Adams and Reese LLP Baton Rouge Office
The Baton Rouge office of Adams and Reese LLP is actively involved in the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Project. Attorneys volunteer with the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation's free walk-in legal clinics, including Thirst for Justice, Ask-A-Lawyer and the East Baton Rouge Family Court Self Help Resource Center. Attorneys aided the Center by steering the pilot program and after the official launch, providing valuable feedback to the development of policies and scheduling. Attorneys are members of the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Panel and regularly accept pro bono case work. Adams and Reese has 20 attorneys in its Baton Rouge office. They volunteered more than 350 pro bono hours in 2011 with organizations such as the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Appleseed, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Manners of the Heart, several charter schools across Baton Rouge, and other pro bono and charitable organizations within the community.
Adams and Reese LLP New Orleans Office
The New Orleans office of Adams and Reese LLP was honored in 2011 by The New Orleans Pro Bono Project as the "Law Firm of the Year." Adams and Reese has been the leader in helping pro se clients at the Civil District Court Self-Help Desk, a pilot program to provide unrepresented litigants with information so they can better maneuver through the court system. Ranging from family law matters to construction cases, wills and successions and heirship property issues, attorneys provide much needed help to the community's indigent, while helping the court deal with a tidal wave of unrepresented parties. To support the 2011 title clearing collaborative formed by The Project and other nonprofits, Adams and Reese sponsored a CLE to train a volunteer pool to supplement the Project's staff attorney efforts. Adams and Reese is also one of 17 law firms in New Orleans who volunteer to work pro bono cases to relieve pressure on the Orleans Public Defenders Office. The Adams and Reese New Orleans office is working with the United States Department of Justice in the launch of its nationwide pro bono project, Access to Justice for Domestic Violence Victims.
Christine B. Alphonso
Christine B. Alphonso is an associate in the Covington office of Zaunbrecher Treadaway, LLC. Her practice includes personal injury defense, toxic tort claims, premises liability, property and casualty insurance litigation, and family law. Upon graduating from Louisiana State University in 2003, she was awarded an academic scholarship to Loyola University School of Law. She obtained her J.D. from Loyola in 2006.
Alphonso is honored to provide pro bono services to the Northshore community. Throughout 2010-2011, she assisted her clients in a variety of estate planning matters; litigated several divorces through final judgment; and assisted a client in obtaining full custody of her children, in addition to counseling clients in a variety of other legal matters. However, Alphonso's true inspiration comes from the relationships formed with former clients. For example, she recently assisted a former client in finding a job after her divorce. Alphonso is currently working to recruit young attorneys to join the North Shore Pro Bono Project. In fact, as a member of the Young Lawyer's Division of the Greater Covington Bar Association, she recently presented a speech at a monthly meeting to inspire other young attorneys to participate in their respective local pro bono projects.
Alphonso was nominated by Cynthia Bordonaro, Pro Bono Coordinator for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.
Jeffrey K. Coreil
An associate at Laborde and Neuner, Jeffrey K. Coreil concentrates his practice in the fields of admiralty & maritime, toxic tort & environmental litigation, and workers' compensation. He obtained his law and undergraduate degrees from Louisiana State University.
Coreil is a member of several community organizations, including Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) Program, Lafayette Young Lawyers Association and Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers (LVL). Since his admission to the bar in 2009, Coreil has provided over 200 hours of pro bono services through LVL. He has represented numerous clients in family law matters and assisted in obtaining countless protective orders. Coreil has received the LVL Protective Order Panel Award for 2011, the LVL Outstanding Attorney Award for 2010 and 2011, and the Louisiana State Bar Association Pro Bono Century Award in 2010. He was nominated for this award by Tammy DeRouen for his pro bono work through Laborde and Neuner.
Michael A. Duplantier
Michael A. Duplantier has been engaged in a civil practice in the New Orleans area for 42 years. For many years, his concentration has been in the field of succession law. He is a 1970 graduate of the Loyola University School of Law. Early in his career he served as an assistant attorney general with the Louisiana Department of Justice, and later as a special counsel to the New Orleans City Attorney's Office. He has been in private solo practice for a number of years.
Duplantier is a long-time volunteer with the Pro Bono Project, accepting cases in succession, tutorship, interdiction and related fields. In addition to his work with the Pro Bono Project, he has engaged in volunteer service from the early 1970s through the present with the broader non-profit community, serving as a board member, officer and legal counsel for many preservation, civic, environmental, fraternal, charitable, neighborhood and public interest organizations and groups. He has always made pro bono work an integral and important part of his law practice and his civic and professional life.
Scott P. Gaspard
Scott P. Gaspard is a sole practitioner in Baton Rouge. He has a civil litigation practice with an emphasis in the resolution of domestic conflicts. Gaspard is a qualified domestic mediator and a collaborative divorce professional and is primarily concerned with alternative methods of resolving domestic conflict. He is a member of several professional and community organizations and has been a frequent speaker to groups on the topic of alternative dispute resolution in domestic cases. Gaspard was a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Court's formation committee and is a current member of its first board of directors. He is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center where he has taught in the domestic mediation clinic since 2008. He received his undergraduate degree from LSU and his J.D. from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1992.
Recently, Gaspard has provided pro bono services primarily through the Baton Rouge Bar Association's Thirst for Justice and Ask a Lawyer programs. These programs provide the local community with a very valuable resource and allow participating attorneys a chance to give advice where the need for their assistance is the greatest. Gaspard has found great satisfaction in these opportunities where the diversity of his practice and experience has allowed him to help people find direction and resources for addressing their legal conflicts and dilemmas. During the last year he has assisted participants in the programs with issues including consumer protection, property ownership, criminal proceedings, successions, mineral leases, employment disputes, divorce, child custody and support.
Melanie Newkome Jones
Melanie Newkome Jones is a sole practitioner practicing law in Baton Rouge. Jones is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist who has been practicing in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas for 21 years. She has a general civil law practice, but concentrates on cases involving divorce, custody, adoption, and other family related issues. Jones also is a certified in both family and civil mediation. She is a graduate of LSU and LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Jones has been active in the Baton Rouge Bar Association's Pro Bono Project and on its panel since 2003. She has provided over 700 hours of pro bono service since that time. She has also volunteered at Thirst for Justice, held at St.Vincent de Paul, and Ask a Lawyer programs sponsored by the Baton Rouge Bar Association. Jones and her four daughters each "adopt" a child though the BRBA Holiday Star Project, which provides Christmas presents to needy children. They have participated in this project for over 10 years. Jones has also agreed to be appointed by the Court to represent children in custody cases and to perform mediation services free of charge. For her efforts, Jones has received recognition as a Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Century Club member at each level up to and including 700 hours. She also donates untold hours to mentoring new attorneys who handle pro bono family cases.
Jones was nominated by Robin Kay for the pro bono services that she has provided to indigent clients through the Baton Rouge Bar Association's Pro Bono Project.
Byron R. Kantrow, Jr.
Byron R. Kantrow, Jr. is a graduate of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center where he was a member of the Law Review. He is currently employed as General Counsel for GMFS, LLC.
He has been an active volunteer with Thirst for Justice, counseling several times a month. He has done this for several years where he gives pro bono legal advice to those who are unable to afford attorneys. A business owner, Kantrow is also a volunteer with SCORE business counseling on a regular basis.
For over ten years, Kantrow taught a second grade course through Junior Achievement. He is serving or has served on a number of professional and civic boards including: Louisiana Association of Business and Industry; Litigation and Arbitration Committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association; House of Delegates, Louisiana State Bar Association; Grants Committee of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation ; Louisiana Arts & Science Museum Board; Temple B'nai Israel Board; Baton Rouge Jewish Welfare Federation Board; committees of Baton Rouge Rotary; the Baton Rouge Food Bank Board; and the Jewish Children's Regional Service.
Judith R. Kennedy
Judith R. Kennedy is a sole practitioner in the area of family law. In 1970 she received a B.A. in French and English from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL). She is a 1997 graduate of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and clerked a year for the Honorable John M. Duhé at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit following her law school graduation.
A long-time volunteer in Lafayette for non-profit organizations and a member and officer of many of their boards of directors, Kennedy has continued her history of volunteer work in the legal arena. She represents victims of domestic abuse through the protective order panel established by the Lafayette Bar Association, volunteers for pro bono cases received through the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers, and assists in Project HELP. Several of her pro bono cases have extended over a two-year period. She is also former head of the protective order panel. Additionally, she has presented numerous classes on the subject of child support as part of the PALS (Parents and the Law) program sponsored by the Woman's Foundation, on whose board and executive committee she sits.
Kennedy also serves on the Louisiana Bar Foundation Grants Committee. She has been a member of or chaired the Domestic Violence and Pro Bono Project sub-committees since 2008. Tammy DeRouen of the Lafayette Bar Association nominated Kennedy for her pro bono work for the Bar Association and the community.
Matthew M. Livaccari
Matthew M. Livaccari is an associate at the Law Office of William S. Vincent, Jr. in New Orleans. Livaccari primarily practices in the areas of personal injury, workers' compensation, Social Security, and bankruptcy law. He obtained his J.D. from Loyola University College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University.
During 2010-2011, Livaccari took on more than 100 divorce cases while volunteering at The Pro Bono Project. While he was coming in to the office to help, Livaccari did not say "no" to just about anything who asked for his assistance. During this time volunteering, he was able to hone his skills as an attorney while helping the community as well. He is also a recipient of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center Award for Public Service. Livaccari was nominated by Linton Carney for his work with the Pro Bono Project.
Barbara A. Siefken
Barbara A. Siefken is a research attorney who earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law. Siefken provides pro bono legal services to homeless clients at the Harry Tompson Center two days a week and bimonthly to senior citizens at the St. Bernard Council on Aging. Siefken also works as a volunteer research attorney for the Independent Police Monitor preparing reports on NOPD policies and practices. She has dedicated many volunteer hours with Catholic Charities, assisting the staff attorneys at Project SAVE and providing disaster relief services to the Plaquemines parish community in the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill. She also enjoys volunteering with organizations such as WRBH Reading Radio, New Orleans Outreach, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
In recognition of her pro bono work, Siefken received the 2011 Distinguished Service award from The Pro Bono Project and the 2012 Gillis Long Poverty Law Center Public Service Award.
Dwazendra J. Smith
Dwazendra J. Smith is an associate at Davidson, Meaux, Sonnier, McElligott, Fontenot, Gideon & Edwards, LLP in Lafayette. She practices in the areas of civil litigation, premises liability and family law. She obtained her J.D. from Southern University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Smith provides pro bono services through the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers program (LVL) and Lafayette Bar Association's Protective Order Panel. Throughout 2011-2012, she assisted several clients in obtaining 102 and 103 divorces and protective orders.
Smith has always wanted to be an attorney since childhood to help others and make a difference in the world. She volunteers because she feels that regardless of socioeconomic status, everyone should have access to the legal system and access to attorneys who will zealously represent them. She was nominated by Tammy DeRouen for the pro bono work she provides in the Lafayette area.
Sean P. Sullivan
Sean Patrick Sullivan is a Staff Attorney with the Pro Bono Project in New Orleans, where he is primarily responsible for handling BP Oil Spill Claims. He obtained his J.D. from Loyola University College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
In 2011, Sullivan volunteered with the Pro Bono Project, providing legal assistance to lower income individuals. He assisted people in opening and closing successions, handled complicated interdictions, helped individuals secure their divorce, negotiated child custody agreements, and worked with clients and the City Attorney's Office in quieting title of blighted properties.
Currently, Sullivan is now a part-time Staff Attorney with the Pro Bono Project. While he is the attorney responsible for oil spill cases, he continues to work on family law and title issues. Sullivan was nominated by Linton Carney for his extensive and dedicated pro bono work.
Mary E. Winchell
Mary E. Winchell is a partner in The Malone Law Firm in Shreveport, where she has a general civil and criminal practice. She earned her B.S. from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and her J.D. from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Winchell has served on the board of the Shreveport Pro Bono Project since 2003 and has accepted several cases.
Winchell's dedication to her pro bono client in a child custody case carried her from Bossier Parish to New York City, by plane and automobile, and ended with a two-day drive back to Louisiana with her husband, Steve, twin daughters Mary Alice and Martha, and a special two-year old guest. The guest was a child who had been abducted by his father. Winchell located him in a shelter in Manhattan and performed the legal work needed for her client to regain custody. The client could not fly due to health reasons, and time was of the essence, so Winchell took a side trip from a family vacation in her hometown of Canandaigua, New York. Armed with diapers and supplies purchased by her family, Winchell flew to the city, picked up the child, and flew him back to Canandaigua, where he joined the Winchells for the last four days of vacation. Once back in Louisiana, Winchell returned the child to his grateful mother, from whom he had been separated for almost five months.
Winchell's service in this case was extraordinary. She emphasizes that most pro bono cases do not require nearly the same commitment of time or resources to resolve, but the clients are just as appreciative, and the attorney will find the work equally rewarding.
Alan A. Zaunbrecher
Alan A. Zaunbrecher is a founding member of Zaunbrecher Treadaway, a Covington based litigation firm. He received B.A., J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Tulane University.
He has served as a mediator, special umpire, and appraiser in complex litigation matters for over 10 years. He is a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Louisiana. He has been AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for many years.
Zaunbrecher has served as President of the Greater Covington Bar Association, Chairman of the LSED (Louisiana Superdome Commission), President's Council for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington, and on the Executive Board of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
Zaunbrecher is passionate about increasing the availability of pro bono services to the needy.
He actively promotes participation in the Northshore Pro Bono Project by all members of the Covington Bar Association. He encourages members to "think outside the box" and accept pro bono assignments in areas of law different from their customary practice.
Zaunbrecher was nominated by Cynthia Bordonaro, Pro Bono Coordinator for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.
Emily P. Ziober
Emily Phillips Ziober, a solo civil attorney in Baton Rouge, has concentrated on children's, family, state government, and procedural issues both in private practice and previously as a civil staff attorney with the First Circuit Court of Appeal. She was also Assistant Director of Civil Law Studies at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. In St. Mary Parish, she represented the State in child abuse and non-support cases and as a part-time public defender with the Indigent Defender Board. She has a B.A., summa cum laude, from Louisiana State University. and a J.D. from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center where she was a member of the Louisiana Law Review.
Ziober received the Baton Rouge Bar Pro Bono Century Club Award for 100 pro bono hours. She now has in excess of 200 total hours of Pro Bono work, volunteering at Thirst for Justice at St. Vincent de Paul and monthly at Ask-A-Lawyer at Catholic Charities where she is also an advisory member of the Maternity and Adoption Committee. Ziober is a member of the Baton Rouge Pro Bono and Volunteer Committees as well as the Public Law and Family Law Sections. She is a current member of the LSBA Access to Justice Committee and has served as a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates. She has judged for the Baton Rouge Bar High School Mock Trial Competition and Appellate Advocacy competitions at both the LSU and Southern Law Centers. She is a member of the Chancellor's Council of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and a past president of the Baton Rouge Women Attorneys.