Pro Bono Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Epstein

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Pro Bono Project: Lawyer on the Line

By Rachel Royal
Steve Epstein considers it not only his duty as a lawyer, but his privilege, to provide pro bono service. “If not for me, who will do this work?” he questions. Since April 2010, Steve has spent his days as a Civil Litigation attorney at Poyner Spruill, LLP with a focus in Family Law. By contrast, his pro bono work is where he steps out of his everyday comfort zone to delve into landlord tenant issues and customer disputes with car dealerships. He does this through Lawyer on the Line, a partnership between the NC Bar Foundation and Legal Aid of North Carolina. Steve has been volunteering for Lawyer on the Line since its inception as the formerly known “Call 4All.” He handles approximately half a dozen calls per year, but he often assists the client well beyond the initial call, which has included writing demand letters, problem resolution, and even filing suit on the client’s behalf.

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Pro Bono Spotlight: Kevin Pratt

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Pro Bono Project: Lawyer on the Line

By Allison Standard Constance
NCBA member Kevin Pratt understands that pro bono work is an opportunity to demystify the legal process for clients and pave a way to communication that can resolve clients’ issues.  Pratt works on consumer cases with Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Lawyer on the Line program, and he also volunteers on landlord-tenant cases with Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte.  In his pro bono work, he finds that information gaps exist between clients and their corporate adversaries, and with representation, the free flow of information allows the parties to better understand the dispute and resolve it amicably.

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Glory Days

Before They Became Great Lawyers, These Three NCBA Members
Were Part Of The “Greatest High School Football Story Ever Told”

 

In their younger days, Chip Gibbons (with ball), Steve Coggins (60) and Bill Farris were part of “the greatest high school football story ever told.”

By Russell Rawlings

In a previous life, it was my good fortune to write a book about my childhood heroes, the Fike High School Cyclones of Wilson, state 4-A football champions of 1967, 1968 and 1969.

Little did I know, while working on “Cyclone Country: The Time, The Town, The Team,” that three of those players – Bill Farris, Steve Coggins and Chip Gibbons – would take on larger meaning in my career as members of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Their names are familiar to many within the legal profession.

Farris practiced with Farris & Farris (now Farris & Thomas) in Wilson for 23 years before becoming a District Court judge.

Coggins spent 25 years practicing in Raleigh, including the last 13 of those years as a partner with Parker Poe. He has been a partner with Rountree Losee in Wilmington since 2002.

Gibbons practiced in Wilson for one year with his father before joining Poyner Spruill in Raleigh, where he is a partner and highly regarded tax attorney.

In their previous lives of some 50 years ago, they were part of “the greatest high school football story ever told.” Individually their names will not likely be found in the record books, roles reserved for their head coach, Henry Trevathan, and their superstar running back, Carlester Crumpler, both of whom are members of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

But collectively, in their youth as in their adult lives, all three have embodied what is meant when it is said that the sum is greater than its parts.

 

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