Volunteers Make Pro Bono Count

We’re always asking our volunteers lawyers (and our many other volunteers) to tell us why they give their time and talent to The Pro Bono Project and to the pro bono cause in general.

The cases are often small compared to some of the work our volunteer lawyers handle in their daily practices. But one thing we’ve learned over the years: when it comes to many of our clients - ‘small’ is a relative term.

Mark Surprenant Adams and Reese LLP

Mark Surprenant
Adams and Reese LLP

Here’s a case that started off small, but volunteer Mark Surprenant of Adams and Resse LLP made pro bono count in a big way.

Recently, I had the privilege of representing a client who had unfortunately been the victim of contractor fraud.

Basically, my client contracted with the defendant to do much needed work to her home. She had saved her money over time so that she could get the work done.  However, after receiving the agreed upon price of $20,000 from my client, the defendant essentially walked off the job after just performing a few hours of work. My client then turned to The Pro Bono Project for assistance.

After a very successful deposition of the defendant who was trying to hide behind a sham LLC, I was able to get the defendant personally to agree to a Consent Judgment in my client’s favor for the full amount of $20,000. The defendant agreed to make an initial payment of $5,000 with monthly payments of a set amount to be paid over the course of two years until the entire $20,000 was paid.

My client indicated to me that she never expected to see a penny of her $20,000, which was a huge amount of money for her. Thus, she was very excited when I broke the above news to her. What made this even more special for me was that I was able to give my client her first check for $5,000 a few days before Christmas.

I greatly appreciated the opportunity which Linton and Rachel at The Project gave me to handle this matter. It is situations like this that really make me happy to be a lawyer.

Here’s what Mark’s client, Mrs. Denton* had to say:

This was very important to me, the volunteer knew just what he was doing, he was very good. This has helped me to get my life going forward again; I had to borrow money to get my house fixed and this helps to pay it back.

Celebrate National Pro Bono Week! Take a Case!

Want a feel-good reminder about why you became a lawyer? Looking for a way to be of service to your community? It makes a big difference - just ask our clients.

Take a case - we promise you'll get back so much more than you give. To volunteer to take a case, contact Linton Carney or call the office at 504.581.4043.

*The client's name was changed to protect confidentiality.