Pro Bono for Freedom: Challenging Wealth-Based Detention for Misdemeanor Arrests in Houston

Location: TNH 2.139


Featured Speakers: • Neal Manne, Managing Partner, Susman Godfrey • Susanne Pringle, Legal Director, Texas Fair Defense Project

The Mithoff Program continues its tradition of highlighting successful pro bono collaborations between nonprofit organizations and private law firms during the Celebrate Pro Bono Luncheon, an annual event held in conjunction with the American Bar Association’s National Pro Bono Celebration. This year’s luncheon panel highlights O’Donnell v. Harris County, a successful challenge to a pretrial detention system that jailed individuals accused of misdemeanor offenses because they could not afford to pay monetary bail. Susman Godfrey and TFDP, along with the Civil Rights Corps, represent the plaintiff class in O’Donnell and obtained a preliminary injunction striking down wealth-based detention for lower-level offenses. As a result of the injunction, which when into effect in June 2017, more than 2,500 people have been released on personal bond.

RSVP to Sarah Sedgwick at

Event series: Panel Discussion, Pro Bono