Pro bono spotlight: Rusty Mead's 11 hours of volunteer work helped family get new start

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  • | 12:00 p.m. February 2, 2015
Carrington "Rusty" Mead
Carrington "Rusty" Mead
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In less than 11 hours of work, pro bono attorney Rusty Mead provided a family with the opportunity to live safely and begin a new life. Read how her efforts resulted in positive outcomes beyond measure.

What were the basic facts of your case?

The case involved a young lady who was served with a supplemental petition asking to have primary timesharing of their minor child filed by her ex-husband, with the assistance of an attorney, within a couple of months of the Department of Revenue raising his child support obligation. I immediately realized the pleading was frivolous. She had three young children and obviously couldn’t afford an attorney.

What were you able to accomplish for your client?

I was able to encourage the ex-husband and his attorney to voluntarily dismiss the action he filed, which I considered frivolous. I also discovered in the midst of representing her that the father of her other child was in jail for having abused her a second time. I researched the criminal matter and discovered that although he would be doing probation and would not be allowed to contact her, it would expire when his probation was finished. I then filed for, and obtained, a final judgment of protection against domestic violence.

Why was the outcome important to your client?

These outcomes were important for my client because not only did it send a clear message to both of the men who had abused her in the past, but it also allowed me to educate her on the resources in the community she could use. She was very receptive and immediately acted upon this advice for her and her children.

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

It is important to me to contribute to my community in ways in which I can help make a difference. It is especially important when I can make a difference in the lives of children.

What is the name of your firm? In what areas do you practice?

Carrington Madison Mead. Areas of practice: family, estate planning, probate, guardianship, LGBT civil rights and veterans’ benefits and compensation.

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

Pick up a case, make a friend and make a difference. This client in particular was about as close to perfect as a client as I have had in some time — paid or pro bono. She was compliant, listened to advice and immediately responded to information requested of her.

Rusty Mead gave 11 hours of her time and accomplished a foundation for stability for the children in this family. Attorneys have the skills to do this kind of life-changing work. Sincere appreciation is extended to Mead on behalf of her client and our community. For more information on pro bono opportunities in the 4th Judicial Circuit, contact Para at [email protected].