Pro Bono Work Makes JB Law a Better Personal Injury Law Firm
JB Law Managing Partner Jonathan S. Burns believes lawyers have an obligation to give back to the community by providing pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford it. This work benefits Mr. Burns just as much as it does the clients. The work is extremely rewarding and provides perspective for the firm as we pursue claims on behalf of our personal injury clients.
“I went to law school because I wanted to help people,” Mr. Burns said. “My extensive work for our most vulnerable citizens here in Palm Beach County has made me a better lawyer and person.”
Not Much of a Sacrifice to Help an Injured U.S. Navy Seal
Our pro bono work sometimes allows us to represent individuals who sacrifice their own health and future to protect ours. It is our honor and responsibility to help Mr. James Smith (pseudonym), a decorated and retired Navy Seal, who fought for our country overseas in several tours of duty. Mr. Smith suffered significant injuries to his ankle and shoulder during a mission to rescue hostages in the Middle East. Like so many veterans, he struggled with the bureaucratic process when filing paperwork to seek proper compensation for his injuries. Despite Mr. Smith graciously offering to pay a fee for JB Law’s services on a contingency basis, we handled his case pro bono. This was a small gesture when compared to his dedicated service to our country and his limited financial means.
Honored by The Palm Beach County Bar Association
Recently, Mr. Burns was one of only 15 local lawyers honored by the Palm Beach County Bar Association and Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County for his extensive pro bono work. Mr. Burns has dedicated countless hours providing pro bono representation through Legal Aid to victims of domestic violence when they seek injunctions against their abusers.
Experience Is The Best Teacher
The pro bono work also benefits the firm’s personal injury clients by providing Mr. Burns with another way to problem solve in the legal arena. Not all personal injury cases are the same and the varying legal strategies required in these pro bono cases have allowed Mr. Burns to take interesting and different approaches in his personal injury litigation and trial practice. However, that is not the reason Mr. Burns takes on so many Pro Bono cases.
“The most important reason to do pro bono work is to provide benefit to the community that might otherwise not be available.” Mr. Burns insisted. “As an attorney, I have legal and other skills that are in short supply and are in great need. The cost of skilled legal services is very high and beyond the reach of many.”
In fact, providing pro bono services is strongly encouraged by the American Bar Association. The American Bar Association Model Rule 6.1 states, “[a] lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.” While this is not a requirement for attorneys and the vast majority do not provide this amount of pro bono service annually, Mr. Burns believes 50 hours is a workable number for all attorneys.
“I understand that attorneys have to make a living and have many other obligations including family that are of course the most important thing in all of our lives. At JB Law, we believe that if you have the time it is well-served by helping those who cannot help themselves.”
Well-Rounded Personal Injury Firm
At JB Law, we are well versed in areas of the law that go beyond personal injury cases. This exposure enables the firm to provide clients with a more enriched level of experience. From time to time, the firm takes on pro bono clients who were injured in a different way. In this case, Barbara Smith (pseudonym), an Israeli-American residing in Broward County, was wrongly charged with shoplifting at a Miami Wal-Mart. The actual culprit, when arrested at the Wal-Mart, provided fake or stolen identification that belonged to Ms. Smith. In lieu of being taken into custody, however, the culprit was issued a Notice To Appear in court for the arraignment. When he or she failed to appear in court as required, the judge issued a bench warrant in the name of Ms. Smith, who was never aware of any of these proceedings. As one can imagine, Ms. Smith, who also happens to be a brand-new mother, was shocked and her life was turned upside-down when she learned that she would be arrested because a third person committed a crime and then used her identity to avoid responsibility and further apprehension. Mr. Burns spent considerable time working with the State Attorney’s Office and counseling Ms. Smith on how to handle the process of clearing her name. He also assisted Ms. Smith with completing the countless forms that she was required to fill out in order for the Court to quash the bench warrant. While the matter is ongoing, Mr. Burns is optimistic that a satisfactory result will be reached for Ms. Smith.
Responsive and Accessible
At JB Law, we treat each case with a sense of community. Unlike the large firms where you can get lost in the shuffle and become a number in a file cabinet, we give each client the individual attention they deserve. We’re responsive and accessible. Clients have Mr. Burn’s personal cell phone, not a “work” phone. His clients always know what is going on with their case. If you ever have any questions about your legal rights, please reach out to him 305-803-1865 or the office line 561-717-9551.