Pro Bono Work
Complementing the firm’s involvement in our community, HBC lawyers are committed to carrying on a longstanding tradition of providing gratis legal services to those who otherwise could not afford first-rate representation. HBC attorneys regularly pursue pro bono opportunities from various organizations including:
- American Bar Association
- Boulder County AIDS Project
- Boulder County Bar Association
- Boulder County Bar Foundation
- Boulder County Legal Services
- Colorado Bar Association
- Colorado Lawyers Committee
- International Advisory Board of the CEELI Institute, Prague
- International Bar Association
- International Legal Assistance Consortium
- Legal Aid Foundation
- Middle East and North Africa Council of the American Bar Association
- Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence
Pro Bono Services
We are very gratified when our pro bono work makes a significant difference to those involved. Some examples are:
- Employment/Wages. A particularly rewarding pro bono case for the firm involved workers in a Lyons quarry. In a highly publicized case, the firm represented a number of legal Mexican workers who had been denied pay and kept in substandard living conditions in a rock quarry near Lyons. As non-citizens, the workers were not eligible for direct legal services representation. At the request of the Mexican Consulate and social service agencies here in Colorado, the firm brought claims on behalf of the workers against their employer and a labor agency to recover their lost wages and facilitate their return to their homes in Mexico. In a confidential settlement, the firm resolved these claims for the workers, bringing justice to an egregious situation that shocked our community.
- Special Prosecutor. HBC attorneys represented a gang rape victim in a nine year old cold case the district attorney refused to prosecute, and won a landmark 91 page ruling compelling prosecution and the appointment of a special prosecutor. The case marked the first time in Colorado history that a judge has ordered an unwilling district attorney to file charges under the statute providing that prosecution can be compelled if the refusal to charge was arbitrary or capricious and without reasonable excuse. The ruling attracted national attention in legal journals and stories in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, and on National Public Radio and Good Morning America.
- Immigration. The firm assisted an eight-year-old girl in obtaining her U.S. citizenship. The child had been brought to the U.S. when she was a baby and subsequently adopted by her grandparents in a kinship adoption. Although her grandmother was a U.S. citizen, the child did not have any legal immigration status. The firm prepared the necessary documents and a detailed supporting record for the child’s interview at the U.S. consulate in Juarez, Mexico. Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, as soon as the child returned to the U.S. after her interview she automatically became a U.S. citizen and now proudly carries her U.S. passport.
HBC lawyers are also proud to serve as directors and trustees on the governing boards of organizations which support, coordinate and organize the provision of pro bono services by the Colorado legal community.
Chris Ford was appointed in August 2007 as a trustee to serve on the Board of Trustees for The Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado and has been named a Co-Chair of the Boulder County Campaign. The Colorado Legal Aid Foundation works to increase and diversify funding to support civil legal services for Colorado's poor and disadvantaged people. By raising private funds for legal services, the Foundation works to ensure that Colorado's low-income population receives the civil legal assistance they need.
Bill Meyer was elected to the Board of Directors of the Boulder County Bar Foundation in March 2006. Established in 1983, the Foundation supports a variety of organizations and projects in Boulder County, including Voices for Children, Center for Persons with Disabilities, and Boulder County Legal Services.
Occasionally an opportunity arises to develop programs drawing on the talent of a number of attorneys from the community and which will continue to serve individuals for years to come.
In the summer of 2003, Connie Eyster created, organized and began administering a monthly clinic for individuals navigating the probate process without legal representation. The Pro Se Probate Assistance Program, which continues to occur on the second Thursday of every month from 8-10am at the Boulder County Courthouse, gives pro se applicants an opportunity to obtain legal assistance from volunteer attorneys with probate matters such as completing the forms necessary to open a new probate case upon the death of an individual and completing reports required of guardians and conservators on an annual basis. More information about the Pro Se Probate Assistance Program can be obtained by contacting the Boulder County Probate Registrar at 303-441-4740.