August 3, 2007
Chester Willcox & Saxbe takes initiative on Pro Bono
During the month of June, a team of dedicated attorneys from Chester Willcox & Saxbe volunteered their time and legal talent to assist victims of domestic violence. Pro bono attorneys from the firm spent each morning negotiating civil protection orders on behalf of domestic violence victims.
The Second Hearing Negotiation Project runs every day at domestic court. A Legal Aid attorney and paralegal are assigned to domestic court every morning to serve as a negotiator on behalf of petitioners who have already filed and received an ex parte Civil Protection Order. At this second hearing, generally set for seven to ten days after the ex parte order was granted, both the petitioner and respondent appear in court. By intervening on behalf of the petitioner, attorneys are often able to reach an agreement and have the respondent sign a consent order.
The project provides service not only directly to victims of domestic violence, but also assists the Franklin County Common Pleas, Domestic Division, to handle these cases, the majority of which have unrepresented parties. The court has been receptive to this project as it provides advocacy to victims who would otherwise go without these crucial services.
Judge Christopher J. Geer says of the project, “the Chester Willcox & Saxbe law firm’s pro bono work is setting a standard for large and medium sized firms to help those less fortunate to have meaningful access to our courts.”
Firm attorneys (pictured above) under the leadership of Rod Willcox staffed the Second Hearing Negotiation Project. They were able to observe, assist, and handle negotiations, providing them with a hands-on opportunity to use their legal talent to assist those in need.
Support for pro bono work and providing services for those in need are an important part of firm’s commitment to its community. Of his associates involvement in pro bono work, Partner Rod Willcox says, “Chester Willcox & Saxbe is proud of its and the Columbus Bar and Legal Aid’s commitment to provide pro bono legal work to benefit Central Ohio. We urge all law firms to participate.”
In addition to being the first firm to assist at the Second Hearing Negotiation Project, Chester Willcox also piloted the Pro Bono Tenants’ Advocacy Project and has been recognized by the Columbus Bar for leadership in the field of pro bono.
For more information about the Second Hearing Negotiation Project or other pro bono opportunities at The Legal Aid Society of Columbus, please contact Jill Wojtyna at 614-224-8374, x135, email@example.com.