Personal Injury Attorney Marc Howard Volunteers with the Saturday Lawyer Program
Learn about his pro bono efforts with the Stable Homes Project in Atlanta
Trial attorney Marc Howard, co-founder of personal injury law firm Pope & Howard P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia, is just one of the many attorneys working pro bono for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF).
Howard is involved with the Saturday Lawyer Program, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to helping low-income Atlanta families with legal problems and issues. The program allows attorneys to do meaningful pro bono work that make an impactful change in other people’s lives without disrupting their Monday to Friday schedule at their own offices and legal practices. Howard’s work is with one aspect of the Saturday Lawyer Program: The Stable Homes Project.
Stable Homes Make for Stable Communities
The Stable Homes Project helps tenants resolve disputes with their landlords. These disputes can be due to a variety of reasons; for example, claims of mold in a home that a landlord will not pay to remove, leaky pipes that the landlord won’t fix, bed bugs found in a rented home, etc.
If the landlord refuses to fix these issues or is negligent toward the home’s environment, the tenants may have a case; however, as most families don’t have funds to hire an attorney, the landlord will do nothing to improve their living conditions, and families suffer as a result.
The Stable Homes Project with the Saturday Lawyer Program allows these families to come into the weekend clinic to discuss their situation with skilled attorneys. These lawyers will review clients’ statements, interview the individuals involved, and determine if they have a case.
If they do have a case, they are assigned a volunteer attorney like Howard to represent them – at no cost.
In addition to legal assistance, the Stable Homes Project provides stability for the families involved. They can stay in their communities, divert the money that they would have potentially spent on attorneys toward rent, and more. Keeping families in their communities and children in their schools helps ease emotional stress, allowing them to focus on other, more important matters.
Volunteer Case Spotlight:
Howard began taking part in the Saturday Lawyer Program at AVLF early in his career, when he realized how much he enjoyed using his professional expertise to help others in need. Although he’s paused his efforts over the years – usually to focus on his home life with his wife and children – he has never let his determination in helping others stray.
Recently, he helped an Atlanta couple and their two-year-old grandson living in a rented apartment with a bed bug infestation, a pre-existing issue for the apartment. The landlord refused to admit the infestation was rampant even before the family moved in, instead blaming the tenants as the cause. Instead of trying to resolve the issue, the landlord attempted to evict the family of three, creating a whole slew of other issues.
Although the couple paid for an extermination to try to eliminate the bed bugs, it didn’t work, and both the bed bugs – and the friction with their landlord – remained.
“This situation can be intimidating, especially for a person of low income means, and it can have a devastating effect on your life,” Howard explained. “Free legal counsel levels the playing field for those in need.”
Howard took on the case, helping legally extend the lease for the family long enough for them to find a new place to live. He also forced the landlord to pay the tenants for the bed bug extermination costs. The extended lease, combined with the extermination compensation, helped the family find a new home without causing too much upheaval in their lives.
The Lawyers at Pope & Howard Put Clients First
One thing that really sets Howard apart from other lawyers in the Atlanta community is the fact that he truly cares about his clients. Whether he is working pro bono or on a case for his practice, Howard is always focused on helping victims in personal injury or other cases pick up the pieces of their lives and move on.
If you are interested in speaking with Howard about your case, please call the Pope & Howard office at (404) 885-9999.