Cary Flitter and Marie Patterson Honored for Pro Bono Work in Montgomery County
- Montgomery County Bar Association
- Source: Pennsylvania
Montgomery County lawyers came together Tuesday, November 22, 2011 to celebrate two of their own, Cary Flitter and Marie Patterson, for pro bono service as both were honored with the 2011 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award.
Flitter was honored for his tireless efforts to protect the legal rights of consumers and for providing pro bono education to fellow lawyers and law students serving the less fortunate. He talks frequently with legal professionals and the public about consumer credit and fraud and how to protect consumer rights in court. On his own time and money, Flitter gave a number of great CLE presentations to legal aid attorneys about protecting and enforcing consumer rights.
Patterson has been a longtime pro bono volunteer for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP), taking two to five cases from LASP on an annual basis. The cases she accepts are always family law cases, often difficult, demanding of substantial time and going on for lengthy periods of time.
Pennsylvania is dealing with a civil legal aid crisis which sees half the people who make it to a legal aid office and qualify for legal aid being turned away from receiving such help because of a lack of resources. Despite special fees and a loan forgiveness program for civil legal aid attorneys starting its second year, the justice system just does not have the professional resources to meet the growing need for such services in these tough economic times.
There are nearly 70,000 attorneys licensed in Pennsylvania. From all accounts, somewhere around 10% of those attorneys render some form of pro bono service on an annual basis. A recent IOLTA survey of its funded programs showed that the direct pro bono service of volunteer attorneys in Pennsylvania provided support equivalent of 61 full time legal aid attorneys.
PBA President-Elect Tom Wilkinson made clear in his remarks as he presented Flitter and Patterson with their awards how special their service is for the neediest among us. “These two went well beyond what we ask of lawyers in service to the poor.”
Montgomery County Judge and local Bar president, the Honorable Carolyn T. Carluccio joined with local bar leaders, PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis and Montgomery County Bar Executive Director Nancy Paul to celebrate Flitter’s and Patterson’s good work.