Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP is dedicated to the community. The firm believes it has a responsibility to not only its clients but the community at large. All attorneys are encouraged to volunteer their time. Some of the firm's activities include:
Asian Art Museum
Nanci Nishimura is a member of the prestigious Asian Art Museum Board of Trustees. The Museum holds a world-renowned collection spanning 6,000 years of history. Nishimura studied in Japan and was an editor for noted art scholar Sammy Yukuan Lee, the benefactor of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies.
Niall McCarthy and Steve Williams are both former Board Chairs of Community Gatepath. Community Gatepath fosters hope, dignity, and independence among children and adults with disabilities, and is dedicated to building inclusive environments where individuals of all abilities can thrive. Community Gatepath helps people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives including meaningful employment.
Debbie Kiefer heads up CPM's team in their participation in Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit, working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities for low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and those with disabilities.
Second Harvest Food Bank
CPM employees sorted food at the Second Harvest Food Bank to be distributed to families struggling with low-wage jobs, growing housing costs and homelessness. Volunteers bagged, sorted and inspected food. Taking CP&M’s motto - “Develop a sense of urgency” - to heart, the volunteers broke a record by bagging 2,300 bags of food. It was just CP&M’s way to help achieve Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission - “Providing food for people in need in our community.”
S.F. Food Bank
CPM employees volunteered at the S.F. Food Bank where they sorted and packed food for those in need. The S.F. Food Bank partners with housing sites, schools, community centers, and churches in San Francisco and ensures that food is provided throughout the community.
Donations to Troops in Iraq & Afghanistan
CPM sent over 500 pounds of various items, from beef jerky to toothpaste, to soldiers from the 82nd Airborne serving in Iraq. CP&M does this on a regular basis. The program is managed by Darren Kelley for the Americans Supporting Americans (“ASA”) Program - Troops overseas.
The following are excerpts from a letter to CP&M from Cpt. James Wiltse, Company Commander of the Airborne Infantry unit serving in Iraq, which we support: “Please relay my Company’s gratitude to all who contributed to the care packages that we received this week.” ... “The men are very grateful for the variety of items that were sent over.” ... “Our PX here at Camp Ramadi closes in the next 2 weeks which means that these packages arrived at the perfect time.”
Seven Tepees Youth Program
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP has long supported Seven Tepees Youth Program. Anne Marie Murphy was a board member for a number of years and remains involved through the Advisory Board. Seven Tepees is a non-profit serving more than a thousand urban youth in San Francisco, and provides comprehensive services to youth, including mentoring, academic support, and college and career counseling in afternoon programs. (http://www.7tepees.org/index.html).
Hamilton Family Center
Matt Edling is on the Board of the Hamilton Family Center. Hamilton Family Center is the largest provider of shelter, eviction prevention assistance, rapid re-housing, youth programming, and support services for homeless families in San Francisco.
2010 Community Award by Santa Clara Law Center
Niall McCarthy was presented with the 2010 Community Award from the Santa Clara University Community Law Center for his outstanding work in the consumer rights area and in supporting organizations in the local community. This award is given to a firm, organization, or individual who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to serving the underprivileged of our society.
Father Alfred Boeddecker Award
Joseph Cotchett was awarded the Fr. Alfred Boeddeker Award from St. Anthony Foundation at a special luncheon and awards ceremony. This honor is given to those who support St. Anthony’s mission and work in servicing the poor and homeless. St. Anthony Foundation’s mission is to feed, heal, shelter, clothe, lit the spirits of those in need, and create a society in which all persons flourish. They are committed to providing the poor with basic needs and services. St. Anthony Foundation was founded by Fr. Alfred Boeddeker, a Franciscan friar who founded humanitarian programs to aid the poor and marginalized in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of Fr. Boeddeker’s greatest sayings: “h e great activity of our life is to love.”
KaBOOM! ("Playground In A Day")
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy participated alongside 390 volunteers from the City of Daly City, KaBOOM!, the Foresters and the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club (MPBGC) to build a “playground in a day” which benefited the MPBGC’s Bayshore Heights club location. KaBOOM!, a national non-profit, is dedicated to saving play for America’s children. Their mission is to create a great, safe place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
Preschool Beautification Program
CPM employees volunteered to beautify FacesSF Preschool in San Francisco. CPM and the Asian American Bar Association Community Services Committee partnered with Jumpstart to clean classrooms and a playhouse, scrub walls, sweep surrounding areas, remove trash, paint walls and classrooms and fill a sandbox with new sand.
CPM Distributes Cy Pres Awards
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy distributed cy pres awards in California to a range of worthy nonprofit charitable organizations in need. Cy pres awards are funded with money from class action settlements, either the residual funds that are left after the settlement proceeds are distributed to class members, or by court order under the rules of procedure when class members cannot be identified. Nanci Nishimura obtained a court order to distribute residual funds from a class action settlement to veterans, legal aid, and child advocacy organizations, including: Bet Tzedek Legal Services Union, Swords to Plowshares Veterans Rights Organization, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, CASA of Los Angeles, Friends of the Children San Francisco, just to name a few. In the past few years, CPM has obtained millions of cy pres dollars for non-profits.
Community Spirit Award
Joseph Cotchett was honored by Notre Dame De Namur University with the Community Spirit Award. University President, Judith Maxwell Grieg said “Joe Cotchett has spent his life both in and out of the courtroom advocating for those who are less fortunate and couldn’t fight for themselves.” The school created the award to recognize individuals who have given their time, energy and resources to improve the quality of life for others.
Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
Darren Kelley is the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club Board President. The Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club is a non-profit group serving local youth. They provide a range of activities during after-school hours for children between the age of six and 18 that promote self-esteem, mental and physical well-being and academic performance.
The Share Foundation
Over 80 U.S. delegates, including political figures and CPM’s Camilo Artiga-Purcell, convened in El Salvador as international elections observers to ensure fair and just presidential elections. They served at the request of the Salvadoran Supreme Electoral Tribune. The SHARE Foundation of Berkeley selected Artiga-Purcell to serve as a monitor to observe the polls during the elections.
Rule of Law Delegation to Southeast Asia
Nanci Nishimura met with U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, David Shear, to discuss advances in diplomatic relations and business development between the U.S. and Vietnam. Nishimura has a master’s degree in international relations focusing on U.S.–Asia business, and was part of a rule of law delegation to Southeast Asia sponsored by the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. She was joined by partners Philip Gregory and Joe Cotchett, who is a long-time fellow of the International Academy.
Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
CPM sponsored the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California fundraiser in San Francisco for Typhoon Haiyan victims. CPM employees and others rallied together to help raise money for those affected by one of the deadliest typhoons that hit the Philippines. CPM also made a generous donation to the ABS CBN Foundation International.