341: Lawyers Doing Good Matters

My law firm recently met with a public relations group, who gave us the pitch on all the things they could do for us, including beefing up our presence on LinkedIn, posting special interest stories on our corporate Facebook page, and more Twitter updates.

After this week of front page stories and national press, I’m not sure we need too much help. Here’s a look at the stories we’ve been involved in this week…

New  York Times covers Cyntoia Brown’s journey to freedom, credits Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Charles Bone.  Our firm’s unofficial motto for years has been “Work Hard. Make Money. Do Good.” When your firm President devotes this much time into a pro bono cause and the New York Times routinely covers the story,  you know it’s a worthy cause.

BMN cyntoia brown tweet

Cyntoia Brown’s fight to freedom and redemption has been amazing. As Charles Bone told the Tennessean: Her journey is “a message of what education can do, what redemption can do and just what perseverance can do.”

I’m proud of Cyntoia, her supporters, of Governor Haslam for making the brave choice, but I also know that there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of other equally worthy causes that celebrities and the national media don’t find. That’s up to the rest of us.

To always look for those in our communities who need help. Do Good.

Like Adam Brassel. Adam Brassel was freed from prison after serving 12 years for a crime that all reasonable evidence suggests that he did not commit. 12 years.

judge angel tweet

In fact, the pretty clear evidence suggests that Adam had absolutely nothing to do with the crime and that, instead, it was committed by a local felon who later died while on the run for other crimes.

alex little brassel

After 12 years in jail for a crime that he had nothing to do with, thankfully, Adam had Alex Little fighting for him. Last week, the long fight paid off, and Adam was released.

Can you imagine the joy and relief that they all felt? Even Grundy County Circuit Court Judge Justin Angel recognized that this was an incredible event.

Just an incredible story and great work by Alex. Alex left Bone McAllester for Burr a few months ago, but this work is so great, we’re proud to have been a part of it.

And, I guess, more Alex Little News.  Our lawyers at Bone got another big victory this week, this time at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal in U.S. v. Banyan, 17-6410, 2019 WL 3540794 (6th Cir. Aug. 5, 2019).  This opinion is noteworthy for a few reasons.

One, it’s a great victory for the Bonelaw team (again, thanks Alex, and, of course, Bonelaw’s Ed Yarbrough).

Two, it shows the Sixth Circuit’s trend in direct, sharp opinion writing, even in the opening line: “In this case the government charged the defendants with the wrong crimes.”

Later: “Had the government charged Banyan and Puckett with mail or wire fraud within the five-year limitations periods for those offenses, the two likely would have lacked any plausible defense. But for whatever reason the government blew that deadline and instead later charged Banyan and Puckett with bank fraud, of which they were both convicted. … The government now offers various theories to work around these deficiencies, but none has merit. We therefore reverse the defendants’ convictions.”

This continues an interesting trend in opinion writing that I’m seeing in the Sixth Circuit, of common sense, straight-forward opinions, written in no non-sense terms. As law nerdy as this sounds, the cases are almost fun to read.

Last note: What Can You be Doing to Help?   I’m glad you asked. I’ve been asked to organize lawyers to serve as Legal Clinic Volunteers at Operation Stand Down Tennessee on September 11, 2019.  Operation Stand Down is a non-profit that focuses on service to veterans and their families. The Clinic will last from 11am to about 1pm, and call or e-mail me if you are interested in going with me.

So far, I have one volunteer, so don’t think you’re not needed.

 

 

 

 

Author: David

I am a creditors rights attorney with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee.

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