Jana Russell Garner, an attorney with Reeves & Stewart, P.C., and state Rep. Darrio Melton, are among the organizers of the 2013 Alabama Pro Bono Week, which will be centered in Selma. -- Jay Sowers
Jana Russell Garner, an attorney with Reeves & Stewart, P.C., and state Rep. Darrio Melton, are among the organizers of the 2013 Alabama Pro Bono Week, which will be centered in Selma. -- Jay Sowers

Selma to be the center of Pro Bono Week

Published 12:36am Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In conjunction with the national observance of Pro Bono Week, Gov. Robert Bentley has proclaimed the week of Oct. 20 to highlight pro bono services rendered throughout Alabama.

State Rep. Darrio Melton said this year’s Pro Bono Week — which will be centered in Selma — is an opportunity for officials to recognize the importance of the free services provided by every branch of government to those who could not normally afford them.

“It is fitting that here in historic Selma we are highlighting the relationship of the three branches of government during Pro Bono Week,” Melton said. “The coalition between the executive, legislative and judicial branches is crucial when it comes to providing access to indigent persons. As we move towards Pro Bono Week it is even more vital that all three branches are seamlessly working together to provide justice for all Alabama.”

Anthony A. Joseph, a lawyer with Birmingham based firm Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and is Alabama State Bar President, said that while the pro bono services offered today don’t meet the needs of everyone across the state, they do wonders for those who have been helped.

“We recognize that pro bono alone cannot adequately solve the growing, unmet need for access to justice, but for someone who can benefit from pro bono services, one attorney’s contribution of time and talent can make a world of difference,” Joseph said.

There will be a pro bono legal clinic from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 21, in the Dallas County Courthouse.

Any person residing in Bibb, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Montgomery, Perry, Sumter or Wilcox counties, who are in need of legal services they cannot afford are encouraged to attend the clinic.

Students from the Jones School of Law will arrive before the start of the clinic aboard the Justice Bus.

The Justice Bus is the Alabama State Bar’s traveling pro bono legal services vehicle that makes stops in communities across the state throughout Pro Bono Week enabling lawyers and law students to assist disadvantaged citizens in need of free legal advice,

Following the clinic, an invitation-only reception honoring Joseph will be held at the St. James Hotel.

The purpose of the reception is to give legislative and judiciary members time to discuss how access to legal representation can be improved in the future.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Bar Commissioner Jana Russell Garner, who practices law with the firm of Reeves & Stewart, P.C., in Selma, and serves on the Alabama State Pro Bono Committee and the Alabama State Bar Governmental Liaison Committee; Royal Dumas, a lawyer practicing with the firm of Hill, Hill & Carter in Montgomery, and chair of the Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Committee; Scott Stapp, a lawyer practicing with the firm of Manley, Traeger, Perry & Stapp in Demopolis, who serves as Bar Commissioner for the 17th Judicial Circuit, and Melton, are organizing the kickoff celebration of Pro Bono Week for the state.

Lawyers with offices in the 4th Judicial Circuit sponsoring the event include: Reeves & Stewart, P.C.; Pitts, Pitts & Williams; Gamble, Gamble & Calame; Kemmer & Kemmer; Turner, Turner & Bryant; Seal, Holmes & Ryan and Cargile & Hodnett, LLC.

Lawyers with offices in the 17th Judicial Circuit sponoring the event include: Manley, Traeger, Perry & Stapp; Gibbs & Sellers, P.C. and Loyd & Dinning.

Lawyers with offices in the 15th Judicial Circuit sponsoring the event include: Beasley, Alle, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. and Ball, Ball, Matthews & Novak, P.A.

Corporate sponsors include: First Cahawba Bank, Calhoun Enterprises, Inc., Alabama Catfish Producers and Freedom Court Reporting.

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