But you may not know where the idea for the organization came from. (And honestly, even though I've worked with and for Pro Bono Net for a total of six years, I didn't know until recently either.) Turns out that Mark O'Brien and Michael Hertz, Pro Bono Net's co-founders, met when they were handling pro bono asylum cases in the mid-1990s. These cases resulted from the Golden Venture, the infamous smuggling ship, running aground in New York City in 1993. It was carrying 286 immigrants, most of whom were sent to detention centers through out the US. Mark and Michael quickly realized that technology could help the many advocates collaborate better, even though they may not be in the same place.
The stories of the immigrants on the boat were documented in Peter Cohn's movie Golden Venture, which was an Official Selection of the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and the 2006 Amnesty International Film Festival.
In recognition of this story's connection with Pro Bono Net's beginning, and Pro Bono Net's 10th Anniversary, Peter Cohn has graciously agreed to give half the proceeds of every DVD purchased to Pro Bono Net. You can purchase a copy for $24.95. - K