Kilpatrick Stockton LLP announces a new signature project in conjunction with BellSouth, Atlanta Legal Aid and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF): The Security Deposit Project. In this program, lawyers will represent low income tenants in seeking the return of deposits unlawfully withheld by landlords.
“Low income tenants, many of whom scrape together a month’s worth of income to pay a security deposit, often have little chance of it being returned when they move,” said Debbie Segal, Kilpatrick Stockton’s Pro Bono Partner. “This is simply because many landlords count on the fact that most tenants cannot afford to hire a lawyer to pursue legal action – we want to change that.”
The Firm held training this month to provide necessary tools to prepare for these types of cases. Over 45 Kilpatrick Stockton and BellSouth attorneys attended the training program.
“As we win these cases, the word will get out to landlords that they will face Kilpatrick Stockton lawyers if they wrongfully withhold security deposits and could be liable for attorney’s fees and treble damages,” said Segal.
Any amount awarded in the form of attorney’s fees in these cases will be donated back to Atlanta Legal Aid and the AVLF.
In 2003, Kilpatrick Stockton provided 24,570 hours of pro bono representation to low income individuals and nonprofit organizations, a value of $5.7 million.
“We are very proud of our numbers, but more importantly, we are proud of the significant impact we have made on many people’s lives. Each time we provide a low income person someone he can call “his lawyer”, we have made a difference – even if we don’t recover what they lost,” said Segal. “And each time we provide necessary representation for a community nonprofit organization, we free up valuable dollars for their service to their constituencies.”