The Montgomery County Bar Association established the Thomas J. Methvin Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award in 2009. The Award was named in honor of Beasley Allen Principal & Managing Attorney Tom Methvin for his dedication to providing pro bono legal services to the less fortunate in our community and for his leadership and advocacy in this area. The firm continues its dedication to providing legal services to those who cannot afford it. Principal James Lampkin and Associate Matt Munson recently concluded cases referred by the Montgomery Volunteer Lawyer Program. The following are a brief summary of those cases:
James Lampkin represented an individual in a dispute over repairs to her vehicle against an automobile repair shop located in Montgomery. His client paid for a transmission rebuild and picked up her car. The car stopped running less than three miles from repair shop. The repair shop owner then recommended several other repairs but those repairs did not return the car to operating condition. James met with the client and repair shop owner to attempt to settle the dispute. When a satisfactory solution could not be agreed on, we filed suit as the repair shop refused to allow client to have car picked up for repairs elsewhere. District Court Judge Jimmy Pool rendered a verdict of $7,500 in favor of the car owner. The repair shop appealed to circuit court and demanded a jury trial. The parties conducted a court ordered mediation and were able to resolve the case with return of the car, a monetary payment exceeding the amount paid for the attempted repairs and reimbursement of the filing fee advanced by our firm. The client was very happy with the settlement and was thankful for the help from the volunteer lawyer program. She is also cooking James a pot of turnip greens.
Matt Munson successfully defended an elderly woman whose neighbor accused her of causing damage to a convertible BMW. The owner of the BMW complained to our client about cats causing the damage. Our client responded that she did not own the cats. Our client contacted the local Animal Control but was told that they could not pick up stray cats. The owner of the BMW then filed suit claiming damages to pay for new paint job. The owner of the BMW initially refused to allow us to inspect the car, but produced it after the judge ordered her to do so. Upon inspection, it was clear that the only damage to the vehicle was caused by normal wear-and-tear and/or poor upkeep. The case tried to a bench verdict in favor of our client who was very concerned as she had no money to pay to paint a BMW. A strange set of facts, but one that was a serious matter for our client.
Lawyers at Beasley Allen are encouraged to participate in the Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers program. All lawyers should look at providing pro bono legal services through their State or local programs as a real service. It’s an important part of being a lawyer.
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