passionate about the Center’s pro bono work because it provides an opportunity to make a powerful and positive impact in the lives of countless families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”