Rutan & Tucker, LLP SOV 22

Published: April 13, 2022

Rutan & Tucker, LLP

Honoree’s Name: Kelsey Quist

Award Category: Arts & Education

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Kelsey Quist

We (Rutan) represent the maternal aunt (Stacey) of an 8-year-old boy (Liam) whose biological parents essentially relinquished custody when Liam was just 9 months old. Both of his parents have a criminal record and Liam’s mother has significant drug/alcohol addiction issues and has been in and out of rehab for most of Liam’s life.

Our client’s mother, Christine (Liam’s grandmother) and her husband (Liam’s grandfather) took full custody of Liam when he was less than a year old. Liam has essentially been raised entirely by his grandparents and his aunt Stacey for the past 8 years. While Liam currently lives with his grandparents, Stacey has taken the lead on making sure Liam is taken to/from school, attends his doctor’s visit, and gets to participate in after school activities. Stacey helps him with his homework, arranges visitation with Liam’s dad, and takes him to/from appointments. Stacey essentially carries out the duties of a guardian in everything but name.

Christine (now 74 years old) was awarded full guardianship of Liam in 2018, but has since been experiencing debilitating health issues that significantly limit her memory, and her physical ability to carry out the responsibilities of the guardian. She needs assistance as the legal guardian of Liam. As such, we are representing Stacey in petitioning the Court to add her to the current guardianship as a “co-guardian.”

Honoree’s Name: Morgan McCombe

Award Category: Environment & Sustainability

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Morgan McCombe

Provided corporate counsel and advice for operational contracts and organizational governance to non-profit organization that partners with animal shelters and other organizations to support pro-humane animal shelters. Our assistance included drafting and negotiating an agreement to provide support for the construction and maintenance of a new dog kennel facility at an Orange County shelter. The organization provides substantial volunteer hours for animal shelters, as well as significant financial contributions to support animal shelters and related programs.

Honoree’s Name: Peter Hering

Award Category: Hunger & Homelessness

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Peter Hering

1. Families Forward: This past year, I have served as pro bono counsel for Families Forward, as I have done for many years now, and helped them with various employee relations issues, as well as the organizations efforts to create a workplace that was safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also served on Families Forward’s board of directors. Families Forward’s mission is to end family homelessness in Orange County.

2. Rutan-UCI Guardianship Partnership: For the third year in a row, I have managed the firm’s pro bono partnership with UCI Law School where we work with PLC to provide legal assistance to individuals who seek guardianship over a minor and who lack the funds for legal counsel.