July 16, 2009
Pro Bono, Court-Appointed Work in Brunswick, Fairfax, and Franklin Counties Recognized
Lawyers who have done significant pro bono or court-appointed work in Brunswick, Fairfax, and Franklin counties are being recognized by the Virginia State Bar with Circuit Awards.
The awards are part of an ongoing pilot project, now in its third year, to recognize extraordinary contributions to the Virginia judicial system by lawyers in selected circuits. Recipients were nominated by lawyers in their home circuits. Awards will be presented in ceremonies in each designee’s jurisdiction.
The 2009 recipients are:
R. Clinton Clary Jr. of the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Clary is a 1979 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, and he received a law degree from the University of Richmond in 1983. He is a former assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Brunswick County. He practices with Slayton Bain & Clary in Lawrenceville.
Since 1987, Clary has taken state court-appointed criminal defense cases with charges that range from misdemeanors to capital murder. He and one other attorney handle most court-appointed cases in Brunswick County.
He is president of the Brunswick County Bar Association, and he recently served on the VSB’s Third District Committee for attorney ethics cases.
David A. Furrow of Rocky Mount, in the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit. He holds bachelor’s, master of business administration, and law degrees from the University of Virginia, and has practiced law for almost thirty years.
He has represented many court-appointed clients, and “is known in our circuit as the attorney to appoint to the most serious and difficult cases,” according to the nomination letter from John T. Boitnott of the Franklin County Bar Association. Furrow has been appointed counsel in more than fifteen capital murder cases.
In Furrow’s representations, “[t]he opposing side to the case and the court will never know the difference between the highest-paying client and the pro bono client, because the quality of representation is the same,” Boitnott wrote.
Robert J. Stoney, with the Fairfax firm of Blankingship & Keith PC, in the Nineteenth Circuit. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the College of William and Mary.
According to the nomination letter from his firm, Stoney began representing pro bono clients in criminal and civil matters as soon as he began practicing, and continued for over two decades. “His cases have involved cutting-edge legal theories and those that simply — and importantly — provide relief for those individuals who would not have had … counsel” without his efforts.
His cases have involved evictions, three death penalty appeals, domestic violence, and litigation over denied insurance coverage after an automobile accident. He spends up to one hundred hours per year on pro bono cases. He also takes a case or two each year for no fee, and the client donates what would have been the fee to legal aid. He mentors associates in his firm who do pro bono work, and he has helped lead several organizations that promote legal services for indigent persons.