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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 4:49 am | Fair 39º


Cappello & Noël Law Firm Pledges $50,000 to Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara firm spearheads Champions of Justice fundraising efforts with five-year commitment

Cappello & Noël LLP has made a five-year financial commitment to support the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara-based law firm announced it would donate $10,000 a year for five years to the nonprofit organization, which provides free legal services those in need.

A. Barry Cappello, managing partner of Cappello & Noël LLP, challenged an audience of more than 150 people on Dec. 15 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort to invest in the stability of the Legal Aid Foundation.

“The Legal Aid Foundation plays a critical role in Santa Barbara County,” Cappello said. “Those of us in the legal community should do everything we can to support the Legal Aid’s efforts to help the less fortunate receive legal representation.”

“The need for assistance is growing as economic conditions force families and individuals into legal situations they never could have imagined,” said Leila Noël, partner at Cappello & Noël. “Our firm is a strong believer in the foundation’s good work and its steadfast commitment to giving equal legal access to all.”

The Legal Aid Foundation hosted its Annual Campaign for Equal Access Fundraising Luncheon on Dec. 15. Legal Aid Executive Director Ellen Goodstein talked about her vision for the agency — when there might be a time when no one is denied access to justice in Santa Barbara County.

“I see a time when Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County serves as a ‘shining star’ to the entire state of California; where Legal Aid is able to fully assist every resident of this county that walks through its doors,” Goodstein said.

This vision-driven event included a testimonial by a grandmother who was helped with obtaining guardianship of her sick 2-year-old granddaughter, a short film produced by Legal Aid board member Saji Gunawardane that highlighted the work of the foundation, a moving rendition of “I Believe” by opera singer and retired attorney Marilyn Gilbert, a visionary speech by Goodstein and the challenge by Cappello for others to join him in becoming members of Champions of Justice, a multiyear giving society charged with helping establish the sustainability and long-term stability of the 52-year-old agency.

Law firms Fell, Marking, Abkin, Montgomery, Granet & Raney LLP and Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy LLP and attorneys Allan Ghitterman, D. William Wagner, Sherry Melchiorre, Amy Steinfeld, Penny Mathison and Lessie Nixon all rose to the challenge and pledged multiyear commitments to Champions of Justice.

Cappello & Noël LLP is one of the preeminent litigation law firms in the country. The Santa Barbara firm has a successful history of representing individuals and small-business owners who take on large corporations and their powerful law firms. In particular, Cappello & Noël is acknowledged as the pioneer in lender liability law, where borrowers seek justice against lender misconduct. It also represents plaintiffs in complex business litigation, catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, and plaintiffs’ class actions. The firm is a strong proponent of equal access to the legal system and professional legal representation regardless of an individual’s financial circumstances.

The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County provides free civil legal services to victims of domestic violence, seniors and low-income individuals throughout the county. Last year, Legal Aid assisted more than 5,100 residents of the county in matters of domestic violence, family law, elder law, housing and eviction defense, consumer law and benefits assistance. 

For more information about Champions of Justice, call Legal Aid Development Director Niki Richardson at 805.963.6754 x109.

— Diane Rumbaugh is a publicist for the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County.

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