Patterson Belknap Establishes David F. Dobbins Memorial Scholarship Fund

January 12, 2018

The Firm is pleased to announce the establishment of the David F. Dobbins Memorial Scholarship Fund (the “Scholarship") in honor of our former partner and friend who passed away in 2017. Throughout his long career, Dave fought for the civil rights of vulnerable populations in state and federal courts, making the Scholarship a fitting tribute to his legacy. The Scholarship Fund will be administered by the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF), an organization that works to increase American Muslim presence in public policy, social justice, and media related professions. The Scholarship is being funded with legal fees the Firm recovered in connection with the settlement of a landmark civil rights lawsuit. The Scholarship will comprise two $10,000 awards to be granted annually to law students who are American Muslim or actively involved in the American Muslim community.

On May 31, 2017, Patterson Belknap achieved a historic settlement of the civil rights suit it brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (ISBR) and its President, Mohammad Ali Chaudry, regarding the denial of planning permission to build a mosque. Our clients ultimately received $3.25 million from Defendants in damages and attorney fees as well as the right to build the mosque. More about the case can be found here.

Patterson Belknap handled this case pro bono and, consistent with our longstanding practice, donated the full amount of the attorneys’ fees, minus disbursements, that we were awarded. A significant donation was also made to Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.