Contact:Beth Trigg or Bill Whalen at Pisgah Legal Services
voice: 828.253.0406 fax: 828.252.8927 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Attorneys Honored
For Outstanding Service to Low-Income People
Asheville attorneys Kyle King and Heather Goldstein and Asheville law firm Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow, & Saenger, PA will be recognized for their outstanding pro bono services to low-income people at the May 12 meeting of the 28th Judicial District (Buncombe County) Bar. At this time, the Bar will also announce that Ms. Goldstein will be awarded the statewide Young Lawyer’s Division Pro Bono Attorney Service Award for her pro bono work, and that Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow, & Saenger, PA will be awarded the statewide Small Law Firm Pro Bono Award for their service to the community.
King, Goldstein, attorney Sharon Alexander of Hendersonville, and the law firm of Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow, and Saenger, PA were nominated by Pisgah Legal Services for the awards presented each year by the North Carolina Bar Association to recognize North Carolina attorneys and firms showing exemplary commitment to providing pro bono (free) services to needy people.
Ms. Goldstein was nominated by both PLS and the Young Lawyers Division of the 28th Judicial District Bar in recognition of her contribution of more than 190 hours representing Danny and Stephanie Taylor, whose new mobile home was faulty, resulting in substandard living conditions for the family. "Our family was so happy to move into our new mobile home in April of 1999," said Ms. Taylor, " but over the next 18 months our dream became a nightmare. The mobile home started splitting apart because it wasn’t set up properly . . .. The company wouldn’t repair the home, and we were stuck with having to pay for a wrecked home." Mr. Taylor added: "I can’t tell you how grateful we are to Ms. Goldstein. There are a lot of people like us who end up having to pay for a piece of junk because they can’t afford an attorney." See attached quotes from Stephanie and Danny Taylor for more background on the Taylor case.
Mr. King was nominated by PLS and the Bar for donating more than 50 hours on a difficult domestic case. Ms. Alexander, a Henderson County attorney nominated by PLS, distinguished herself by donating many hours of legal services to help a client obtain SSI and Medicaid benefits, and by donating the attorney’s fee awarded by the court to help the client afford basic necessities. PLS nominated Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow, & Saenger, PA for the Small Law Firm Pro Bono Award in recognition of outstanding pro bono service including 100% participation of attorneys in the firm in the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Program, significant financial contributions to the Pisgah Legal Services annual campaign from the firm and individual attorneys within the firm, G. Ward Hendon's leadership as president of the PLS Board of Directors, Joy G. McIver's leadership of the Bar’s Pro Bono Committee, and Martin Reidinger's service as President of the Buncombe County Bar.
Mr. King, Ms. Alexander, and Ms. Goldstein donated their services through the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer (MAVL) Program. The MAVL Program is a network of more than 300 private attorneys in Buncombe, Henderson, Polk, Madison, Transylvania, and Rutherford Counties, administered by Pisgah Legal Services. Through the MAVL Program, PLS, a nonprofit poverty law firm, and local private attorneys work together to serve people in need. Local attorneys donated in excess of 2,000 hours, services conservatively valued at more than $300,000, in 2003 through the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Program.
"Support from private attorneys is the foundation of Pisgah Legal Services’ ability to serve low income people in the community." said Bill Whalen, senior staff attorney at PLS. "Attorneys contribute more than $60,000 toward the cost of quality legal services for low-income families. And bar support undergirds PLS’s ability to bring other resources into the community. In recent years, PLS has helped raise more than three million dollars to support community programs and collaborations to improve lives in our region."
Quotes Regarding Pro Bono Award
Nominations and Awards
"The efforts of these fine lawyers are the latest examples of this Bar's leadership in providing effective assistance, in partnership with Pisgah Legal Services, in making a real difference in the lives of those citizens in need in our community."
- Kerry Friedman, Attorney, Patla, Straus, Robinson, & Moore, PA
"We are very proud of Heather and her pro bono efforts while she was with McGuire, Wood, & Bissette, PA. She was always devoted to her clients, including pro bono clients like the Taylors."
- Doug Wilson, Attorney, McGuire, Wood, & Bissette, PA(Ms. Goldstein was an attorney with McGuire, Wood, & Bissette, PA when she took the Taylors’ case.)
"We deeply appreciate the leadership, pro bono service, and generous financial support of private attorneys in our six county service area for Pisgah Legal Services and the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program. More than 300 attorneys have agreed to take pro bono referrals through the MAVL program, and more than 250 attorneys have made donations to Pisgah Legal Services in the past year. Their contributions are the foundation that enabled us to help low-income clients solve legal problems that affect basic needs like housing, safety, and subsistence more than 6,500 times last year."
- Jim Barrett, Executive Director, Pisgah Legal Services
"Heather, Kyle and the attorneys of Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow & Saenger make it an honor to be a member of the legal profession in Western North Carolina, as they continue our long tradition of unselfish service to those in need."
- Phillip J. Smith, Attorney, The Van Winkle Law Firm
"The 28th District Bar has a long history of providing legal services to those in need. These awards are just examples of the commitment that is held by the entire bar."
- Martin Reidinger, President, 28th Judicial District Bar, Attorney, Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow, & Saenger, PA
"The attorneys in Western North Carolina have an extraordinary commitment to providing legal representation to the underserved, including the disabled, senior citizens, domestic violence victims, and disadvantaged children and families. Through the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Program, volunteer attorneys provided in excess of 2,000 hours of free legal representation to more than 325 eligible clients last year. Those efforts are a huge contribution to the community when the value of the work is conservatively calculated at $150 per hour. Essentially, local attorneys contributed about $300,000 of free legal services to individuals who otherwise would have had no access to legal representation."
- Joy McIver, Chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the 28th Judicial District Bar, which organizes the MAVL program, Attorney, Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow, & Saenger, PA
Quotes from Stephanie & Danny Taylor regarding
Heather Goldstein’s pro bono service to the Taylor family:
STEPHANIE TAYLOR QUOTES
"Our family was so happy to move into our new mobile home in April, 1999. But over the next 18 months our joy became a nightmare. The mobile home started splitting apart because it wasn’t set up properly, and when the company came to fix it they dropped half of the house and split it apart. The company wouldn’t repair the home, and we were stuck with having to pay for a wrecked home. The lowest point came when our pipes froze."
"We couldn’t afford a private attorney and were really at our wits end when we learned about Pisgah Legal Services, which quickly arranged a referral for free legal help by our fantastic attorney Heather Goldstein."
"Heather worked for over a year and a half to help us get a full recovery to repair our home. She did a great job, and always took the time to explain what was going on in our case and answer our questions. She always treated us with kindness and respect. She is, in a word, ‘wonderful’."
DANNY TAYLOR QUOTE
"We aren’t the only ones who have faced the nightmare we had, but we’re the lucky ones. I can’t tell you how grateful we are to Ms. Goldstein. There are a lot of people like us who end up having to pay for a piece of junk because they can’t afford an attorney. Without the generous help of everyone who helps make Pisgah Legal Services and volunteers like Ms. Goldstein available, that’s where we’d be today."
To contact the Taylors, please call Bill Whalen at PLS (253-0406).