Adam Edgecombe, an attorney with Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene, is being recognized as the Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for March.
Edgecombe accepts pro bono matters when asked to do so and also proactively seeks them out. It's not unusual for him to take the initiative and contact Jacksonville Area Legal Aid to say, "I can handle another pro bono case or two. Send me another client."
When asked to talk about his pro bono commitment, Edgecombe provided these comments:
Why did you become involved in pro bono work?
My parents, and my church youth group when I was growing up, instilled a sense of service in me from a young age. Growing up, I volunteered at the City Rescue Mission soup kitchen on a monthly basis and also gave my time to numerous other service projects through my youth group at Lakewood United Methodist. No matter what my profession, I would be engaging in some sort of community service and, since I am an attorney, volunteering with Legal Aid is the best way for me to give back to the community. My firm, Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene, has encouraged its attorneys to provide pro bono service to Legal Aid.
Describe your pro bono project/efforts.
I have been involved in several guardianship matters for Legal Aid, setting up guardianships for families who have disabled children who recently reached the age of majority, but who are not capable of making decisions regarding their social and medical needs. Another attorney at my firm, Joseph Pickles, and I also helped two consumers with some issues related to their purchase of automobiles from an unscrupulous used car dealer. I also have handled a few other litigation issues for some JALA clients. With regard to all my cases, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the efforts of my assistant, Cathy Sawyer, who keeps me organized and makes sure all the appropriate paperwork and documents are signed and filed.
If you can, please briefly describe a memorable pro bono case. What was the situation/need? What were you able to accomplish with the pro bono effort? Why was this outcome important?
I think the cases that stand out most for me are the guardianship matters I have handled. The parents I assisted were confused about the process for obtaining guardianships for their mentally disabled children and they were worried about being able to make medical decisions for their children when they reached the age of majority. By providing assistance to the parents so they could be named as legal guardians for their children, I was able to give these parents peace of mind and help them with something that, by themselves, seemed overwhelming and very difficult and otherwise would have been unaffordable to them.
Tell us a little about yourself – in what areas of law do you practice, hobbies, interests.
I practice in the areas of commercial business litigation and probate litigation. In my free time, I enjoy running, weightlifting, reading, cooking and riding bikes and going to the beach with my family. I also coach my son's soccer team and am a board member of the Kona School, a new and innovative private school in Jacksonville.
What advice can you give to other attorneys considering accepting pro bono cases and being involved in pro bono representation?
My advice would be to simply give your time to one case if you have not yet done so. I think that once attorneys break the ice and have that first case under their belts they will see that pro bono representation is incredibly rewarding. Though we are all very busy, there is time in our schedules to provide legal services to people who otherwise can't afford them and who often need such services the most.
It is with deep appreciation for his pro bono service that The JBA Pro Bono Committee and JALA recognize and thank Adam Edgecombe for his ongoing commitment and support. Attorneys interested in pro bono opportunities throughout the 4th Judicial Circuit are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman, The JBA Pro Bono Committee at [email protected].