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Spotlight on Pro Bono

 

January 26, 2016

Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.

 

In this issue of our Newsletter, our Pro Bono spotlight is on the law firm of Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C., based in Florham Park, New Jersey, and its work with the ABA’s Military Pro Bono Project. Since 2012, Bressler lawyers have volunteered their time to represent military personnel and their families and spent more than 300 pro bono hours on that mission.

 

The Project accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel and their families with civil legal problems, and it places these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed. The types of matters handled by pro bono attorneys through the Project range from matrimonial disputes and child custody issues to complex civil matters. The firm’s volunteer lawyers handle a wide variety of these matters, providing services ranging from counseling advice to representation in litigated matters. CBL Committee member Ronald J. Campione has led the coordination of assignments from the Project to the Bressler firm at its four offices (New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Alabama), and regularly assists active duty military personnel with civil legal issues. Several of the cases assigned to Bressler that required litigation resulted in favorable results for the service members. Mr. Campione and two other Bressler attorneys, Angela Scafuri and Polina Dostalik, received the Project’s Outstanding Services Award in 2014 for their work on one such matter. This year, Bressler continues its assistance to military personnel through assignments from the Project.


 

November 3, 2015

Richards, Layton & Finger

 

This quarter, our Pro Bono spotlight is on the Delaware corporate law firm Richards, Layton & Finger and its pro bono work with the Delaware Office of Child Advocate. OCA’s mission is to safeguard the welfare of the state’s abused and neglected children. Since 2002, Richards Layton lawyers, as OCA volunteer advocates, have represented 249 children and volunteered 10,212 pro bono hours serving some of Delaware’s most at-risk children.
 
The firm’s volunteer lawyers represent children in family court proceedings and provide vital support outside the courtroom as well, including getting to know the child, interviewing significant persons in the child’s life, examining pertinent records, and making sure the child is getting the services he or she needs. The lawyers also confer with each other to discuss developments in their cases, share ideas and resources, and develop strategies to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children they represent. This massive effort is spearheaded by partners Jennifer Jauffret, who chairs the firm’s child advocacy group, and C. Malcolm Cochran, IV, chair of the firm-wide pro bono committee. Mr. Cochran also serves as the Chair of Delaware’s Child Protection Accountability Commission, a state commission with a statutory mission to monitor Delaware’s child protection system to help ensure the health, safety, and well-being of Delaware’s abused, neglected, and dependent children.


 

July 15, 2015

Stout Risius Ross

 

For years now, the financial advisory firm Stout Risius Ross (SRR) in New York has been applying its financial expertise to pro bono matters. To share its expertise with those individuals and organizations that can derive great benefit from, but are unable to afford, the services it offers, SRR established its Pro Bono Practice many years ago. Over the course of the last year, SRR’s pro bono practice has expanded nationally. Recent engagements include several matters in which SRR served as financial expert in the calculation of lost wages and income for low income workers, development of financial frameworks for not-for-profit organizations to assist in impact analysis, preparation of dashboard analyses for not-for-profits and legal services providers, analysis of survey data and other public information for not-for-profits and legal services organizations, and analysis of economic damages and restitution for victims of human trafficking.

 

SRR has found that there are many ways in which non-lawyers can apply their financial expertise, forensic accounting, complex data analysis and valuation services in the pro bono setting for the benefit of low income and disadvantaged individuals as well as the organizations that service these communities. For those in need of such services, complete this application.


 

May 13, 2015

The HELP Program

 

In 2014, committee members Mark Davidson, Seattle, WA, Jennifer Roeper, Tampa, FL, David Soley, Portland, ME, and Kelli Thompson, Knoxville, TN, established legal clinics in homeless shelters in their respective cities under the Section’s Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) initiative. Volunteer lawyers visit shelters to provide pro bono legal advice to the residents, often with input from other volunteer lawyers with expertise in landlord-tenant, identification, housing, social security and other public benefits, employment, immigration, family law, and criminal law issues. In many cases the volunteers continue to represent their clients in subsequent negotiations or court cases. Many of the shelter residents have been able to secure employment or housing or both once their legal problems have been resolved.

 

This year, committee members John Strasburger, Houston, TX, Robert Will, St. Louis, MO, and Bart Greenwald, Louisville, KY, have been establishing HELP programs in their cities.

 

If you are interested in establishing a HELP program in your city, feel free to contact any one of these volunteers.


 

February 23, 2015

Elizabeth T. Timkovich

 

Committee member Elizabeth T. Timkovich, Winston & Strawn LLP, Charlotte, NC, serves regularly as a volunteer judge for her local “Teen Court” program, which provides juvenile offenders aged 12–18 (charged with first-time misdemeanors) with the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions without going through the juvenile court system, thus avoiding a juvenile record. They do so by admitting their guilt, submitting to a jury of their peers and performing community service. Candidates are screened by the state justice department and school resource officers for appropriateness for the program. The program also trains teen volunteers in the legal process as jurors, clerks of court, bailiffs, and attorneys, and emphasizes communication and leadership skills. Similar programs are available in most states. The National Association of Youth Courts provides links to resources, including the numerous state and local youth/teen court associations currently in operation.


 

Newsletter Editors

Editor-in-Chief: Celeste R. Coco-Ewing

Editors: Sally K. Sears Coder, Charles W. Stotter

 
Copyright © 2017, American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association, the Section of Litigation, this committee, or the employer(s) of the author(s).