The sanctions, imposed by U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, require the CIA to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees and costs in pursuing a contempt motion against the agency and for efforts to obtain documents pertaining to the contents and destruction of the tapes.
The plaintiffs asked for legal fees and costs of nearly $500,000 -- covering the Gibbons attorneys and two ACLU lawyers -- and are negotiating with the government on the amount, says Lustberg.
Gibbons fellow Alicia Bannon says Hellerstein's decision "sent a message that the CIA, like the rest of the government, has to obey the law."
Other post-Sept. 11-related work included an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by Lustberg, John Gibbons and Jonathan Manes on behalf of retired military officers opposed to immunizing civilian contractors from suits over the torture or abuse of detainees.
Bannon and Lustberg also filed Garden State Equality v. Dow, L-1729-11, in Mercer County Superior Court in June 2011, seeking to establish a right to same-sex marriage based on the failure of civil unions to secure equal rights for same-sex couples. The case survived a motion to dismiss on November 4 and is in discovery.
Another highlight was Lustberg's role in the Supreme Court's 2011 decision in State v. Henderson, which recognized the hazards of mistaken eyewitness identifications in criminal cases and led to the adoption of new jury instructions and court rules on the issue that take effect September 4.
He represented the Innocence Project, an amicus, which argued that the issue was not just one wrongful conviction but the entire legal framework for evaluating identification testimony and how juries should consider it.
Additional Gibbons pro bono efforts encompassed litigation over immigration, police brutality, the First Amendment and the provision of services to special-education students.
McCarter, with the most lawyers, 378, had the most 2011 pro bono hours, 19,505.
Pro bono director Emily Goldberg says a major chunk of those hours was spent on expungement of criminal records in connection with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice's Reentry Legal Services program, political asylum work, military and veterans' issues and nonprofit advice and counseling.