Jan. 14, 2021
Nelson Mullins’ real estate attorneys have worked behind the scenes throughout 2020 to help those in need who also were the hardest hit because of the pandemic. Here they share their stories:
Nashville partner Brendi Kaplan volunteers for the Nashville Conflicts Resolution Center, providing free mediation services to the underserved community. Free mediations are provided for parenting plans, civil disputes, and landlord-tenant mediation through General Sessions Civil Courts and by individual request. The landlord-tenant mediation is a risk-free, court-approved means of exploring all options that may help satisfy landlord needs while preventing the additional burden of formal eviction for the tenant. She also serves on its Board of Directors.
“In September, we saw the looming threat of evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic’s impact on the economy. As a volunteer mediator, I worked with this organization that stepped up and added the disbursing of CARES funds to its landlord-tenant mediation program. NCRC has paid $1.3 million (averaging $4,000 per case) to date to landlords, ensuring that both they and their tenants can focus on stabilizing their businesses and their families in a still-unsteady economy.”
Columbia partner Glen Caulk and his team chose Harvest Hope Food Bank to focus their charitable giving. “In this unusual time as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and consider its impact on our communities, we decided to make a contribution in honor of our clients and business contacts to support an organization doing critically important work in South Carolina. Accordingly, we made a contribution to Harvest Hope Food Bank (www.harvesthope.org) to support its missions and ministries it serves in South Carolina. According to Harvest Hope’s calculations, the donation helped provide holiday meals for 167 families.”
Similarly, Charleston partner Jay Claypoole’s team chose two organizations to donate to in honor of clients. “In lieu of giving physical gifts, my team in Charleston made contributions in honor of our clients to support two organizations doing critically important work – Operation Home and the American Heart Association 2021 Lowcountry Heart Walk.” Operation Home serves more than 550 families annually through critical home repair, wheelchair ramps, and heat and cold relief programs. The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for raising funds to save lives from USA's No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke.
Rachel Herlache (West Palm Beach) supports several local animal rescues. “I promote adoption awareness through social media (don’t shop, adopt), create and donate to fundraisers for specific animals in need of medical care (also through social media), foster animals (primarily dogs), perform home checks of potential adopters, provide transport for animals from shelters to rescues and rescues to fosters/adopters, and support as many rescues as possible either through donations of supplies or money. I have also personally adopted and care for several animals with severe health issues that would otherwise be put down. My husband and I also have our own unofficial ‘rescue’. Oftentimes, in certain parts of South Florida, dogs that are advertised for ‘free’ are picked up to be used for bait in training dogs to fight. My husband and I pick up as many ‘free’ dogs as possible, vet them, and then find them good homes. We do this completely with our own funds. Fortunately, 99% of these dogs end up with families I know so I can still check up on them.”
Charleston partner John Hagerty chairs the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) and is on the Board of One Region. “The mission for the CRDA is to serve as a catalyst for long-term regional prosperity by attracting the world’s best companies, talent, and entrepreneurs. We were asked by Mayor Tecklenburg to help lead the community back into business safely, following all mandates so that businesses could reopen and give customers a sense of safety so the businesses could stay open.”
Atlanta partner Wade Malone has long supported and promoted diversity in the legal profession and is a co-founder of the Atlanta Bar Association’s Summer Law Internship Program, which provides paid internships for Atlanta area high school students. His support in 2020 also went to the Bar’s Minority and Diversity Clerkship Program, which provides funding for diverse students to serve in clerkship positions.
Partners Hollie Croft (Orlando) and Noelle Wooten (Charlotte) spearheaded an effort to respond big for a firm affordable housing client’s coat drive for its low-income elderly tenants at two properties in Newark, NJ. With help from Andy Litvak (Atlanta), Randy Alligood (Orlando), Larry Ostema (Charlotte), and Weston Adams (Columbia), Hollie and Noelle were able to present more than 100 coats from the Firm, just in time for the holidays.
Also in Orlando, a team gathered items for 20 turkey baskets, including all the ingredients for a holiday dinner down to the tin foil for leftovers, to donate to the Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation. The organization provides secure and affordable rental housing for low to moderate income-earning households.
Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins has more than 850 attorneys and government relations professionals with offices in 11 states and Washington, DC. For more information on the firm, go to www.nelsonmullins.com.
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