It is with deep appreciation for his long-term commitment that we recognize and thank Duggar by designating him as our September pro bono attorney of the month.
Duggar has been an active pro bono advocate for more than 20 years, and he is frequently looking for new ways to provide legal assistance to those in need.
Some of Duggar's pro bono outreach involvements include events such as Ask-a-Lawyer and Advance Directives for Seniors. Additionally, he serves as a mentor by providing guidance to new pro bono attorneys working on cases through Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA).
Duggar began his pro bono work by assisting clients with guardianship matters, but has since expanded to other areas of practice.
When asked what inspired him to work in pro bono, he said, "There is a great need for indigent legal services in Northeast Florida. I felt I had to use my legal education even though I was not in a legal practice company at the time, so, I decided to volunteer at JALA."
In a long career of practicing law, any attorney would have a long list of success stories. But as every attorney knows, a few particular cases stand out as the most memorable.
With pro bono cases, providing service to people who otherwise cannot afford the legal services they so desperately need can be a very rewarding accomplishment.
When asked to reflect on one of his most memorable pro bono cases, Duggar described, "One of my most memorable cases, and one of my first, involved a 5-year-old who had been abandoned by his Georgia parents, and a local couple of modest means tried to adopt him in Georgia.
"But, the attorney handling the case committed suicide before trial, and the couple lost most of their money. They came to JALA, and I helped them gain guardianship of the child until maturity."
Duggar has assisted dozens more pro bono clients through JALA and other outreach projects throughout Jacksonville. His practice consists of estate planning, guardianship, probate and elder law. However, his involvement in the community extends beyond the law. Duggar also contributes his time by assisting in church youth activities and by staying involved in local politics.
In addition to being a member and the former president of a civic association board, Duggar has been an active member of the Boy Scouts, Rotary and the Gator Bowl Committee. He also makes time to travel.
Duggar's work has had a positive and lasting impact on many clients and attorneys, and our community is a better place because of his efforts.
It is with deep gratitude that we commend him for his work on behalf of low-income and vulnerable persons.
Attorneys interested in pro bono opportunities throughout the 4th Circuit are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman of The JBA Pro Bono Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the years, Bruce Duggar has been involved in pro bono work at what most may call an extraordinary level.