Volunteer Attorney Helps Mother of Sailor in Tragic Accident
A Navy servicemember was in a serious vehicle accident, which caused major brain and spinal injuries. It was expected that he would be in a long-term incapacitated state. His mother needed to be appointed as his guardian so she could handle his affairs, including his property and medical decisions. She visited a military legal assistance office for guidance, which referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the servicemember’s mother with an attorney who offered pro bono help.
The volunteer attorney prepared all necessary documents to petition the court for the mother’s appointment as her son’s guardian. However, miraculously, the servicemember regained consciousness and recovered to the extent that he could give informed consent to provide his mother with a power of attorney and execute related forms, including a living will and healthcare surrogate documents. With this, the mother obtained legal authority to make personal, financial, and medical decisions on behalf of her son, so she can ensure that he receives proper care.
With this authority, the mother could also help with her son’s procedures for a medical discharge from the Navy and obtaining VA benefits. The volunteer attorney went above and beyond to provide continued pro bono assistance for these procedures. The servicemember was ultimately medically discharged and received the expected benefits from the Navy and VA.
Read additional case stories on our blog to see how you, our volunteers, are helping military families.
Military Pro Bono Project: Pro Bono Representation
The Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military legal assistance offices anywhere in the world on behalf of junior enlisted servicemembers facing civil legal issues, and it places these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed in the U.S.
View pro bono case opportunities, which is updated daily.
Operation Stand-By: Guidance to Military Attorneys
Through the Military Pro Bono Project’s Operation Stand-By, you may offer to be on "standby" to provide attorney-to-attorney guidance to military attorneys so they can further assist their servicemember clients. Join by logging onto our website to update your profile by clicking on “I am registering to join the Project's Operation Stand-By."
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