A WBF Publication
Each quarter, the WBF recognizes a volunteer attorney or firm that has gone above and beyond in representing their WBF client. This quarter, the volunteer attorney award is awarded to Crescent Moran Chasteen, Of Counsel at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, and her colleagues, Matthew Connolly, Senior Associate, Melanie Woodward, Associate, and Erin Whitney, Associate, who have dedicated more than 300 pro bono hours to support their client, Lucinda.
Lucinda’s husband of three years abandoned her and their baby, Alex. Lucinda filed for divorce on her own, but quickly realized she needed an attorney’s help to avoid becoming homeless. Two days before Lucinda filed for divorce, and without consulting Lucinda, her husband transferred ownership of the marital home to a relative. That relative then sent Lucinda’s parents, who were there living with her to assist in caring for the baby, an eviction notice. Lucinda received no proceeds from the transfer of the house and was immediately cut off from all marital finances. Subsequently, the husband’s relative also sent Lucinda a notice threatening to either evict her and her baby, or charge her an exorbitant amount of rent. She contacted the WBF, which was able to refer the case to Attorney Chasteen and her colleagues, pro bono. They secured a tremendous victory for their client—a temporary restraining order preventing transfer of the marital home and prohibiting Lucinda’s husband (and relative) from evicting her and the baby and charging rent. The team at Nutter continues to work with Lucinda to secure her rightful share of the value of the marital home, as well as a parenting agreement and child support so that Lucinda can continue to care for her son.
“Our team works in a variety of practices, but had one goal in common, wanting to contribute to the legal community in a meaningful way and to ensure that people from all backgrounds have access to a level playing field when it comes to our judicial system” Attorney Chasteen explained, “This has been an incredibly rewarding experience for the entire team. We’re really making a difference in someone’s life. Securing our client’s rightful share of the marital home and other assets will allow her and her son to start over in a suitable home of their own. Further, our work with the Women’s Bar Foundation has also connected us with an amazing mentor, Fern Frolin. Not only is she an outstanding family law attorney whose knowledge and experience is indispensable to our team as we represent our client, but she is also a wonderful person.”
Thank you attorneys Chasteen, Connolly, Woodward, and Whitney for your commitment to pro bono service with the WBF!