Nelson Mullins Pro Bono Guardianship Case Chosen for 2019 Georgia Needs Lawyers Campaign
ATLANTA – January 23, 2019 – Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP is pleased to announce that the State Bar of Georgia has selected the guardianship story of Patricia and Dickey Jones and their son Anthony to be showcased this year in the Bar’s public service awareness campaign, Georgia Needs Lawyers. The campaign features client stories in which lawyers made a positive difference in people’s lives.
Elisa Kodish, a partner in the firm’s Atlanta office and a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, represented Mr. and Mrs. Jones in obtaining permanent legal guardianship over their 21-year old son, Anthony. Anthony has cerebral palsy and is unable to verbalize his thoughts or feelings. He depends on his parents for daily care and requires lifelong supervision. The Jones family adopted Anthony from foster care when he was 8 months old after they formed a special bond with him.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones turned to Nelson Mullins for pro bono assistance after they learned that the law prevented them from making important legal, medical, living, educational, and provision of care decisions for Anthony when he turned 18.
In response to a public need for awareness and legal representation for families going through this process, Nelson Mullins developed the Georgia Adult Guardianship Project in partnership with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society to assist families with young adults having profound disabilities. Said Kodish, “The legal process for filing a petition can be overwhelming without representation. Caretakers seeking guardianship must take the stand and speak publicly about their children’s limitations. This is an emotional and trying time for families, and it is especially helpful to lean on counsel for guidance and support.”
Kodish successfully petitioned the Fulton County Probate Court and requested permanent legal guardianship status for Mr. and Mrs. Jones. During the court proceeding, Judge Koll praised the Jones family for their devotion to one another and asked them to testify not only to Anthony’s limitations, but to his many positive qualities that make him special. Said Ms. Jones, “I’ve always been the person who took care of Anthony. The permanent legal guardianship status allows me to continue being Anthony’s voice and making decisions on his behalf. Having my lawyer help us navigate the process gave us a peace of mind.”
Anthony’s story is one of four stories featured in the 2019 Georgia Needs Lawyers campaign. This initiative began in 2018 and features Georgia residents whose lives have been impacted and fundamentally altered in the most meaningful ways through the hard work of the lawyers who fought for them.
Numerous Nelson Mullins attorneys have successfully represented dozens of families pro bono seeking guardianship status throughout Metro Atlanta.
Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins has more than 750 attorneys and government relations professionals with offices in 11 states and Washington, DC. Nelson Mullins and Broad and Cassel LLP combined effective August 1, 2018 and does business in Florida as Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel. For more information on the firm, go to www.nelsonmullins.com.