Feldman Shepherd is committed to providing legal support to the community and both lawyers and staff members give to philanthropic endeavors across the region. Virtually all of the Feldman Shepherd lawyers provide pro bono legal services to those who are unable to afford to hire an attorney. The firm is also a proud supporter of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s “Raising the Bar” campaign, which helps fund more than 30 public interest law organizations that serve Philadelphia’s neediest citizens. “Raising the Bar” was started by co-founding partner Alan Feldman during his year as chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2006. Feldman Shepherd donates more than $1,000 per year per attorney to legal services such as Philadelphia VIP, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, SeniorLaw Center, Support Center for Child Advocates, Homeless Advocacy Project, Legal Clinic for the Disabled and others.
Below is a glimpse of some of the amazing works of our attorneys and staff.
Co-managing partner Mark W. Tanner was presented with the Eddie Ohlbaum Distinguished Advocate for Children Award at the Support Center for Child Advocates’ Annual Benefit Reception & Auction in April 2016. The award is presented to Mark for his extraordinary volunteer work, including his recent representation of two little girls who had been neglected by their parents, who Mark helped place with a loving family.
In April 2016 Feldman Shepherd attorneys and staff participated in the 36th annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk benefiting the Support Center for Child Advocates. Attorneys Alan Feldman, Carolyn Chopko, and Edwards Goldis joined staff Ashley Aumiller and Elizabeth Mattina in completing the race which supports the advocacy and pro bono effots of the Center.
On March 15th, 2016 Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP received the 2016 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award at the organization’s annual banquet in Harrisburg, PA. The award, given for the Firm’s cy pres support of legal services to the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board and its grantees, was presented by the Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, Thomas G. Saylor, to co-founding partner Alan M. Feldman.
Attorney Jason A. Daria was recently elected and serves as President of The Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD), which provides free legal services to low-income individuals with physical disabilities and to the deaf and hard of hearing in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
Attorney Thomas Martin accepted a referral from Philadelphia VIP, the Philadelphia Bar Association pro bono organization, to represent Alberto Sanchez who had been sued by Nationwide Insurance Company for property damage to a Nationwide Insured vehicle. Mr. Sanchez was adamant that the accident did not occur as alleged by Nationwide and was in fact the fault of the other driver. The Nationwide insured appeared at the Municipal Court trial and testified in support of the Nationwide claim. His story did not stand up to cross examination, however. After Mr. Sanchez testified to his version, the Judge found Mr. Sanchez to be credible and entered a verdict against Nationwide.
Attorney Mark W. Tanner represented two young girls who had been neglected by their birth parents, and successfully shepherded them through the legal system until they were successfully adopted into a wonderful family with three other children who are now their sisters and brother. The path to this adoption required two trials, two appeals to the Superior Court, and an attempted appeal to the Supreme Court. Tanner’s clients prevailed at every level, and the 5 year trek ultimately resulted in a wonderful and loving home for two of his youngest clients. Cases like these go on every day in Philadelphia. To learn how you can help, please visith ttp://www.advokid.org/
On April 9th, 2016 founding partner and Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) Board President Carol Nelson Shepherd celebrated HAP’s 25th Anniversary at their Annual Benefit. The event, held at the Sofitel, Philadelphia, was attended by more than 350 HAP supporters and raised over $350,000 from sponsorships, individual donations, and silent auction contributions. All proceeds directly benefit HAP’s legal service programs which aim to address the unmet legal needs of Philadelphia’s homeless and shelter populations. HAP volunteers have helped more than 39,000 homeless people and have provided more than $57 million worth of free legal services to their clients.
Founding Partner Carol Shepherd has been elected the president of the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP), her tenure will begin January 1st, 2015. HAP, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, was established by a group of concerned citizens and activists to address the unmet legal needs of Philadelphia’s homeless and shelter populations. HAP collaborates with shelter providers, homeless advocates, community service providers and legal community members to provide homeless clients and shelter residents with legal representation and connect them with other available social services and benefits. HAP’s 350 volunteers have helped more than 35,300 homeless people and, to date, have provided more than $50 million worth of free legal services to their clients.
As a volunteer for Philadelphia VIP, attorney Peter M. Newman was privileged to represent a married couple from West Philadelphia who sought to save their home from foreclosure after missing mortgage payments while the husband was temporarily out of work. Assisted by a talented housing counselor from the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, Newman guided the clients through the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas’ Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. After more than 10 months of court conferences facilitated by the Honorable Annette M. Rizzo, Newman succeeded in negotiating a HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) loan modification for the clients. Despite the fact that the clients’ loan was more than $50,000 in arrears after years in foreclosure, Newman leveraged new HUD guidelines to compel the bank to accept his modification proposal. Now fully employed and making payments on their new loan, the clients are thrilled to be keeping the home in which they are raising their family.
Each year during the holiday season, the staff of Feldman Shepherd donates time, funds and/or needed items to a local charitable organization in honor of the firm’s partners and their efforts to build better lives for others.
In 2015, through Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the staff sponsored the family of a nonverbal child with cerebral palsy who required food and household items. The firm also provided a mechanical wheelchair to the family so that their child could become mobile.
In 2014, the Feldman Shepherd staff donated over $900 in gift cards as well as many gift items to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, one of the oldest full-service hospitals in the United States totally dedicated to the care and treatement of children.
In 2013, the staff donated to Philadelphia Philabundance which provides food to approximately 90,000 peopler per week through their network of nearly 350 member agencies including food cupboards, shelters, emergency kitchens and more.
In previous years, the staff has donated funds to Shriners Hospitals for Children which provides care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs; Youth Consultation Services Foundation in New Jersey, which partners with at-risk and special needs children, youth and young adults to build happier, healthier, more hopeful lives within families and communities; the Covenant House, the largest private child welfare agency in the Delaware Valley, and the largest provider of services to homeless and runaway youth in Philadelphia: the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House in recognition of which two bricks reflecting the firm name were placed in the Ronald McDonald House courtyard; and the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia’s “Adopt-a-Family” program, which helps nearly 200 Philadelphia-area families in need each year. Through “Adopt-a-Family,” staff members donated thousands of dollars in goods and gifts, including numerous gift cards, a host of household items, clothing, toys and much more.
In 2012 Feldman Shepherd donated $25,000 in funding to Community Legal Services (CLS), an organization that helps low-income Philadelphia residents obtain equal access to justice, and its capital campaign — Stand Up For Justice. The campaign will fund the building of CLS’ new 18,479-square-foot, North Philadelphia Law Center designed to house 16 attorneys and 22 paralegals, staff and interns – with room to grow.