Recently, I had the privilege of representing a client who, unfortunately, was the victim of contractor fraud. My client, Mrs. Dorgenois* contracted with the defendant to do much needed work to her home. She had saved her money over time to get the work done.
However, after receiving the agreed upon price of $20,000 from my client, the defendant 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 tried 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 news to her. What made this even more special for me was giving my client her first check for $5,000 just a few days before Christmas.
"This was very important to me. The volunteer, Mr. Surprenant, 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," said Mrs. Dorgenois.
This was no small matter to Mrs. Dorgenois and to countless other residents who come to The Project seeking justice.
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.
We can't do what we do without the help of lawyers like Mark Surprenant and the hundreds of legal professionals and others who volunteer their skills, time and energy.
We often find that our volunteers get as much, or more, than they give and we are thankful to be able to facilitate this special exchange.
*The client's name was changed to maintain client confidentiality.