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CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide non-profit that provides free civil legal services to low-income North Carolinians. Legal Aid of NC does tremendous work to ensure that all people have equal access to justice, regardless of their economic circumstances. However, in order to fulfil this vital mission, Legal Aid of North Carolina depends on volunteer attorneys like Womble Carlyle’s Mark Henriques.
Henriques is one of several Womble Carlyle lawyers who donate time to Legal Aid of NC’s Lawyers on the Line program. Through this limited-scope representation program, attorney volunteers field phone calls from pro bono clients who need assistance, spot issues, and map out action plans for clients to follow after termination of the limited-scope relationship. For example, Henriques has counseled nearly 20 such clients in a wide range of matters, including landlord-tenant disputes and disputes with contractors.
From time to time, a limited scope client may require full-scope representation, and the Womble Carlyle lawyer then runs conflicts, drafts an engagement letter, and creates a full-fledged relationship with the pro bono client.
For example, Henriques currently represents a disabled military veteran in a dispute with a Charlotte-area garage and auto repair center. The case came through a call to the Lawyers on the Line program. The veteran purchased a used bus to use in his small business. The bus needed transmission repairs, so he took it to a shop. However, not only did the repair shop not fix the bus, the shop’s owners refused to release the bus.
Henriques took the case, filing suit against the garage holding the bus and repair shop that didn’t repair it, demanding that they repair the bus and release it to its rightful owner. The case is pending, but the veteran now has the opportunity to resolve the conflict that has sidelined his business.
Mark Henriques is a business litigation attorney who has successfully litigated cases involving fraud, unfair trade practices, class actions, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, and breach of contract. He practices in Womble Carlyle’s Charlotte office.