July 26, 2019
Life-Saving Measures
L-R: Bradley Pro Bono Counsel Tiffany Graves with Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin and Bradley attorneys Lindsey Boney and Dylan Black. Bradley was pivotal in exonerating Aguirre, who spent 14 years in jail for two murders he did not commit.
Bradley recognized with Law Firm Award by the Alabama State Bar 2019 Pro Bono Awards
Clemente Javier Aguirre-Jarquin spent 14 years in jail—10 of them on Florida’s death row—for two murders he did not commit. 

Convicted in 2006 in the fatal stabbing of two women—his own next-door neighbors—Mr. Aguirre always maintained his innocence. Eventually the Innocence Project took an interest in his case, finding powerful DNA, forensic, and testimonial evidence that could exonerate him. 

After the trial court refused to grant a new trial in spite of the new evidence, the Innocence Project asked Bradley to represent Mr. Aguirre on appeal.
This time, Mr. Aguirre won a new trial from a unanimous Florida Supreme Court—and thanks in large part to tireless work on behalf of Mr. Aguirre by Bradley attorneys Lindsey C. Boney IV , Dylan C. Black , and T. Brooks Proctor , among a host of others—prosecutors dropped all charges in the middle of jury selection in November 2018.

“God sent me these angels,” Mr. Aguirre says of his legal team. “Thanks to them, I have my life back.” 

Mr. Black says he is grateful for the team’s opportunity to achieve long-overdue justice for their client. “This shows the critical difference that a dedicated legal team can make to the life of someone who has been failed by the system.” 

Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham (VLB) congratulates Bradley for its win in State of Florida v. Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin. “This is just one standout illustration of the firm’s commitment to helping underserved people through legal aid,” says VLB Executive Director Nancy Yarbrough. “Bradley’s vast pro bono program and community service ranges from working to overturn wrongful convictions to serving low-income individuals in less dramatic, but deeply impactful, ways from helping families with adoption to protecting clients against wrongful eviction.” 

In recognition of this dedication, the Alabama State Bar recently recognized Bradley with the 2019 Law Firm Award for pro bono service. 

Bradley has long been a supporter of VLB, both financially as a Platinum Level Champions for Justice Donor and through countless hours volunteering on behalf of our clients. When VLB launched our Standing with Woodlawn Community Help Desk, Bradley committed to sending attorney volunteers to every session. Bradley attorneys have also been instrumental in the VLB Patent Program, which helps inventors with limited financial resources obtain patents. 

Bradley attorneys who serve as VLB volunteers include Scott Adams, Keith Anderson, James Blake Bailey, Jared C. Batte, Jay Bender, Julia Bernstein, Dylan C. Black, Anna-Katherine Bowman, Justin Brown, Terrance M. Brown, Russell Kane Burnette, Julie Carter, Tiffany J. deGruy, Danny Feltham, K. Laney Gifford, Lee Gilley, Jake Gipson, Tiffany M. Graves, T. Parker Griffin Jr., Riley Phillips Griffin, Abigail Harris, C. Meade Hartfield, K. Wood Herren, James Jackson Hill, David G. Hymer, Nicole Jones, Aman S. Kahlon, Nicholas J. Landau, Matthew H. Lembke, Daniel F. Murphy, Seth I. Muse, Preston H. Neel, Stephen Parsley, Grant A. Premo, J. Thomas Richie, Candice L. Rucker, Emily Myers Ruzic, Anne Marie Seibel, Dawn Helms Sharff, John W. Smith T, Darrell Clay Tucker II, Michael F. Walker, Phillip E. Walker, Meade Whitaker Jr., Michael Casey Williams, and Kenneth T. Wyatt
VLB Introduces new team members
Vetrica Hill—Service Coordinator
With over 15 years in social services, Vetrica Hill has an extensive background in juvenile deviant behaviors, child and family welfare, and veteran services. Her experience ranges from direct care to non-profit administrative management, program implementation and evaluation, and operational budgets.
With a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Alabama—and currently working on a Master's in Business Administration—she has a passion for finding a way past the obstacles too often faced by those less fortunate.

"A lot of people are often not aware of the resources available in their community. Access to these resources can potentially assist them with a better quality of life. I believe in VLB's mission, and I am honored to be a part of a team that makes legal services available to those who may otherwise be unable to afford it."
F. Wilson Myers—Staff Attorney
A retired military officer, Wilson Myers earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law. Both in and out of the military, Myers has spent much of his career helping to improve access to justice in locations all over the world, including serving as a high-level liaison to government justice and legal-education institutions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Myers left overseas service in 2016 and returned to Alabama as a private attorney. He has since practiced criminal law across Alabama with a focus on capital murder defense, taught law at the Birmingham School of Law, and served as an adjunct Criminal Justice Professor at UAB. Married with three grown children and seven grandchildren, Myers is also the pastor at Walker Chapel United Methodist Church.

"Serving as an indigent criminal defense lawyer has always provided me personal satisfaction," he says. "Now, I work full-time helping to provide access to justice to citizens who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer."
Liz Quistorff—Volunteer Coordinator
Liz Quistorff comes to us from Nashville, Tenn., where she has spent the last few years working in urban schools as a counselor and focusing on resource accessibility for Title I schools. Her background in mental health and resource connection has led her to focus extensively on low-income populations.

"I believe that we have a responsibility to mend the gaps in resource accessibility that currently exist, and I am confident that this position will allow me to work with volunteer attorneys to do just that."
Our volunteers make the difference!
Thanks to these volunteers who shared their time and expertise at recent VLB Help Desks:
Donnie Winningham and Jack Pouchert assist clients at the Civil Help Desk

  • Chris Christie (Sirote)
  • Julie Goyer
  • Amber Hall (Lightfoot)
  • Daphne Hoyt 
  • Loring Jones (Jones & Associates)
  • Lane Morrison (Lightfoot)
  • Honza Prchal (Heninger) 
  • Matt Swerdlin 
  • Donnie Winningham (Bressler)

  • Bressler clerk: Jack Pouchert

  • Heninger clerks: Peyton Patterson and Lindsey Philips

  • Lightfoot clerks: Brianna Buckner, Molly Brannan, Brooke Messina, Richard Rosario, Drey Russell, and Virginia Wright

  • Starnes clerks: Robert Humphrey and Kara McCord
Deborah Gregory assists a client at the Domestic Relations Help Desk

  • Wykeenia Austin
  • Deborah Gregory (Crittenden)
  • Melinda Guillaume
  • Ginger Hamilton
  • Alexander Hurd
  • Susan McAlister
  • Preston Martin (Bressler) 
  • John Milledge
  • Gloria Sellers
We need Help Desk volunteers!
Drey Russell, Brooke Messina, and Amber Hall help out at the Civil Help Desk
Please consider  signing up  for an attorney volunteer slot next week. We have openings at the following Help Desks: 

  • Civil — 7/29 and 8/1
  • Domestic Relations — 7/31
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Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham | www.vlbham.org