Dallas Bar Association

Slack & Davis LLP Donates $15,000 to DVAP Campaign

by Alicia Hernandez

Slack & Davis LLP has donated $15,000 to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign benefitting the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. The firm’s donation has helped the Equal Access to Justice Campaign, a joint fundraising effort of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, net a record high donation amount of $908,003.

Slack & Davis, an Austin-based personal injury firm with an office in Dallas, specializes in aviation and catastrophic collisions, is a third time donor to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign, donating $45,000 to the program over the last three years. The funds help the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program carry out its mission to recruit, train, and support volunteer attorneys in providing pro bono legal aid to the poor in Dallas.

Like the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, Ladd Sanger and Paula Sweeney, attorneys in the Slack & Davis’ Dallas office, are committed to helping the little guy. Without strong advocates in their corners, the families that Slack & Davis represent would be at a complete disadvantage. Similarly, DVAP volunteer attorneys unlock the courthouse doors for their DVAP clients, most of whom would be at a complete loss as to how to represent their interests and simply terrified of stepping into a courtroom alone.

“Equal justice for all is an American promise, but many people do not have access to legal representation or our court systems without programs like the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program,” said Ms. Sweeney. “We are proud to support a program that makes our justice system more accessible to the public.”

DVAP and its volunteers help people overcome legal problems such as evictions and landlord tenant disputes, divorce cases, child support claims, domestic violence, and fraudulent housing and consumer cases. Without pro bono help, people facing these issues are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the system or simply shut out because they do not know or understand the law and civil procedure. Left unrepresented, the financial and personal distress that DVAP clients face oftentimes increases substantially and makes it even more difficult for them to succeed in their daily lives.

“Marcus,” a young man whose former girlfriend was expecting his child, was one of those clients. Marcus desperately wanted to have a relationship with his child, but his former girlfriend decided she wanted to give the child up for adoption despite his repeated objections. She allegedly had married another man, who planned to act as the presumed father of the child and sign the necessary paperwork to give up his legal rights. The mother also refused to let Marcus know the baby’s due date and where the baby would be born.

Marcus, frantic to have a relationship with his child, applied for help from DVAP. Sandra Fusco, of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, accepted his case, obtained a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the adoption, and obtained a temporary order allowing Marcus to be present at the hospital for the child’s birth. Because of Ms. Fusco’s efforts, DVAP’s coordination of pro bono legal services to the poor, and donors like Slack & Davis, Marcus was able to meet and hold his newborn son and is looking forward to being a part of his son’s life.

For more information on the Campaign or the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, please contact Alicia Hernandez at (214) 220-7499 or ahernandez@dallasbar.org.    

 

Alicia Hernandez is the director of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and the DBA director of community services. She can be reached at ahernandez@dallasbar.org.

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