Friday, October 24, 2014
   
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One Promise Florida

Imagine the impact we could make if every attorney in the state of Florida helped one pro bono client.  That single contribution could drastically reduce the enormous backlog of cases and significantly improve access to justice for all Florida residents.

Upon taking the oath at the beginning of a career in law each attorney makes a promise to “never reject the cause of the defenseless or oppressed or delay anyone’s cause for lucre or malice.” In October 2009 the Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono, led by Judge William Van Nortwick, launched the One Campaign which is committed to giving attorneys the opportunity to renew that promise.

The focus of the One Campaign is to engage more attorneys in providing pro bono legal services through their local legal aid programs by taking on ONE case. Put simply, the One Campaign speaks directly to the number one issue that many attorneys cite as an obstacle to providing pro bono legal services: time. Through the One Campaign attorneys are encouraged to take One case where they can utilize their unique skills to help regular citizens navigate the law. The One Campaign will also highlight both state and local opportunities that attorneys can take advantage of to provide these pro bono services.

 

 
The resources found on OnePromiseFlorida.org are generously supported by financial consideration provided
by The Florida Bar Foundation.

Pro Bono in the News

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ONE CLIENT

Jodi has congestive heart failure and her husband Bobby has diabetes.  Because of confusing and bureaucratic paperwork they were denied their rightful benefits from Medicaid and the resulting medical bills threatened their ability to remain independent.  One lawyer helped them restore their benefits and made it possible for them to be reimbursed for the money they had already spent.  Today they have the dignity of living their lives under the roof that has been their home for the last 30 years.  There are thousands of seniors in Florida just like the Guins -- doing their best to enjoy the time they’ve earned from a lifetime of loving their families and contributing to their communities.   All they ask for is what’s fair and just and the needed assistance from special lawyers, lawyers they could not otherwise afford, to make sure their rights are protected. -Jodi and Bobby Guin Read more

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ONE ATTORNEY

“Writing the check is important, but it’s not enough. If all you do is write the check then you are missing the most important thing you can do as a lawyer. Take a moment to remember sitting in law school when you imagined doing something remarkable as a lawyer.  I can tell you from personal experience that helping a family keep their house, allowing a senior citizen to live with dignity or finding a child a loving home are just a few of the remarkable experiences that you can achieve by giving of your time as well as your skills.  Let’s agree that we get tremendous satisfaction from serving our paying clients, but this work, the work we imagined as young law students is a special calling.   I believe in the deepest part of me that this work is calling you.” Corali Lopez-CastroKozyak Tropin & Throckmorton Read more

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ONE PROMISE

"Upon taking the oath at the beginning of a career in law each attorney makes a promise to 'never reject the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.' By raising our hand and taking that oath we make a commitment which I believe must be taken seriously. Those words were put in that pledge because they represent what is fair and just and they were intended to ensure that even those who could not afford a lawyer would not be denied justice. Despite our best attempts, our system of law is difficult to navigate without a lawyer. If you add to that the unique challenges of people who can’t afford a lawyer the level of difficulty is significantly increased. I believe leading by example is the charge of every judge,  and in that spirit I would challenge each of my fellow jurists to encourage attorneys to do pro bono work.  It harkens back to the canons we swore to uphold: 'we will promote the fair administration of justice.' Encouraging lawyers to represent those who cannot afford a lawyer is the essence of that charge.” - Judge William A. Van Nortwick Jr., First District Court of AppealChair, Florida Bar Standing Committee on Pro Bono Read more

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