Connecticut Legal Services honored Robinson & Cole at its annual meeting on October 29, 2013, for the firm’s Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program.
The recognition was presented on behalf of the board, staff, and clients of Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. to Robinson & Cole for its “innovative and successful efforts to create the Pro Bono Restraining Order Project benefitting victims of domestic violence who seek relief from the Middletown Court.”
The efforts of 11 Robinson & Cole lawyers, who have provided over 550 hours of pro bono service through the DVRO Program, have made the following legal representation possible: 50 engagements initiated, 17 ex parte applications and affidavits completed, and 33 evidentiary hearings held.
The DVRO Program was established last year when the firm reached out to the Connecticut Superior Court, Connecticut Legal Services, and New Horizons Domestic Violence Services to find ways to aid victims of domestic violence in the Middletown family court. Connecticut Legal Services, a private, nonprofit civil law firm serving 122 towns, is dedicated to helping low-income families and individuals obtain justice.
New Horizons provides crisis intervention, advocacy, peer counseling, support groups, children’s programs, shelter, food, and clothing to victims of domestic violence. Now, victims of domestic violence who otherwise would not be represented not only receive attorney advice but also obtain help in navigating the court system.
“The process and paperwork involved with obtaining a domestic violence restraining order is exhaustive, and can be quite overwhelming for the victims that come to court fleeing an abusive situation,” said Michele S. Waldner, program director at New Horizons Domestic Violence Services. “The time that Robinson & Cole’s lawyers give to assisting those victims makes an incredible difference for their well-being.”
The Hartford lawyers providing pro bono representation to victims of domestic violence are Benjamin B. Adams, Amanda B. Barry, Patrick M. Birney, J. Tyler Butts, Kathleen E. Dion, Nuala E. Droney, Amanda E. Gordon, Edward J. Heath, Kristopher I. Moore, Andrea Donovan Napp, and Jonathan H. Schaefer.
The work of the DVRO Program continues to grow, with lawyers now providing pro bono representation for Interval House in Hartford as well.