ico gavel 200Lawyers and law firm staff are generous, caring assets to their communities. The variety of causes and charities supported and the time contributed is amazing!

For our first Attorney Question of the Month column of 2024, we chose to deviate from our educational focus and put a well-deserved spotlight on the men and women who so generously serve as Network Affiliated Attorneys by asking them to tell us about their involvement in causes like their local or state pro-gun organization, Christmas food and toy drives, free plain-talk law lectures taught at the local gun club, volunteer coaching at youth sports events, stepping up to help the people at their house of worship, and all the other ways they help make the lives of people in their community better! Their responses follow.

John R. Monroe
John Monroe Law, PC
156 Robert Jones Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534

  1. We coach the local high school mock trial team.
  2. We have certified instructors that teach gun safety classes.
  3. We speak at local gun clubs, ranges, and political organizations to talk about gun laws as they relate to carrying guns and using deadly force in self defense.
  4. We do pro bono litigation to challenge laws and regulations that violate the Second Amendment.

Don Hammond 
Criminal Defense Heroes, P.C.
21515 Hawthorne Blvd Ste 590, Torrance, CA 90503

I am involved in many activities all year long. I teach shooting as a volunteer instructor with Shoot Safe Learning (See https://www.shootsafelearning.com/). I teach a legal block as well as techniques and tactics. 

I teach teen-aged cadets to fly gliders, and I am a glider tow pilot and legal officer for Civil Air Patrol.

I am the immediate past president of the Torrance Kiwanis Club. I’m in the leadership circle for the South Bay Trojans USC Alumni Club.

I volunteer as a proctor in the Teen Court program at a local high school. I volunteer at a legal clinic for the Fair Chance Project, helping with post-conviction relief and related issues.

I take on pro bono expungements for veterans through the Veterans Legal Institute®.

I help raise funds and do outreach for the Swim With Mike physically challenged athletes scholarship fund.

I may be leaving something out, but these are the things that come to mind.

Benjamin Blatt
P.O. Box 221, South Bend, IN 46624

I give occasional lectures on gun laws at local gun clubs, when invited, and I've taught a few classes at a local congregation.

I do the legalese for local charity gun raffles on a pro bono basis, and I’ve been working part time for the public defender’s office on felony and misdemeanor cases for most of the past year.

T. S. Hale
Hale Sides LLC
505 20th St N., Birmingham, AL 35203

While I am loathe to talk about myself, my primary passion for the last number of years has been serving as President of two different Police Foundations, which are both 501-C3 charitable organizations. For eight years, I was President of the Homewood Police Foundation, Inc. and since moving to Vestavia Hills, Alabama in October 2018, I have been the President of the Vestavia Hills Police Foundation, Inc. since 2020.

Our volunteer directors’ and members’ focus is on encouraging and facilitating better communication, cooperation, trust and economic support by and between our citizens and our local police department that currently has 110 sworn police officers. The financial support we generate through our citizens’ contributions and gifts is used to meet many needs of the department and the individual officers and personnel that are not accounted for in the annual budget. We do this by our directors and members actively participating in numerous community events, and by hosting other special events like the “Signature Event” we hosted in September 2023 where we honored Alabama’s longest-serving state senator, Jabo Waggoner, who is also a Vestavia Hills resident. That event alone netted almost $90,000.00 from the individual seats, tables and corporate sponsorships that were generously donated to support our mission.

Some examples of the unbudgeted needs we stand ready to assist our police with are: (a) when an officer and his family suddenly lost everything they owned in a tragic house fire last summer, the Foundation immediately put out a blanket request for help from the community and we raised more than $50,000 for this officer and his family in about three days; (b) the Foundation has funded the travel expenses several times for our Police Honor Guard to attend the funeral of a police officer in another state who was killed in the line of duty; (c) the Foundation underwrote the entire expense of sending the family of another of our officers who died in the line of duty to the National Memorial Celebration in Washington, DC where his name was placed on the permanent marker honoring police who died while still in active service to their community; and (d) for the last couple of years, we have used some of our generous community contributions to buy a nice Christmas present for all of our sworn officers and personnel in the department. And, the list of other police department and personnel needs we meet is very long, I promise you.

Our Foundation has no paid employees and 100% of our net income goes to support the brave men and women in blue. We keep our expenses of printing, postage, website hosting, logo swag giveaways and other minor expenses to a minimum, so as to increase the resources we have available to support our police.

I have been quoted as saying, “Law enforcement personnel and police officers are the most highly trained, the most overly criticized, the most under-appreciated and underpaid professionals with the most difficult, dangerous and important jobs in the world. I do not know one single other attorney, banker, doctor, accountant or any other person who is willing to lay their own life on the line even once for anyone other than their immediate family, and these men and women who don the badge and uniform go out there and do exactly that for everyone else, most of whom are strangers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and we can NEVER, ever thank them enough for what they do for all the rest of us.”

There are other organizations and causes I am involved with, like our conservative Presbyterian church where my wife of 43 years is the administrative assistant to the three pastors, and other pro bono things I do for folks, but I believe the work we do in our Police Foundation is as important as anything I do outside the practice of law.

Justin L. Ward
The Ward Firm 
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
2121 Natomas Crossing Dr., Sacramento, CA 95834

Outside of the courtroom, Justin serves the greater Sacramento region and the Sacramento legal community. On December 6, 2023, he was recognized as the 2023 Sacramento County Bar Association Distinguished Attorney of the Year.

Helping under-served and at-risk youth is Justin’s main passion outside of practicing law, which is why he currently sits on the board of directors of the Center for Fathers and Families (CFF). CFF is a non-profit agency with a strong history of responding to the needs of fathers and their families by offering programs and services that lead to family growth, enrichment, and empowerment. CFF also facilitates after-school programs at over twenty schools in the Greater Sacramento region. Justin participated in a program called “Handshakes and Ties” in which he and other professionals speak to students at schools in at-risk neighborhoods and demonstrate how to tie a tie and shake hands properly. Additionally, he annually participates in “Law Day” at local schools where he and other legal professionals speak to students about the legal profession and have the students participate in a mock trial.

Justin regularly participates in “Know Your Rights” seminars where he advises citizens on their legal rights in many areas, including: interactions with intruders in your home, self defense, and interactions with law enforcement, among others.

He is a panel attorney for the Conflict Criminal Defenders, where he receives cases from the Sacramento Superior Court when low-income defendants need representation, but the Public Defender’s Office is unable to accept due to a conflict. The county pays for the representation at a rate significantly lower than the attorney’s normal rate. He is also the current Greater Sacramento NAACP Legal Redress Chair. As Chair, he helps coordinate the NAACP’s assistance to those unrepresented by legal counsel who have experienced racial bias, discrimination and/or retaliation in the public or private sector. He also helps coordinate the NAACP’s free monthly community legal redress clinics. Justin also sits on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento County Bar Association. As an SCBA board member, he regularly participates in the debates and discussions in the meetings.

Justin is the immediate past president of the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association (CCTLA). In that role, he helped to create CCTLA’s law school outreach and scholarship programs. In the outreach program, CCTLA members provide law students insight about CCTLA and being trial attorneys. He also helped establish a CCTLA scholarship for each of the three local law schools. In 2021, he was the President of the Wiley Manuel Bar Association (WMBA) after serving as vice-president for three consecutive years. During his presidency, Justin helped navigate WMBA through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. He put on multiple virtual programs including two bar exam preparation courses and he held a virtual Legal Fusion Gala featuring the nationally renowned USC Law Professor Jody Armour as the keynote speaker. Justin continues to sponsor multiple WMBA functions including Legal Fusion and mixers with law students.


We appreciate the opportunity to be associated with such generous, community-minded attorneys. Next month, this column will resume the usual Q&A format.

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