Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano partner David Stern was recently recognized for his pro bono work with Philadelphia VIP (Volunteers for the Indigent). He was placed on the Pro Bono Honor Roll of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and was invited to a special awards ceremony at Philadelphia’s City Hall on October 27. Dave has been placed on this Honor Roll multiple times in the last decade.
Through Philadelphia VIP, Dave provides free legal services to low-income city residents and families facing civil legal problems. Earlier this year, Dave helped a client with a forfeiture matter when the client’s home was about to be seized because of alleged drug activity.
“My client was completely unaware that a family member was taking advantage of her and engaging in illegal behavior,” Dave said of his innocent client. He helped bring the matter to a favorable resolution and she retained her family home. “I have the distinct honor practicing workers’ compensation law that is handled on a contingent fee. This fee arrangement levels the playing field. It enables my clients to take on insurance carriers with deep pockets and incur whatever cost of litigation is necessary to prevail on the claim. However, I recognize that certain legal matters are not akin to a contingent fee arrangement and those Philadelphians who cannot afford a lawyer do not have access to civil justice. It is gratifying to occasionally help these individuals with legal representation, free of charge.”
Additionally, with the assistance of Associate Kaitlin Files, Dave also recently helped two clients create a legal will that will protect their assets. Presently, Dave continues to work on a case where a client used a different law firm for a workers’ compensation matter and lost. During the trial, he incurred medical expenses and now one of the providers has sued him for the unpaid bill. The client’s workers’ compensation lawyer refused to get involved, so the client turned to VIP. They placed him with Dave and he is very close to successfully resolving the bill dispute.
Dave’s commitment to pro bono work epitomizes the Firm’s dedication to giving back to the community.