Pro Bono Outstanding Achievement Award to William G. Pagán of Coats & Bennett PLLC, the recipient of the 2018 Pro Bono Outstanding Achievement Award, which was announced at last week’s NCBA IP Law Section’s Annual Meeting held in Charlotte.

Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay.  Pursuant to Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer should aspire to render at least 50 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.  In fulfilling this professional responsibility, Pagán serves as a pro bono Legal Officer for the NC Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), United States Air Force Auxiliary.  CAP is a volunteer force that is the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force.  As an NC Wing Legal Officer, Pagán serves as a member of the NC Wing Commander’s staff and supervises a team of Assistant Legal Officers in handling the legal affairs of approximately 30 local squadrons statewide for approximately 2,000 members.

With particular respect to IP, Pagán helps with safeguarding the CAP brand, including all trademarks, logos, designs, emblems, slogans, etc., by ensuring that CAP-branded goods (e.g., uniforms, shirts, emblems, badges) are properly procured from trusted vendors, conform to CAP standards, and adhere to CAP business practices and contracts.  CAP Legal Officers are also responsible for advising on legal implications of CAP programs and activities.

Outside of CAP, Pagán took on pro bono work at Coats & Bennett to defend a North Carolina charitable non-profit organization against a copyright troll. Pagán is also a proud advocate for NC Central University School of Law, helps to evangelize their programs, and serves as a resource for NCCU law students considering pursuing a career in patent law.