Some pro bono cases are accomplished with a team.
In the case that pro bono attorney Lisa Dasher accepted, she drew on the experience and expertise of other pro bono attorneys to achieve an excellent result for her client.
The result provided increased financial stability for single mother who had very little. Dulce Fazel, Rusty Mead and Geraldine Hartin served as consultants and expert resource persons throughout the case.
What were the basic facts of your case?
My client had gotten a divorce from an abusive husband. Her goal was to gain a judgment that would grant disbursements to her from her ex-husband’s 401k. This was a post dissolution entry of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
With a history of abuse in the relationship and an injunction for protection in place, any additional litigation was extremely stressful.
Because she was a single mother, it was very important that we did our best to establish the income to which she was entitled.
What were you able to accomplish for your client?
I was able to provide the client financial relief by having the former husband’s retirement disbursed. Another source of income was desperately needed by this family, so the Qualified Domestic Relations Order will help to relieve some of the financial stress.
Why was the outcome important to your client?
The client is struggling to raise her children on a limited income while continuing to litigate custody issues with her former husband. The Qualified Domestic Relations Order income is very important to her to help ensure financial stability month-to-month.
Why was the experience important to you? That is, what did you gain from the experience?
As a full-time mediator, I rarely litigate cases, and this was an opportunity to learn a new area of the law. I learned the importance of having mentors while learning a new area of the law. I received a lot of personal satisfaction from assisting the client.
What is the name of your firm? In what areas do you practice?
The name of my firm is Jacksonville Family Mediation. I primarily conduct family mediations and social investigations. I focus on assisting families in resolving their legal issues through cooperation and comprise rather than litigation.
What advice do you have for other attorneys considering pro bono involvement?
I would advise others to use these volunteer opportunities to explore areas of law outside their regular practice.
Attorneys who accept one legal matter for a low-income person are supported with expert resources, meeting space, professional liability insurance and case facilitation assistance.
Redacted summaries of cases in need of placement with pro bono attorneys can be reviewed at jaxlegalaid.org, Cases Awaiting Placement.
The cases are identified by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership and Three Rivers Legal Services.
Appreciation and congratulations are extended to Dasher on her acceptance of this case and on her positive outcome.We also applaud Dulce Fazel, Rusty Mead and Geraldine Hartin for providing guidance and counsel for Dasher.
Attorneys who would like to know more about pro bono opportunities in the 4th Judicial Circuit and beyond are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman, The JBA Pro Bono Committee, [email protected].