published Friday, October 12th, 2012

Four Chattanooga area attorneys honored for free work

Legal Aid of East Tennessee continued to recognize local attorneys for work with the poor in their second annual Pro Bono Attorneys Hall of Fame induction.

On Thursday, four local attorneys — Dick Crotteau, Sam Elliott, Joe Simpson and Glenn Stophel — were inducted into the local hall of fame for their free legal work on behalf of indigent applicants in civil court cases.

"It is a great honor to have my small contribution to [Legal Aid's] outstanding record recognized in this manner," Elliott said.

He and the other inductees reciprocated their thanks to the organization for its mission to provide access to justice for the poor.

"Legal Aid is an essential organization in our community to help reach the goal of providing equal justice for under served communities, and I'm proud to support it any way I can," Stophel said.

The group began its hall of fame last year by inducting eight local attorneys for their ongoing work.

The inductees must meet one of three conditions -- long-standing commitment to pro bono representation, effective advocacy for equal access to justice and consistent support of legal aid, said Charlie McDaniel, the pro bono project director.

The East Tennessee branch of legal aid has been around for 40 years and serves 26 counties, including cities from Chattanooga to Johnson City through four offices in the region.

By recognizing the free legal work these and other lawyers take on, McDaniel said he hopes to influence others to do the same.

"Not only do these lawyers accomplish a tremendous amount of good, they serve as an inspiration and as role models to younger attorneys who see that, at least in Chattanooga, the very best lawyers in the city do pro bono," McDaniel said.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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