JANUARY 21, 2021 – The law firm of Icard Merrill has renewed its long-standing pro bono program for the 13th year, continuing the firm’s legacy of service by providing vital legal services to those in need.
Icard Merrill has worked for many years with The Florida Bar, Legal Aid of Manasota, the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program, and key community partners on hundreds of pro bono cases in numerous areas of law, including estate planning, probate, family law, guardianship, property issues, and more.
Despite a pandemic and virtual challenges, the firm continued to serve clients and engage in the program throughout 2020 with over 550 hours of pro bono work completed by attorneys and staff. Ten of the firm’s attorneys were recently honored for “exceptional pro bono service,” contributing over 20 hours each of pro bono work in 2019. The Supreme Court of Florida presented a pin and letter of commendation to Drew Clayton, Tom Icard, Bob Lyons, Tony Manganiello, Bianca Manos, Lindsey Meshberger, Nicole Price, Stephen Rees, Jordan Riccardi, and John Waskom. Paralegals and other staff members also devoted considerable hours to the cases.
Program Coordinator Attorney Nicole Price was recognized for donating an astounding 100+ hours of pro bono work. She stated, “We are all committed to the success of this program and it’s not only part of our culture, but an integral part of our firm’s values, giving back and fulfilling community needs and expectations.”
In addition, some of the firm’s attorneys also volunteer as mentors to local youth through Faces of Accomplishment, Inc., and Booker High School Law Academy.
Icard Merrill’s pro bono program was created in 2008 when Chief Judge Lee E. Haworth approved Icard Merrill’s “Firm Commitment to the Community,” a voluntary firm plan for services. As part of the plan, members are committed to participate in pro bono activities to the fullest extent possible and to exercise leadership to address the legal needs of the working poor in our community and assist in building a local pro bono culture.
Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc.
Legal Aid of Manasota provides free civil legal services to low-income residents of the community who qualify for services by partnering with local lawyers. This group of volunteer and staff lawyers helps stabilize homes, health and families, making our community stronger socially and economically. Legal Aid of Manasota is committed to providing access to justice by making sure the justice system serves the poor and not just those who can afford a lawyer. Founded in 1990, they have three offices located in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice. Learn more at legalaidofmanasota.org.
Florida Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program
The Florida Bar Foundation’s pro bono program develops pro bono partnerships with bar associations, law firms, courts, law schools and legal aid organizations to increase and maintain the number of lawyers who take pro bono cases; increase the number of individuals, both low-income and special populations, that receive free legal assistance; and assist pro bono providers to be more effective and efficient through innovation and technology. The Florida Bar Foundation strives to provide greater access to justice in Florida by expanding and improving representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters; improving the fair and effective administration of justice; and promoting public service among lawyers by making it an integral component of the law school experience. More information can be found at FloridaProBono.org.