(Above: U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Jill A. Pryor joins members of the Turner Legal Team: Michelle Hylton, Mira Koplovsky, Regine Zuber, John Renaud, Val Rusk, Amanda Langston and Tom Calender during the PBPA awards.)

By Brooks Jewell

For more than eight year years, Turner Broadcasting System's legal team has offered free-legal aid to non-profit organizations such as schools, ministries, community sports programs, and human rights organizations earning it the 2014 Business Commitment Pro Bono Award from the Georgia Bar Association on October 23.

Turner’s long history of giving back to the community is mirrored throughout Time Warner and earlier this year, an enterprise-wide program called “Pro Bono with Impact” was established to make it easier for legal professionals—not only at Turner, but also Time Warner Corporate, HBO, and Warner Bros.—to affect positive change in the community. The program is aligned with Time Warner’s Impact initiative, which encourages employees and their families to volunteer on a regular basis for a variety of community organizations.

When presenting the award, Robin Miller, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, said, “Turner Broadcasting has developed a pro bono program that stands out among legal departments in Atlanta.  Sixty Turner attorneys and paralegals have volunteered on about 160 different projects … (we) work with over 50 legal departments in Atlanta, and Turner’s pro bono program and commitment are beyond compare.” 

Turner’s Pro Bono, Diversity, and Interact Task Forces all played a role in delivering these services and achieving this award through their work with Street Law, The Urban Debate League and the Scott Elementary project as well as supporting several major initiatives through Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. A few of these initiatives included  drafting a location agreement allowing a documentary to be filmed about Camp Twitch and Shout for children with Tourette’s Syndrome to help bring their story to the world, as well as negotiating television and movie rights for Circle of Friends, an organization that is fighting to end child sex trafficking. For Children Without a Voice, Turner helped the organization comply with the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act to help educate children and parents about child abuse in a safe and legal way.

When Friends of Disabled Adults and Children Too (FODAC), a non-profit organization that provides equipment, training and services to disabled individuals, encountered a for-profit company that was capitalizing on their look and name, Turner advised them on trademark registration and potential trademark infringement. Turner also helped Embraced Atlanta, an organization that provides medical equipment to low-income individuals, with a corporate sponsorship agreement that allowed the organization to raise significant funds for its programming.