Mr. E's Story

Monday, February 4, 2019

Arbitration Veterans Defend Air Force Veteran

Claire Whitehead, Associate, Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP

A six-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. E was sued for more than $27,000 after being involved in a four-way car accident. Although he works full time and receives veteran’s benefits, he is the sole support of two young children and could not afford to hire an attorney to defend him.

Luckily, Mr. E contacted IL-AFLAN’s hotline and, after a screening, was referred to CVLS’ Veteran’s Pro Bono Program where Claire Whitehead, a new associate at Swanson Martin & Bell, agreed to represent him, supervised by Swanson partner and long-time volunteer Anthony Monaco.

Anthony Monaco, Partner, Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP

The arbitration did not go well--the plaintiff was awarded $10,000. Claire and Tony rejected the award and negotiated hard to resolve the case fairly for their client. Eventually, the insurance company settled the case for a mere $1,500—an amount Mr. E can afford.

In response to our thanks to Tony and Claire, the firm’s managing partner, Tim Nickels, told Claire that she had just done the most rewarding thing she will ever do as a lawyer—help someone out with a problem who otherwise would not have access to legal assistance.

Tim Nickels, Managing Partner, Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP