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State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Awards Presented

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

  • Organization: State Bar of Georgia

NEWS RELEASE
June 10, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Information, Contact
Michael L. Monahan (404) 527-8762
mike@gabar.org


STATE BAR OF GEORGIA PRO BONO AWARDS PRESENTED

At its annual Awards Ceremony today in Savannah, Georgia the Pro Bono Project, the State Bar of Georgia's Access to Justice Committee and the Bar's A Business Commitment Pro Bono Business Law Committee conferred their highest awards on Brunswick attorney Donald Carlton Gibson, the law firms of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP and Jones Day, LLP, Georgia Legal Services Program attorney Vicky O. Kimbrell, Coca-Cola attorney Todd O. Grice and Atlanta attorney, Tracey M. Roberts.

Donald Carlton Gibson, an attorney from Brunswick, Georgia received the H Sol Clark Award. The H. Sol Clark Award, first awarded in 1983, is named for former Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Clark of Savannah, who is known as the "father of legal aid in Georgia." The Clark award honors an individual lawyer who has excelled in one or more of a variety of activities which extend legal services to the poor. Gibson was honored for his strong commitment to the local Georgia Legal Services Program pro bono project for which he has handled over 80 client matters in just five years.

The William B. Spann, Jr. Award was given to the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP Team Child/Early Intervention Project and the Jones Day, LLP Special Education Project for their advocacy for the appropriate education of special needs children, a population for which virtually no pro bono legal services have existed. The Spann Award is given each year to either a local bar association or a community organization project which has "developed a pro bono program that has satisfied previously unmet needs or extended services to underserved segments of the population." The award is named for a former president of the American Bar Association and former executive director of the State Bar of Georgia. The firms' special education projects were noted as a model for other law firms.

The State Bar of Georgia's Access to Justice Committee also awarded the Dan Bradley Legal Services Award to Vicky O. Kimbrell, a family law and health law lead attorney with Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc. The award honors the memory of Georgia native and Mercer Law graduate Dan J. Bradley, who was president of the federal Legal Services Corporation from 1979 to 1982. Mr. Bradley began his career as a staff attorney with Florida Migrant Legal Services in 1967. He is credited by many with having been instrumental in saving the Legal Services Corporation, State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Awards which funds programs like Georgia Legal Services Program and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, from elimination during the early years of the Reagan administration. The Dan Bradley Legal Services Award recognizes the work of an Atlanta Legal Aid or Georgia Legal Services Program attorney who has excelled in the commitment to the delivery of quality legal services to the poor and to providing equal access to justice. Kimbrell, a noted expert on family law, was recognized for her years of service to Georgia Legal Services Program where she has been at the forefront in the delivery of quality legal services to survivors of family violence across the state. She has been instrumental in the creation of online resources for family violence advocates and has lead in the standardization of domestic violence pleadings across the state. In 2004, Kimbrell lead a team of lawyers in helping hundreds of nursing home residents who were facing imminent discharge. Her efforts in pulling together legal resources, training advocates, and developing a litigation strategy helped save the day for nearly 900 nursing home patients served by Georgia Legal Services Program as well as for hundreds more in Atlanta.

The Access to Justice Committee's first Civil Justice Innovation Award was presented to Tracey M. Roberts. The Civil Justice Innovation Award honors an individual lawyer or legal project that, through the use of innovative technology, has extended civil legal services to the poor or marginalized communities or has met previously unmet legal needs. The award, presented by the State Bar of Georgia Access to Justice Committee and the Pro Bono Project, acknowledges exemplary Internet, computer-assisted or other media-assisted efforts to disseminate legal education and information to advocates and/or low-to-moderate income clients in Georgia. Roberts, an attorney-consultant for Georgia Legal Services Program and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, was recognized for outstanding leadership in the civil justice community in her work developing LegalAid-GA.org, a web-based legal information and self-help resource that is one of the most heavily visited sites of its kind in the country. In addition to the LegalAid-GA website, Roberts was instrumental in the creation of Georgia's volunteer lawyer support website, www.GeorgiaAdvocates.org/GOJC, and has worked extensively with immigrant communities in Georgia to train low-income households to use online legal information and self-help resources.

The A Business Commitment Pro Bono Business Law Committee of the State Bar of Georgia presented its annual pro bono award to Coca-Cola attorney Todd O. Grice. The A Business Commitment Business Law Pro Bono Committee matches volunteer business lawyers with nonprofits serving low-income communities. The ABC Committee functions to provide an outlet for business lawyers who usually do not litigate but who still want to meet their ethical and professional obligations of providing legal services to the poor. Grice is honored for his commitment to providing extensive pro bono business law services to the nonprofit and community economic development sectors in Georgia. He was lauded for his business law contributions to Tyler Place Community Development Corporation in Vine City, a nonprofit affordable housing developer and neighborhood improvement organization.

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