Volunteer Attorney Helps Mother of Sailor in Tragic Accident
A Navy servicemember was in a serious vehicle accident, which caused major brain and spinal injuries. It was expected that he would be in a long-term incapacitated state. His mother needed to be appointed as his guardian so she could handle his affairs, including his property and medical decisions. She visited a military legal assistance office for guidance, which referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program connected the servicemember’s mother with an attorney who offered pro bono help.
The volunteer attorney prepared all necessary documents to petition the court for the mother’s appointment as her son’s guardian. However, miraculously, the servicemember regained consciousness and recovered to the extent that he could give informed consent to provide his mother with a power of attorney and execute related forms, including a living will and healthcare surrogate documents. With this, the mother obtained legal authority to make personal, financial, and medical decisions on behalf of her son, so she can ensure that he receives proper care.
With this authority, the mother could also help with her son’s procedures for a medical discharge from the Navy and obtaining VA benefits. The volunteer attorney went above and beyond to provide continued pro bono assistance for these procedures. The servicemember was ultimately medically discharged and received the expected benefits from the Navy and VA.
Read additional case stories on our blog to see how our volunteer attorneys are helping military families.
Case Referrals & Attorney Guidance
Military Pro Bono Project: Referring Cases
The Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military legal assistance offices anywhere in the world on behalf of junior enlisted servicemembers facing civil legal issues, and it works to place these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed in the U.S.
How can you submit a case to the Military Pro Bono Project? After registering on the Project’s website, you can submit case referral forms on behalf of your junior-enlisted servicemember clients under the “For Military Attorneys” tab.
Operation Stand-By: Guidance from Civilian Attorneys
The Military Pro Bono Project also includes Operation Stand-By, through which you may contact civilian attorneys with legal questions relating to their geographic areas and substantive areas of expertise.
Please follow the guidelines. The Operation Stand-By lists are accessible and may only be used by military attorneys who are registered with the Military Pro Bono Project. Please read the Operation Stand-By guidelines.