The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a United States citizen as a suspected undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Even with evidence of his United States citizenship, ICE officials started removal proceedings after coercing him into signing a statement admitting he was in the United States illegally. He was eventually deported to Mexico, spending 125 days away before being allowed to return to the United States. A team of lawyers from Troutman Sanders represented this North Carolina native with mental disabilities in his lawsuit against the United States government, the North Carolina Department of Corrections, and various immigration officials.
Troutman lawyers are currently handling two separate court-appointed matters on behalf of inmates requesting relief for violations of 8th Amendment rights. One matter alleges failure to treat periodontal disease and delay of dental treatment. The other matter involves allegations that a prison guard failed to protect our client from another prisoner.
Working with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), our volunteer lawyers in Atlanta, New York, Orange County, Tysons Corner and Washington, D.C. offices represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. These children are typically victims of trafficking or are fleeing severe abuse, abandonment, forced marriage, exploitation, or other human rights abuses. In addition to providing pro bono representation to the children, Troutman Sanders worked with KIND to sponsor the 4th Annual Advocacy Day where dozens of volunteers from around the country spent an afternoon talking to members of Congress about the urgent need for more funding to address the overwhelming increase in the numbers of children crossing our borders alone.
Another example of a pro bono effort to assist children involves responding to subpoenas that target the records and files of therapists who represent child abuse/neglect victims. Working with several local non-profit organizations in Richmond, our volunteer lawyers help prevent confidential information between therapists and abused children from being disclosed.
Active Duty Service Members and Veterans are assisted by attorneys in multiple offices. Working with the ABA Military Pro Bono Program, the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, Emory Law School’s Veterans Clinic and the Georgia Bar’s Military and Veterans Legal Assistance Program, our lawyers provide assistance in matters involving consumer debt, landlord/tenant and veterans’ benefits. In addition, Atlanta lawyers participate in monthly on-site visits at the VA Hospital through Atlanta Legal Aid where we assist low-income cancer patients in the palliative care center with the preparation of wills, financial powers of attorney and nominations of guardians for minor children.
Basic Estate Planning
Since 2002, Troutman has been providing wills, advanced directives and powers of attorney for City of Atlanta firefighters. Volunteer attorneys also assist stage IV cancer patients at DeKalb Medical Center and the VA Hospital with end of life planning documents. Additional, we work with Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Legal Counsel for the Elderly to assist low income seniors.
Since 2003, Troutman lawyers in Atlanta have been representing tenants who are threatened with the loss of their residence in eviction proceedings. The attorney appears on behalf of the tenant in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County on a prescheduled date for mediation and, if necessary, a short trial before the magistrate judge.
Volunteer lawyers in multiple offices worked on amici briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court, including supporting a birth parent in a custody/adoption suit involving the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1977; seeking review of Environmental Protection Agency regulations relating to greenhouse gases as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act; and representing local government officials in a suit filed by a convicted rapist who challenged state DNA arrest laws. Additionally, we assisted the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on two amici briefs filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of WLC’s Fair Housing Project. Both cases addressed important issues regarding equal access to housing for individuals with disabilities.
Our Virginia Beach attorneys assisted a local nonprofit needing assistance with negotiating a ground lease to open a day camp for disabled children, wounded warriors and families of fallen soldiers. We also represented the client before the local planning commission and were able to obtain the conditional use permit needed to allow them to proceed with their plans.
Pro Bono Recognition
Troutman Sanders was honored by the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section with a 2013 National Public Service Award which recognizes law firms, corporate law departments and business law individuals that demonstrate a significant commitment to providing pro bono legal services.
Troutman Sanders was recognized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and awarded its 2013 Pro Bono Award for its efforts in helping a United States citizen recover damages after he was illegally deported to Mexico.
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation recognized a Troutman Sander’s research librarian with its “Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award” for her assistance with real estate issues.
The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and Atlanta Fire Foundation’s “Fire Chief’s Award of Distinction” was presented to Troutman Sanders in recognition of support provided over the years.
Tahirih Justice Center nominated a Troutman Sanders partner in the Washington, D.C. office as a 2013 American Immigration Lawyers Association Summer Pro Bono Hero for the Southeast for his generous work representing survivors of domestic violence seeking asylum in immigration court.
An Atlanta partner was recognized by the Atlanta Intellectual Property American Inn of Court with the 2013 Pro Bono Award for his consistent pro bono work for a variety of persons and organizations.
Troutman Sanders has been awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for the firm’s work in preparing two amici briefs in partnership with WLC’s Fair Housing Project.
Pro Bono Providers
Atlanta: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Emory Law School Veterans Clinic, Georgia Appleseed Foundation, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, Georgia Justice Project, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Truancy Intervention Project and Women’s Economic Development Agency.
District of Columbia: Catholic Charities of D.C., DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Tahirih Justice Center, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, and Washington Lawyers’ Committee
New York: Coalition for the Homeless, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, The Children’s Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Lawyers Alliance for New York
Orange County: Bet Tzedek, Human Options, and Kids Alliance
Portland: St. Andrew Legal Clinic
Richmond: Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Legal Aid Justice Center, Legal Information Network for Cancer, and Virginia Bar Association
Raleigh: Legal Aid of North Carolina
Tysons Corner: Catholic Charities of D.C., DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and Virginia Bar Association
Virginia Beach: Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia
National Providers: ABA Military Pro Bono Project, Kids in Need of Defense, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Veterans Legal Services Program, Online Media Legal Network, Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
For more information about the firm’s pro bono program, please email