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Eric Roberson
Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 8, 201412:00 PM EST

Pro bono spotlight: Simple advocacy carries the day for client

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by: Kathy Para

Sometimes — no, many times — it’s the little things that count.

After a recent Ask-A-Lawyer event, Dan Bean and Eric Roberson teamed up to assist a retired woman who was receiving demand letters from her retirement fund company.

Bean is a trial attorney with Holland & Knight. Roberson, of Eric C. Roberson, practices business litigation and consumer protection law. The client prevailed after some simple advocacy by Bean and Roberson. Bean describes the matter:

What were the basic facts of your case?

Retirement funds were transferred to our client two years after her employment ended. The client was grateful for the funds and needed the financial stability.

Approximately six months later a manager for the retirement fund sent a threatening demand letter to the client insisting the client return the funds.

Although the client had contacted the fund manager trying to straighten out the problem, the only resolution he suggested was that she return the funds.

This would have been both completely unfair but also a significant financial hardship for the client.

What were you able to accomplish for your client?

We were able to negotiate a favorable settlement for the client allowing her to keep the funds and stopping the demand letters.

Why was the outcome important to your client?

The threatening letter was unsettling and was a source of great stress. Resolution of this matter gave the client not only some financial peace but also one less source of stress in her life. It was definitely a weight lifted off her shoulders.

Why was the experience important to you? That is, what did you gain from the experience?

Bean: “I was extremely disappointed by the demand letter from the retirement fund management. I expressed this disappointment in the letters sent to the company.”

Roberson: “Dan really carried this case. I’m glad I was able to play a small part in achieving a positive outcome.”

What advice do you have for other attorneys considering pro bono involvement?

It is tremendously rewarding and can make an incredible difference for a client that cannot otherwise achieve it.

Clearly this was a case of advocacy in its simplest forms — straightforward and honest. For information on Pro Bono opportunities throughout the 4th Judicial Circuit, please contact Kathy Para, chair of The JBA Pro Bono Committee, at [email protected]

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