Six Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized by the North Carolina Supreme Court for Pro Bono Work


Six Brooks Pierce attorneys have been honored by the North Carolina Supreme Court for providing 50 or more hours of pro bono legal services in 2020. Bill Cary, Jamey Lowdermilk, Shepard O’Connell, Will Quick, Collins Saint and Katie Wong were among 589 attorneys statewide named to the 2020 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society.

“Serving the greater community has always been a strong value at Brooks Pierce, which is clear in the amount of time so many attorneys put into pro bono work,” said Reid Phillips, the firm’s managing partner. “We are proud of all the honorees for both the time they have dedicated to helping others and for this recognition.”

Cary has been practicing for 45 years, and his experience includes counseling employers through difficult employment decisions, litigation and mediation, especially in employment and environmental disputes. In recent years, he has focused on the emerging legal field of climate change and resilience, particularly in coastal areas. His 2020 pro bono work primarily supported the North Carolina Coastal Federation and The Pew Charitable Trusts in efforts to advance the North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. He facilitated 16 workshops that convened experts in stormwater management to create specific recommendations to promote the use of nature-based systems to reduce flooding and improve water quality.

Lowdermilk brings her experience as a law clerk in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to guide her clients through the complicated bankruptcy process. She also represents businesses and individuals in complex commercial matters in state and federal courts. In her pro bono work, she helped a public health organization develop vendor agreements for a new food hub, designed in part to reduce food insecurity exacerbated by the pandemic. She also advised a music organization on its annual festival and related events, including its first ever virtual programming. Additionally, she served as pro bono defense counsel for several individuals arrested during protests against police brutality and for voting rights.

O’Connell focuses her practice on commercial litigation in federal and state court, including the North Carolina Business Court. A fluent Spanish speaker, she draws on her experience litigating international disputes to serve corporate and individual clients from diverse backgrounds, providing counsel on business, contract and intellectual property issues. Last year her pro bono work focused on representing federal criminal defendants in court-appointed criminal cases through her membership on the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Training Panel for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Quick is certified as a specialist in privacy and information security law by the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization and holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He helps companies experiencing data breach events with the response and notification process, often coordinating efforts across multiple states. He also works with clients of all sizes to craft comprehensive privacy programs that fit the unique needs of their business. In 2020, he participated in several pro bono and community service events held by the North Carolina Bar Association, including answering questions through the online Free Legal Answers program. He also advised tenants on pandemic-related protections and did substantial amounts of work for Pets for Vets. Quick serves on the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center Advisory Board and is on Brooks Pierce’s Pro Bono Committee.

Saint focuses their practice on broadening awareness of diversity issues within organizations. They counsel companies, educational institutions and other organizations on compliance with state and federal civil rights regulations, including Title VII and Title IX, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. They defend businesses in civil rights litigation when necessary. Their pro bono activities in 2020 focused on representing a prisoner in Section 1983 cruel and unusual punishment litigation against North Carolina Department of Corrections employees. They also represent trans* North Carolinians seeking legal name and gender marker changes on their government identification documents.

Wong’s practice focuses on commercial and intellectual property litigation, representing clients in state and federal courts. She works with individuals and companies facing white-collar criminal charges and government investigations. She also counsels media and broadcasting companies on regulatory, corporate and intellectual property issues. Her pro bono work includes representing tenants in negotiations and disputes with landlords, supervising Duke University law students on “Lawyer on the Line” matters involving landlord-tenant disputes, representing federal defendants in CJA matters and representing an inmate in a Federal Torts Claim Act lawsuit against a federal prison.

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